The travel industry has many key players that offer a lot of money making opportunities and one of the attractive high ticket items in this niche is hotel booking services. In today’s Clientivity review, I’ll show what is behind this program and why I think it’s NOT the best solution to start a travel business online.
What Is Clientivity?
Clientivity is a program that teams up with a number of hotel suppliers and lets you market them in the form of a booking website.
When someone makes a search, it would send a list of hotels to the user’s email, attached with a tracking link back to your site. When a successful hotel reservation is made, you get to keep a small percentage of the sales. That’s pretty much how an affiliate marketing business model works.
The entire setup takes only about 2 minutes, from signing up to verifying your user email. The user dashboard will look something like below and there’s really nothing much to do after that besides choosing a website theme for desktop and mobile.
How Much Can You Earn?
There are generally two ways to monetize from this program.
- 5% sales from direct customers, which means, for every $100 spent on the reservation, you would make $5.
- When someone partners through your link and create their own Clientivity website, you earn $20 for every $100 sales that they generate.
I went ahead and toyed around the platform for a bit and found it to be very different from many website solutions that I’ve reviewed in the past. But let’s talk about the good things first.
1) For starters, it’s free and easy to set up. There is no membership or subscription fee to commit to for as long as the site sits on a subdomain property. If you are looking to get a custom domain name with privacy protection from GoDaddy (as recommended by the program), it would cost about $20/year.
2) There are many hotel selections and discounted rates to choose from all over the world.
3) These fancy looking pre-designed flyers are helpful for promoting on social networks like Facebook and Instagram.
4) Simple text/video tutorials are available to teach you how to get more customers and business partners. They even provide phone training at this age of the internet! Not bad.
5) The program automatically captures potential customer’s email and store them at the back end when someone make an inquiry about a hotel booking. These contact details could help build a list for your email marketing later on.
And that’s where all the good things end. Having run an affiliate business myself for the past 3 years, I couldn’t help noticing the defects that comes with this platform and feel the importance of sharing them before you get your hopes high about earning from such a program.
1) As far as SEO is concerned, there’s only the meta title and meta description for the homepage (the meta keywords doesn’t count because it’s no longer an important ranking metric).
The biggest let down is that there’s no way to add pages/posts to the site. There is a segment to publish a short paragraph, but that’s about the only content that you can put up there.
Basically, this type of site lacks information and only contain a bunch of links pointing out to reservation pages. In case you are unaware, ‘thin sites’ like this are similar to many products-only eCommerce sites that have suffered in ranking since Google’s latest update. Since Google has hard time ‘reading’ what the site is all about, they have very slim chance to appear on the first page of the search result.
2) Secondly, without a blogging platform, how can you ever attract new visitors to your site? If there’s a blog, you can use targeted keywords, write some interesting topics and build your online readership.
3) Seeing that the SEO features are faulty, you are left with marketing through social media, which isn’t a bad idea considering the popularity of this niche. However, there’s a caveat.
A general population of the social audience is just curious browser who might click on the ‘30% sales banner’, but doesn’t have any interest in buying anything.
In order to convert people who are really interested, you’ll need Facebook Ads, which means using money to test what works and what doesn’t. If you are a total beginner to paid advertisement, this process can be a steep learning curve.
4) Another method that the training advocate is mobile texting. Seriously, I found this technique to be very old-fashioned and might not yield a lot of conversions as hoped.
5) While the lack of information on the site is a concern, the absence of solid reviews could cause you to lose potential customers. The only ‘description’ available is the (same) hotel image, some star ratings and the discounted room rates.
Is this enough to help people make a decision? I surely don’t think so because EVEN I would want to know more about a certain place before paying for an online booking.
6) Remember the automatic email capturing feature mentioned earlier? Well, the bad news is, you are only limited to 100 contacts. You could add more, but not without the help of (paid) autoresponders and a bit of manual work tidying up the list.
7) Lastly (although this isn’t really an issue with the program itself), I noticed a few broken links and spelling mistakes in the back end system. It makes me wonder if this platform is properly maintained, reliable or worse, legit.
What if you get someone to buy something that doesn’t exist yet you earn from it? Then, you would be committing a very serious online scam.
So, Is Clientivity Worthy of Your Time?
It’s quite a smart idea to gather a few hotels to create a booking site, but as you can see from the disadvantages, you’ll not go very far in the travel industry with this type of program. Acquiring online traffic would be your biggest challenge and so will getting people to convert on a platform that doesn’t really offer much.
At the end of the day, it’s better off to create a travel blog, leverage keywords to your advantage and be affiliated with reputable sites like Expedia and Booking if you want to generate extra income from hotel listings.
With content, you’ll be seen as more resourceful instead of just push-selling and that’s how you gain trust with the online audience.
Well, I sure hope that this Clientivity review has shown what you can and can’t get out of this program. If you like to know how to run a successful travel online business using the right kind of platform, please visit the Wealthy Affiliate training for more information.
Have any thoughts or questions about this article? Just leave them in the comment below and I’ll get back to you.
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