Jan Swartz, Princess’ senior vice president of customer service and sales, announced two new initiatives for agents. One enables group amenities to be arranged on the POLAR B to B online booking engine, which supports Princess, Cunard and HAL, and the other provides low-cost, professional print mailings for even the smallest agency.
According to Swartz, when Princess launched the online group capability a year ago they designed it to be effective in just three steps.
“Agents were very enthusiastic about it,” she said, “and they had requests and suggestions.”
The most requested addition was a way to select group amenities online, and this was added in May.
“When we announced it, there were more than 8,000 views on the site within 24 hours,” Swartz said. “It’s really important for agents to be able to select amenities like a $50 onboard credit that they can use to promote the group.”
In addition, the Princess Alliance, available to agents who achieve Commodore status, allows even the smallest agency to have access to a new direct mail program that could save thousands of dollars in promotional spending.
“Agents can capitalize on our expertise and research on direct mail in terms of design, messaging and timing,” Swartz noted.
Agents also can take advantage of Princess’ bulk mail rate, regardless of the size of their lists. With no minimum quantity, smaller agencies have access to professionally designed direct mail pieces at a fraction of the cost they would incur privately. Mailing lists are uploaded to a third party so Princess has no access to the lists, Swartz said.
Six Princess Alliance mailings are scheduled during 2008, beginning July 7. Each mailing is timed with customer booking patterns and uses Princess’ professional design to promote specific destinations. Agencies can then personalize their mailings with information about their upcoming events, cruise sales or agency pricing. Agency logos and contact information are integrated into the piece, and Commodores receive a Certified Princess Expert logo, as well. The mail pieces are then printed and mailed for the agencies. If they prefer, agencies can also order a bulk quantity to be shipped to their office for in-house mailings and handouts.