Seeking to boost its name recognition, the year-old agent-referral site 1Trip3.com has changed its name to Tripology.com for its official launch last month.
Designed to use the speed and efficiency of the Internet to match agent specialties to potential clients, the site received an infusion of capital early this year from New York City’s Ascend Venture Group and has so far signed up over 4,000 agents.
“In addition to the new name, we’ve also improved our site and now ask more detailed questions about each agent’s specialties,” said Brett Krasnove, vice president of product development. “This new process will allow us to send travel agents more qualified leads based on their specialization.”
With the name change, Tripology.com will redirect all traffic from 1Trip3.com, and for approximately a month will provide a transitional page explaining the redirection. Under the service, agents register on the site and detail the type of business they’re interested in; the regions, countries and cities they service; the budget level of the traveler they prefer; and the activities they specialize in.
Consumers enter an itinerary and details of the services they’re seeking help with and the company then matches consumers’ needs to agents’ specialties. Tripology.com will e-mail agents that match the consumer’s needs with notifications that include the itinerary and a “lead” price ranging from $1 to $15, depending on the trip’s size and complexity.
The first three agents that click “purchase” will be given the client’s contact information. There is no fee to join, no minimum, no commitment and no clauses. The only time an agent pays is when a lead is accepted.
To reach out to agents, the company has become a member of the American Society of Travel Agents, the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents, the Outside Sales Support Network and the Pacific Asia Travel Association.
Krasnove said the company would like to have 10,000 agents actively using the site by the end of the year, spanning all different types of trips, locations and destinations. Currently, he said about 75 percent of agents registered are in the United States.
For its consumer launch this month, the site is planning to use search-engine optimization to boost its efforts.
“We’re using target keyword phrases that travelers search for and building different landing pages for different requests,” he said. “We don’t want customers searching just for fun. We want someone ready to buy or who really wants to take the trip so the agent knows they’re getting a qualified lead.”
Krasnove said that while it’s difficult to estimate how many consumers may use the site, the company estimates it could be about 200,000 by the end of the year.
Founded last July by Jason Griffith and Chinedu Echeruo — the duo that also launched HopStop.com offering MapQuest-style directions for the nation’s subway systems — the company has an 800-number and has hired Chris Viego as client relationship manager.
“It’s really important when a new service launches for agents to test it ... before spending your boss’ money or your own money,” Krasnove said.
www.Tripology.com is extending an exclusive offer to TravelAge West readers. Agents who enter invitation code “TW10” on the site will receive credit for the first $10 in leads they accept.