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What’s in a Name? Why your program title is important.

We may not want to admit it, but our loyal travelers aren’t as loyal as we think. They are scouring numerous options as they consider their next destination:  “which Peru (or other) program is right for me?”

 As travelers get bombarded by more and more options across email, print, social media, and search engines, the name of your program needs to stand out. Sure, the itinerary, date, and price are more significant factors in the final decision, but the program title is the first impression and it has to draw people in.

 Good program names are increasingly important and can be used year after year. Here are some tips for helping you select a name that will excite your customers and increase enrollments.

 1. Give your name intrigue 

We all like to think of ourselves as adventurous souls, though more in the mind as we get older. Appeal to that intrepid side with a name that conjures up youthful exploration or learning. One of our favorites is “Grit and Glory: Exposing the Panama Canal” offered by Road Scholar. It literally provides an image and harkens to the days of Teddy Roosevelt and has been a perennial popular program.

 2. Hint to the theme and focus

Depending on your target market, tease them with content. Though a bit long, another Road Scholar program “Survival of the Fittest: Hiking, Biking & Water Sports on the Galápagos Islands” plays on the Darwin theme but also provides the active adventure focus. Or Holbrook’s “Energy, Climate Change, and Geological Wonders of Iceland” which talks to the geothermal and alternative energy theme.

 3. Be clever—avoid bland or overused words

Avoid cliché titles that you’ve seen over and over like “Best of” or “Wonders of” and superlatives like “splendor” and “magnificent.” Rather, try to find a catchy pattern or theme like “Costa Rica: Jungles, Peaks and Shores” another one of our favorites.

 4. Keep it relatively short - under 10 words

A name needs to include more than the destination but it cannot be too long. Sometimes short is good if it is right to the point. “Flavors of Sicily” works for culinary theme or “Galápagos: Nature Up Close,” but generally the more descriptive the better. Another technique is to have a sub-theme or positioning text.

 5. Test the name

The best method, if possible, is to measure the response. An A/B email test to a sample of your market is an option to see who clicks. Or, have your colleagues or friends weigh in on some choices and take a vote. If a program has not been selling, consider changing the name the next time you offer and mix up some of the features.

 With the average person receiving over 120 emails per day and our ever-advancing “swipe” culture, now more than ever it's important to have your program stand out with a compelling name.

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