As a travel marketer, you’re constantly trying to think of smart ways to get more people to fly or stay with you. Each visitor to your website or reader of your email is a potential buyer, so you need to make sure your marketing speaks to them individually and leads them down the path of making a purchase. This begs the question, what could you do with more sophisticated software that just isn’t available in a simple platform?
1. Robust segmentation
Let’s say you want to target people in your list who bought tickets to Miami in the last five months and live in the Northeast. With a more robust system, you can easily create this segment and send them a last-minute deal for Labor Day weekend. Or you run a ski lodge and want to hold a contest to give away free lift tickets to your loyal customers for the upcoming winter season. A possible segment could include skiers who stayed with you in the last twelve months, have spent over $1,000, and dined at your restaurant during their stay.
For example, in our platform, you can use relational tables within the segmentation tool to gain access to each subscriber’s entire order history, (or any other data you’ve collected). You can use this data for extremely personalized email campaigns.
2. Better A/B split testing
With DIY providers, you typically only have the option of testing two email templates or variables at a time. However, sophisticated ESPs allow you to do more complicated multivariate testing to see which email gives you the best metric (CTR, CTOR, etc.). Then the system automatically sends the winning creative to the rest of your list. Using multivariate testing, you’ll be able to get deeper insights into which subject lines, offers or creatives give you the best return. A possible scenario is that you want to test whether offer A outperforms offer B, C or D. So, you’ll be able test a 15 percent discount subject line with a coupon image vs. a 30 percent discount with no image, alongside two completely different offers. The options are endless!
3. Lifecycle marketing
Having this feature is a game changer. You’re not only able to create super-personalized emails, but you’re also able to keep readers engaged throughout your entire customer lifecycle. Every single subscriber has a completely personalized experience based on what emails they’ve read and what stage of the lifecycle they’re in.
So, you’ll be able to set up an automated series of emails that go through several potential steps in a travel customer lifecycle: acquisition, welcome, pre-arrival, during stay, post-departure, retention, loyalty/rewards and re-enticement.
Each email would be personalized to the individual traveler. Someone traveling to Portland receives a pre-trip email showing them the weather vs. someone just returning from a visit to Las Vegas receives an email with a link to a spa discount in his or her home city.
4. Last, but definitely not least, dedicated account management
If you’re thinking of making the switch to a more sophisticated email service provider, this last point becomes important. As you grow your email program, you’ll most likely realize you need extra help, whether it’s learning and following best practices, creating eye-catching email templates or mapping out your customer lifecycle.
To learn more about how you can start sending more personalized emails, sign up for a demo of the WhatCounts platform or call your account manager today.
Director of Marketing, WhatCounts