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Case - Traveldeal

How a travel platform was taken to the next level



A travel platform is ideal for deploying a Customer Data Platform. With the strategic input from YellowGrape and the technical capabilities of Squeezely, an ambitious email and personalization trajectory was rolled out, resulting in a deeply segmented database and an impressive uplift in CTRs. The details of this trip? You can read that in this case.

Holidays, overnight stays and days out for the lowest price

As part of Bookunited, Traveldeal is one of the largest providers of travel deals and outings in the Benelux. On their website they offer interesting trips, relaxing holidays, luxurious overnight stays and fun days out for the lowest price. By changing the offer daily and placing short-term offers on their website, they create an enormous feeling of scarcity among visitors. With this, Traveldeal mainly focuses on triggering impulse purchases.

Check de Squeezely Customer Story met Mike de Block, CMO van o.a. Traveldeal. (English subs available).

Because Traveldeal had grown enormously, the offer was also expanded enormously. Due to this broader range, and therefore a broader target group, targeting also became a lot more difficult. Especially when it comes to email, they noticed that, which was a hugely important channel for them at the time. It became increasingly difficult to serve a growing target group with fascinating content that they were actually interested in. To achieve this, they had two objectives: to increase the click through rate of the newsletter and to structurally increase the customer database.

Improving the CTR within e-mail initially seems to be a purely e-mail issue. But, basically this is mainly about relevance. You can only increase the CTR if you are more relevant in your information provision and communication. After all, if you send relevant emails you can increase the CTR, which makes people come back more often, rebook and then the LTV grows. That sounds good, but you are probably curious how exactly we went about it.

Anyone who wants to set up a powerful Customer Data Platform not only needs good partners, but also has to ask the right questions. Build on your strengths and get more out of e-commerce without putting an extra burden on the IT department. Precisely because a Customer Data Platform (CDP) offers so many options for delivering personalized content to customers and – vice versa – processing it as data in ERPs, it is important to think carefully about the layout beforehand. It starts with making a wish list. What end goals do I have in mind, both in the short and long term? And which use cases then belong to this?

Data as the basics

Traveldeal had been using Copernica as their ESP for years. They used Google Cloud for their data warehousing and they also had a CDP running. It looked like a very sophisticated setup. Yet YellowGrape took a closer look at everything and Squeezely was chosen as the new CDP. The CDP that Traveldeal used did not meet all the wishes within the new strategy. In addition, first party cookies are becoming more important, making flexibility within a CDP essential. YellowGrape has made the limitations clear and suggested a number of alternative platforms. After an orientation process and a trial it was decided to migrate to the CDP Squeezely. A number of Squeezely functionalities clearly stood out, including the fine-grainedness in the data collection as well as the possibility to sync values from the data warehouse at profile level and then set up campaigns accordingly.

In the rollout of the strategy, YellowGrape has gone much further than just optimizing the e-mail channel. They made an extensive analysis of the Traveldeal database, examined the data landscape, mapped the customer journey and then translated this into valuable customer journeys that connect seamlessly with this.

Customer Journey under construction

In this analysis, the order data of the past 5 years has been examined. The aim was to calculate customer behavior and the associated Lifetime Value (LTV). The analysis showed that there was much to be gained, especially in the area of retention. Traveldeal understood the art of acquisition, but getting existing customers back turned out to be a bigger challenge than expected. Based on this finding, we have defined new customer journeys with which we can stimulate cross- and upsell, promote retention and thus increase the average order value (AOV). From the data analysis we know that both the retention rate and the AOV can both increase the LTV - one of the most important objectives within the new strategy.

A masterful master template

An email template is an important pivot in the web of the customer journey. The designers at Yellow Grape, in collaboration with the in-house team at Traveldeal, have created an unparalleled master template that exceeds your wildest, interactive and personalized email marketing dreams. For example, it contains innovative features, including a live countdown to highlight temporary promotions and a swipe carousel to browse through the offer in mail. Even the product blocks adapt to the specific conditions of the (day) deals.

Most importantly, Traveldeal's marketers can now use one template to build both newsletters and personalized campaigns, without being dependent on IT. And thanks to the micro segments, the offer in the emails can be adjusted up to profile level. This is done based on, among other things, on-site viewing and clicking behaviour, order history and real-time trends. The team thereby collects learnings to immediately implement optimizations and stay ahead of the competition - and that goes more than well. After only a few weeks, the average CTR within e-mail had improved considerably.

The customer journey of Traveldeal on their dutch website

The role of the CDP

We also play an important role in this story. Not only for filling the product feed in e-mail, but also for combining the data from the various marketing data sources into a 360 degree customer profile. In addition, we have linked the data warehouse within the Google Cloud environment to our tool, so that the calculations of the relevant values (such as the best time for a new booking or the best suitable offer) can be passed on to the CDP. The practical consequence? The ability to build cross channel campaigns.

Use cases in email campaigns

A list of new use cases emerged from the strategic plan and the database analysis. The list is long and ambitious, so for this case we've made a selection of our favorites.

Arrival flow

Why wait for your holiday or weekend away to start, when you can also enjoy the anticipation? The arrival campaign takes customers along in the preparation, spread over several emails. For example, customers are sent a short follow-up route to the location, a packing list and a preview of the stay. Receive recommendations for overnight stays in the area just before departure, to encourage extending the trip. This even includes the local weather forecast (if promising), as we soon discovered that this has a positive effect on bookings. And is the guest back home? Then we try to map the preferences and wishes (again) by means of profile enrichment so that we can make an even more relevant recommendation in the future.

Your next best trip

This campaign is specifically aimed at improving food. Through this campaign, they proactively approach customers with a recommendation for their next holiday or outing at a carefully determined moment. When you see the email, you may not expect that a huge amount of intelligence and data analysis is hidden behind it. Nothing is less true.

All available, raw data within the Google Cloud environment is brought to a machine learning platform. Within this platform, it is then calculated which deals, in theory, best suit the customer and when they should ideally be sent. This data is sent back to the Google Cloud environment, which then transfers the relevant values to the ESP and the CDP. This allows us to not only adjust the product feed in the mail, but also show the same recommendations on site.

Prepared for the future

In the future, first-party data will become increasingly important. Building a one-to-one customer relationship is the most valuable asset a company has. When you are better able to understand the needs of your customers than a competitor, it will be good for the growth of your company.

This translates into technical possibilities to share data with, for example, advertising platforms such as Facebook and Google, data exchange with e-mail packages, personalization of web experiences, customer service and all future ways to communicate with customers. By investing in customer confidence to share data with your organization, you are in the best position to respond to all changes in the landscape of the future.

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