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Travel deal

Uplift LTV with a data-driven email and personalization strategy


The challenge

Traveldeal has grown impressively in recent years. In Yellowgrape, they found a partner who could strategically help them continue this trend and take it to the next level. Together, we rolled out an ambitious email and personalization process, resulting in a deeply segmented database and an impressive uplift of the CTRs. The details of this trip? You can read that in this case.


About Traveldeal

Traveldeal is part of Bookunited and one of the largest providers of travel deals and outings in the Netherlands and Belgium. On the platform, you will find a wide range of interesting trips, relaxing vacations, luxury nights and fun days out. All at the best price, of course. The range changes daily and the short-term offers almost automatically trigger a sense of scarcity among visitors. Stimulating impulsive purchases is perhaps the most important asset and has made the platform grow rapidly.


The destination: more clicks, more LTV

The growth of the platform went hand in hand with a strong broadening of the range. A wider range means a wider target group and that automatically comes with a challenge - specifically when it comes to e-mail. This is because for Traveldeal, this is an incredibly important channel within the media mix. It is a challenge to continue to serve this ever-growing target group in a relevant way.

To achieve this, Traveldeal had developed a clear strategy with two objectives: improving the click through rate (CTR) of the regular newsletter and thereby structurally increasing the customer database.


Travelling with the Yellowgrape approach

A closer look at the data landscape
Is the landscape ready? That's the question we almost always ask ourselves before we get started. Traveldeal has been using Copernica as an ESP for years. In addition, they had a data warehouse based on Google Cloud and used a Customer Data Platform. Basically everything a mature e-commerce platform needs, you'd say. But we wouldn't be Yellowgrape if we didn't take a full look at the tooling and software.

Our team is well versed in Copernica, knows the nooks and crannies of Google Cloud, and has expertise in personalization. The CDP that Traveldeal used did not meet all the needs of the new strategy. In addition, first party cookies become more important, which makes flexibility within a CDP essential. Yellowgrape has made the restrictions clear and proposed a number of alternative platforms. After an orientation process and a trial, it was decided to migrate to the CDP Squeezely. A number of functionalities of this CDP clearly stood out, including the finesse in the data collection as well as the ability to sync values from the data warehouse at profile level and then set up campaigns accordingly.

Database analysis and the customer journey
We have made an extensive analysis of, among other things, the order data for the last 5 years. The purpose of this was to identify customer behavior and the development of the LTV, in order to then identify areas for improvement and opportunities.

The analysis showed that there was a lot to gain, mainly when it comes to retention. Traveldeal understood the art of acquisition, but getting existing customers back turned out to be more challenging than expected. Based on this finding, we have defined new customer journeys, with which we can stimulate cross- and upsell, promote retention and thus the average order value (AOV) can increase. This is because 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 of the new strategy.

A masterful master template
An email template is an important hub in the web of the customer journey. In collaboration with Traveldeal's in-house team, our designers have created an unparalleled master template that surpasses your wildest, interactive and personalized email marketing dreams. For example, it includes innovative features, including a live countdown to highlight temporary actions and a swipe carousel to browse through the offer in mail. Even the product blocks adapt to the specific conditions of the (day) deals. Yes, our Campaign Developers once again did the best they could.

But most importantly, Traveldeal 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 to the profile level. This is based, among other things, on the basis of online viewing and clicking behavior, order history and real-time trends. In doing so, the team collects learnings to implement optimizations immediately and stay ahead of the competition - and that goes more than well. Indeed, after just a few weeks, the average email CTR had improved significantly.

The CDP's role
The CDP Squeezely also plays an important role in this story. Not only for filling the product feed in e-mail, but also to combine the data from the various marketing data sources into a 360-degree customer profile. In addition, we linked the data warehouse within the Google Cloud environment to Squeezely, so that we can forward the calculations of the relevant values (such as the best time for a new booking or the most appropriate offer) to the CDP. The practical result? The ability to build cross-channel campaigns.

“Through data collection and continuous profile enrichment through various campaigns, we are able to increasingly assess travel needs and optimize segmentation.”


Use cases and email campaigns

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

Arrival flow
Why wait until your vacation or weekend break starts when you can already enjoy the anticipation? The arrival campaign includes customers in the preparation, spread over multiple emails. For example, customers receive a route to the location, a packing list and a preview of the stay shortly after booking. Just before departure, we receive recommendations for overnight stays in the area to encourage the extension of the trip. This even includes the local weather forecast (if it is promising), because we quickly discovered that this has a positive effect on bookings. And is the guest back home? Then we will try to (re) identify preferences and wishes 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 retention. Through this campaign, we proactively approach customers with a recommendation for a next vacation or getaway at a carefully determined time. When you see the email, you might not expect a huge amount of intelligence and data analysis to be hidden behind it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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


A wise take-home message

A platform like Traveldeal's is about impulsive, last minute purchases. We can assure you that we are well on our way to identifying the ever-growing target group. Through data collection and continuous profile enrichment through various campaigns, we are able to increasingly assess travel needs and optimize segmentation. The CTRs of both regular newsletters and automated campaigns have significantly improved, resulting in better returns.

The take-home message for this case? With a large database, the data should always be the starting point of the strategy. The smart combination of data points has clearly helped Traveldeal to more concretely assess the customer's purchase intent, get retention better started and thus significantly improved LTV.

By the way, our cooperation is certainly not over with this, because in the meantime, we are already looking forward to our next destination!


These experts know everything about this case

Jurrian Loof

Senior Campaign Developer

Erik Dijkstra

Senior Campaign Developer

Rik van den Wijngaard

Founder & Creative Director

Leonie Eckhardt

Customer Journey Strategist