Generating loyalty in the travel deal industry
In a cut-throat industry like budget travel where consumers are inundated with options, keeping customers loyal can be tricky. Christina Thummanah, head of the CRM team at TravelSupermarket, knows this challenge all too well.
TravelSupermarket’s offerings span package vacations to car rentals, individual flights, and travel insurance. The challenge of keeping customers loyal can feel like an especially strong headwind, especially when working in just a two-person team like Christina does. Their customer base, Christina explains, “are price-savvy individuals who use TravelSupermarket to compare thousands of deals across a variety of products.”
This price-savviness means that relevance is crucial in driving customer loyalty. Instead of only sending out the same offer to everyone, the CRM team was ready to step it up a notch and get the right deal at just the right moment in their customers’ inboxes.
Choosing the best automation & GDPR-compliance provider
When it came time to choose a new email marketing provider, the TravelSupermarket CRM team went looking for a solution that would put their marketing at full throttle. They needed refined marketing automation and the ability to send well-timed trigger email campaigns.
Additionally, TravelSupermarket faced another email marketing challenge. Even though the TravelSupermarket CRM team had been carrying out email marketing for some time, when the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect, they realized they had to clean up their subscriber database. They needed a new email marketing tool that promised them absolute GDPR compliance while also providing them powerful marketing automation.
Finally, the small size of their team necessitated something extremely user-friendly: an email marketing tool that had power under the hood but that was also easy to drive. With only two people in their team, they wanted something intuitive to use, quick to set up, and robust in its customer support.
Rebuilding a customer database to send the right content at the right time
The CRM team at TravelSupermarket ultimately chose Sendinblue from among several email marketing providers “due to a careful balance of functionality and cost,” Christina says. Sendinblue had the GDPR compliance and the automation they needed for a price that wouldn’t break the bank. The TravelSupermarket team signed up for an Enterprise plan and started working with their dedicated Customer Success Manager, Jennifer, to put the pedal to the metal with their email marketing.
Getting the proper GDPR opt-in required culling their inherited lists extensively, so the first big challenge that Christina and her team began solving with Sendinblue was “rebuilding our database after GDPR,” she explains. This was no easy easy task with their limited resources, but one which they got a handle on quickly. In addition to a highly visible email sign-up form and other “on-site opportunities,” Christina and her team have been “running a simple competition to win a travel hamper” as a way to grow their list.
These effective tricks have driven subscriber growth. As they continue rebuilding their database, which now has 670,000 active users, Christina and her team have simultaneously set up automated workflows in Sendinblue that deliver the right deal, at the right time, to the right person. To do this, they installed the Sendinblue tracker on their website and set up automated workflows for abandoned searches.
These automated workflows save Christina’s team precious time to drive success elsewhere. “As we are a small team,” she says, “having these emails that run in the background with very little maintenance is a quick win for us and supports our mission to deliver relevant content back to the customer.” She explains, “We use automation to provide customers with relevant journeys based on their on-site interactions. We see a higher conversion rate for these journeys.”
Adapting to subscribers’ needs
The CRM team has found other ingenious ways to ensure they’re always delivering the right content at the right time. For example, Christina explains, “No one living in Scotland wants to receive a flight deal departing from London. That would be frustrating for them. So we recently rolled out airport segmentation, which allows us to provide deals relevant to our customers’ closest departure airport.” The Sendinblue profile update forms support this airport segmentation. “We didn’t have that in [our old email marketing provider], and the profile updating possibilities in Sendinblue are fantastic! We can take their postcode from them in the profile update center if we don’t already have it.”
They’ve found other uses for the profile update form, too. Christina elaborates, “Not everyone wants to go on holiday at all times of the year, so if you’ve just come back from a holiday, the last thing you probably want is another email telling you to go on holiday. We now offer a ‘pause subscriber’ functionality, which lets subscribers choose how long they don’t want to hear from us.”
In short, what are some of the things about Sendinblue that have made TravelSupermarket’s business take flight? Its user-friendliness, powerful functionality, and the personalized support provided by their customer success manager, Jennifer. Christina summarizes, “I have complete confidence in this intuitive tool and really enjoy working with the Sendinblue team.” Thanks to all their hard work, Christina and her team can now say overall revenue is up 42% year-over-year with the help of email marketing and over 110 million emails sent.
TravelSupermarket is the UK’s market-leading price-comparison service for travel. The website compares flights, car hire, hotels, cruise, package holidays, and dynamic packaging by searching hundreds of travel websites. The information supplied is unbiased and is designed to save the customer time and money. The site thrives on offering its users accurate real time availability by taking information directly from suppliers such as Opodo, British Airways, Thomas Cook, First Choice, Thomson, Holiday Autos, Auto-Europe and many more, ensuring users are presented the best possible price at any given time.
- Industry: Travel / Hospitality
- Company Size: 67 employees
- Location: London, UK
- Website: travelsupermarket.com
- Plan: Enterprise
Christina Thummanah, Head of CRM at Travel Supermarket
"I have complete confidence in this intuitive tool with a quick time to value and really enjoy working with the Sendinblue team."