The data is a few years old now, but it is hard to argue with the idea of massively improved open rates and revenue generation from slightly creepy emails. Back in 2011 a case study showed a 1640% increase in revenue produced by emails triggered from abandoned shopping carts. The practice has grown since then and nearly every travel site I search on now is likely to send such. Even if it is a complete waste of time.
Compared to standard promotional emails, the triggered emails generate on average:
- 150% higher open rates
- 170% higher clickthrough rates
- 200% higher conversion rates (conversion defined as a sale made from the email)
The emails also generate a 1,640% increase in revenue per email delivered as compared to standard promotional emails.
Amidst my most recent trip I’ve been slow in booking some of the hotels. As in waiting until on the plane to San Francisco to finally confirm a booking for that night.
It is completely normal to not book a hotel until you're on the plane en route to the destination, right??
— Seth Miller (@WandrMe) August 17, 2017
And my search pattern there, consistent with most other day-of bookings, includes a few different OTAs plus direct booking options (mostly via Hotel Hustle to quickly compare). Thanks to the reasonably generous Welcome Rewards program Hotels.com is one I always consider. And, of course, the searches include the desired travel dates because that’s the only way to get the right price. Which means that Hotels.com knows I wanted a room at SFO last week. But that didn’t stop the company from emailing me twice this week, trying to get me to book a room for my stay last Thursday night.
The thing about using “big data” in marketing is that many times companies have more data than they know how to use. The ideas are usually well-intentioned but the execution can be a complete mess. I did actually book this stay using one of the OTAs that prompted me with an abandoned cart email. The system actually worked. But that email also knew that my stay was still upcoming. Apparently Hotels.com didn’t. And now that the stay is passed I’m not really sure how to make it stop asking me to book a stay (that Fort Lauderdale reference is another old search that the dates for have passed; whoopsie!).
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