People love to travel—specially to the areas they have never been to. They do their research starting from top things to do, best places to see, things to avoid, cheap local transport, comfortable stay at nominal prices, etc. The most important research that stands out is the flight tickets. This is the foundation of all travel plans across the globe. People just check the availability, best possible date range and the pricing but seldom do they book at that moment . . . rather they drop off and proceed to their next research.
Now . . . the real art is converting a random stranger that visits your website for the first time into a paid customer. How does one do that?
Let’s consider a prospect here—we will call him Anakin.
Anakin wants to go to Europe during Christmas—his research has told him that he should cover Vienna, Budapest, Prague, and Bratislava in the span of 10 days. To check if the flight tickets would fit in his budget he opens the website of Quaint Airlines—for he thinks these would be comfortable and cheaper than the others at the same time. He selects the date for 21st December from San Francisco to Vienna and return on 2nd January. He checks all the timings and rates and makes a mental note of all of them and drops off. He goes on to spend the rest of the day like he does, normally, checking his social media accounts and browsing the web in his leisure time. The next day he checks the website of some other airline for the same travel period and destination for the prices and finds they are 1% cheaper than the ones available in Quaint Airlines. He quickly goes ahead and books the return tickets.
Quaint Airlines just lost a valuable customer. What could they have done to engage Anakin to retain and convert him into a loyal customer? The answer lies in analytics, machine learning and smart & personalized actions.
To explain this, better, let’s go back in time to the part where Anakin opens the Quaint Airlines website for the first time to check the flight tickets. Only this time he finds a pop up that asks him if he would like to receive notifications from Quaint Airlines—since he is interested in travelling and would like to receive updates—he clicks on Allow. Now, he sees an offer that says if he downloads the Quaint Airlines app and books the ticket there, he would get a 5% cashback—he doesn’t wait for a second before downloading the mobile app. But here is a catch . . . even after all these activities he still procrastinates, like a perfectly normal human being, and drops off thinking he would again check his budget, destinations, and other flights . . . just in case.
To take a break, he logs onto Facebook to stalk his traveler friends to find out what are they up to. He notices a banner on the bottom right of his news feed which says San Francisco to Vienna with an amazing Vienna view in the background with a red flashing discount coupon that will give him 10% off. He instantly clicks on that ad and lands on a web page that now suddenly seems a bit different. Relevant flights are being shown to him and a few add ons are being suggested to him that other people who flew to Vienna from San Francisco purchased. He again sees an offer of 5% cashback if tickets are booked from the app. Overwhelmed with such sight and offers, he forgets everything and immediately signs up on the app and uses the coupon to book tickets and earns the cashback. He cannot wait to share his excitement of finally confirming his Euro Trip on social media to give something of his own for his friends to stalk.
Well, this story has just begun. Few days have passed and Anakin has had enough time to prepare his itinerary and everything but the trip is still 2 days away. He receives a push notification from the Quaint Airlines that says, Hey Anakin! Save your time, check in right now to jump the queue to the security check! Good idea, he thinks, and instantly click on it to lands on a screen where he is supposed to choose his seat. He feels nice to have chosen a good window seat well in advance. While he is checking his inbox in his office while setting up a vacation message . . . a notification pops up in his browser that says know your airline inside out. Being a naturally curious person, he clicks on to read everything—including the features and hacks about the Boeing he would be checking into.
Today is the day he is supposed to board his flight. While he is on his way to the airport, he gets a push offering him 50% off on the first-class upgrade. He has time before he reaches to the airport—he starts weighing his options—he does his math and arrives to a conclusion that a few extra dollars would only bring him comfort and extra leg space during the long journey.
He enjoys the first-class journey to Vienna from San Francisco and avails the extra facilities provided only to first class flyers. As soon as he lands, he quickly connects to the wireless internet of the airport to tell everyone he has landed safely. Before he can do that, he gets a notification from Quaint that since he flew first class, extra reward points have been added to his account which can be redeemed during the next journey. He does his math and realizes if he upgrades to first class in his returning flight, he would only have to pay 27% of the actual amount, thanks to his earned reward miles. After happily upgrading to first class, again, he goes onto notify his family and friends that he has landed.
This story isn’t over yet. Now, while tries to figure out the best way to reach the hotel he had booked, he gets this notification from Quaint, Welcome to Vienna, Anakin. Don’t worry, we’ve got your first commutation taken care of. Use 20OFF in your Kodiv Cab booking to get flat 20% off. Delighted, he quickly opens the Kodiv app and books a cab using that code and happily goes to the hotel.
So, what did we just learn from Anakin’s journey? Quaint Airlines not only smartly acquired Anakin on both web and mobile but also made him to book first class tickets and retained him as their loyal customer. How exactly did Quaint Airlines achieve this process? Well, it’s no rocket science, but let’s just walk through the tech part:
- Quaint integrated web push in their website to grab attention of Anakin even when he wasn’t using his phone
- They acquired him on their app with an offer on their website
- By tracking his browsing cookies they re-engaged him with an attractive offer with Facebook Remarketing
- With Recommendation Engine, they personalized their website based on Anakin’s browsing history
- With smart segmentation, they offered him a cheap upgrade to first class using an effective copy of the push message
- Using gamification strategy, they rewarded him with miles to get even cheaper upgrade to first class for the returning flight
- Last, but not the least, they won his trust forever by sending a very smart message at the right time to get a discounted cab ride using geofencing in push notifications
Anakin is just a protagonist in this journey. There are thousands of other potential travelers who you could help. Click here to know more about how ShepHertz App42 Platform can help you acquire, engage, retain, and convert potential travelers into loyal customers using marketing automation, or simply click here for a comprehensive demo 🙂