Delta Changes Web Site

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Delta Air Lines Inc. launched a redesigned Web site yesterday as the airline continues to drive traffic to its lowest-cost distribution channel.


The Atlanta-based company books 24 percent of its tickets through Delta.com, and its goal is to have 28 percent of reservations issued from delta.com by year's end, 35 percent by the end of 2006 and 45 percent in 2007. The airline sold 7 million tickets on Delta.com last year and hopes for 10 million this year.


Delta starts a marketing campaign this month that will run through mid-November and include television, radio, magazines, newspapers, e-mail, billboards and direct mail. It also will market the site through online media, such as advertising on Yahoo, MSN and AOL.


Delta said the site gives customers more control over their travel experience with online ticket changes, seat assignments and check-in. It also lets customers cancel certain tickets within 24 hours and calculate their award mileage. After conducting focus groups with hundreds of customers, the company concentrated on four customer needs: flight reservations, itinerary search, flight status and SkyMiles.


"Additionally, we are marketing delta.com as a destination in and of itself, so we'll change the home page monthly with picturesque travel destinations that enhance the online experience," chief marketing officer Paul Matsen said. The shores of Maui were featured on yesterday's site.


The company also simplified some of the site's navigation features.


"This is much more than a simple relaunch," he said. "Delta.com is the best value for our customers because it's the place where they can find our lowest published fares, there are no booking fees and there are always 1,000 bonus SkyMiles for every online booking."


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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