E-Mails Open Trip.com Relaunch

Trip.com began sending 7 million e-mails to registered members and prospects as part of a $40 million integrated marketing campaign promoting its site relaunch.

Trip.com will use the campaign — which will include print ads in USA Today and The New York Times, TV commercials and radio spots — to position itself as a full-service leisure travel Web site. Among its new features are 24-hour access to live travel professionals and improved search and book options that match travelers’ specifications for a preferred airline, class of service, seat preference and other options.

The e-mails are going to 6.5 million opt-in names that receive weekly e-mail updates from Trip.com and CheapTickets.com as well as 250,000 to 500,000 prospects. The e-mails to the 6.5 million opt-in names highlight the new features and services. E-mails to prospects introduce Trip.com and discuss its features and services.

Both e-mails contain links to Trip.com where recipients can get more information.

“The prospect mailing is going to be big enough for us to generate some telling results that will allow us to see whether or not we should continue with another prospect mailing after this one,” said Stu Gold, vice president of marketing at Trip.com, Parsippany, NJ.

Other online efforts will include banner and pop-up ads as well as “pop-overs” and “pop-unders.” The ads are currently appearing on 24 sites including search engines, he said.

“We are using sites where the audience is similar to our demographic of people who shop online, people who have made travel purchases online or off and who fall in the age range of 25-45,” he said. “Over the course of the year we expect to run ads on more than 100 different sites.”

The print ads, which use a number of executions and vary weekly with different special offers, began appearing last week. Gold said the ads are running throughout the year.

Two television commercials also began running last week and are expected to air throughout the year as well.

Gold said the campaign cost was split evenly between the offline and online components.

The campaign was created by Grey Advertising, New York.

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