KISSIMMEE, FL — Travelocity’s “Good Day to Buy” e-mail program has an eight to 12 times better conversion rate than programs that do not contain a relevant or compelling offer, according to Laura J. Johnston, vice president of customer relationships at Travelocity.
Ms. Johnston spoke to DM News at the 2006 Annual Teradata Partners User Group Conference and Expo here. The program, which began in August 2005, sends e-mail messages to customers with the best travel deals based on who they actually are. Messaging also appears on personalized Web pages.
“When we see a 20 percent price drop versus a rolling 30 day average, that triggers an automated campaign that goes out across channels,” Ms. Johnston said. “We will send you an e-mail, and then when you come to [the] site, if we recognize you, you’ll see the same kind of campaign on the site.”
Ms. Johnston said the Web page campaigns have a 3 to 5 times better conversion rate than mass-market offers appearing on Travelocity web pages.
For the program, The Southlake, TX-based travel site (www.travelocity.com) recognizes the IP address and accordingly serves deals from that location. Travelocity’s data warehousing team developed an automated routine where it pulls the prices from 30,000 original and destination markets every night and puts them into a Teradata data warehouse that also includes customer information.
The company also keeps track of additional travel deals, such as rental cars and hotels.
A key reason for the program’s success is having a centralized active Teradata data warehouse, Ms. Johnston said.
“Once we recognize you, then we unleash the power of our data warehouse, which includes customer behavior such as overall behavior, in market behavior, past purchase behaviors and propensities,” said Ms. Johnston, who will begin working at Bank of America next week. “Having a centralized CRM brain across all our channels enables us to unlock all of that panel. We do not have to duplicate all that data and move it all around.”
As for next steps, Ms. Johnston said that Travelocity would be taking the “Good to Buy Program” to its call center. In addition, the program will become even more personalized.
“Basically, our Teradata CRM tool will create a list of which customer gets which offer, and then all of these channels will come to the data warehouse and actively grab that data,” Ms. Johnston said. “Some high-value customers may get a different message than other customers.”
The data warehouse also will enable Travelocity to offer its customer’s customer service information as opposed to straight-forward marketing messages across all the touch points.
“We want to use this not simply a promotional channel, but as customer champion tool,” Ms. Johnston said. “The beauty of this foundation is we can put whatever we want through here, as long as we know who you are. We are trying to create more value for customers to tell us who they are, so no matter where you come in, we are having a meaningful conversation either based on either a sales message or a customer service message to you.”
Ms. Campanelli is a guest of Teradata at the conference.