Boyne Mountain is no stranger to flash sales; the resort has used them for years. The successful outcome of a recent winter lodging email campaign caught Inntopia’s attention.
This particular July promotion generated ten times the average email conversion rate compared to Boyne’s summer 2019 average conversion rate. More precisely, it generated $225 per click compared to their summer 2019 average email conversion rate of $21 per click. What made this email campaign such a success? Andrew Smith, Digital Marketing Specialist at Boyne Mountain Resort, describes the underlying reasons like this:
“Flash sales are actually something we have been leveraging in several ways for a few years now with one big takeaway: flash sales can be applied to anything, the urgency created by these sales drives action, and action leads to revenue.”
While anyone can buy a lift ticket up until the time they ski, lodging options often sell out early. Smith explained how altering the look and feel of a campaign email can help remind resort guests of this reality.
“What’s interesting in this example is that this exact same campaign was sent out a week or so earlier with the intention to push early lift ticket sales. Winter lodging rates were sort of an afterthought and placed at the bottom of the email. The first email generated average scores ($9.30 per click average), falling short of expectations. For the second email, the team changed the layout AND the focus, flipping the email to lead with lodging rates and moving lift tickets to the bottom. The result? WAY more relevance and more success – a $225 per click average.”
The team also segmented their email database to help send the campaign to only a targeted, engaged audience. In this specific case, Smith said they focused on people who had maintained email engagement throughout the summer and had also purchased lodging during a past ski season.
“What’s exciting is that we were able to provide an avenue for the planners of the world.”
After receiving constructive feedback on an email template during the “Live, Interactive Email Template Review” session at Inntopia’s Insight Conference last May, Smith’s team got to work and created a new eye-catching template that was also optimized for mobile.
“It was so nice to be able to look at the same piece with peers and share our thoughts. It can be very easy to fall into a rut with a template, but having different aspects/flow can draw attention from customers who might be losing interest.”
According to Smith, all it took was three hours of work to collect fresh images, create new copy, implement tracking features, test for bugs using the Email Insights rendering feature in Acoustic (formerly IBM Watson Campaign Automation, Inntopia’s email deliver and automation partner for the Marketing Cloud platform), determine a comprehensive plan for distribution, and hit SEND!
Smith has good reasons to be excited about the outcome of this particular campaign.
“This campaign has set the bar for next time – whether again in July or potentially earlier in the year – and that bar is higher than I would have expected.”
Smith stresses not to be afraid to try new things and always pay attention to the results. Data does not lie, and one must be willing to react quickly, making changes as needed to optimize the outcomes.
“Good outcomes can always be improved upon, and bad results can always teach lessons.”
For Smith and his team, email marketing is a constant learning process. The questions they set out to answer with the help of Inntopia Marketing Cloud and their Inntopia Strategic Account Manager were:
- How early can we start offering lodging?
- Can we get someone on the books for a return trip following their departure?
- If not, is there some sort of flexible product that could be developed to cater to their needs and recent trip?
- Will we feel confident about the rates that far in advance?
This campaign proves that applying strategy and best practices to address these kinds of questions in small, manageable steps can lead to impressive results.
INNTOPIA’S INSIGHT CONFERENCE
If you missed out on the Email Template Design session in 2019, don’t worry! The Inntopia team plans to bring back the session next year as well as expand on the concept to potentially include more hands-on sessions. The team will also take a look at more of the components of the full campaign including how to build a query, determine cadence, measure results, and more. Click here to start planning your participation at the 2020 Insight Conference.
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