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e-Dialog GUIDES British Airways to E-MAIL AUTOMATION

British Airways is the United Kingdom’s largest international airline, flying to over 550 destinations worldwide. Whether in the air or on the ground, British Airways is always looking for opportunities to improve the customer experience, and few channels allow them to engage customers as personally and productively as e-mail.

In 2007, British Airways chose e-mail as the primary tool to achieve the company’s key business goals.BA A 1

British Airways’ senior marketing executive, Samantha Goodenough, explains, “First, we needed to raise awareness that British Airways is more than just an airline. We also sell partner products such as hotels, car rentals, and sightseeing ventures. Second, we wanted to provide useful and informative content tailored to our passengers’ needs as they prepare to travel.”

Automated Triggers Take Off

Working with e-Dialog, British Airways developed Trip Guide, a fully automated trigger sent to any leisure customer who books a flight (provided that it will not be taken within the next five days). There are two versions of the Trip Guide e-mail: one for customers who have given permission for marketing content, and another for those who have not.

Regardless of permission status, any customer that books their flight on British Airways provides data that the airline can use to create a highly relevant e-mail, including: destination, itinerary, and associated travel reservations such as hotel stay or car rental. And by combining British Airways vast travel database with e-Dialog’s dynamic publishing tools, the Trip Guide e-mail has the flexibility to provide value-added content for over 400 destinations, including sightseeing, weather, restaurants, and currency exchange.

Samantha elaborates, “With this vast selection of content, Trip Guide is both a one-stop travel planning tool for passengers, as well as a source of extensive cross-sell opportunities for the airline.”

Because British Airways knows which customers have not booked a hotel or car rental for their specific destination, e-Dialog recommended adding a booking widget pre-populated with the customer’s itinerary that enables the customer to book with a single click. Trip Guide also serves as a conduit to the passenger’s Manage My Booking function, where she can check in online, choose a seat and meal preference, and get flight updates.

You Have Reached Your DestinationBA A 2

With e-Dialog’s technology and expertise at their disposal, British Airways has been able to incorporate a high degree of personalisation and value using only a small sampling of customer data.

By combining this personalisation with a large library of travel-related content, Trip Guide triggers have also led to a broader awareness of British Airways’ product offerings and a favourable increase in revenue.

The airline has seen an amazing 300% return on investment and incremental revenue per e-mail sent of £4.41 Furthermore, customer response to the Trip Guide has been overwhelmingly positive with testimonials like, “I didn’t know British Airways offered these products. I was very happy about the information I got via e-mail.”

Simultaneously, the Programme’s “Manage My Booking” button is the most clicked-on link in the e-mail, helping to reduce call center volume by providing real-time flight information and access to customer preferences online. In the months ahead, British Airways will implement upgrades to its leisure traveler database, making the Trip Guide even more timely and pertinent to its customers.

The British Airways Trip Guide e-mail has more than 400 possible variations based on the customer’s destination. In addition to images that represent the top 50 destinations, several categories of content are available for dynamic publishing using e-Dialog’s tools, including weather, restaurants, and sightseeing recommendations.

In addition, the Trip Guide includes a booking widget that enables the customer to reserve a hotel stay or car rental with a single click.

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