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Vacation Planning Gets Easier with Personalization, Automation & Flexibility

RCI® is the global leader in timeshare exchange, offering week-for-week (“Weeks”) and points-based RCI Points® memberships. With more than 4,000 affiliated resorts located in 100 countries, RCI’s more than three million Subscribing Members have access to numerous vacation exchange opportunities.RCI A 1

One of the keys to RCI’s success is enabling members to find the right trip information at the right time for easy vacation planning. For that reason, RCI wanted to improve the vacation planning tools for RCI Points® members, by making it easier to search available affiliated resort inventory and customize the information that they receive.

When planning a trip, members have to search RCI.com or call the RCI Member Center to check availability. And since vacation inventory is constantly changing and members don’t know the current view of available inventory, these calls were often long in duration and expensive for the company.

“We wanted to become more member-centric and ultimately do the work for our members,” explains Brad Pennington, RCI’s senior manager of marketing operations. This would also mean reducing the number of unproductive calls to the Member Center. Brad’s team knew that e-Dialog had the capability to translate their business requirements into an efficient and user-friendly online solution.

Vacation Planning Just Got Easier

Working closely with e-Dialog, RCI developed Vacation Elerts – a personalized, automated, and flexible e-mail solution. Vacation Elerts notify RCI members when a resort meeting their designated criteria becomes available at their preferred time. Here’s how it works.

Personalization: To participate in the service, members register online and define their travel preferences including location, date, and type of accommodations. Additionally, they can choose how frequently they should receive a notification if their preferences produce a match. They then save these preferences by choosing an “Elert name.”

Automation: Daily, RCI compares available inventory to the members’ Vacation Elert preferences and sends a trigger e-mail if there is a match. The e-mail contains the “Elert name” in both the subject line and the body copy to help make the content of the message very clear to the recipient.RCI A 2

Flexibility: Each Vacation Elert has the capacity to display up to 20 available matches, and each listing links directly to the associated resort page on RCI.com. Users can create up to three Vacation Elerts per e-mail address if they are interested in multiple destinations.

“We worked hand-in-hand with e-Dialog and the whole process went very well,” says Brad. “The account team was adept at interpreting our business needs and coordinating the back-end development process with our database marketing group.”

As a result, e-Dialog created an application that allows RCI to collect and store customer data, and translate it into a useable format for the Vacation Elert program.

Book It!

Since the launch of Vacation Elerts, RCI has seen steady growth to the subscriber base and is very pleased with the overall program.

“The results for this program are significantly higher than what we typically see for e-mail campaigns,” says Brad. “We’ve had open rates over 50% and click-rates over 40%. And with relevant content getting to our members at the right time, our conversion rates of vacations booked have been strong.”

Thanks to Vacation Elerts, vacation planning is a snap for RCI Points® members. Daily, RCI compares available inventory to the members’ Vacation Elert preferences and sends a trigger e-mail when there is a match. Each Vacation Elert has the capacity to display up to 20 available matches, and each listing links directly to the associated resort page.

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