For the longest time, email marketing has been driving the success of most online businesses. With an ROI of 3,800%, it is understandable why email marketing holds the clout that it does.
But strangely, OTA (Online Travel Agency) sits in the middle of the pack, when compared to other industries using different email marketing indicators. If you check the table in this report by Smart Insights and sort it on the basis of CTR, you would see that Travel figures close to the bottom.
This is where push notification becomes relevant to OTAs.
As a permission-based medium, it has an average CTR 4-8x to that of email. In fact, a solid push notification engine and strategy are almost indispensable to the mobile marketing of any brand. Coupled with the reasons stated above it becomes more than imperative for OTAs.
In this post, we are listing some use-cases of OTA that use push notification to significant effect followed by industry examples.
Also, for every use-case, we have created an operational Journey with Journey Designer to understand how to automate the engagement in every case.
1. Send personalized recommendation on search abandonment
When to show (Trigger)- When user does the flight search but doesn’t complete the transaction
Whom to show (Segment)- Users who did the search
This is an example from one of our own clients- Goibibo which nudged users when they abandoned the site post search.
Folks at Goibibo leveraged the search history and profile data of the user to send them a message if they don’t complete the transaction within 30 minutes post search.
Result- it led to the uplift of 11% in conversion. 11% is a massive number for anyone, let alone for a company like Goibibo, for which it means millions extra in topline.
How can you send such push yourself?
I am pasting the exact journey that the Goibibo guys used. You can also refer to the case-study to understand the entire process and the numbers they managed to achieve.
2. Share geo-specific update
When to show (Trigger)- When there is a geo-specific offer
Whom to show (Segment)- Customers within the geo-location
Rehlat, a Kuwait-based OTA, sent the above campaign push notification to target their users based in Kuwait.
Result- The above push campaign garnered CTR of 12.4%. Apart from actually increasing their bottom line, push notification also helped them reduce bounce rate and retain site visitors.
Push notification outperformed Rehlat’s social and email strategies, re-validating that the ‘big hat, no cattle’ channels don’t always yield better results.
How you can you leverage geo-fencing in push notification?
Leveraging geo-fencing in push notification is incredibly simple now as almost all the engagement platforms let you at least create geo-fence based campaign rules.
Here is the simple example of push campaign that gets triggered when the user enters the specified geo-fence
3. Offer deals based on preferences
When to show (Trigger)- Discounted trips for particular route
Whom to show (Segment)- Users who have the history of booking for the same route
Kayak sends such price drop push notification to the user. Although, I could not validate it is sent to users based on their historical data it seems to be highly likely.
How can you do it?
If there is a drop in the fare of a particular route, it is a no-brainer that sending a notification to the users who have a history of booking for that route, can create value.
Had such an event been a one-time thing then you only needed to create a segment of users having the history of traveling through that route and create a campaign for them.
However, it is a recurring event since prices keep dropping frequently so we need to build a workflow that triggers a message for the corresponding user each time the price drops.
The following journey will trigger a push message whenever there is a price drop for the route that the user has previously traveled.
This is just a simplistic representation and lot of conditions are going to be placed and data is to be fetched via API calls from the OTA’s system to make a solid journey that flexibly works.
4. Notify users of flight schedule
When to show (Trigger)- When customer’s flight will take off in 24 hours.
Whom to show (Segment)- People who have booked a flight
JetBlue sends a notification precisely 24 hours before time, so you know when you need to be at the airport.
How can you do it?
Notifying the users about the upcoming event, like flight schedule is extremely valuable.
However, here is the catch- very few platforms allow you to create dynamic segment based on event’s time attribute.
Take a look at the following journey which triggers a push message 24 hours before flight time.
If you look at the above journey you would find that we have put the condition on the date attribute of the previous event. Adding a condition against the time attribute the system has to take into consideration the local timezone of the user which will vary across regions. And then compare it with the system’s time.
There could be various powerful use-cases- send reminder to users exactly one year after the purchase of their mobile device or create dynamic segment of users last purchase was more than 6 months.
5. Collect user reviews
When to show (Trigger)– User completes a transaction within the app
Whom to show (Segment)– User who completes the transaction
I couldn’t find any example of an OTA taking feedback via push notification. It seems email is the modus operandi of all of them as I could find NPS emails from various OTAs in my own inbox.
This is not a plug but wanted to mention that WebEngage provides a feedback layout and corresponding metrics UI, that you could employ for feedback. This can be employed for plenty of feedback use-cases across industries. If your notification engine doesn’t provide this, check on the requirement to build it to repurpose it for every use-case.
How can you collect feedback via push notification?
User-generated content, like reviews, helps companies in several ways. In fact, 93% of consumers refer to peer recommendation before they make a purchasing decision and quite understandably so.
Now, getting reviews from users can be difficult for there is no incentive for them. However, nudging at the right moment can increase the probability of eliciting a response. One such moment is ‘completion of transaction’.
Here is the sample journey that sends feedback push to user as soon as they complete the transaction
The above journey is sourced from our another post where we have talked about how to automate customer feedback via push notification.
When launching a push notification campaign the right way, you can expect a 41% opt-in rate from subscribers. We’re no longer just talking here about providing your subscribers with information. Push notification mobilizes users toward action that helps your business’ bottom line.
The use-cases above are just examples of what you can do with push notification. The major part of what you can do depends on the engine that you are using. The power to segment, personalize and ability to emulate your mobile strategy depends on the solution that is powering your mobile engagement.
There are plenty of options available and WebEngage is one of the potential alternatives. If you wish to know more talk to a customer success member here.