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Internet, Travel & Tourism

PhocusWright Day 4 – Expedia

By William Bakker | 11.15.07 | Comment?

Just as I was thinking how I hadn’t heard much about direct marketing at the conference, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi addressed how they are moving forward with smarter electronic direct mail efforts. As an OLTA, going beyond the lowest price by creating relationships with and relevancy for consumers is a core strategy to stop the bleeding (that last bit is my interpretation of Khosrowshahi’s words). Makes sense.
He threw out impressive numbers. I didn’t get a chance to write down all of them. The onces I did write down were that 40% of consumers will return to Expedia to buy a hotel in the same destination as the first time. 7% will return to book a hotel during a same time frame a year later (a holiday weekend for example). This kind of intelligence allows Expedia to create targeted email campaigns. He reported increases in responses based on this intelligence to emails of 20x and more.
Another example is a follow-up email to a abandoned flight search. If the price drops days later, a follow-up email converts 30x higher than a regular email. When you consider that Expedia sends over 1 BILLION emails a year, you can understand why this is an area of strategic focus.

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