Marketing Automation Results Hour a day CRM manager saves as a result of manual mailing automation ↓ Churn of affiliates decreased year by year Opinion We can’t say exactly how much we earn thanks to Mindbox, nor do we have such a target. The main thing is that thanks to marketing automation, we have managed to reduce the churn rate of affiliates, that is, to increase their retention and conversion into making a first payment. Although […]
Travel Affiliate Network automated direct marketing and reduced affiliate churn
GoalReduce affiliate churn through direct communications
SolutionCombine fragmented customer databases and send all mailings from a single platform
Personalize bulk mailings and set up 300+ triggers
ResultsThe churn of affiliates decreased year by year
The CRM manager saves an hour a day as a result of manual mailing automation
ITThe website, iOS and Android apps, as well as backend developed by Travelpayouts, marketing automation platform
Business scaleMore than $20 million paid to affiliates over 10 years
FeatureSpecial project trigger chains branch out depending on whether affiliates check their rating, whether they subscribe to mailings, or whether they sign up to their personal customer page
Travelpayouts Affiliate Network is a global integrated affiliate program focused exclusively on travel offers. It allows the user to choose from 100+ affiliate travel programs and to monetize traffic, i.e., users who clicked on a link from your website receive payments for booking travel services. It includes the following business verticals: flights, hotels, insurance, excursions, and car rental. The company was founded in 2011 as part of the Aviasales travel metasearch company
Elizaveta Rudykh, Deputy Head of Marketing at Travelpayouts
We can’t say exactly how much we earn thanks to Mindbox, nor do we have such a target. The main thing is that thanks to marketing automation, we have managed to reduce the churn rate of affiliates, that is, to increase their retention and conversion into making a first payment.
Although this didn’t happen immediately, we found the right criterion for determining the churn rate. This is when the customer stops logging in to their personal customer page. Moreover, the period depends on the stage of the life cycle: seven days for new users, two weeks after the first payment, and a month for permanent users.
We also look at the effectiveness of each specific offer, whether affiliates are starting to visit their personal customer page more actively, or whether the time before the first payment is reduced. As a result, we are gradually trying to digitize the results of automation.
Without Mindbox, we would not have been able to work with such specialized segments in manual promotional mailings, launch trigger mailings for local promotions, and track user activity in them. We could set up triggers for large segments in any platform, but only here can we automate specialized offers.
We used to bother customers a lot, and it was almost impossible to unsubscribe from mailings. Now we have uniform sending rules, the communication load on affiliates has decreased, and mailings have become consistent.
Everything works perfectly, and we have no complaints. For example, we have set up automatic chains that work without our intervention, benefit the business, and increase the satisfaction of affiliates.
We are not using all of Mindbox’s tools yet as the single customer profile opens up wide opportunities for personalized work between our sales managers and affiliates.
The platform itself is constantly moving and evolving: if at the time of connecting the interface it was incredibly difficult, now everything has become clear and convenient. I’m also delighted with the support we’ve received. Mindbox’s staff are the best thing about the company.
Below we’ll tell you how we achieved this result:
- How did we choose the platform and what tasks did we set for it
- How to segment customers in manual mailings in order to send messages only to specialized audiences
- Why send 300+ trigger emails to customers
We were looking for a platform that would allow us to:
- Eliminate superfluous services and send all mailings from a single window.
- Combine customer data from different sources.
- Save the time of a CRM marketer.
- Exclude developers and analysts from working with mailings.
- Reduce the communication burden on customers.
- Personalize mailings thanks to point segmentation.
Initially, we relied on another service through which we sent mailings, but it turned out that it did not have the functions of the Customer Data Platform (CDP). For instance, the same person who registered for four webinars was recorded on the platform as four separate customers that were completely unrelated to each other.
We realized that we needed a system that could properly build a customer profile. Mindbox has become such a system for us. The final argument in its favor is that almost all the emails I receive are created with its help.
Manual mailings are a very important channel for us. We never send them to wide audience segments. We don’t communicate everything we do with all our customers. Even if we’re launching a big promotion for all affiliates, we still show different parts of it to different segments.
Manual mailings work well, and there will only be more of them in the future. We will never be able to automate all communications because we have too many promotions, webinars, and excursions for specific business verticals.
It is very important that the platform allows us to segment customers point-by-point, for example, to take into account the stage of the life cycle, the business vertical, and the date of the last sign-up to the personal customer page. We simply collect segments according to the criteria we require inside the platform, thus eliminating the need to contact IT or analysts.
Thanks to filters, complex segments are available to us, for example, affiliates who would earn from X amount until Y amount on Z vertical; those customers who went into churn in 2019, but later returned to us.
Travelpayouts has 300+ triggers configured. Such specialized segments are used making it impossible to conduct A/B tests: it is simply impossible to get a statistically reliable result on such samples. Below we will tell you about some of the most important business chains.
Onboarding. Affiliate marketing is a complex tool. New users need to be explained how to use it, so the mechanics are very important for Travelpayouts.
News regarding offers. Travelpayouts has 90+ affiliate programs, there are different verticals of users. Hence, we need to send several news articles regarding offers every day.
Previously, we manually sent up to 10 news articles on offers per day. It took about an hour, however, the manager had to prioritize and postpone less important news.
Now, urgent news is sent promptly: the trigger checks if there are no new offers, and automatically sends an email every day. The manager only needs to make sure that the mailing is formed correctly.
Training to secure offers. The goal of Travelpayouts is to allow the affiliate to receive their first offer as soon as possible. The training email chain was set up and its effectiveness was immediately verified with the help of a control group: part of the segment was excluded from communication in order to compare the behavior of other users with it. The test showed a statistically reliable result. The rate of receiving an offer by the main group has increased.
Special projects. Travelpayouts’ special projects are complicated. Onboarding is provided for each of them. It also tracks whether affiliates check their rating, whether they subscribe to mailings, and whether they sign up to their personal customer page. All these conditions affect which emails they will receive.
Reactivation of churn. The main goal is to motivate the customer to carry out a simple action that does not involve any obligations. For example, clicking on the affiliate link and making sure that the transition is displayed on their personal customer page. The chains differ depending on the customer’s lifecycle.
Reactivation works very well. For example, we recently sent an email to several thousand inactive customers offering our help. We got 150 responses. We helped a lot of people, and they came back to us.
Develop more triggers for user segments, taking into account the lifecycle, earnings, and activity.
Make reactivation mechanics even more personalized: take into account not only the sign-ups to the personal customer page but also the transition from segment to segment.
Finalize onboarding. Add to the basic onboarding mailings, branching out depending on the user’s behavior, i.e., what they did or didn’t do. Our goal is to help each specific customer. We aim to explain the basics to those who do not understand affiliate marketing; to offer more complex solutions to those who received a payment in the first month.
Set up triggers to remove inactive users: together with analysts, define criteria showing that affiliates cannot be reactivated, and automatically delete them to avoid overpaying for database storage.
Create a set of standard dashboards that can be applied to each company, for example, to evaluate the transition from segment to segment. Standard reports for Travelpayouts are unsuitable. They are designed for e-commerce.