Share in our experience of customer insight and data management


Capturing the Customer: How best to target your audience

Published: Tuesday, 14 April 2015 10:52 by Katharine Hulls, VP Marketing
Contextual Marketing

The last installment of the Celebrus Technologies research into the marketing activities of UK and US hotels and airlines, looked at the email communications that consumers received from these brands. In it Katharine Hulls, VP of Marketing, Celebrus Technologies focuses on how well these companies are achieving the basics, such as an ability to sign-up for email newsletters, through to more complex processes including abandonment emails and re-targeting initiatives. The results showed a number of interesting differences, not just between countries but also between sectors.

Getting the basics right

Email marketing is one of the more mature elements of today’s marketing mix, with the majority of consumer brands fully embracing this as a means of engaging with customers and re-targeting them. With everything from special offers to the latest destinations and ‘new arrivals’, email marketing has become a staple of the online purchasing experience. It is therefore surprising that not one of the categories investigated (UK airlines, US airlines, UK hotels, US hotels) achieved a 100% score for the researcher receiving a welcome email after sign up. While 91% of US airlines investigated sent a welcome email, compared to 88% of UK airlines, it was the UK hotels that fared the worst, with just over half (54%) sending welcome emails, compared to 61% of US hotels.

Encouragingly, all the brands surveyed offered an email newsletter except for one UK airline, showing that the leisure/travel industry very much recognizes the value of email marketing. However, by not sending out welcome emails, brands are missing an opportunity to reconnect with and re-target that individual, driving purchasing and building longer term loyalty. When looking at the volume of other follow-up emails sent, (not including the welcome email), less than half of all brands across the board are sending any form of follow-up email communication. Personalization within these emails was also found to be lacking; there was an overall average of only 59% of personalized follow-up emails received from UK and US airlines and UK hotels.

Personalization star

When it comes to email marketing, there was one UK airline which particularly stood out from the crowd with the quality of its email communications…Monarch! The airline is doing a top job of keeping in contact with its customers using email.

For example, following a flight search on the Monarch website, the brand continued to send follow-up emails for at least three weeks. The nature of the emails wasn’t intrusive and they were not so frequent that the recipient felt that his personal space had been breached in anyway. This was because the emails were useful and relevant, for example including information on the in-flight entertainment for the searched for flight and ‘Places to Visit’ at the destination. Monarch’s emails also contained details of special offers and ideas for alternative similar destinations, which the recipient found interesting and did in fact click on – showing that the communication is working.


The Celebrus Technologies research shows us that the travel and leisure industry is recognizing the value of email marketing. However, brands looking to fully embrace all the benefits of email marketing in driving engagement and sales are missing a trick by not sending welcome and re-targeting emails.

Regular, useful and personalized email communications has a positive impact on the recipient – as was seen in the Monarch example, and encourages long-term customer loyalty.

A strong online customer experience, complete with personalization and mobile optimization will encourage a visitor to make a purchase. When this is combined with effective personalized marketing, it enables the brand to contact customers and visitors after they have left the website and target them with new offers and relevant up-sell opportunities to increase that customer’s value. Targeting customers and prospects across a number of marketing channels widens the opportunity, and when carried out in the correct way, will drive customer loyalty and increase profits.


Privacy settings

At D4t4 we are all the about the data. We are serious about data protection and your privacy so we will only collect your personal data and use it with your permission. We use cookies to collect statistics to optimize website functionality and deliver content tailored to your interests.

Our three categories of collection are detailed below.

Essential browsing only We will only collect the essential data required to enable core site functionality. We will not collect any personally identifiable information or behavioral data.
Browse anonymously We will only collect your browsing behavior on the website to help understand our customers' needs and improve the experience for everyone. We will not collect any personally identifiable information so we won't know who you are.
Personalized experience We will only collect information that allows us to identify you and make your browsing experience as smooth as possible by remembering your log in details and saved items. In the course of dealing with you, we may need to pass your personal data on to third-party service providers contracted to D4t4 Solutions.

You will be able to change your options at any time by clicking the Privacy settings link and our full Privacy Statement can be viewed by clicking the relevant link.