• To save customer time by encouraging guests to pre-book holiday activities before they arrive
• To increase relevancy and improve the customer experience
• To increase revenue for Center Parcs from pre-bookings
• To split the emails by location highlighting activities and any promotions
• Emails modified to highlight different activities and promotions depending on
guest arrival dates
• Set up of automated feeds between Center Parcs’ database and eCircle’s eC-messenger email platform to trigger daily emails
• Consistently high open and click rates and successful bookings off the back of the campaign
• Thanks to further personalization and targeting, over 20% more click throughs were generated
• Revenues generated from pre-booked activities increased and over 80% of pre-booked
activity bookings now made online
As part of their online marketing strategy, Center Parcs’ activity bookings digital campaign compliments their offline strategy whilst helping them to ‘go green’, encouraging more people to go online to book their on-site activities.
Center Parcs revolutionised the holiday market in Holland over 30 years ago and did the same in the UK when it opened its first village at Sherwood Forest in July 1987, offering short break holidays on a year round basis.
As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs occupies a unique position enjoying enviable annual occupancy rates in excess of 90%. In that time, the name Center Parcs has become synonymous with the provision of an exceptional short break experience in a forest location.
Center Parcs have increasingly moved their pre-holiday marketing efforts online, not only to make the booking process easier for their guests and staff, but also to ensure that holiday-makers avoid missing out on activities or events which may be full on arrival if not booked in advance.
To achieve these goals Center Parcs set up a series of triggered emails sent to their guests over specified period providing information on different offers and activities specific to the resort and holiday the guest has booked. As the holiday draws nearer, content changes to promote different activities.
Strategy and Implementation
The activity bookings email campaign was designed to improve personalisation and segmentation, ensuring that only highly targeted content is delivered to each individual holiday-maker.
Working closely with creative agency Golley Slater and email provider eCircle, Center Parcs wanted to increase loyalty and generate stronger relationships with their guests.
All Center Parcs guests are sent a welcome email 15 weeks before the holiday is due to begin. This is sent to all guests welcoming them to their specific Center Parcs location from 4 possibilities (Elveden Forest, Sherwood Forest, Longleat Forest and Whinfell Forest). The email is personalised with a map specific to that location.
A series of 6 trigger messages are then sent to the guest in the run up to the holiday which include the following: Arrival date; booking reference; suggestions of activities to pre-book; links to any bookings made (with flexibility to change bookings if necessary); a link to view tailored itinerary online; weeks left until the holiday begins; holiday checklist reminder and suggestions of how to make the stay even easier (pre-ordering groceries to be in the accommodation on arrival, for example).
After the holiday is over, each guest is sent a ‘Welcome Home’ email which includes a link to a holiday feedback questionnaire and an encouragement to book again with an accompanying incentive.
Center Parcs’ activity booking campaign was given a major facelift to make it more appealing and consistent with the brand image. Prior to the revamp, a generic email was sent to any guest arriving at any of the four resorts but following this upgrade, the campaign is now more targeted, personalised and segmented.
It also allows for Center Parcs’ in-house spa, Aqua Sana, to send an ‘upsell’ email encouraging relevant family members to book spa sessions in conjunction with other pre-booked activities.
The campaign has seen consistently high open and click rates and significant revenue thanks to the more sophisticated targeting and personalisation with around 80% of activities pre-booked on the web.
In addition, the revenues generated from pre-booked activities have dramatically increased, onsite staff time has reduced and consequently productivity has increased with happier guests!
Center Parcs’ personalised trigger messages lead to dramatically increased revenues from pre-booked activities.
“The campaign has seen consistently high open and click rates and significant revenue thanks to the more sophisticated targeting and personalisation with around 80% of activities pre-booked on the web,” said Jeremy Colston, CRM Manager, Center Parcs
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