The On Holiday Group owned Holiday Nights website has continued its drive to harness the power of social networking with the launch of the “Google Bypass Scheme” to its customers. The company claims that on average Google is now takes 7.5% of the average online travel sale via PPC click costs, which given an industry average of 12% online commission, makes them the biggest earner from travel in the UK today. The innovative Holiday Nights scheme aims to take £25 of this spend, to incentivise its customers to promote its products via the rapidly growing social networking sites.
Holiday Nights have been working closely with their technology partner Rategain over the last 6 months to develop the new platform. Customers are emailed to explain the scheme and can instantly forward promotional offers or click to post them on their social networking site, whist adding their own comments and messages. Links within the Holiday Nights offers, have unique customer identifiers imbedded into them, so that clicks throughs and bookings can be allocated back to the originating customer.
Holiday nights will continue to email its customers on a regular basis, but now their customers can earn £25 per booking by passing these emails on or posting offers as recommendation on their social networking sites. Unlike many schemes, Holiday nights will be paying cash via “Pay pal”, after user groups showed a lack of interest in any form of voucher scheme.”
Paying a flat £25 a booking risked losing money on some low value bookings, but insisted that given Holiday Nights average booking value of £420 that on average the scheme would be more cost effective than Google. Holiday Nights has split its customer database into segments and will be testing different creative and messages to find out which ones generate the highest uptake. The first email to 4,000 clients has so far generated 150 active members, who in turn generated 9.4 site visits each from friends which resulted in 9 bookings to date.
On Holiday Group CEO said, “ It is obviously early days and the platform is still in its infancy. However, initial indications have been very positive and we expect to ramp the usage up dramatically over the next few months, once we have established the best format. I am however very excited about the prospect of harnessing the massive power of customer recommendation and social networking.
Endacott claimed that the tool developed by Rategain had enormous potential across not just the travel sector, but many other products and services.