November 20, 2003, 12:00 AM

Hotwire uses customer shopping activity to boost e-mail conversions by 16x

Customers who research travel options on Hotwire.com, but don’t buy, may find their research efforts coming back to them in the form of e-mail offers to their preferred destinations.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Customers who research travel options on Hotwire.com, but don’t buy, may find their research efforts coming back to them in the form of e-mail offers to their preferred destinations. That marketing tactic has increased sales conversions through e-mail messages by 16 times more than offers not based on such research activity, says Patti Freeman Evans, analyst at Jupiter Research. Hotwire harvests the e-mail addresses from customers who register when they start researching travel arrangements at the site.

“If someone searches for an itinerary, Hotwire will re-market it to them even if they don’t buy anything,” says Evans, who recently studied the online marketing efforts of Hotwire and several other retail web sites. “If they know you’re interested in New Orleans, they’ll e-mail you offers related to that city. They’ll re-market car rentals, hotel stays and other offers related to the city someone searched on, and they’ll make sure they e-mail offers for low airfares. "

Hotwire also helps to increase e-mail conversion rates by segmenting and customizing its e-mail marketing messages based on how long a shopper has been away from its site, Evans says. The longer someone has been away, the more varied the offers.

 

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