Published on Thursday, August 26, 2010

Holiday Nights launches scheme to bypass Google



On Holiday Group-owned Holiday Nights website has launched a scheme to incentivise customers to recommend its service via social networking sites in order to avoid the escalating costs of advertising on Google.


Customers will be emailed promotional offers to forward to their Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites and they will receive £25 via Paypal for every click through that results in a booking.


Links within the Holiday Nights offers have unique customer identifiers imbedded into them so click throughs and bookings can be allocated back to the originating customer.


Launching the 'Google Bypass Scheme' On Holiday Group head of online Rebecca Shipstone said: “Everybody understands the benefits in terms of traffic generation that Google brings, but the rate of cost escalation is very scary and we felt that we had develop other routes to market.


"The best advocates for our business are our existing customers and we therefore wanted to create a technology platform, that allowed customers with one click, to email or promote our offers via their Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn pages.”


Shipstone admitted that 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, said the company, who in turn generated nine site visits each from friends, which resulted in nine bookings.


On Holiday Group CEO Steve Endacott 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."


Endacott claimed that the tool developed by Rategain had 'enormous potential' across not just the travel sector but many other products and services.


By Linsey McNeill


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  • Sounds like an affilate programme

    Sounds like a good idea based on figures as looks like it's essentially half the cost on average of gaining a booking via Google PPC, but under the hood it is nothing new, just a self-run affiliate programme - same model (PPA) and down to the "publishers" to push your product as they would do if signing up via an affiliate network.

    By Darren Swan, Thursday, August 26, 2010

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