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Expedia vs. Priceline - User Engagement Teardown

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This is an Iterable User Engagement Teardown comparing Expedia and Priceline's user engagement strategies in the first 3 weeks post-signup.

After evaluating all messages received, we identify what these companies do well and where there is room for improvement. Everything shown in the slides (and any recommendations) can be implemented with Iterable's Growth Marketing Platform.

To view more User Engagement Teardowns, visit https://iterable.com/teardown

Published in: Marketing
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Expedia vs. Priceline - User Engagement Teardown

  1. 1. User Engagement Teardown www.iterable.com
  2. 2. User Engagement Teardown Make sure to watch full screen! Press this button Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 2
  3. 3. A Quick Word on Iterable Iterable is the growth marketing and user engagement platform. • Segment users, build workflows, automate touchpoints and test strategies at scale without engineering support. • Everything you see here (and more) can be done with Iterable. You can see other teardowns at: iterable.com/teardown Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 3
  4. 4. What is a “User Engagement Teardown?” We analyze an user engagement over a defined period post-signup. • We offer constructive evaluation and feedback. • We cover all types of B2C businesses: e-commerce, marketplaces, media, politics, etc. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 4
  5. 5. Background on Expedia and Priceline Expedia and Priceline are two leading travel booking websites in the U.S. • Expedia, founded in 1996, operates 200 additional travel booking websites, including Travelocity, Orbitz, Trivago, and Hotels.com. • Priceline, founded in 1997, is a subsidiary of The Priceline Group, which also owns web properties, such as Kayak, OpenTable and Booking.com. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 5
  6. 6. What We Did Signed up and received messages over 3 weeks between June — July 2017 We escalated activity over time: • Completed user profiles • Downloaded mobile apps • Searched for travel deals • Abandoned shopping carts at checkout Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 6
  7. 7. On to the User Engagement Timeline…
  8. 8. User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 8 MessagesUserActivity We’ll show you what we (the user) did here… Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90
  9. 9. User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 9 MessagesUserActivity We’ll show you what we (the user) did here… Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push …and the messages we received here. Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90
  10. 10. User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 10 MessagesUserActivity We’ll show you what we (the user) did here… Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push …and the messages we received here. Activities and message types are color coded as shown in this key. Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90
  11. 11. Now let’s look at Expedia and Priceline’s user engagement. First, Expedia…
  12. 12. The Expedia User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 12 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart
  13. 13. The Expedia User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 13 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart After creating a new account, we received a welcome email with CTAs to view member pricing & download the app.
  14. 14. The Expedia User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 14 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart On Day 6, we received a “limited-time offer” which included a live countdown clock for a 48-hour sale.
  15. 15. The Expedia User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 15 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart This promotional blast was sent around 8:30 a.m., prior to our travel search.
  16. 16. The Expedia User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 16 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart The next day, however, triggered an email related to our search, with the subject line, “Heading to Los Angeles? Let us help plan your trip.”
  17. 17. The Expedia User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 17 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart On Day 9, we received another promotion to, “FLY from San Francisco and save!” Although this was a nice instance of personalization, it was not related to our app download.
  18. 18. The Expedia User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 18 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart We then received three messages about flight deals, a special sale and a 50% off discount. Only the first blast was personalized to our preferred airport.
  19. 19. The Expedia User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 19 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart We were sent the exact set of blasts one week later, with only slight changes to copy and creative.
  20. 20. The Expedia User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 20 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart On Day 16, we also received a promotion for 15% off select hotels. The coupon code, 15SUMMER, was included in the subject line.
  21. 21. The Expedia User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 21 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart Lastly, the cart abandonment email we received the next day was the same message that was sent on Day 7.
  22. 22. Now let’s look at Priceline’s user engagement…
  23. 23. The Priceline User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 23 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart
  24. 24. The Priceline User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 24 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart We received a welcome email with a strange CTA to “Create an Account,” one day after we already did so.
  25. 25. The Priceline User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 25 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart Five days later, we received our first blast, promoting a 48-hour sale with a code to earn an extra 7% off “express deal hotels.”
  26. 26. The Priceline User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 26 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart Five days later, we received another promotion for San Francisco hotels, which was not related to our travel search or app download.
  27. 27. The Priceline User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 27 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart On Day 13, we received two emails within 30 minutes of each other. The first promoted another 48-hour sale, while the second offered hotel deals in Emeryville, a Bay Area city in which we neither lived nor worked.
  28. 28. The Priceline User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 28 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart In the following days, Priceline sent three more blasts, offering generic deals on flights, hotels and cruises, respectively.
  29. 29. The Priceline User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 29 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart Finally, we received two additional blasts with deals on rental cars and 4-star hotels.
  30. 30. The Priceline User Engagement Timeline Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 30 MessagesUserActivity Message TypeActivity Type Blast Transactional Triggered Desktop Mobile SMS/Push Created new account Downloaded app Searched for travel deals Days from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Searched for travel deals Completed user profile Abandoned cart None of these emails seemed to be triggered from our activity on desktop or mobile.
  31. 31. Frequency Takeaways During the 3 weeks, Expedia and Priceline differed slightly in the frequency of messages. • Expedia: 12 emails, 0 mobile messages • Priceline: 10 emails, 0 mobile messages Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 31
  32. 32. Differing Priorities Expedia sends more behaviorally-based messages, as seen in its cart abandonment emails. Priceline prioritizes promotional blasts for all its product offerings, regardless of demonstrated interest. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 32
  33. 33. Now let’s look at the message content…
  34. 34. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 34 These are three standard Expedia messages (as depicted in Gmail). You’ll notice…
  35. 35. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 35 Personalization by name
  36. 36. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 36 Inclusion of ads and upsell opportunities
  37. 37. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 37 Calls to action to download mobile app and follow brand on social media
  38. 38. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 38 Dynamic content, like this countdown clock for a 48-hour sale.
  39. 39. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 39 These are three standard Priceline emails (as depicted on Gmail). You’ll notice…
  40. 40. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 40 Inconsistent branding and email design
  41. 41. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 41 Strange calls to action to create an account (already completed) and report issues (not an ideal attention grabber).
  42. 42. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 42 Animated backgrounds, like these festive 4th of July fireworks.
  43. 43. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 43 Focus on “guaranteed” lowest prices on all product offerings.
  44. 44. Content Takeaways Each company’s content reflects its approach to travel booking. Expedia: • Includes mobile app and social media buttons • Offers advertising and upsell opportunities Priceline: • Asserts lower prices than competitors • Promotes wide range of travel offerings Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 44
  45. 45. Recommendations Both companies could improve their personalization by sending messages based on real-time user behavior. They also need to prioritize mobile messaging by coordinating across push and SMS. Expedia could enhance its promotional emails by dynamically segmenting users by level of engagement. Priceline could improve its triggered content by sending a timely welcome series and customized cart abandonment campaigns. Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 45
  46. 46. If you liked this teardown… You’ll enjoy the others! View them all by visiting: iterable.com/teardown Join the discussion on Twitter @Iterable, using #UEteardown Iterable, Inc. All Rights Reserved 46

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