Whittlebury Hall Marketing Automation

We were challenged by Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa to analyse usage of their new online booking system, to devise an automated marketing campaign that would help them to maximise conversions of abandoned baskets.

Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa is a multi-award winning, independent four star hotel and spa, with 254 bedrooms and three restaurants. It is a leader in conference, training and event facilities and has one of the biggest day spas in the UK, with a choice of over 60 treatments and a unique “Heat & Ice” experience. Over 90% of its bookings are now conducted online.

The Challenge

Having recently launched a new fully integrated website, complete with third party booking engine, to deliver a seamless experience for the user, Whittlebury Hall were keen to make it work as hard as possible to generate and convert sales. With more than 90% of packages now being booked online, it was essential for the leading hotel & spa to identify any potential drop points during the booking process and to maximise conversions.

The Work

As Whittlebury Hall’s long-term digital partner, Interdirect were called upon to help, and we quickly got to work using Google Analytics and Hotjar to research visitor activity on the website. These industry leading tools told us that, while on average 80% of visitors reaching the summary page at checkout, went on to complete their booking, 20% did not. It was now our job to devise a plan for converting the remaining 20%.

Deemed as ‘hot prospects’, these visitors, who had already provided their contact details in the earlier stages of booking, became the perfect targets for personalised abandoned basket emails, in order to tempt them back and complete their bookings.

Two versions of the email were created. The first emails had a subject line ‘Have you forgotten something?’ and were programmed to send 24 hours after abandonment. If the visitor didn’t complete their purchase after receiving the first email, they received a future automated email one week later, with the subject line ‘don’t miss out’.

Both emails had prominent calls to action to ‘continue shopping’ and clear contact information to enable visitors to ask any questions that may be preventing them from completing their booking.

The Difference

In the first four weeks of launching the abandoned baskets email campaign over 50% of the costs invested were generated in incremental sales, directly attributed to the email programme.

In terms of engagement rates; the first emails triggered after 24 hours of abandonment are achieving an opening rate of 53% and click to open rates of 24%. The second email sent after 7 days, receive average opening rates of 44% and click to open rates of 14%.

Case study: 2323