Campaign Automation With Sales2Go Boosted Flight Ticket Sales by 40% [Case Study]

A case study of a business situation where an entirely new approach was needed to increase Google AdWords performance.

Background

Our client, Baltic Tours Vilnius JSC, operating flight booking website Skrendu.lt, wanted to increase Google AdWords performance: income from the channel stayed just above the profitability line, so further investments, especially large ones, could have put the whole company on the brink of bankruptcy.

Therefore, we had to find ways to expand advertising campaign to increase sales and ROI at the same time.

At a Glance

Goals

  • Increase sales
  • Increase campaign ROI
  • Increase target audience reach

Approach

  • Create 100% relevant ads for target audience
  • Insert into ads lowest price on specific direction at nearest airport
  • Expand campaign into European countries for Lithuanian emmigrants booking tickets home

Results

  • Sales increased by 40%
  • ROI increased from €12 to €16 for every €1 invested
  • Bounce rate dropped from 32% to 11%
  • CTR increased from 12% to up to 34%

More relevant ads would have obviously helped, but there were obstacles along the way that could not be overcome by existing solutions in the market. First of all, the number of available flight directions was simply too large to manually create and then manage text ads, not to mention banners. Secondly, ticket prices were changing too often to include them in ad descriptions.

The time and cost limits associated with personalised ad management resulted in less opportunities for the company to find the most profitable ad variants, keywords, and flight directions. Furthermore, general ads were associated with a higher bounce rate and poorer user experience. All these factors negatively affected Google AdWords investment potential.

Solution

We saw clearly that, for Skrendu.lt, adding more human resources to increase Google AdWords performance was unpractical. An entirely new approach was needed for the situation to change.

It seemed that the answer lied in automatisation tools. We were aware of existing options from Google AdWords, as well as external platforms that offered similar functions with different interface. Obviously useful for campaign management, those tools, however, could not replace human input in creating campaigns themselves.

And there was the key to our solution, named Sales2Go. Basically, we developed a platform that could be connected to any Google AdWords campaign to automatically create, update, and delete ads, ad groups and keywords based on changes in client’s website content. What is more, our platform could be employed by other agencies worldwide, too.

Process

We knew that around 600 000 Lithuanians live abroad, especially in UK, Ireland, and Norway. We also knew that a large percentage of them regularly fly back to Lithuania to see their relatives and friends.

Therefore, we decided to employ our tool to help Skrendu.lt expand their Google AdWords campaigns abroad and target Lithuanian emmigrants who look for the best flight options to visit their country of birth.

First of all, we had to persuade the client that the strategy was safe and the investment would pay off. Then, we connected Sales2Go with client’s Google AdWords account. Afterwards, we connected Skrendu.lt website content (the products) with Sales2Go platform interface via an XML file, containing detailed product data. At the heart of the platform was a special algorithm which handled data processing and executed appropriate actions.

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Sales2Go allowed automatically execute various advertising strategies based on the likelihood of conversion. For example, if there are no discounted flights available for a particular direction, the system could be adapted to:

  1. automatically show flights with standard prices for that direction,
  2. automatically show flights for that direction with standard price, but also with other benefits (e.g., discounts to hotel bookings),
  3. do not show any ads for this direction.

Sales2Go could also be employed for strategies based on keyword groups. Here, a campaign is divided into groups based on keyword type:

  1. general keywords (“cheapest flights”),
  2. destination-based keywords (“flights London”),
  3. keywords with departure and destination (e.g., “flights Vilnius London”).

Ad examples (“skrydziai” translates as “flights”, “lektuvu bilietai” as “airplane tickets”):

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The initial campaign automation setup took some time, but it only had to be done once. After that, any changes in website’s content were automatically sent to the XML file, which was used by the algorithm to update the campaign accordingly.

By using the tool, Skrendu.lt could have unique and accurate ads for all their flights within minutes. What is equally important, if there were any changes in flight description (e.g., price), the corresponding ads were updated in real time. Of course, campaigns created by the service could be accessed in Google AdWords account where it could be tweaked further if necessary.

Results

Within one hour after initial setup, Sales2Go created 15 new advertising campaigns, 1500 new ad groups, and 2900 new ads that from then on were being automatically updated according to parameters and strategies set in the platform.

In just two weeks of September 2016, our tool changed client’s Google AdWords results dramatically. In comparison with the same period in August, 2016, the effect of increased ad relevance was immediately visible in the bounce rate which dropped from 32% to 11%. Meanwhile, CTR increased up to 34% in several campaigns, with average CTR increase from 14% to 19%.

Lower bounce rate and higher CTR resulted in more sales, which increased income from Google AdWords by 40%. In addition, ROI increased from €12 to €16 for every €1 invested.

To eliminate other possible causes of performance changes, we can compare periods before adopting Sales2Go. For example, in the period of September 12-27, 2016, to compare with the same period in 2015, average bounce rate decreased from 32% to 11%, and average CTR increased from 10% to 15%. So the impact of our tool is quickly visible.

Looking Ahead

Needless to say, the results strengthened Skrendu.lt positions in the market. Arguably, they would not have been possible if we did not have the client’s trust, built in almost 7 years of working together.

The next step is display and remarketing compaign automatization. We believe it will help our clients get even more sales with positive ROI from Google products.

In short, automating campaigns with Sales2Go enables handling large numbers of super-accurate ads. As a result, businesses can rapidly and confidently expand advertising into other markets. Our client is more than excited to take part in the process.

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