Case study: How TUI used call tracking to increase ROI from its online activities

This case study highlights how leisure travel company TUI Travel used call tracking to gain further insight into online visitors and callers, therefore helping to increase return on investment from its online activities.

TUI Travel PLC is one of the world’s leading leisure travel companies with over 250 trusted brands in 180 countries and more than 30 million customers. The business is grouped into four sectors: Mainstream, Accommodation & Destinations, Specialist & Activity and Emerging Markets. Brands vary in size from the larger well-known names, such as Sunsail, Real Gap and Exodus, to smaller, niche operators such as Edwin Doran Sports Tours or Headwater, which specialise in walking and cycling holidays. Investment in websites and strategic online marketing is fundamental to TUI’s growth and as a result the company has invested heavily in areas such as social media, display advertising, search and affiliate marketing. The company also ensures that all online activities are measured through robust analytics and search management tools.ChallengeThe TUI Specialist and Activity Sector comprises over 100 global travel businesses to fulfil the holiday and travel needs of customers with a wide range of interests and passions. Its brands include Exodus, Adventure Company, Thomson Sport, Sunsail, Real Gap, I-to-I, The Moorings, Le Boat, iExplore. The TUI Specialist and Activity Sector is divided into seven divisions:
  • Adventure
  • Education
  • Language
  • Marine
  • North American Specialist
  • Sport
  • Specialist Holidays Group
Products range from adventure and expedition holidays to educational tours that offer complex travel itineraries.The nature of these products can result in prolonged purchase decisions as customers often require assurances that the holiday is tailored for their needs. This thirst for further information can drive customers to ask questions directly to one of TUI’s experienced travel consultants by phone. The TUI Specialist and Activity Sector also has a number of non-transactional websites that require customers to call the phone number displayed on the website in order to book their holiday. The difficulty that TUI faced was how to track customers who completed their purchase by phone instead of online.TUI needed a system that could track online and offline activity which would ultimately lead to an improved online marketing strategy and increased return on investment (ROI). This system would need to be able to track where their customers came from, what path they took to get there and what keywords they used.SolutionFollowing a rigorous selection process, TUI chose AdInsight Clarity, a call tracking solution offered by AdInsight, due to the emphasis on the accuracy of data provided and the range of features that would help them to achieve their aims. After implementing a small piece of code on each of the websites that TUI needed to track, a unique telephone number began to display to each concurrent visitor on the site at any one time. This dynamic telephone number provided each visitor with a unique identifier, enabling AdInsight Clarity to automatically track the visitor as they clicked through the site and subsequently whether their visit resulted in a phone call. AdInsight Clarity could also track a multitude of other variables including the keyword they used to enter the site, the pages they looked at before, during and after the call, the date and time of the call, as well as the sales or lead value of the call. The system was easily able to integrate with existing analytics tools used by TUI including Google AdWords and their preferred bid management software. This enabled TUI to see phone call conversions recorded by AdInsight within their other analytics systems, allowing them to analyse which ads were underperforming and which were proving successful. This gave them a much clearer understanding of their ROI from each channel, making it easier to make strategic changes.Aside from the ability to integrate with other analytics providers, the AdInsight Clarity reports were able to provide further insight into online visitors and callers to the business:Caller Location: TUI was able to identify where incoming calls to the business were originating from using STD code data; this enabled them to create regional, targeted offers based on demand, both online and offline.Visitor History: Using the Visitor History report, TUI was able to see how visitors found the website, the pages they viewed and how often they returned. They were also able to see the exact page that the caller was looking at when they picked up the phone. This insight enabled the web team to identify “problem pages,” showing where serious browsers were abandoning their online purchase to pick up the phone. TUI was able to make improvements to the visitor journey after seeing this data from AdInsight Clarity, as their previous analytics solutions were unable to do this. Call Over Time: TUI has been able to review staffing needs based on call volumes and patterns seen on the Calls Over Time report. They also identified the need to change misleading “out of hours” answer machine messages and follow up any missed calls via email alerts sent directly to their sales teams.Call Log: The Call Log provided TUI with records of every call in real time, including campaign and traffic source information, search phrases used and whether the call resulted in a lead or sale.Keyword Report: Another useful report for TUI was the Keyword Report, which enabled TUI to see which keywords were generating phone calls. Generic keywords such as “Adventure Holidays,” previously thought to be low-converting and ineffective actually generated valuable telephone calls and offline sales.ResultsBy having access to the performance of calls by their source and a mixture of refining campaigns, keywords and other online media, one brand within the TUI Travel Specialist and Activity Sector saw their online revenue increase by 30%. AdInsight Clarity played a valuable part in this uplift.Prior to implementing AdInsight Clarity, one TUI brand was 'on target' for their paid search allowable cost per lead. After AdInsight was integrated with TUI’s bid management software, they could then see all of their telephone call conversions at keyword and campaign level, instantly reducing their cost per lead by nearly half. This enabled them to intelligently increase their spend and visibility to obtain more leads. Jo Bradbury, Sector Paid Search Manager at TUI Travel PLC said “A lot of our holidays are booked over the phone. The problem we have had is that these people disappeared off the online radar and we were not able to track them. We had little idea where they came from, the path they took to get to us, or indeed whether they were responding to a particular ad. The AdInsight system has completely solved this problem. AdInsight has helped us to improve our online activities as well as ROI as a result.”

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