Over the course of 70 years Copa Airlines has gone from connecting two cities in Panama to consolidating itself as one of the most important airlines in The Americas. The carrier now flies to a total of 58 destinations in 28 countries in North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean.
Copa Airlines wanted to improve its user interaction and engagement, while decreasing the time and work it took to complete ongoing and new marketing tasks. The airline had a large database with old contacts that weren’t active, which were negatively affecting the brand’s KPIs. This translated into higher costs per send, since those inactive contacts were costing money but not contributing to performance.
As an airline, Copa communicates fares to all the countries it flies to. However, to drive sales previously, the brand had to create more than 10 campaigns each week in order to target its most important markets. This took a lot of time and dedication for the team, and meant there was a higher risk of sending emails with errors. Plus, communicating fares to customers had become a very manual process – typing each fare for each route and date. This took a lot of time and effort, and ran even more risks. What’s more, for Copa Airlines to be competitive in its email marketing, the brand had to step up a gear in terms of its major non-airline competitors – OTAs (online travel agencies). Normally they are very agile and actively email people who visited their website; and by contrast, Copa had no way of linking to its website from emails.
The team at Copa Airlines created a clean-up program which omits inactive users and just delivers email to active users, decreasing the amount of contacts (costs in total for the brand) and improving KPIs. This gives a more accurate description of performance overall.
Moreover, to streamline the time dedicated to each campaign, the brand developed an internal strategy with dynamic content at its core. The team was now able to consolidate several campaigns that had minor changes for some contacts, keeping the rest the same. Using dynamic content variations has cut build and send time by 50%.
Copa also now includes advanced personalization in its campaigns to improve how fares are presented to customers, with the use of liquid script. With this, the airline was able to automatically show all of the fare information in email: amount, route, and dates. As a second step, the brand is looking to show live fares: so that when the contact clicks the email, the fare updates itself in real time.
Lastly, the team has created a retargeting series for people to visited and then abandoned the website. The abandoned booking/browser program means Copa is now much more active in communicating contextually driven messages via email – giving OTAs a run for their money.
Copa Airlines has generated some sensational results across the board. It goes to show that email personalization and marketing automation always deliver a positive customer response.
- Open rates from 15% to 17%
- 14% boost in revenue
- Conversion rate from 8% to 10%
- 11% drop in unsubscribes
- 10% decrease in sends 100% increase in ROI