Rebecca Heidgerd, Director of E-Commerce for TUI North American Education, joined TUI to develop a common e-commerce strategy and platform. The marketing teams of the business units she supported were using different marketing tools and systems. This created inefficiencies and the sales teams were receiving too few, unqualified leads. She implemented HubSpot’s software to help deliver an inbound marketing strategy and improve their lead generation and conversion.
y-o-y increase in monthly site traffic across brands
y-o-y increase in monthly leads for education brands
y-o-y increase in presales revenue for annual student gold pass/on-tour excursion campaign
TUI Travel is one of the world’s leading leisure travel groups, with over 220 trusted brands in 180 countries and more than 30 million customers. TUI’s seven student travel groups in North America offer educational and leisure experiences for students in the United States and Canada.
When Rebecca Heidgerd, Director of E-Commerce for TUI North American Education, joined TUI, the sales teams of the business units she supports were unhappy with the volume and quality of leads they received. Their websites and online marketing efforts were not generating the desired sales growth.
Most of the businesses relied solely on email to their existing databases for their online marketing campaigns. They were not generating sufficient new leads or nurturing existing customers for retention sales. “I knew right away I would be driving a lot of new marketing activities for them like blogging and social media - email alone wasn’t enough to compete in the marketplace,” says Rebecca.
Further, each business used different tools: from MailChimp to Constant Contact to emailing directly from a CRM system. They had different CMSs in place on their websites as well. Rebecca viewed this as a missed opportunity since the businesses could share best practices if they were on one platform. “I knew we needed a tool that everyone could use and would make the new activities easy to do... and I needed to do it on my own without IT support."
Rebecca had used HubSpot at a previous company but wanted to do her due diligence before selecting the right tool for TUI. She also had experience using Eloqua but ruled it out for TUI because it was not user friendly. “Eloqua was supposed to be marketing automation but it felt like a bad email tool. For example: there were no templates available and if you wanted to edit emails you had to work with long strings of HTML code that appeared in one single line.”
Her selections came down to HubSpot and Act-On. As she investigated Act-On further, she found, “It seemed like it was an email tool trying to retroactively provide more features... Overall it felt like you got less for more money and I wasn’t in love with the email tool.” In contrast, HubSpot provided a full marketing platform that could meet the needs of all the business units she supports.
Director of E-Commerce
TUI North American Education
By using HubSpot’s software, TUI was able to move beyond email and implement a complete inbound marketing strategy. Although all of their brands provide travel for students, the student is not always the decision maker. But Rebecca knew that parents and teachers also did their research online and needed to be reached effectively outside of email. “For everything we’ve been doing, one of our biggest goals is to improve organic search rankings and leads. We’re trying to push a lot of content entry like blogging, landing pages and social media.”
Before implementing HubSpot, two of the brands she worked with were blogging occasionally and the rest weren’t blogging at all. Now, all of them have adopted HubSpot’s Blogging Tools and are blogging at least once a week.
These activities have translated to more traffic and leads. In less than a year since TUI started to implement HubSpot, each applicable brand has increased social media traffic by a minimum of 213%. All have seen an increase in website visitors upwards of 20%. For Brightspark Canada, specifically, website traffic is up 25% and leads are up 128% year-over-year.
Several of their marketing teams wanted to create more personalized experiences for their prospects and customers, but didn’t have the right tools to support it. Now, TUI is using HubSpot's smart content and fields on their forms to improve the user experience and increase response rates. Says Rebecca, “If we’re sending out emails to existing contacts to generate interest in a new program or itinerary, then we don’t make them re-fill out ten fields.”
One team had recent success by sending more targeted and personalized messages for their “Gold City Pass/ExcursionUpsell Email Campaign” using HubSpot. The packages are an upsell item for trip registrants. Using lists in HubSpot’s Marketing Automation Tools, they were able to segment their audience based on specific destination and week of travel. Emails were personalized with the customer’s first name, customer number, and sent from their specific Regional Sales Manager. Open rates ranged from 61-85%, click through rates averaged 19%, and they have seen a 106% increase in revenue for this specific product as compared to last year.
Up next: Rebecca is looking forward to taking better advantage of the smart content capabilities and further building out their e-commerce platform on HubSpot. “Once we are fully integrated with our CRMs, we will be able to better upsell our customers with add-ons to their trip to increase revenue. We are looking forward to being able to market even smarter in the coming year.”
One of the businesses recently launched a new website using embedded HubSpot forms, landing pages and blog. “Now the lead generation data is going directly into Hubspot and the CRM where we can analyze it and use it to better segment and market to our personas. And the beauty of using HubSpot forms is that if we want to make changes to the forms we can do that in two minutes. Before it would take two months waiting for the IT ticket to be completed.”
Rebecca’s team and their businesses have seen huge time savings by using HubSpot’s Reporting & Analytics. “It takes us 6 times as long to get historical data in comparison to data from HubSpot because we have to go to so many different software tools and systems for each different piece.” They especially find the Sources report valuable to measure results and help them achieve their goals. “We’ve been doing a Public Relations push for Brightspark. We use the Sources report for correlations between our activities and results.”
Rebecca feels that the whole team is more coordinated since implementing HubSpot: “Having one tool that we can log into for all the companies is huge for us. We can have as many as 50 emails, 30 landing pages, 5 blog posts, and 20 social media posts all going live in the same week. It’s key for the whole team to know where everything is.”
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