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Case study: Taking email personalization to new heights

Case study: Taking email personalization to new heights Karen Marchione
Editor's note: This case study is written and sponsored by Silverpop.

Air New Zealand really means it when it says that it strives to provide its customers with an outstanding level of customer service in a unique and refreshing "kiwi" way. Always challenged with finding forward-thinking ways to engage with customers, Air New Zealand UK recently sought new ways to use email to focus on customer relationships and brand building, solicit timely customer feedback, and take a more personal touch to its unique service.

That's a tall order -- and it represents an ongoing effort for Air New Zealand. So how does the brand accomplish its lofty goals of connecting more deeply with customers?

The solution

Air New Zealand refers to the approach to its customer campaign as "Personality Allowed." Using Silverpop Engage, Air New Zealand sends personalized pre-flight and post-arrival emails to passengers using Silverpop's Dynamic Content functionality.

Its pre-flight email, with a welcoming subject line, includes imagery tailored around the upcoming destination, such as shots of local cultural events or popular delicacies, a weather update, and flight details, along with the ability to share the information with friends via Facebook and Twitter using Silverpop's Share to social capability. Air New Zealand's brand personality also shines through, with each message showcasing a photo of a flight crew member who will be on the recipient's specific flight.

An important call to action included in the post-arrival email is a link to the company's MyVoice program, which serves as a comprehensive preference center, collecting and housing a great deal of important information about each customer. By encouraging recipients to click on the link, Air New Zealand aims to increase the amount of information collected from each participant. By incorporating this information back into its email program, Air New Zealand can deliver a higher degree of relevancy. And the strategy is working, with the MyVoice program link being one of the most popular.

The benefits

While primarily focused on building customer loyalty, the "Personality Allowed" campaign has also generated impressive results. The pre-flight emails have an average unique open rate of 69 percent and an average unique click rate of 38 percent -- well above industry averages. The post-arrival emails have an average unique open rate of 62 percent and an average unique click rate of 40 percent.

In addition, reactions from passengers to this inventive campaign have been incredibly positive, including thousands of favorable Facebook comments. Some customers even print out the emails to show the featured flight crew member while on board. One customer even commented, "What a brilliant email campaign...I think that this is the first piece of e-marketing that I have ever received that I thoroughly read, found helpful, and actually printed out!"

Karen Marchione is director of customer marketing at Silverpop.

As Director, Customer Marketing, Karen Marchione leads efforts to build customer marketing and retention programs for Silverpop. She has been with Silverpop since January of 2009, and is primary focused on creating awareness in the market of...

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