March 27, 2015


Pontins used the VePlatform to target and re-engage bookers who had abandoned their order. Ve Interactive tell us more

A Little Background

Pontins is a UK travel institution, continuing to attract and delight holiday makers in their droves after 60 years. Like all players in this rapidly moving vertical, Pontins handle a large portion of their bookings online, so we teamed up to help them get the very most from their website.

The Challenge at Hand

Pontins and Ve Interactive recognised a problem faced by all travel companies today—the continuous growth of online comparison shopping.

According to the latest Ve Interactive benchmark report, the average abandonment rate in the UK travel industry stands at a massive 81 per cent—meaning that over eight in every ten people who begin the booking process fail to complete it.

Furthermore, holiday package bookers make, on average, almost 40 visits to travel sites before making their decision—normally over the space of six weeks. But while these figures can be daunting, they also show the enormous opportunity for proactive hotels and resorts who are ready to reengage with these interested potential bookers. That’s where the VePlatform comes in.

The Plan of Action

To improve their conversion rate and lower booking abandonment, Pontins agreed to a two-pronged approach. We switched on VeContact—our triggered email re-engagement app—to target bookers who abandoned within the booking engine, after entering their contact details, but before completing their transaction.

We also activated VeChat—our on-site re-engagement app—to tackle abandonment further up the purchase funnel, or when a potential customer abandons before leaving their details.
Here are the campaign changes implemented and, more importantly, the results achieved.

Due to the length of the typical online path to purchase in the travel industry, we decided to take the following steps:

Introduce a Multi-Stage Email Campaign

With customers abandoning at different stages in the long buying cycle, relying on one email to make an impact is quite a task—no matter how well designed it is. A family holiday is an important (and sizeable) investment; however well timed your email may be, if the customer feels they still need to double check your competitors’ rates or alternative holiday destinations, they may well forget your attractive offer. This is why we advised Pontins to implement a three-step cascade campaign—sending a series of strategically timed emails to best meet each customer’s expectations, at key points in their personal booking path.

Create All Emails with Responsive Design

Over a quarter (27 per cent) of hotel browsing now happens through a mobile device, according to TripAdvisor. And while conversions on desktop are still leading the travel industry, reengagement marketing must be tailored for the modern customer. It was imperative that Pontins moved their campaign onto a responsive-designed email template.


– 83 per cent more emails delivered
– 7.6 per cent uplift in click-through rate
– 43 per cent uplift in average revenue per abandoned booking


As a company, Pontins caters to many different demographics, attracting a broad range of market segments. This meant that selecting the most engaging image for our VeChat sales agent would have huge influence on conversion rates.

Many young families are both price sensitive and concerned with picking a family friendly resort. Our account management team took the decision to swap out the original Pontins imagery of a senior couple for a picture of a young girl having a great time at the resort.

This clearly reinforces the impression that Pontins is a fun, family friendly resort, helping allay any related concerns. It’s this quick reassurance which is often so influential in accelerating the decision-making process.

This new, more targeted imagery was bolstered by concise copy and a clearer call-to-action to create a highly engaging conversion tool. As you can see from the results below, as a consequence of these changes, VeChat delivered a huge increase in revenue performance.


– 512 per cent more emails delivered
– 190 per cent engagement uplift
– 1,254 per cent average revenue per abandoned bookings uplift