Convert more users by avoiding typical mistakes in personalization and reducing marketing costs.
Are you interested in improving the engagement and conversion of your web visitors by applying personalized messaging and promoting individual offers to every user?

We compiled a practical white paper that captures the essence of our learnings and insights from our customer projects – sharing valuable information on how to (not) apply personalization in travel.

The whitepaper covers points like:

  • What are the requirements for successful personalization specifically in travel?
  • Why is a real-time system key and how to set this up?
  • What is the benefit of an AI-based user profiling vs. rule-based segmentation?
  • How can commercial steering and interest-based product matching reinforce each other?

To get the answers to the above questions (and many more), just read the 12-page white paper.

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Mistakes in Personalization - Convert more web visitors by avoiding spending more on marketing

Let’s look at the facts

Personalization has moved on leaps and bounds since the development of CRMs and data intelligence tools. Artificial Intelligence is breaking new ground, as we’ve seen with personalized shopping recommendations on Amazon and programme lists on Netflix.

Yet, while retail and entertainment have been able to capitalize on data for personalized marketing, the travel sector trails behind – missing huge opportunities to engage customers with a more authentic and relevant booking experience. Much can be achieved by avoiding some of the common pitfalls in personalized digital marketing projects.

Consumers expect shopping websites to listen and understand their specific requirements and intent. Econsultancy found 93 % of companies see an uplift in conversion rates when using personalization. Think of the power of personalization if these recommendations were made in real-time as a consumer explores your travel products.

Mistakes in Personalization are quite common - avoid the pitfalls

What are the mistakes in personalization?

1. Misty personalization targets

When embarking on new personalization projects, we find common pitfalls in strategies that threaten the success and longevity of the investment.

Not defining the personalization targets and failing to fully evaluate specific requirements is one of the most basic pitfalls.


2. Segmentation isn’t enough

This reflects the theory of ‘averages’. While segmentation provides more relevance to predefined audience groups and demographics, the approach remains static. It is still a valid approach for strategic planning, but it does not provide the relevance required to significantly address the individual interest of a user.


3. It’s beyond their name

Collecting user data has been the essence of direct marketing, however only making use of consumers’ names in marketing and sales messages is not enough to cut through to the essence of their intentions.

Think of the last email promotion you received: Just because it had your name in the header, did it feel like the content had been crafted for you? Or was it just another generic attempt to promote standardized products?

4. Steering manually selected offers to larger audiences 

Curated recommender lists are static and quickly outdated. Therefore, the products listed are often completely irrelevant for a specific user. Yet they remain an omnipresent instrument of sales promotions, pushing products which offer greater profitability, or driving products lacking demand.

Find more info about each mistake here
Personalization is more than just naming the website user

5. Generic product information does not provide what your customers want to know

Once you have a profile of your user with their current needs and intentions, what next? You need to find the best matching offers and services – but also relevant content – to appeal to your customer.

This matching can only be achieved if product attributes, images, ratings and further product related content are available. Your users need proof and reassurance that a specific product is right for them. AI has the capability to automatically surface and display the most relevant information which is indicated as the USP for this exact user.


6. Obsessing over conversion – neglecting key performance indicators

One of the most common pitfalls for companies is an overbearing focus on conversion. Personalized interventions positively contribute to the sales funnel and wider buying journey – don’t let them be invisible. Expand the engagement metrics you monitor.


7. Ignoring intent signals

Knowing the intent of a user unlocks the most powerful customer insight, allowing you to better serve them – and secure that customer with a booking.

8. Failing to capture the right data

Data is said to be the new oil, but it’s essential to be ‘data ready’ and record relevant data points. There’s no point in collecting data for the sake of it – or you will end up with a messy data lake that is costly to maintain and does not deliver any ROI.

Get all insights in the whitepaper
Personalization mistake: Failing to capture the right data

9. Overlooking recent bookers in favor of new bookings

Many travel businesses fail to recognize that customers continue to visit their website right up until the time of departure. Often it’s too easy to overlook that “booked customer” while seeking to confirm the next.

10. Being impatient

Introducing or improving a personalization strategy is a marathon and not a sprint.

Don’t be tempted to check conversion uplifts or engagement KPIs on a daily basis, and also do not panic if you see a decline of KPI over a few days. The concept of randomness plays a role when observing customer behavior, and it takes larger samples of data to detect the impact of the enhancements you implement.

Don't fly blind when adding personalization systems to your website

Final words

Avoiding these pitfalls and focusing on some simple actions will help personalization work for you. Get your team onboard with the benefits of personalization, be transparent in your use of data (it’s not only a legal requirement but is best practice) and be clear in your business objectives.

Download all mistake details here