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DR's Getaway

1 Nov, 2008 By: Jacqueline Renfrow Response

"Every frequent flier mile that you accumulate turns into a liability for the airline, so we're looking for other ways to help customers spend their miles," says Darnell. "We want to say you can book your hotel and rental cars by offering the same product that's integrated with the customer is already on your Web site and why not let them pay with miles."

Travel Scream started two years ago as a marketing place for travel agents, but now it has evolved into a unique ad platform used by publishing names such as Condé Nast and National Geographic. Basically, Travel Scream creates Web pages with travel deals and puts them online where the information you are reading is relevant to that advertisement. For example, if a customer is reading about the Egyptian Pyramids online, Travel Scream might develop an offer below the article for a trip to Cairo. Tom Griffin, the company's CEO, refers to it as "delivering relevant content at the point where a person begins to search."

Travel Scream has tapped into a large market. While the travel booking sites account for 53 percent of the market, media sites account for 38.7 percent of all travel sold on the Web. Griffin says his hotel clients report a 20-to-40 percent ROI from his campaigns. "If you can offer a good deal at the site the consumer is visiting — 20- to-50 percent off — they're going to buy," says Griffin.

One of the best surprises to Griffin is how much the deals created by Travel Scream are being shared in online social communities. For example, an ad for Couples Resorts was shared 400 times on social media posts, which accounted for 11 percent of its visitors on the homepage. The resort chain's average monthly unique visitors grew to 79,713 during the campaign, a 150-percent increase from historical numbers. Sixty-two percent of those homepage visits were from referrals.

Similarly, Travel Scream's campaign significantly boosted Web page traffic for the Radisson Aruba, up 175 percent. Of the 13,525 monthly unique visitors to the site, 47 percent were home page referrals, 8 percent came from social media referrals, and 14 percent from RSS readers or subscribers.

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