Secret escapes: re-engaging potential customers with Dynamic Remarketing and Conversion Lift

May 2017

Luxury travel brand Secret Escapes use Conversion Lift testing to prove the value of Google Display Network [GDN] Dynamic Remarketing

As a members-only luxury travel company, Secret Escapes’ digital marketing activity has traditionally focused on email acquisition. Since the company’s launch in 2010, their campaigns on AdWords and the Google Display Network have reached customers across Europe and the United States. According to David Nefs, the brand’s Head of Digital Marketing and Revenue, this presented Secret Escapes with a fresh opportunity: “With substantial member bases in our main markets, re-engaging with existing members through these digital channels became a significant opportunity.”

Secret Escapes were already working with a remarketing partner, but in 2016 they decided to test Google´s Dynamic Remarketing in Germany. Dynamic Remarketing allows advertisers to go beyond traditional remarketing by showing ads personalised with content that visitors have previously viewed. A simple page tag, coupled with product feeds and dynamic ad templates, make it easy to present potential customers with tailored messaging to encourage repeat visits and conversion. “We began Dynamic Remarketing activity with Google in late 2016,” recalls David Nefs, “but a key challenge for the brand had been understanding the incremental value of the channel.”

To address this challenge, Secret Escapes used Conversion Lift for the Google Display Network, an incrementality test that accurately measures causal differences in conversion behaviour. To do this, Conversion Lift creates a control group within the advertiser’s remarketing pool, and instead shows those users a different ad from the same auction. The downstream activity of both the control and the exposed groups is then tracked in order to compare the behaviour of users who saw the ad, with those in the control group for whom the ad was suppressed. Free to use, and with a 70/30 split between test and control, Conversion Lift reduces opportunity costs and can return meaningful results within only a few weeks.

The Results

During the course of the 2017 Conversion Lift test, Secret Escapes achieved a £12 incremental cost per acquisition (CPA) - 75% lower than the last click CPA observed in AdWords. As a result of this success, Dynamic Remarketing has become an established part of the brand’s media mix in Germany, with spend on the channel doubling since the test period. Plans are already underway to run further tests segmented by customer type, and to expand Dynamic Remarketing to other territories.

“We had previously struggled to scale our remarketing spend in Germany and to measure effectively the incrementality of conversions it generated,” says David Nefs, reflecting on the value of this period of testing. “Now, with Conversion Lift we can clearly measure the impact of Google´s Dynamic Remarketing, demonstrating profitability and enabling us to significantly scale our remarketing activity.”

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