With ever-increasing numbers of consumers doing almost all of their browsing, comparing and buying online, every industry has an exponentially-increasing amount of data to draw on – and the travel sector is no different. For Secret Escapes, a members-only luxury travel club which offers consumers discounted deals on high-end destinations, this presented a challenge, but also an opportunity – with a business model focused on email acquisition, the thousands of data points available offered a chance to make its bidding model more effective…if the company could find a way to use them.
“With the opportunities offered by machine learning and AI, we decided to put our existing bidding solution to the test, and see if we could identify a more efficient bidding setup,” explains Secret Escapes Head of Performance & Revenue Rumyana Miteva. “We used a Google Ads Smart Bidding approach called tCPA, or Target Cost Per Acquisition – a dynamic, automated approach to bidding that uses advanced machine learning to optimise bids automatically for each auction.”
We took our time running tests, before transitioning gradually over from the old solution to the new one once the tests had returned a significant, positive result.
In simple terms, tCPA aims to keep the cost per conversion equal to the target cost per acquisition set by the brand, and to get as many conversions as possible at the target cost. “We took our time running tests, before transitioning gradually over from the old solution to the new one, once the tests had returned a significant, positive result,” explains Miteva, “and the results were staggering. On average, using tCPA Smart Bidding improved click-through rate for Secret Escapes by 23% and produced 65% more conversions at a 38% lower cost per lead than our previous bidding setup.”
Because machine learning processes improve as they’re given more data and examples to work from, it’s a setup that’s likely to improve in the future. As Secret Escapes’ business model evolves, the company is also experimenting with using campaign drafts and experiments in Google Ads, while continuing to use Dynamic Search Ads and Data-Driven Attribution to improve its Search campaigns…and send more people to their perfect destinations.