The Little Marketing Initiative That Could: Reflecting on Six Months of Communications in 2020

by Elliott McNamee, on September 1, 2020

Coming into 2020 we thought it was a good time to put an emphasis on communicating regularly with our administrators, coordinators and travelers. We had exciting new time and money-saving product updates to share, we wanted to be a bit more top-of-mind with users to increase AmTrav adoption and customer productivity, and we wanted to invite feedback from users to make the one connected AmTrav platform even better.

We got off to a great start by recognizing our busiest travelers with their very own personalized 2019 business travel stats, and we announced our modernized trip confirmation emails, a product that we subsequently improved based on customers’ feedback. We saw great 40% open and click through rates, our customers’ way of telling us that our communications were useful. Hooray!

Since this is 2020, I don’t have to tell you what happened next. 

Travel ground to a halt. We were ready to help you as always, even as soaring cancellation and refund requests replaced trip searches and bookings. Just like you, we closed our offices, learned to work from home, and made tough choices as a business. Many of AmTrav’s marketing initiatives also ground to a halt. You may notice some new blue AmTrav colors, but we paused the new name and marketing push that was supposed to accompany those colors.

But one thing didn’t stop. We didn’t stop communicating. Our communications switched from long-planned product improvements to breaking COVID news -- a whole lot of it. Likewise our product development pivoted to pressing, immediately-useful upgrades to our money-saving unused ticket tracking and application, plus deploying new traveler risk tracking data, travel restrictions resource center and our return to travel guide designed to help you prepare and travel confidently.

And despite all our other challenges, our communications kept working. COVID news emails were opened at a 35% open rate, and your feedback to us inspired the travel restrictions resource center and return to travel guide -- thank you!

(An aside: are you an AmTrav customer and you notice that you haven’t received some of these communications? Please reach out to your Relationship Manager, we’ll help you troubleshoot so you don’t miss important communications!)

So what’s next? First, we’re hoping that we have fewer emergency COVID travel news communications. We also have a number of product release communications planned for this fall including sharing AmTrav’s refreshed flight shopping experience, introducing new hotel content, and deploying new chat functionality. We’re looking forward to more of your feedback. What would you like to see more of in our one connected platform or hear more of in our email, blog and webinar communications? You are the reason we design these tools - to drive your productivity with the best corporate travel management experience in the market. But we couldn’t do it without you.

If you’re curious, here’s our full log of email communications from the first half of 2020:

Email

Month

Type

Open rate

Your 2019 AmTrav business travel report

January

News

35%

Important Travel Update regarding Coronavirus

January

News

40%

Your itinerary info, faster -- new AmTrav trip confirmation emails

February

Product

44%

Important information regarding U.S. - Europe travel

March

News

43%

Important update: global Level 4 health advisory - do not travel

March

News

38%

Private jets for essential business travel

April

Product

32%

Drowning in unused airline tickets? We can help

April

Product

25%

Major airlines now requiring masks for passengers

May

News

24%

Op ed from AmTrav’s Craig Fichtelberg

May

Thought leader

25%

AmTrav introduces new traveler tracking & safety tools

June

Product

22%

From our CEO: sad times, green shoots and trying not to waste a crisis

June

AmTrav update

26%

New & improved: printer-friendly trip confirmations

June

Product

27%

New quarantine restrictions for travelers to New York, New Jersey & Connecticut

June

News

30%

New safety enhancement: “COVID Clean” hotel search

July

Product

23%

Fast, confident travel preparation: the AmTrav COVID Resource Center

July

Product

17%

Your guide to getting back to travel

July

News

23%

 

Open rate is (unique emails opened) / (emails delivered)

P.S. Love AmTrav? Know someone who might love AmTrav too? Refer that friend!

 

Topics:AmTravcommunicationCOVID-19

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