Have you noticed the difference the airline’s email marketing communication makes to your perception of the easyJet brand?
Fact*: In October 2011, easyJet invested £50m into a new marketing strategy, repositioning the brand to focus on the experience rather than the price. It cut its 2011/2012 winter loss from an estimated £153m to £112 and in October 2012 announced record profits.
From the customer’s perspective
I booked a one-way ticket from Marseille to Gatwick in April this year. The flight wasn’t departing Marseille until mid-July (3+ months later). The booking process was as per normal and I duly received the normal orange easyJet branded booking confirmation email in my inbox.
The booking confirmation email itself served several purposes:
- It reminded me that I needed to add ID information to my booking otherwise I won’t be able to fly
- It confirmed the flight, passenger and cost details of my booking
- It took the opportunity to inform me of other products and services that I might need as part of my trip (exploited cross-sell and up-sell opportunities) such as car hire, airport parking, download the easyjet app to manage my booking when I’m ‘on the go’, etc
The post booking email communication process
Having made my booking but before my departure date, I also received the following:
A month after I made my booking, I received an email about the airlines new cabin bag guarantee.
A month later I received an email saying online check-in was now open, followed by a reminder email two weeks later (along with some other reminders).
2 days before my flight, I received a Bon Voyage email (note the use of French – the language of my departing country) with a list of last minute to do’s and a guide of things to do and see in London.
1 day after I landed at Gatwick, I received an email from easyJet and headed ‘Tell us what you think’.
The personal touch
Every email was personalised. Not just with my name but my booking reference number, where I was flying from and to and with information about my destination.
The subject line, the text above the email itself, the salutation and each component of the content was tailored specifically to me and my booking.
How did all this improve my experience of flying with easyJet
- It started to get me thinking about and looking forward to my trip earlier than I would normally, thereby associating a positive feeling and emotional experience with the airline.
- Helped relieve some of the stress of getting sorted for my holiday with prompts of what to do when with regards to my flight
- Reminded me of the other products and services available, reinforcing an all round experience and service rather than just communicating to me details about the flight itself
- Made me feel looked after. Whilst we all know these emails were automated, there was clearly thought put into making sure that they all delivered the right content pertinent to me as an individual, at the right time, with just the right amount of information, in a visually appealing way without being too heavy on the graphics.
- Every email was laid out in a format that was dictated by the content not a rigid design template. Despite the dynamic content and layout, there was always clear, consistent and easily recognisable easyJet branding within and across the emails.
- At the bottom of every email, under the heading Find Us, there was the important email-social media integration. It suggested I follow easyJet on Twitter and Facebook to ‘keep up to date with all the latest travel tips, competitions and deals’. A way for me to further engage with the company outside of my trip should I so wish, with clear benefits to me if I do.
- Made me feel valued. The post-trip feedback email reaffirmed that easyJet do indeed care about me, my experience with them and what I think.
I would, in fact, go as far as to say that all of the above should be the norm; that I shouldn’t be in a position to want to write a blog article about it because it’s nothing new or different to the experiences I have with other companies. Sadly, that’s not the case.
Whilst I could also be cynical and point out areas for further improvement, the email marketing communication I received as part of this particular ‘buying lifecycle’ has left me with a higher regard for easyJet than I had before making the booking.
It just goes to show that email marketing that is heavily personalised and appropriately timed with content that is relevant to (and of benefit to) the recipient and their particular needs at that particular time goes a long way to improving how a customer perceives a brand.
If, for example, easyJet had sent me an email every week throughout the 3 month period, the content of this blog post would be completely different!
What companies do you think use email marketing successfully to improve the customer’s experience and brand perception?
* Econsultancy 12th July 2013