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Hoseasons’ holiday cottage brochure was bursting at the seams and in danger of becoming too big for the letterbox.

They needed a new approach but any change to the successful ‘big book’ mailing meant a major strategic shift, so we had to prove the case.

Using English Country Cottages to test our idea, we developed a statistical model that meant we could match customers with the cottages most likely to appeal to them, based on attributes of previous booking behaviour.

We tested two new slim-line brochures, a “Standard Half Book” of randomly selected properties and a model-driven “Tailored Half Book”, against the standard 660-page book.

With each half-book at 244 pages, they cost 64% less than the standard brochure. What’s more, the tailored half book achieved a 10% lower cost of sale than the standard half book.   That amounted to an initial 245% return on the investment. We extended and refined the approach across all of Hoseasons’ holiday cottage brands and introduced hyper-personalised emails showing evocative photos of previous holidays and matching suggested properties based on attributes (such as local interests, price or facilities).

The hyper-personalised emails increased click-throughs five-fold and the work won Gold at the Travel Marketing Awards, among other commendations.