On the Beach

Recommended Holiday Deals Programme

The Client

On the Beach are the UK’s leading independent beach holiday specialists and use Maxemail to build campaigns and manage their entire email marketing programme. Working with their Maxemail Account Manager, a bespoke programme was implemented to recommend tailored holiday deals to their customers that resulted in us being shortlisted for The Travel Marketing Awards 2017.


On the Beach wanted to provide their existing and potential customers with a more personalised experience by sending a specifically tailored holiday or ‘Recommended Deal’ on email based on their website browsing behaviour and previous bookings. Showing recipients something relevant to their preferences would push bookings and increase sales.

Full control over the design of the Recommended Deal section was required and needed to be integrated into each email built using Maxemail’s email builder.

The new Recommended Deal was to be included alongside a current ‘Saved Deals’ campaign, so recipients would receive an email containing holidays they had previously saved, plus the recommendation. The content of the Recommended Deal included the destination, hotel name, and description, image, flight details, price and URL which would take the recipient straight to the deal on the website.

Holiday deals are subject to change, with pricing and availability updated frequently. This meant the data used had to be up to date and emails needed to be delivered as quickly as possible.

The Recommended Deal section URL also needed to be trackable so campaigns could be measured and reporting statistics could be analysed for future improvements to their response.

Adding personalised recommendations to an email using dynamic content isn’t a new concept. However, being able to include near real-time, trackable, third-party data and manipulate the design of each email easily via our platform interface was an important objective for On the Beach.

The Solution

We devised a solution for Maxemail to request data linked to a particular email address directly from On the Beach.

At the start of the email render process for each recipient, a custom-made plugin sends the email address to On the Beach where the Recommended Deal data is retrieved.

The raw data is then loaded into profile fields in Maxemail and the normal render process continues, allowing the fields to be merged into the email content before sending.

To show the Recommended Deal, the profile fields were merged into a snippet of HTML which On the Beach could edit to alter the design easily in the interface whenever necessary.

Total send time of the campaign was minimised as the plugin only pulls raw data from the third party. With the deal data stored in Maxemail, the URLs for each deal could be tracked via the platform and Google Analytics tracking code could be appended.

Best Use of Direct Marketing (Email) Runner-up

Maxemail is proud to announce that this bespoke project resulted in us being runnert-up for Best Use of Direct Marketing Category with The Travel Marketing Awards 2017!

The Results

To measure the success of including the Recommended Deal, a random selection (60%) of the Saved Deals campaign was assigned a personalised Recommended Deal. To analyse the performance the opens, clicks and conversions were measured using Maxemail’s reporting suite and Google Analytics.

The ROI was measured by comparing the value of the personalised campaign against the non-personalised equivalent.

Personalised emails sent were 44% more valuable to On the Beach than the non-personalised equivalent. Looking at the results of the two versions, there was no doubt that the version containing the personalised, real-time holiday deal improved the response of the Saved Deals campaign.

Having trackable links allowed for the accurate measurement of its success and development for future campaigns.


Open Rate Increase


Conversion Rate Increase


Click Through Rate Increase

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