December 8th, 2015
Branch partner app HotelTonight has always been a tastemaker in mobile growth strategies as they’ve become a major name in the hotel-bookings space. In regards to their innovations in mobile marketing, we’ve tracked their successes closely, especially as they relate to their use of Branch technology in novel ways.
Today, we’re happy to report that their innovative use of Branch links in marketing campaigns has secured HotelTonight two big wins: one for Best Mobile Campaign at the 2015 US Search Awards, and one for Best Mobile Search Marketing Initiative at the Search Engine Land Awards. The big wins come alongside one additional finalist recognition at the MMA Global Smarties Award in the Mobile Search category.
HotelTonight’s entry centered on how their campaign, launched in spring 2015, overcomes the challenges facing mobile-only companies utilizing search campaigns in the highly competitive hospitality vertical. Google’s app install ad format makes for a limited and unspecialized user onboarding experience, so HotelTonight found a different way to go about customizing their SEM campaigns. Using Branch Metrics deep linking technology, HotelTonight was able to customize the user experience based on whether or not they had previously installed the HotelTonight app, sending users either directly into the app or to the App Store if needed. In either case, partnering with Branch meant they could take users directly to the content within the app that was originally advertised to them, leading to higher rates of conversion.
The market-specific campaigns meant that a user searching for “Hotels in Las Vegas” would download the HotelTonight app and then be taken directly to the Las Vegas hotels that were relevant to their original Google search, instead of having to start their search over once within the app. By removing several steps from the purchase funnel, these personalized onboarding experiences led to an impressive 18% increase in install-to-booking conversion rate. The success of Hotel Tonight’s first 50 pilot markets led them to expand the initiative to all search campaigns for their top 200 markets. This contributed to a 94% increase in total bookings, 80% increase in number of installs, and 99% increase in total revenue month over month.
Hotel Tonight continues to demonstrate how mobile apps gain a substantial competitive advantage by utilizing contextual deep links in their user acquisition initiatives. Hotel Tonight has been the bellwether for fearless, innovative partners who demonstrate how Branch is changing what’s possible in mobile. Chris Creel and his team came to us with the idea for deep link search ads, and then created campaigns which we have since documented and point to as one of the most effective use cases for Branch’s links. We’re very proud of what Hotel Tonight has built using Branch, as well as to be associated with a company of its caliber. Personally, I can’t wait to see where they run with our technology moving forward.
– John Joe Smith, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Branch
From the moment I heard about Branch’s solution for deferred deep linking, I knew that it would be a great fit for helping us improve conversion rate on our App Install Search campaigns. However, the immediate impact it had on our results was well beyond what I anticipated. Branch deep linking drove huge growth in efficiencies that helped us not only contend, but thrive against the competitors this space.
– Chris Creel, Head of Search / Growth Marketing at HotelTonight