Success case VVV Texel

A personalised offer for every island visitor


Texel is a popular holiday destination for young and old. Every year, more than one million visitors from the Netherlands and abroad visit the largest Wadden island in the Netherlands for a day out, a weekend away or a long holiday. The increasing popularity is largely due to VVV Texel. This organisation has been committed to good information provision and the promotion of activities and accommodations on the island for more than a century. And since the deployment of Spotler Activate, VVV Texel is even better able to put the Wadden Island on the international tourist map.

About VVV Texel

VVV Texel was founded in 1898 and is still the place where travellers can go for information about their destination. This used to take the form of brochures and a visit to the local tourist office, but in recent decades this has logically largely shifted to online. VVV Texel’s trilingual website is an important hub in the web of the online marketing strategy. Because in addition to information about the island, you can also buy tickets for activities and book accommodations directly.

A suitable offer for every visitor

When selling an experience rather than a tangible product, it is challenging to predict the preferences of different target audiences and tailor marketing efforts accordingly. Julien Staartjes, Marketing Manager at FilmHallen, experienced this challenge firsthand. “Filmgoers are not easily categorised,” says Julien. “Someone who watches an American action film on Saturday night might watch a feel-good animated film with their nephew on Wednesday afternoon. Our challenge was to approach our visitors more relevantly with recommendations that resonate with them and keep them coming back.”

Julien and his team sought a tool that could assist them with this, and they quickly turned to Spotler Activate.

From manual emails to automated personalisation

A few years before VVV Texel knocked on Spotler Activate’s door, Peter Nederstigt (E-commerce Manager VVV Texel) started an email experiment to increase the retention rate among holidaymakers. “I followed up people who had booked a holiday through us by email a few months after their visit to the island,” says Peter. “I soon noticed that this worked very well, but also that it was much too labour-intensive in this way.” When you consider that about 22,000 people book a holiday through the Texel Tourist Information website every year, intensive is an understatement. Peter looked for a solution to automate it and soon found Spotler Activate.

“I thought: if I can automate the follow-up of people by email, we can really make an impact. Before I knew it, I was sitting at the table with Spotler Activate and we were making a plan to make it happen.”
– Peter Nederstigt, E-commerce Manager Texel Tourist Office

A challenging use case

Peter: “In our first conversation, I presented this challenge to Spotler Activate. Everyone immediately became enthusiastic, because they had never done this before. They built a use case and a link to connect our booking system Travelbase and Spotler’s email platform Mail+ to Spotler’s CDP Activate. That was quite complex, because we communicate in three languages. When all the data entered the CDP properly and the foundations were in place, we were free to go.”

Data driven email flows

The follow-up journey, which Peter had already started before the collaboration, could finally be automated with Spotler Activate. Instead of manually calculating the correct dispatch time, this was now left to the CDP. Peter: “Each customer automatically ends up in this flow after a booking. Does the person not book again within 10 months? Then a mail is automatically triggered with a reminder of the holiday and of course the option to book again immediately. As a result, the holiday feeling is starting to itch for many people again.”

In addition to the follow-up journey, the mail channel was expanded with smart, automated mail flows. Think of a classic cart abandonment campaign with viewed accommodations or campsites, special offers for specific target groups, news about the island and win-back emails. Peter: “We have now developed dozens of different mails that, thanks to Spotler Activate, end up in the right inbox at the right time. With this we have significantly increased the opening and conversion ratios.”

“More than 75% of the newsletters that VVV Texel sends are based on unique profile characteristics of the recipient. That leads to high opening ratios and excellent conversion rates.”
– Joyce Daalder, Online Marketer Texel Tourist Office

VVV Texel is a unique DMO (Destination Marketing Organisation). In addition to promoting the island, VVV Texel also takes care of accommodation bookings and the online sale of tickets for entrepreneurs who organise an activity. This varies from a museum visit to a cruise, workshops and sporting outings. Spotler Activate and Spotler Mail+ play an important role in personalised customer acquisition for tickets and accommodations. Together with Spotler SendPro (software that takes care of sending the transactional mails), they are indispensable parts of VVV Texel’s marketing ecosystem.

From online to offline visits

Another way Spotler VVV Texel helps to attract more people to the island is by monitoring the website visitors who watch the webcam images. Peter: “You can watch several places on the island live via the website. These include the beach, the seals at Ecomare and the lambs on the sheep farm.” Not only very nice, but also very valuable. Peter continues: “These webcams generate a quarter of the total annual website visit, which amounts to over 2 million unique visits per year. Previously, we couldn’t do anything with that, while these people are interested in Texel. Thanks to Spotler Activate, we now actively request email addresses on the webcam pages and we can follow up these people by email with relevant content.”

“With Spotler Activate, it is very easy to build target groups based on customer data and communicate one-on-one with fans and customers.”
– Anne-Marie Kortenhoeven-Boon, Database Marketer & Travelbase specialist VVV Texel

The results

When we ask Peter about the results, he answers enthusiastically. “From the start of the collaboration, the results showed exactly what I was hoping for. And the fact that I can now easily do on a large scale what I was doing manually all along makes it even more fun.”

Thanks to Spotler Activate, VVV Texel has expanded its database with many new and relevant first party data. This data is used in the various customer journeys and across multiple channels. Peter: “I continue to be amazed every day about the synergy. For example, if we want to launch an advertising campaign with a last minute promotion, we simply build a journey in Spotler Activate. The CDP then ensures that the promotion is shown among the right target groups and in the right marketing channels. We can determine ourselves how often we want someone to see an expression. The fact that you are also at the helm makes it a wonderful product.”

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