Virgin Holidays is bigging up the results of its switch to AI-generated email subject lines, with the move triggering a significant uplift in open rates and bringing in several million pounds in extra revenue for the holiday giant.
The company first embraced AI three years ago through Phrasee, a London-based AI technology company specialising in language for marketing, as part of plans to build digital sales to 50% of revenue by 2020.
Phrasee’s use of Natural Language Generation is claimed to enable it to write language that is indistinguishable from that of humans, while maintaining brand voice.
It combines this with “deep learning” to predict and optimise the performance of subject lines, and deliver ongoing optimisation of email subject lines based on previous engagement results.
The Virgin Holidays revenue boost has been put down to the early adoption of the technology.
Virgin Holidays customer lifecycle lead Saul Lopes said: “The results have been very, very good. Virgin Holidays email open rates have increased by 2% points, and that 2% of incremental opens translates to multi-million pounds in revenue.”
He added: “There are a number of services out there that claim to be AI, when in fact the use of AI is limited to a very small area of the service delivery.
“There are those too that rely only on a generic database of global words and phrases to produce marketing language. Maintaining the unique Virgin Holidays brand voice is a key aspect of its marketing strategy, and anything less than a 100% client-focused approach to producing marketing language would have resulted in a very different outcome.”
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