The Anatomy of a Shared Content Experience: The HotelTonight and StubHub Partnership

HotelTonight is known for their great deals on quality hotels for last-minute travel, but they’re actually a lot more than that. HotelTonight creates amazing experiences for their customers that go above and beyond simply booking a hotel. They needed to communicate this in their marketing efforts, which is why they chose to leverage partner content.

Partner content makes for a powerful marketing strategy – even more so for email marketers. The perfect partner + relevant content = incredible and on-brand customer experiences.

HotelTonight and StubHub’s partnership is a great example of this. HotelTonight created a campaign that pulled in events from StubHub based on their user’s location, and StubHub pulled HotelTonight’s properties into their event emails.

Here’s what Katie White and Kevin Marioni from HotelTonight had to say about their partnership and the campaigns they created together with StubHub.

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Did you face any major challenges when it was time to set up the campaign?

Katie: Not really. When I was at StubHub meeting with their team, I sat across from their CRM manager. When we both learned that we were both partners with Movable Ink, we knew it would be a seamless integration.

“When we both learned that we were both partners with Movable Ink, we knew it would be a seamless integration.”

Would this content partnership have been possible without Movable Ink?

Katie: Absolutely not. Just given the amount of resources that we have here, it would have been quarters away. We would have had to build a business case, and we would have had to build it into the product backlog. But since both companies partnered with Movable Ink, we were up and running in less than a month.

What are the benefits of partnering with another brand to leverage content?

Katie: By adding StubHub’s live event content to our abandoned flow and day of arrival flow, we are supplementing the HotelTonight value prop with additional event information that will hopefully convert users and have them extend their stay if one of the StubHub events is appealing to them.

How have your cart abandonment campaigns performed in the past?

KATIE: We’ve seen a lift in pulling live inventory into our campaigns – speci cally in the dynamic hotel modules that we’re powering with Movable Ink. This takes our emails to another level.

“We’ve seen a lift in pulling live inventory into our campaigns – specificially in the dynamic hotel modules that we’re powering with Movable Ink.”

Being able to engage folks with the destination they’re going to using StubHub takes our emails to another level. Again, this is powered by Movable Ink.

KEVIN: Everywhere we’ve plugged in our live inventory, we’ve seen positive results. I think the lift we saw was 27% lift in conversions. That in itself is a plus.

Can you tell us about the day of arrival email?

KATIE: We have a concierge service called Pros where a user can interact with a live person to make reservations or be a liaison between the booked and the hotel. Surprisingly to us, that email had a high conversion rate. We dug a little bit into that, and realized that people were looking at that email and extending their stay.

From there, we decided to expand the audience beyond people who qualified for the concierge service to anyone who had a booking and was arriving that day. We’ve been able to grow bookings just by reminding people that there are good rates and there are still opportunities in that city to take advantage of that they should extend their stay.

By integrating StubHub, we’re making those recommendations more timely and relevant. Before we had StubHub integrated, it was a static matrix that the HotelTonight team researched. It isn’t scalable and it’s hard to manage.

By leveraging StubHub, it allows us to rely on the power of the API in their regular inventory as opposed to having to update on a quarterly or monthly basis.

“By leveraging StubHub, it allows us to rely on the power of the API in their regular inventory as opposed to having to update on a quarterly or monthly basis.”

How many people on average extend their stay after receiving one of these emails?

KATIE: We found that the vast majority of users that converted on that email converted 1-2 days after their original booking.

KEVIN: You might be still sitting in a hotel, and that email pushes you to book again. This message keeps folks inspired.