TUI Increases In-App Bookings and Purchases With Better Customer Journeys
118% Increase in customers booking a holiday with the app


Heading into the holiday season, TUI was looking to evolve their messaging strategy in order to keep customers engaged throughout every step of their journey


They transformed their in-the-moment communication by designing new cross-channel journeys that leverage real-time personalization, artificial intelligence (AI), and geolocation for maximum impact.


The new cross-channel strategy helped drive 118% growth in customers using the app to book a vacation, a 205% increase in ancillary purchases (like airport parking), and a 78% increase in the proportion of holiday sales driven by the app.

As a global leader in travel and leisure, TUI is dedicated to helping customers bring their travel dreams to life all year long—but especially during the holiday season. Whether that’s a flight to see the Northern lights of Lapland, a Caribbean cruise, or a hotel that drops skiers at the foot of their favorite slopes, the company serves as a one-stop-destination for anyone looking to satisfy their wanderlust.

Channels Utilized

With an ever-expanding customer base, their customer engagement strategy continues to evolve across channels and territories. Facing rising costs per acquisition and the loss of third-party cookies to help improve targeting, it was clear to the team that growing app engagement and boosting operational efficiency was imperative to making the season a success. As they geared up for the busy holiday travel season, TUI set out to create an even stickier in-app experience that could support their customers throughout every lifecycle stage.

Swiftly Building Personalized Journeys at Scale

The holidays are a watershed moment for every travel and leisure company, and TUI wisely chose to strategize ahead of time to ensure they could create effective experiences that resonated with their customers. A central piece of their strategy was meeting customers where they are—and while email accounted for 95% of TUI’s CRM volume, they identified a clear and present need for cross-channel messaging. Whether that’s sending a push notification relevant to a customer’s current location or a nudge that delivers on their in-the-moment needs, the team at TUI knew they had an opportunity to better connect with their audience.

Another important consideration? Ensuring that they had the ability to scale their new engagement strategy across nine key markets, all in a continued effort to drive growth. With that in mind, they got to work.

How TUI Leverages Cross-Channel Lifecycle Messaging

Once a prospective TUI customer makes a booking, the app transforms into their personal travel companion for the duration of their trip. For this experience to remain consistent and relevant from travel planning to trip’s end, TUI took a cross-channel approach to engage customers across email, in-app messages, mobile push, SMS, and more. The app is designed to help guide holiday activity, select add-ons like meal upgrades, and facilitate customer service.

TUI started off by mapping their customer journey among key stakeholders, and defined where mobile could enrich the experience overall, from onboarding to booking, during a trip, and finally when a customer returns home. They charted these five key lifecycle stages as follows:

  • Onboarding: Using a combination of web push, email, and SMS to activate users, TUI’s new welcome pages emphasize the app’s easy-to-use features and benefits in order to encourage app downloads.

  • Inspire & Book: When customers search holiday inventory, they receive targeted messages based on their behavior, and get timely nudges to continue if they stop engaging.

  • Pre-Departure: Using event triggers, TUI sends customers recommendations and countdown messages in order to get them excited about their holiday. Messages are also triggered via geofences, supporting timely messaging like in-flight meal prompts.

  • Travel & Trip: This location-based content helps support customers while on holiday, and includes real-time features like “Track Your Bus,” as well as tailored push notifications that recommend relevant excursions.

  • Relive & Retain: After returning home, customers are re-engaged with recommendations for future holidays and experiences closer to home.

TUI leveraged both app feedback and analysis of behavioral and historical data, then used these insights as they worked with stakeholders to map each customer journey. Their aim was to elevate the customer experience and increase app sales with an “always on” strategy that felt human. To do so, the team created 15 new, cutting-edge app features that integrated with 40 always-on messages and replaced one-off messages. They identified gaps where they weren’t connecting effectively with their audience and filled them with real-time, personalized mobile messaging that better resonated with customers at each holiday phase.

By leveraging real-time personalization, AI, and geolocation across multiple mobile channels, TUI was able to ensure messages were relevant to customers’ indicated or predicted needs at each phase, allowing them to effectively maximize impact.

“Braze has super-powered our CRM capabilities and we’ve reaped the benefits of better customer engagement and conversions across the board.”

Michael Bate
Senior Digital Product Manager at TUI

TUI Results: Driving Down CPA While Increasing Engagement

By engaging customers on the channels that mattered to them most (and at the times most relevant to them), TUI saw an 118% increase in customers using the app to book a vacation. They were also able to drive a 78% increase in the proportion of all holidays booked on the app as well as a 205% increase in product ancillary purchases like airport parking and insurance. Additionally, 23% of TUI’s CRM program volume is now mobile, as opposed to 0% before.

118% Increase in customers booking a holiday with the app
205% Increase in ancillary purchases (e.g. airport parking, insurance, etc.)
78% Increase in the proportion of holiday sales driven by the app

Key Takeaways

  1. Email is an important lever for engaging with customers, but becomes even more powerful when used in concert with channels like web push, push notifications, and SMS.

  2. Be lifecycle-first in your approach, as opposed to channel-first. Before you craft your messaging strategy, iron out your lifecycle stages amongst key stakeholders.

  3. Onboarding and activation is everything. If a customer’s engaging with your CRM activity, you may not need to use expensive paid channels to bring them back to your sales channels. As many brands look for ways to be more efficient, developing more personalized customer journeys is a great way to drive down CPA.