April 2023 Bonfire Marketer of the Month: HomeToGo’s Samia Abdallah and Shubham Kumar

Emily Calderon By Emily Calderon Apr 26, 2023

It's been a big year for community here at Braze. For starters, a few months back we doubled-down on our focus on the people who use the Braze platform by expanding Braze Bonfire, our digital community created by and for customer engagement professionals. This comprehensive online platform now includes even more resources and features to help members more effectively learn customer engagement tips and tricks, drive stronger marketing results, and forge connections with the rest of the community.

To build on these efforts, we’re pleased to announce a monthly customer spotlight, an extension of our Marketer of the Month program which formally recognizes and celebrates the incredible advocacy and work being done by our Bonfire members. These exceptional individuals have made valuable contributions across multiple areas of customer engagement, provide essential support for their fellow marketers, and work continuously to improve customer engagement outcomes for their companies and customers alike.

This month’s honoree is Samia Abdallah, Senior Marketing at HomeToGo, a vacation rentals platform. Samia also asked that we speak to another member of their team—Shubham Kumar, Senior Marketing Analyst—to get a full picture of the work they do together. Let’s check out what they had to say about their roles, how they approach customer engagement, and how Braze contributes to their marketing program.

How long have you been using Braze (and at how many companies)?

I joined HomeToGo two years ago. And ever since I started working there, the first thing I got onboarded on was Braze.

What’s one campaign or initiative you have worked on in your current role that you’re especially proud of?

Last year, we had a company goal to increase the number of app log-ins. To achieve that goal, I created an in-app message that incentivizes users to sign in with a landing on a page that has discounted offers. The result was great! We saw around 35% engagement and increased the sign-up rate by 6% globally.

What initiative or campaign are you most excited to work on this year?

This year, I have a mission to gather information about the travel preferences of our users in order to send them more personalized push and email—and ultimately help them better find what they are looking for. I plan to use the built-in in-app survey and log their answers in the form of custom attributes and then segment them accordingly.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Data data data! I love doing data analysis of the users’ behavior on the app (with their consent, of course.) I love correlating user behavior with our native app features and travel behavior trends. Braze is an essential part of this job as I can fully run an A/B test and gather insights on users' engagement along the different parts of their journey.

Tell us about a time you used Braze to do something creative.

In the context of post-booking engagement, I wanted to give our users valuable information on their trip. And what is more important than knowing the weather in the location they are traveling to? Hence, I searched in Braze Documentation for some solutions to use, and found out that Braze has a partnership with AccuWeather. The solution was quite simple: Integrate their weather API with Braze. With some custom HTML code, I was able to build my own in-app message where the weather forecast is populated for the users seven days before their check-in date.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you found yourself the job you’re in now.

I graduated with a management degree and worked in marketing before joining HomeToGo in the retention marketing department—that was shortly after they made the decision to switch to Braze in November 2020. I also have experience in data analysis, so gradually I moved towards establishing data infrastructure for CRM, as well as a bit of technical integration and frontend management of Braze campaigns.

What company goals do you focus on first—and how do you prioritize?

As a part of my job, I mainly focus on active users, primarily those who have been active in the last month. We strive to understand these users better so we can generate proper, timely recommendations based on their activity. This helps boost the revenue coming from these users, which eventually drives revenue coming from non-paid channels.

What is one campaign or initiative you have worked on in your current role that you’re most proud of?

We used to lose a lot of reachable users due to how systems were set up and connected with each other. So, back, in 2021, we started a project to establish data points across all systems in order to identify failure points the next day and then address them. It's live now, and we have been identifying and fixing a lot of these pain points as they’re discovered.

What initiative or campaign are you most excited to work on this year?

We are working on a new initiative to identify users that could engage more (and thereby potentially bring in more revenue). We’re taking into account multiple dimensions of their behavioral data, rather than just seeing when they were last active, which is the way we are doing it now. It's quite interesting, with a steep learning curve, and could potentially bring us a good uplift as well!

Interested in collaborating to build the future of customer engagement? Join a collective of experts to forge connections, share ideas, and accelerate your career at

Emily Calderon

Emily Calderon

In her role as a Community and Advocacy Associate, Emily supports community and customer advocacy initiatives at Braze. A recent transplant from Seattle, she spends her time exploring Manhattan on foot, looking for spots that feel like home.

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