Case Study: Sojourn Bicycling and Active Vacations

The Challenge

Sojourn Bicycling and Vacations is a boutique travel company offering active vacations for travelers with discriminating tastes. A talented team of engaging guides complement the exceptional natural beauty of each destination. The company’s Vermont Tour was rated one of the world’s best bike tours by Frommer’  Their goal was to capture and convert the growth in vacation searches on the Web.

Targeted paid search and optimization work together to generate an increase of 126% in site traffic and 365% in catalog conversions

The Discovery

Direct catalog mailings and the Web were their primary marketing channels. The increasing cost of print mail and list acquisition combined with the surge in Web activity contributed to Sojourn’s desire to shift marketing more to the Web. Having managed their own search engine optimization and online advertising, the growth and complexity of Google’s ranking and advertising system had challenged Sojourn’s ability to keep pace and necessitated management by a knowledgeable professional.

The Actions

A digital media plan was developed with targeted paid search campaigns as the primary online outreach method on both the search and display networks. The design of compelling visuals plus a shift from branded keywords to competitive non-branded words, achieved smart placements. Additionally, behavioral targeting ensured that messages appeared at the right place to capture the right audience. In parallel, deep Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was conducted on the entire site and new landing pages were added to achieve organic ranking. Multi-touch advertising campaigns were run on Social Media. Custom tabs on Facebook were used to segment audiences and target ads.

The Results

The goal was to capture more Web traffic and convert it into sales. Within the first twelve months of launching the paid search campaigns, Sojourn increased their website visits by 126% and increased Catalog conversions by 365%. Within the first five months of using Facebook custom tabs and targeted ads, Facebook “likes” increased by 133%.

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