Turning data into destinations: Expedia and PayPal

Expedia Group™ Media Solutions turn insights into dream vacations, and budget and overall cost play an essential role in the travel shopping journey.

Traditionally, payment methods are surfaced at the end of a traveler’s shopping experience. In June 2021, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions and PayPal saw an opportunity to flip the script by moving payments closer to the start. Positioning PayPal across the shopping experience accomplished more than increasing transactions. It helped customers see PayPal as a trusted travel companion.

This campaign was designed to increase PayPal’s visibility during the shopping journey as well as PayPal transactions. After exceeding all benchmarks, a second phase was created and launched.

Krista Bentley, Strategic Accounts Director for Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, shares the impressive results produced from this two-phased marketing collaboration with PayPal:

  • Over 250k new users transacted with PayPal on the Expedia Group Platform.*
  • Up to a 0.32% overall click-through rate.*
  • 21% total PayPal sales tied to campaign ads on Expedia.com or Hotels.com.*

A better way to pay for travel

The key goal for Media Solutions in these campaigns was to increase the number of transactions with PayPal and to increase the visibility of PayPal during every phase of the travel shopping experience.

To meet the objectives, they designed a multifaceted approach including a custom landing page with incentives and benefits that introduced customers to PayPal at the start of their journey. PayPal also launched a complementary paid media campaign and increased awareness across key social platforms. It drove a click-through rate (CTR) of 0.32. Krista commented on the wow factor, “We were really impressed with the media results of the co-branded social campaign that the PayPal marketing team ran.”

The dynamic data-driven approach proved beyond successful. There was a 73X return on ad spend (ROAS) for bookings made on the Expedia Group Platform with PayPal after viewing or clicking on a campaign ad.

Exceeding benchmarks and surpassing goals

Building on the outstanding success of the first campaign, PayPal and Media Solutions set their sights on a second phase. Using insights from the first phase, the campaign built a three-part strategy: 1) inspiration, 2) planning and 3) booking.

The inspirational strategy included a social media integration that drove users to a campaign landing page. Ad interaction rates were 13% - 38% above benchmark.

The planning stage leveraged native placements to show PayPal up-funnel in the Hotels.com and Expedia hotel results pages. As a result, the CTR grew 3X from 0.08% in phase 1 to 0.24% in phase 2.

The booking stage tapped into data to win. Creative ad imagery displayed popular destinations for PayPal customers on property detail pages. Los Cabos, Mexico, was the top destination booked with PayPal post-view or post-click of a campaign ad.

The campaign’s end-to-end approach was a success for phase 1, and phase 2 performed even better. In phase 2, the return on ad spend was an astonishing 51% higher than Phase 1 at 110X ROAS.

The story behind the data

Media Solutions uncovered insightful takeaways from the campaign. They saw how bookings with PayPal tended to spike toward the end of the week. Knowing this, they employed first-party Media Solutions targeting data and reached more travelers shopping for hotels on Thursdays and Fridays.

That wasn’t the only compelling information they surfaced. For instance, emotion-led creative outperformed rewards-led creative. Email marketing featuring PayPal that used bucket list trip imagery and compelling messaging for people to “turn their travel dreams into a reality” or “see their virtual background in real life” proved highly effective. “These emails inspired nearly 5,000 people to click to learn more about booking with PayPal on Expedia,” Krista called out.

PayPal powers travel

With two successful marketing campaigns completed, both companies were impressed with the results.

As one of the most trusted brands, PayPal’s increased visibility throughout the travel planning journey and Media Solutions’ data-driven insights were the perfect pairing to achieve such outstanding success. This two-phase collaboration was customer-first and demonstrated the power of leveraging data and adapting it into insights.

Download the case study to learn more.

Case Study: Expedia and PayPal (PDF)

Case Study: Expedia and PayPal (PDF)

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