Drive online sales of Christmas Gift Voucher.


£200,000+  gift voucher sales
£8,000 ad-budget

£7,200 gift voucher sales
£135 ad-spend
1 day



Hotel Connexions
Little Ape Case Study


Hotel Connexions (HCX) — the online travel agency — wanted to make sure Santa’s sack was full of their gift vouchers in time for Christmas, and that led them to Little Ape. We were keen to prove that apes work harder than elves, so we set in motion a marketing campaign that would ensure HXC’s Christmas came early.

We focused on Facebook & Instagram adverts, given we were casting the net far and wide to seek out HCX’s highest converting online audience. However, casting the net was not enough, and we had to identify the blue ocean with the healthiest supply of quality fish. Still with us? Let’s leave the metaphors to one side and dive a little deeper (sorry, that was the last one)…


We’ve found creating audiences based on their Likes & Behaviours on Facebook rarely to be fruitful, and that the golden eggs lay in custom audiences. So we created custom audiences based on: web pages they may have visited; how they had interacted with the HCX website; and email addresses inputted from HCX’s vast database of subscribers. This allowed us to create highly targeted audiences that we knew would have an interest in what we were selling; they had either bought packages from HCX already, had perused the HCX website and done a little window shopping, or had visited websites selling similar products.

We quickly deduced HCX website visitors and previous customers were our winners, and so we took these audiences and multiplied them tenfold by creating Lookalike audiences (we settled on a Lookalike of 8%, which gave us a big enough audience pool while ensuring our cost-per-conversion stayed favourable). We now had a massive pool of potential customers with a high purchase intent.

Next we had to identify the highest value profile within these target audiences. We tested a host of ads individually created to fit specific customer profiles, like the ones displayed below:

Drum roll please… we had a clear winner:

And there is it, our most valuable customer profile. Now we knew who our target was — and how to target them — it was time to decipher what makes them click (literally) when it comes to advertisements. This is when we refined all the influential advertising elements, based on how our target had been interacting with them. Influential advertising elements? Well that’s these things:

The Sales Funnel

A key reason for gathering all this data was using it to our advantage during the online sales process. It can be difficult to entice customers into committing to a sale straight away, thus we knew it would be vital to create an influential sales funnel. Retargeting is an incredibly valuable method of pushing through sales, and we could identify what stage the potential customer had reached in their online journey (whether they had only viewed the voucher webpage, or added it to their online basket). Using this information we could begin to entice this audience with further reasons to purchase, utilising retargeting ads to do this. We established blog posts as the most effective way to turn potential customers into purchasers, with some of these being “Goodwill” campaigns, and others more direct sales:

Generally you’ll find that customers will interact with retargeting ads differently — you tend to see a much greater conversion rate — so the value in creating these adverts cannot be underestimated. You will also notice purchasing behaviours change when there is greater intent, which always come to light during the retargeting phase. We discovered that initial adverts were working well across primarily mobile devices, driving traffic to the website and leading the conversion tables. But for retargeting, desktop adverts were king. Why you ask? Our assumption was our profile of target audience preferred to finalise purchases on their desktop, maybe for security, maybe for ease, we couldn’t be sure. What we could be sure was, focusing our retargeting adverts on desktop lead to an enviable return on ad budget investment. 


And in the habit of being as resourceful as possible we continuously reviewed the data we were receiving from the adverts, which enabled us to determine the optimum days and times to show the ads. This allowed us to schedule our ad spend for these “sweet spots” — where we saw the highest rate of return — meaning our spend would go further in getting us more conversions during these golden periods.


Monday – Friday




And there we have it, a pretty thorough breakdown of how we made HCX’s gift voucher hit Christmas number 1. Egg nog anyone?

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