How a Small Internet Publisher Doubled Its Email Database and Reduced Marketing Spend with Cost -per-lead New York-based Tripmela, Inc., an online travel publisher, has found its niche in Indiaâ€”where the Internet population has grown from 4.9 million in 2000 to 46 million in 2007 (source: Internet & Mobile Association of India), the online travel industry was named the country’s leading and fastest-growing e-commerce category, and the Official Airline Guide (OAG) reported a 62% increase in the domestic low-cost travel sector between 2006 and 2007. Tripmela aggregates the top travel bargains available to the Indian market on its site and sends out a weekly “10 Best Deals” newsletter to its subscriber base, offering a single, user-friendly portal comparable to TravelZoo in the United States. Like much of the Indian Internet industry, however, Tripmela was still in its infancy when 2008 rolled around. Although its Web site had been launched, advertiser partnerships established, and funding secured, the task of generating a steady stream of Web traffic remained a serious challenge. The company attempted cost-per-click (CPC) and other paid-search campaigns to grow its email newsletter list (its greatest revenue driver), but those efforts turned out to be inefficient and ultimately too expensive. “CPC gave a false sense of controlâ€”a control of costâ€”but what we really cared about was the cost to acquire a subscriber,” said Jared Blank, CEO at Tripmela. “To get a good cost-per-acquisition metric, we had to have two things in place: (a) a strong cost per lead, and (b) a high quality of leads that would drive higher conversion rates.” Blank found that both attributes were possible with cost-per-lead (CPL) campaigns initiated through Pontiflex’s GENList lead-generation directory, which enabled the company to both best its $1.50-per-acquisition target and achieve a solid measure of predictability in its marketing results, the latter of which improved budgeting accuracy and allowed the company to more effectively market itself to advertisers. Challenge: Online travel publisher Tripmela’s revenue is derived primarily through commissions on travel deals published in its weekly newsletter, and so its marketing revolves around building its email database and is rigorously tied to ROI metrics.In early 2008, with the company still in startup mode, CEO Jared Blank determined that he needed to achieve a $1.50 cost per acquisition if he was going to lead this fledgling to profitability.
Critically analyse the marketing research process of Tripmela Incorporated