DEG partnered with a national travel-center brand to develop a go-to-market strategy for its new loyalty mobile app.

To grab the attention of drivers of all types, you must get rid of the notion that all drivers are alike. Once you do that, you can better fuel every long and short journey following a pit stop.

The challenge

For more than 60 years, one of the largest travel-center brands has been serving nearly 1.3 million guests per day, providing gasoline, grab-n-go food, and life’s necessities at its locations across the country. After revamping its long-storied loyalty program—which began as a plastic card—with an updated mobile app, the company wanted to grow its loyalty members and nurture its relationships.

The brand partnered with DEG, an Isobar Company to develop a go-to-market strategy for its new loyalty app, including a welcome series educating users on the features and benefits of the new app.

The opportunity

As a nationwide fueling company with a new loyalty app built for better guest experiences, the brand was strongly positioned to attract, engage, and retain customers through personalized messaging.

The insight

Drivers often look for convenient stops that provide customers with everything they need—including fuel, food, and even rest—which means they want to be able to easily locate a store, know what it offers, and cash in on any available perks.

The strategy

To educate drivers about the company’s offerings via its new mobile app, DEG dove into the customer data to identify three major audience segments: professional, RV, and 4-wheel drivers. Looking at the frequency of visits, product mix, progressive profiles, and technical considerations of each segment, the agency found that the buying behavior, expectations, and interests varied greatly.

DEG worked with the brand to build a go-to-market strategy for each driver segment, creating unique messaging and incentives that fit the segment’s interests and needs on the road. The strategy focused on enticing customers to open the new mobile app more frequently and encouraged the use of the new features and adoption of the loyalty program.

Within the first 60 days of the new welcome email series launch, screen views were up by 460 percent, and 65 percent of all entrants into the new app user journey found and saved an offer to be used at a travel center.

The solution

DEG created a welcome email series that kicked off right after a customer registered within the new loyalty mobile app, which is required upon first open. Due to each driver segment’s unique needs and experiences at the company’s travel centers, the agency determined each segment required a personalized email journey and built messaging for three series.

Each responsive email was designed with illustrative content detailing new mobile app features and travel center amenities, such as restaurants and showers. Using GIFs of several in-app experiences allowed DEG to set expectations for subscribers to become familiar with how to use the app before linking them into it.

Finally, to better reach each driver segment in an appropriate timeframe with all this new information, DEG looked at the frequency of guests visiting the travel centers. Deriving insights from customer data, the agency determined both pro and gas drivers would be engaged on a standard schedule of one email every other day, while RV drivers would receive emails with longer waiting periods toward the end of the journey. This way, drivers would receive most or all of the welcome journey before their next visit, but not have such a large gap in engagement to cause app abandonment during that time.

The outcome

Within the first 60 days of the new welcome email series launch, screen views were up by 460 percent, and 65 percent of all entrants into the new app user journey found and saved an offer to be used at a travel center. The brand also saw a 200 percent increase in redeemed offers—with 34 percent of all entrants saving and redeeming offers in the mobile app—and a 30 percent increase in total app users compared to the previous 60-day period.

DEG and the national gas-station brand are continuing to enhance the program to better connect drivers with the fuel they need to continue their journeys down the road.

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