P&O Cruises: The Welcome Journey that Listens

What was the brief?

P&O Cruises has a mission to get Britain’s holiday market cruising – introducing more choices to a wider profile of guests. Our challenge was to support guests through the unique nature of booking a cruise, ease guests into the brand, and guide them towards their perfect holiday.

What was the strategy?

A significant number of bookings come via travel agents or the call centre – meaning many guests rely on real-life experts to find their perfect cruise. Our strategy was to replicate that experience, assuming the role of travel advisor to deliver tailored content – and overcome the unique complexity of cruise bookings.

What was the campaign solution?

We crafted highly-personalised, interactive emails that listen to our customers throughout the journey, using dynamic content and imagery that appears based on what guests interacted with – underpinned by supporting information depending on past experience. Plus, customer interaction not only informed this campaign, but also acquired data to shape future campaigns.

What were the results?

Average Net Revenue (average booking value per guest) increased by 4%. Average lead time (days between booking and cruise departure date) increased by 10%. The journey delivered a 66% increase in Total Net Revenue – which equates to an ROI of 16:1. And conversion to booking increased by 86%.

Explore a live example below


Campaign in Detail


P&O Cruises delights guests in the world of cruising. But, with a vast website packed full of information, new guests found it hard to find the right information. In a post-pandemic world, with more people booking online than ever, this overwhelming digital experience created a fantastic opportunity to grow conversions.

It’s hard to overstate just how overwhelming cruising can be for newcomers. Not only are there countless options for destinations, and unlimited opportunities for on-board and off-shore experiences, but you’ve also got to find the right ship for you, the right cabin for you, and the right itinerary for you.

We needed a way of translating that huge expanse of information into something digestible and relevant, helping new enquirers break through the barrier, get excited, and then book their dream holiday.

For many, travel agents are the first port of call for people interested in cruising. They discuss what kind of things they’d like, what their hobbies are, and give a general indication of where they’d like to go.

We decided to replicate that experience online, providing our potential guests with a personalised, engaging email journey that does far more than just display information – our interactive pixels (IP) listen to their interests and tailors future content and recommendations to them, while also capturing data to enable P&O Cruises to further personalise campaigns later down the line.


Becoming a trusted travel adviser meant crafting a two-way experience – one that listens to each customer and feeds back relevant information.

We created a welcome journey, using digital innovation to deliver a tailored experience for every new enquirer – one that is automated, smart, triggered and always on.

The journey consists of five emails, each taking our guest further towards their perfect holiday. It offers clarity through relevance, builds excitement through inspiration, and homes in on a cruise we know they’ll love by responding to their engagement.

We achieved clarity by translating the vast information available on the brand website into something more digestible.

We ramped up excitement by having emails that evolve as guests interact. Early on, we discuss the themes of holiday they might enjoy. Later, those conversations focus on places or activities – framed differently depending on their journey so far!

Did they feel inspired by the idea of a relaxing beach holiday? Then that’s what they’ll see – as future imagery, copy and recommendations all adapt in response.

Word clouds, tailored to what guests have told us so far, provide a simple way for them to explore the elements of cruising that appeal most.

Our fourth email offers a fresh start for our prospective guests, not requiring any previous interaction within the journey. Here, we use interactivity and evocative imagery to really place them on board, asking them what they’d choose to do at different points during their holiday. We then serve those choices back to them with real experiences that they can look forward to if they sail away with P&O Cruises.

And of course, we collect that zero-party data to inform our final email. Here, we ask prospective guests to make that adventure a reality, tailoring the design they see to match their chosen story and drive that same inspiration.

And for the small proportion of our customers who can’t receive interactive emails, this entire experience is replicated on a landing page.

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