Case Study

How OpenTable Reduced Campaign Production Time by 80% with MessageGears

For a digital-first hospitality brand that seats more than 1.5 billion diners per year, reaching customers with data-driven, tailored, relevant messaging across mobile and desktop is essential for OpenTable, as they maintain their status as an industry leader.

And while they were successful in sending automated personalized messages across email and push, the team knew they could be even more data-driven, personalized, and time efficient. However, like many brands, OpenTable faced several challenges.

The team was sending hundreds of millions of emails and push notifications monthly, but only 10 percent of those were automated. Large datasets led to long, daily data latency and heavy production costs.

That’s when OpenTable turned to MessageGears to help reduce costs and scale its engagement marketing efforts, and saw tremendous results:

Key Outcomes

50% reduction in MarTech spend

Thanks to a more streamlined tech stack

70% higher conversion rate

With targeted campaigns layered with customizable metadata

80% reduction in campaign production time

Because of better segmentation, templates, and QA processes

0% dependency on daily data syncs

The marketing team gained a lot of autonomy with far less reliance on the tech team

The Challenge

  • Four to six hours were spent waiting for data refreshes
  • Complicated MarTech required frequent vendor intervention which created inefficiencies and slowed down our email process
  • A small team with big goals

The Solution

  • Replaced OpenTable’s legacy cloud-based ESP with MessageGears’ hybrid solution
  • Installed MessageGears with a direct connection to OpenTable’s Snowflake data warehouse
  • Quickly and easily migrated legacy campaigns to MessageGears and launched on the new platform

The Outcome

  • With data stored in Snowflake, the OpenTable engagement marketing team builds campaigns and audience segmentation within the MessageGears environment, launching on their own timeline.
  • The marketing team can do more on their own, with less dependence on OpenTable’s tech team.
  • Clearly defined roles have created better ownership and improved team morale.
  • Improved processes helped free up time and resources that were used to put valuable new automations in place.
“We’re able to create more targeted campaigns layered with customizable metadata, much faster, and we’re also able to run comprehensive reports which allows us to segment better. In one of our tests, we were able to increase our conversion rates by 70%, which is huge. And my favorite is our zero dependency on daily data syncs across two platforms.”

~ John Tsou, OpenTable’s VP of Marketing

Faster Campaigns

  • OpenTable has seen an 80% reduction in production time
  • Using new content modules, the team can take OpenTable’s approved design and copy and paste blocks of whatever components they want. There’s no more going back through approvals. When a campaign is redesigned, updated modules roll out anywhere that module touches a template.
  • Simplified QA saves valuable time and reduces errors.

Streamlined Tech Stack

  • OpenTable reduced MarTech spend by 50%
  • Each year during Restaurant Week, OpenTable supports multiple global events featuring communications with dynamic content, different dates, and different price points. Previously, some communications were automated but now, with MessageGears, they’re able to create one dynamic template that runs daily without any team intervention.
  • MessageGears provides OpenTable with better metadata in the event export that comes back into Snowflake, enhancing analytic capabilities.

Easier to Communicate Value

  • Better access to data insights helped the engagement marketing team identify opportunities.
  • The cost savings allowed OpenTable to bring on two new team members to help focus in the areas that their improved data helped identify for improvement.
  • With a new team structure, OpenTable is able to better communicate across global teams, helping plan in advance for upcoming campaigns and any extra resources they may need.
“There’s always going to be more we want to do, but these changes have enabled us to elevate everything we’re doing and maximize the team’s time to do a lot more.”

~ John Tsou, OpenTable’s VP of Marketing

Making the Most of Small Teams

Learn even more about how OpenTable was able to do more with less using MessageGears. Check out OpenTable’s full presentation at the Email Insider Summit.