The Best Update Ever from Hitlist (#19)

Greetings, beautiful people.

Last week I learned that a major hotel chain* uses Hitlist for some of its corporate travel. They send people to all their properties periodically and instead of just booking whenever, they now tend to book when they get Hitlist alerts.

I’ve always argued that a significant portion of travel is flexible on date and/or destination, and that we serve that use case best. I’m still figuring out how big ‘significant portion’ is, but this is validation that it’s larger than many thought. It’s particularly exciting that it applies even in a corporate setting as using Hitlist alerts to plan travel could save corporations $$$$ annually.

Last month’s focus was partnerships. We’ll have AirBnb (via Button) and Booking.com live in the app this month. We have a few other exciting partnerships in the works as well but I need to save some thunder forPhoCusWright. So stay tuned for some major announcements there!

This month’s focus: strategy. Request for assistance (RFAs):

  • Feedback: I’d REALLY like to hear what you have to say about the product, the team, whatever. Please copy and paste this link into your browser to fill out a short survey, anonymously if you like. http://goo.gl/forms/ulkPbWtY5p

  • Email: We’ve got >300k subscribers and I’d like to develop an email campaign strategy that provides value to our users and helps us grow. What are the best email campaigns you’ve seen? Do you have a recommendation for a consultant/mentor who can help us develop our strategy?

UPDATES

  • Les Ottolenghi, former CIO/CTO of Carson Wagonlit and most recently CIO of Las Vegas Sands has joined us as an investor and advisor. A short list of his achievements in the industry include building and launching the first online hotel booking system and developing the search engine that powered the first version of Kayak. We’re pleased to be working with a pioneer in the industry to build the next big evolution of online travel booking.

  • We’ve retooled the onboarding flow for v3.2. Most importantly, you no longer have to log in to set up alerts.

  • We pushed a new version of Wandertab and my father texted me at 11:46pm on a Saturday night to tell me it is ‘such a joy’. #winning

  • Sasha Hoffman of Fuzzy Compass and I gave a talk about ‘The Growth Hacks that turned Startups into Giants’ at the Skift Global Forum. Thanks to Skift for the opportunity and for putting on such a great event.

  • We released a fun infographic about where the Republican Candidates have traveled, and Fortune picked it up.

  • Thanks to Dan Fennessy of Party With a Local and Tim Loonen ofTripbod for helping me throw a happy hour for travel startup people in Amsterdam – lots of exciting things afoot over there.

UPCOMING

  • Tnooz THack November 13-15th in NYC – come hack with (or against!) Hitlist!

  • November 16th I’ll be pitching in the Battleground at PhoCusWright, the premier travel industry conference. Please send good vibes and/or tweet at the judges (list) to lobby for Hitlist.

WHY WE’RE DOING THIS:

Too few vacations get taken, despite heaps of evidence that they in fact improve productivity rather than hamper it. Many people have the time and money to travel, but don’t because existing search engines are only optimal if you know where and when you’re going. If you have any flexibility you’re probably going to get frustrated searching through your options and give up… unless you know about Hitlist.

GIF OF THE MONTH

We get a hurricane cat GIF in celebration of the fact that Edward Snowden called my old cat ‘adorable’ on Twitter.

As always: thank you for being here. May your autumn be colorful and spicy.

– Gillian

* I’m checking with the CEO to make sure it’s ok to say which hotel chain

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