Set up in 1989, Red Letter Days pioneered the concept of giving memorable experiences as gifts. Since then, Red Letter Days has flourished, offering hundreds of experiences from a pampering day at a luxury spa, a champagne hot air balloon ride to once in a lifetime experiences like an exhilarating ride in a Formula One car.


Email is a key part of the online marketing mix at Red Letter Days (RLD). The email channel is mainly used to communicate with existing customers to drive loyalty and engagement. As well as sending out transactional emails (order confirmations, booking confirmations), RLD also uses email to solicit feedback on services and experiences.

Being able to reach its customers’ inboxes is therefore vital in making the programme a success, and helps to increase return visits/purchases to RLD’s web site as well as ensuring its customers receive their vouchers. There was therefore a strong focus on moving their email programmes away from traditional “batch and blast” campaigns to bespoke campaigns based on each customer preferences and behaviour.


Return Path’s world-class Certification programme represented an opportunity for RLD to drive up subscriber engagement by improving its Inbox Placement Rates (IPR), while also locking in the benefits of the email best practices that already formed part of its email strategy. Return Path’s team of email consultants provided in depth knowledge and deep data analytics to demonstrate the impact of Certification on their email programme across a number of key performance indicators.


Return Path’s Inbox Insight subscriber engagement data shows that the first benefit of Certification was a significant improvement in RLD’s IPR. Previously, around 25% of RLD’s email had been delivered, but not to their subscribers’ inboxes. Since Certification, this metric has improved markedly, and IPR is now near to 100%. 

This improvement is reflected in RLD’s own campaign reporting data, where both open and click-through rates have shown a major uplift:

This behaviour is also seen for gross opens (up by nearly a third) and gross clicks (up by nearly half). These repeat interactions provide a strong indicator of subscriber engagement, as RLD’s customers re-visit the offers that they found most interesting. As a result, not only has RLD’s total open and click activity increased since Certification, but it’s click-to-open ratio (probably the strongest single measure of subscriber engagement) has also shown a measurable uplift:

It is possible to see a further benefit in the performance of RLD’s email program against their major competitor’s over the same period. From the following Inbox Insight report, it is clear that RLD’s Certification success has also had a negative impact on its rival’s campaign performance.

Additional Benefits

  • RLD has been able to increase its broadcast activity by 30% since Certification with no increase in negative engagement metrics such as spam complaints.
  • Bounce activity has reduced to a quarter of previous levels as a result of more favourable spam filter treatment, and improved sender reputation.