FlySafair (pronounced: “fly-saff-air”) is a low-cost carrier that flies domestically in South Africa. They began operations in October 2014 and now have more than 900 employees, 14 aircraft and +/- 300,000 passengers flying with them every month!
The airline was launched to make a difference in the South African market, one that was ripe for opportunity. The goal was to create an airline that would open the skies to many people who had never flown before thanks to their great fares, while at the same time providing unparalleled customer service.
Their mission was simple: unite people with who and what they love by providing a low-fare, hassle-free, and on-time travel experience.
We have been making noise in the airline industry with our award winning on-time performance and five star quality service. In 2017 we became the official domestic carrier for the The Springboks and SA Rugby. In April 2018, we were named Best Airline in Africa and Indian Ocean in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards. We also walked away with the Best Economy Class award in the same region.
Sunisha tells us that the awards they've received are a true reflection of how their passengers feel about the airline. The success of the company's marketing awareness growth can be attributed to their online communication channels, TV adverts, and most notably, their large sales that they've run over the last four years.
Since 2015, FlySafair has run an annual sale where they offer a certain amount of deeply discounted tickets on selected domestic flights, utilizing a waiting room concept. In 2015 the sale was dubbed the R1 Sale. In 2016, 2017, and 2018 it was the R2, R3, and R4 sale. Being new to the airline industry and not knowing what to expect, FlySafair was not prepared for the massive amount of traffic that crashed their website during their first sale in 2015. This is when the waiting room idea was born, in order to preserve the integrity of the website against heavy traffic demand during future sales.
In fact, the annual sale has become so popular that it trends across all social channels on the day. Some fans even went as far as to share how prepared they were for the annual sale.
Those hanging on in the hope of scoring some of the 6000 remaining R4 @FlySafair tickets online may now get why compulsive gamblers invest in adult nappies.— Wendy Knowler (@wendyknowler) May 17, 2018
The names R1, R2, R3, and R4 are the ticket prices during the sale. In South Africa, the currency is the Rand, which uses the ZAR currency code (much like the US dollar currency code is USD).
2015 Sale: A R1 ticket is worth ZAR1 (equal to $0.07, or €0.06). 30,000 one-way ZAR1 tickets sold.
2016 Sale: A R2 ticket is worth ZAR2, (equal to $0.14, or €0.12). 15,000 one-way ZAR2 tickets sold.
2017 Sale: A R3 ticket is worth ZAR3, (equal to $0.22, or €0.19). 15,000 one-way ZAR3 tickets sold.
2018 Sale: A R4 ticket is worth ZAR4, (equal to $0.29, or €0.25). 30,000 one-way ZAR4 tickets sold.
Having implemented the waiting room for the first time in 2016 (for our R2 sale) to limit the amount of users that were let on the website at one time, customers were put into a ‘digital queue’. Once they reached the front of the queue, they were allowed access on to the website. In 2017 for our R3 sale, we evolved this concept by getting rid of the digital queue and implementing a system that randomly selected a group of people, based on unique browser sessions, to access the website every 5 minutes.
This decision was a win from a technical perspective and with little to no website or server issues, we sold 15,000 ZAR3 tickets within 4 hours. We used this process again for our R4 sale in 2018 - this time doubling the amount of tickets available for purchase - and ended the sale after 2.5 hours with just over 30,000 confirmed ZAR4 tickets sold.
In 2016 during the R2 sale, and in 2018 during the R4 sale, FlySafair utilized ViralSweep to run a sweepstakes giving away free flights for an entire year. FlySafair took advantage of all of the traffic that would be hitting their waiting room during the sale by including a link to the sweepstakes on the waiting room landing page. The link opened a new tab for users and took them to the sweepstakes entry form.
After filling out the entry form and entering the sweepstakes, entrants were offered additional entries for performing actions, like referring their friends via email, visiting the FlySafair website, sharing on Twitter and Facebook, or watching a TV ad. These additional entries gave each entrant a better chance of winning the sweepstakes when the competition concluded and the random draw was done.
As a low-cost carrier in a fiercely competitive industry, growing our social community is an important goal and ViralSweep’s platform is tailored directly towards helping us achieve that goal.
The referral and social sharing element is strong and helps us build a community of like-minded people who respond to our communication and in return, helps us improve our marketing and customer service. Having had a positive experience on the day of our R2 sale in 2016 we knew it would be ideal to utilize it again for our R4 sale in 2018.
In order to promote their annual sale as well as the sweepstakes, FlySafair implemented many different marketing tactics before the launch of the campaign. For starters, they used dedicated launch emails to their entire marketing database, and entry banners at the bottom of all of their regular marketing emails. In addition, they posted on Facebook and Twitter multiple times, added banners on their website linking to the sweepstakes, and implemented paid Google display and search ads, as well as Facebook ads.
While the marketing of these campaigns is substantial, the most important piece to a successful campaign is offering an attractive prize that anyone would want to win. FlySafair was giving away free flights for an entire year, which meant one person would receive a gift card that would allow them to fly 365 days of the year for free to any FlySafair destination in South Africa.
FlySafair put together a series of emails in order to promote both their sale and the sweepstakes. Below we have included their email sequence for the sweepstakes, which includes a launch email, an email thanking people for entering, a referral email someone would receive when they were referred to the sweepstakes, and a reminder email that the campaign was ending soon.
The first email in the FlySafair sweepstakes email sequence.
After people entered they would receive a thank you email.
When you referred a friend to the sweepstakes via the entry form, your friend would receive this email.
When the campaign was almost over, FlySafair sent out a reminder email.
FlySafair has now run many different campaigns using ViralSweep as they continue to see success with the platform. Sunisha has told us that running these competitions in conjunction with their sales helps to grow their marketing lists and increase engagement, especially with the bonus entries that users can earn through ViralSweep's platform.
For example, their 2018 Free Flights For a Year campaign generated over 40,154 views on their TV ad hosted on YouTube, which was offered as a bonus entry via the sweepstakes entry form. Getting this type of engagement on their TV ad in such a short period of time for little to no cost is something that could not easily be replicated anywhere else.
Regarding FlySafair's 2018 Free Flights For a Year sweepstakes, Sunisha says...
We loved the constant flow of entries and shares on our social channels during the four weeks we ran the campaign and was pleasantly surprised when we reviewed the final results. We signed up with Viralsweep in 2016 and will continue to make use of the platform due to its affordability, ease-of-use and extensive functionality. A big thank you to Giancarlo and team for the prompt service and support in making this one of our most successful sweepstakes yet.
To learn more about FlySafair, visit their website at FlySafair.co.za