In this interview, you’ll find out what our Marketing Manager, Liza Rudykh, had to do on her first day at work, how she tried to find the lost city of Atlantis and affiliates in Las Vegas, and what the main corporate rule of Travelpayouts is. Also, Liza is good at organizing private parties with nice music, so a playlist is enclosed.
- I always dreamed of finding the lost city of Atlantis. Throughout childhood, my grandma and I would go to the library and read the “Vokrug Sveta” magazines (a Russian geographic magazine). I would only pay attention to articles about aliens and Atlantis. I think I dreamed of becoming some kind of Indiana Jones.
- I was born in Irkutsk, but decided to study in St. Petersburg, enchanted by its beauty.
- I spent a year in France, but decided to return to St. Petersburg, as I consider it to be my home now. As for Phuket, it is a nice place for a few months, but not for the whole year.
- When I used to live in Irkutsk, my friends and I would have parties all the time. The local clubs didn’t attract us at all, so we would find a nice place, bring speakers and anybody could come and play their favorite music. It earned us money, by the way.
My role in Travelpayouts
- We don’t build factories, nor do we sell something tangible. Together with affiliates, we earn money when people click on our links and buy flight tickets. Somebody might call it magic, but I simply sell our services online, which includes webinars, emails, the automation of services, social interactions and offline events.
- I often deal with webinars by preparing behind the scenes and then acting as a moderator. Sometimes, I have to make my speech longer to take over someone’s role. Even five minutes of that increases my nervousness, but I just do it no matter how scared I am.
- Every year, we attend the Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas. We host great booths which attract attention from afar. We try to include anyone interested in the travel business to increase our recognition worldwide. However, there is still one, small problem, because the travel business is not the most cost-effective option for investment. You need to be passionate about it in order to be successful.
- We know all our Russian affiliates, but it isn’t as easy with foreign partners. During the Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas, I gained an understanding of our target audience. It was a cool experience. They speak another language, have other things in mind and differ from Russian affiliates in general.
- I feel like the Russian market is more developed, as our webmasters make higher quality products that are a lot easier on the eyes. Also, I was surprised to learn that telemarketing is still on the rise in the United States.
- When I had just been hired by Travelpayouts, I warned Ivan that my holidays had already been scheduled for the remainder of the year. I never actually knew how he took it, and was afraid to ask directly. My anxiety caused me to propose they prolong my probationary period of work, which everyone agreed to. They didn’t mention that it was a prank until after the following month. Well, my nerves will never be restored.
- When I started work here, other new employees helped me a lot. I mean, Ira and Tanya specifically. We even created a private chat in Slack called “Frustration” in order to help each other at work. It was a team win!
- We have never designated any roles with other marketing managers. Instead we simply did what we had to do, which helped us understand what each of us could do best. For now, I deal with webinars and automated emails. And, I just started to work on the company’s LinkedIn page in addition to other marketing strategies.
- We use the GetResponse platform to run webinars. It perfectly matches our technical and financial requirements, as it is automated and there are options for emails, webinars, CRM, landing pages and a bunch of other tools.
- Among all the webinars, we have an all-time leader, Travelpayouts 101, featuring Tanya Buyanova and Andrey Novoselov. We ran it two times and got over 2,000 participants each time:
- When I had just joined Travelpayouts, they only had one trigger email to confirm registration in the affiliate program. During the first two weeks, me and Ira made a huge map for trigger emails and started to create content. Now, we have one regular mailing called “Travelpayouts school,” both in English and Russian, consisting of nine consecutive emails. We are planning on updating it soon. I recently checked the statistics and found that these emails decreased the time period between signing up on the website, the first affiliate subscription and the first booking, having significantly improved account activity.
- To date, over 22,500 people attended “Travelpayouts school.” The average OR is 40% (the first letter OR is 70%), while CR is 10%. Once, an affiliate wrote me a message on LinkedIn to express his gratitude for our emails and sense of humor. It was such a pleasure that I would have married him if he proposed to me.
- These days, we actively update our newsletter subscriptions to give more comprehensive answers to the questions of our users and to reduce the workload of the technical support team. Also, we plan on launching an educational program for online offers and to develop the backend and content for the first two test offers. We run every automatization process on the GetResponse platform.
- I often notice what our colleagues implement to promote their business. For instance, I like white papers and the research aspect at AWIN. We should have more content like this. For now, we have published one White Paper for newbies.
- On my first day, I had to work from the office in Thailand. The team asked me in advance to bring some sausage, rye bread and our traditional candy “Korovka” from Russia, otherwise they said they wouldn’t let me in. When I entered the office, my new colleagues had just returned from a morning stand-up show. All of them, mostly guys, looked attractive and everyone was dying to eat sausage.
- I got my first job at a big corporation, which built my understanding of the work process. It was hard to change it afterwards. I dream of us becoming a huge corporation, but with a start-up mentality. For right now, we are more individualistic and maybe lack division of labor.
- Corporations are always more efficient than any start-up because of their internal structure and well-established collaborative processes. But, this is both an advantage and a weak point for any corporation, which is quite the paradox.
- In other companies, I often saw that men were perceived as more agile than women, even in marketing. Once, I had enough of it and voiced my disagreement in front of my boss. He just shrugged, showing how insignificant it was to him. Luckily, it’s not our situation here. We have a lot of women at different levels.
- «Work hard, play hard» is our main corporate rule.
- Once, our boss found out that me and other female employees were watching the “Bachelor.” Then we found roses with notes saying “You made it to the next round” on our tables. Now, we have a tradition of giving roses to each other to show gratitude for one’s work, but we use virtual roses more often for understandable reasons.
- I have a big problem: If I don’t get to the bottom of the product I sell, I don’t succeed in it. We sell a cool product, the travel niche is growing and we encourage clients to make their lives better with the help of our affiliates. It brings positive energy.
- With Travelpayouts, you always have room for creativity. Every time there is a new challenge, you boost your professional growth.
- I am fine with taking short holidays to recharge my batteries. I take a vacation every now and then. It is important for me to have upcoming holidays and new adventures to look forward to.
- It’s hard for me to understand what my dream job really is. Travelpayouts is a great company, and I don’t know if my job has any negative aspect at all. Just imagine that you can always find some glazed curds labeled “B.U. Alexandrov” in the fridge, isn’t it great?
Things I’d like to improve
- All the weak points should be addressed by engaging new employees. We have a lot going on inside the company, but the analytics process is not perfect. Also, we need to have an English speaker on board to focus more on the foreign audience.
- I would like to learn how to launch MVP (minimum viable product). The problem is that people spend a great deal of time on starting a business, because they pursue an ideal, and it may last for years. On the other hand, MVP allows you to launch the product faster while you focus on viability rather than an intangible ideal. Also, I want to change my attitude towards routine, replacing the feeling of irritation with something more productive.
- We designed a personal account on our website to specifically promote offers, which is not suitable for the business network we have today. Don’t worry, it is going to change soon, as our designers plan to surprise you at the end of the year.
Let’s get personal
- I have two diplomas, one is a degree in Economics and another is a Master’s degree in Management.
- I dream of visiting South Africa, Australia and Japan.
- If one day aliens come and ask where to go on vacation to have a better understanding of the human race, I will recommend them to visit Russia first. Can you imagine how shocked they will be after going to the United States or Europe afterward?
- On a personal level, I was influenced a lot by “Harry Potter.”
- I adore the blog Hubspot.
- Among my recently read books, I can highlight “Spark of Life” by Erich Maria Remarque and “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality” by Eliezer Yudkowsky, an expert on artificial intelligence at Stanford University.
- At a corporate party, I would play the following tracks: Sia — Elastic Heart, Kanye West — Black Skinhead, Shortparis — Strashno (Scary).
- In 10 years, I see myself as a successful and married woman, looking just the way I do now (and maybe even better).