Greeting cards, interactivity and automation
Have you already sent your greeting cards to your customers? The year 2016 is already drawing to a close. Here in Canada, the first snowflakes have fallen and the grass is now covered with a white blanket of snow. It marks for us the beginning of the wonderful holiday season.
For the occasion, most organizations send out the traditional greeting card to their customers. At Objectif Lune, since we send thousands of them to our partners and customers across the globe, we have to get ready several months in advance and we don’t wait for the first snowfall to get into the holiday spirit.
Indeed, keep your eyes peeled for a little something from us that should arrive by email shortly!
Interactive greeting cards
Last year, if you were already part of the great OL family, you’ve probably seen our happiness generator that gave you the opportunity to send cards to your relatives. We wanted to make something different, but most importantly, something more interactive. After all, that’s what Objectif Lune does best: improve customer communications and make them more interactive. Why not apply that to greeting cards?
The initial idea was to send a festive image as a greeting and to give recipients the opportunity to forward one on. In addition, we wanted them to be able to personalise their greeting, choosing the picture and message to go with it.
We let our creative team run with this idea, and they came up with an original concept, taking long exposure photos one night on the roof of our head office in Montreal. With the city lights transformed into stars through a filter pressed against the lens, the result surpassed our expectations and was worth the hours of work spent on that cold Canadian night in early November.
Once the photos were taken, we then had to figure out the Web-related aspects and design the card and website—dubbed the Happiness Generator. Our OL Connect products are HTML compatible, so our integrator was able to play with the code and create something both versatile and attractive. What’s more, every time he had a small problem, because this work was unlike the sort of thing he was used to, he could easily look for answers online.
Automation and greeting cards
Once the design was complete, our automation process expert was able to integrate and set up the workflow: mail out initial cards, click in email to access the Happiness Generator, select the picture, choose the message, include the mailing information, verify that the card is ready to be sent, mail to the recipient(s) . . . and then do it again! The entire process can be achieved in seven languages.
A few details needed to be taken into account, however. Managing communications is never that simple, and there are often many exceptions to consider. That’s where the OL Connect products shine, especially when it comes to automating exceptions. Without automation, we would have spent days changing the cards to account for all the unique circumstances.
Here are some examples of singular points we had to consider:
- When the contacts received their card and clicked to make one of their own, their name was already recognised by the system. So all that needed to be done was to enter the names of those they wanted to forward the card to. But if someone appeared by chance on the website (e.g. through social media) and wasn’t recognised by our system, they had to personally enter the information.
- In Germany, when addressing a business contact, the person’s title (Mr., Ms., etc.) and first and last names must be included. In other geographic areas we were covering, the first name was sufficient. OL Connect allowed us to specify the rule; for each contact from Germany, the person’s title was automatically added to the card. For non-German recipients, the title just disappeared.
- One of our offices wanted their cards to be sent from a common recipient: the Sales Team. Others wanted the cards to be more personalised and sent on behalf of the person who provided the contact’s name.
We used a well-known messaging system, Mandrill, to do the mailout. The link was easy to establish. Obviously, we weren’t the only ones doing mass mailings on Christmas Eve, so there were a few service delays. But that’s part of the joy of sending emails to thousands of people; having so many connections and partners is not a bad problem to have.
Thank you for a wonderful 2016 and we hope that 2017 is filled with as many great initiatives to improve communications with your customers!1