This contract was successfully won due to innovative and alternative process solutions that the customer did not think were available outside the major industry suppliers. Smartcomm was able to demonstrate that we could not only meet their strict tight turnaround times but also provide a fully compliant and measurable capability including full integrated audit tracking processes from receipt of data to lodgement of mail with Australia Post.
The print and mail processing ranges from hundreds/thousands on a daily basis to many hundreds of thousands of documents processed in strictly controlled delivery timelines. During our relationship, Smartcomm has already been able to provide the Client some unique match mailing and inserting capabilities that their previous service provider was unable to do.
One sensitive management process relating to the print and mailing is that two of their marketing campaigns overlap but are processed simultaneously (next one starts before the first is finished). This process requires Smartcomm to be extremely diligent in our management of documents as the difference in the stock can be only minimal so all quality processes must be followed to ensure the right stock goes in the right envelopes.
Another highlight point worth mentioning is that Smartcomm was able to provide a 3 way intelligent match mailing utilising both cut and continuous paper stocks.
Smartcomm’s commitment to the Client as part of our SLA was to develop and implement software intelligent that not only provided them with a fully audited monitoring system but also it provided them with solutions that were not previous available to them. All in all the key SLA requirement for the Client is being extremely accurate, accountable and meeting all of their delivery timelines, which we can show is currently sitting at 99%.
With the integration of online marketing it is extremely important that Smartcomm can process data in shorter timeframes to ensure our customers gets optimum utilisation out of their data so improved workflow methodology is being continually developed for full optimisation and better overall management.
The client is a high end Cruise and Excursions provider that has a team of highly trained and knowledgeable Sales Consultants who contact potential clients as well as an inbound call centre that receives calls generated from advertising and internet enquiries. It is a US based company with offices in Australasia and Europe with over 650,000 active members. The business is based on providing their customers with the utmost in vacation value and high level of personalised service.
The industry is highly competitive so the need to present a professional, exciting and valuable customer experience is of paramount importance. The industry’s biggest challenge is being able to respond almost instantaneously – travel deals sell out, get withdrawn and change sometimes on a minute to minute basis – it is fast paced and the customers expect and demand a quick response and turnaround.
The industry is fast moving towards the Digital era with the need to have responsive and more instantaneous solutions. Our client was mailing out generic welcome packs with no particular relevance in the content to the recipient and that were taking up to 3 weeks to send out to the client.
The plan was to improve efficiencies in the customer experience with the relevant demographics of people, use data efficiently and creatively and give the client the ability to upload images and text as required – making it versatile and changeable to suit each recipient. The speed of data input to market was also a major requirement.
The goal was to provide a mailpack within 3 days of data receipt that grabbed the attention when taken out of the letterbox, contained relevant information, creates interest and inspires the recipient to respond, take action, update details and enjoy such a wonderful experience that they will keep coming back for more.
We needed to develop a system that brought all the elements together – The software is an “ENABLER” – it is easy to use, allows for hundreds of templates to be stored and selected as per the data requirements, can be client maintained, allows for speedy processing, high quality, relevant output and producing a sensational result for the client. We utilised software based on Advanced Digital Asset Management (ADAM) system that allows for complete control over targeted marketing, utilising the detailed data to its greatest effect.
The end result – a high quality Welcome and Information Pack that gives the recipient a taste of things to come and also drives value to other areas of the business – accommodation – Tours, Cruises and Resort Stays.
Define the Audience
A closed user group (Qualified Leads) of customers that already own a “timeshare option. Discerning, high-end customers can use that ownership to buy or part pay for a luxury cruise. The current worldwide customer base is 650K + and growing – the target audience in Australia/NZ currently is approx. 275K. Currently about 700 mailpacks per month are being generated and this is projected to grow considerably.
The solution incorporates the Client database, Hosted Digital Asset Management & Templating modules of Adobe based software and Microsoft .xlsx technologies.
All graphic elements of the process are stored online and are maintained directly by the client, allowing them to change/update via the web portal – Demographic Images and Wrapper, Certificate and Booklet Artwork.
The ticketing module allows the configuration of the artwork to be utilised for the creation of multi-page print ready files. Unique asset identifiers created as the client uploads assets are utilised by the client within their data structure of the mail order output, matching the demographic, brand and item ID’s, to allow the client to change all graphical and text items per record. Client data output containing all data plus all graphic images is generated resulting in Microsoft .xlsx Mail Order File which is uploaded and sends notification of a new file to be processed via email.
The order file is saved locally as a Master file containing 3 files with the images embedded as multi page Print Ready PDF files ( Wrapper, Certificates and Booklets), plus Production Sheet and Billing Sheet (this creates billing costs per record, by brand and items within a pack). The production sheet holds all records generated by Mail Order File (MOF) with relevant control and sequence ID’s to ensure that all records are manufactured, collated and checked off for Quality Assurance, during the manufacturing process. Single lines within the MOF generate all of the variables for the pack – including the thickness of the pack -5mm or 10mm depending on the number of inserts in the pack (even sets them 6 up to minimise print wastage), the demographic images, Name & address detail, Certificate numbers, dates, country specific postage paid and production control elements.
The system even creates an order quantity for the number of pre-printed (non-personalised) booklets that complete the pack.
The pack needed to say “Open Me” – and contain items that would encourage the recipient to get on line or on the phone, update/add to their details – (so strengthening the data held with the client) and book that all important luxury vacation. It offered a number of Calls to Action: Telephone numbers, Online and/or QR Codes (that can be directed to any chosen site and be used to showcase Special Offers that can change as fast as the market)
The client has provided a number of images – any of which can be married up to suit the individual recipient – even to the insets appearing in the main images. The artwork is chosen to showcase the beauty of the available luxury and draw the recipient into making their dreams come true.
The whole setup has been designed to enable the campaign to be rolled out to many other Brands within the group and an Australian Solution used to go Global.
The end result of the Print ready file consists of:-
- Outer Wrapper – Highly variable Images selected from the library and consistent with the demographic – Images for both the outer pack and the insets within the artwork stored for Older Couples (No Kids or empty Nesters), Families with Young Children, Family Group (Older teenage children), and Young Couple with no children and Groups (Family/Friends).
And then any or all of the following:-
- Stacked Insert Cards – Personalised during Digital Print and relevant to the recipient
- Certificates for Two for One Offer
- Information Guide
- Member User guide
The system also allows for more inserts to be included in wrappers (increasing the outer size as required) as the campaign develops.
Result – A mailpack that is 3 dimensional, is printed in the correct size (5mm or 10mm) to suit the number of inserts (the software recognises the right sit size to print), informative, personalised throughout and is printed with graphics that pertain to the recipient.
The results for us as the provider of the software, printers and mailers of this campaign have been driven by the response from the client as to our speed and quality into market.
The packs before this campaign starting were non-personalised, un-numbered and unprofessional with the certificates just put into an envelope. There were many data errors. There was no tracking capability and no way of knowing what had been sold, which ones had been activated or expired. In addition to that these packs could take anything up to 3-4 weeks to produce from the time that the customer joined the membership.
The time to market is now 7 days instead, the certificates are numbered, trackable – our client is “ecstatic” about the “look and feel” and quality of the packs. The customers are now receiving a high-end superior pack to match the quality of the actual product and Services offered by our client. The speed to market and the ability to track the data have achieved the results that our client was looking for. The first file processed had a total number of records of 1 and now each file is hundreds. The initial number of pack varieties was approx. 40 and now is over 400.
Complete service of data development, scripting, printing and mail processing of all their essential & Direct Mail packs, which requires the management of in excess of 1,000 pallets of stock due to the number of different overprints and DM campaigns for both Australia & NZ.
The online management system is accessed globally and each stock is directly linked to the job bag to ensure we achieve the optimum stock warehouse management. Smartcomm currently manages in excess of 2,000 stock line items, which equates to over 30 million stock items held at any one time of which all stock is replaced at least once per year.
On the print and mail we currently personalise over 20 million feet, using continuous forms between 8” up to 24” in length and 8” up to 18” in width as well as cut sheet stationery up to SRA3.
The data files will come to us in several streams and these streams are merged together using an automated program, so that all the product codes are kept in strict product order for their warehouse to pick immediately. The Kern inserting machine will then use their selective inserting option to pick any amount of inserts required for any particular marketing pack.
One of Smartcomm’s KPI’s at the commencement of implementing the Client’s work was to alleviate all handline work. This issue was not only preventing the Client from achieving on time delivery but also was costing them many thousands of dollars. Through a practical approach of installing the right equipment and some re-engineering of stock packs, Smartcomm was able to achieve its KPI within 12 months.
Other achievements for this Client include:
- Producing a solution that has allowed them to intelligently insert up 9 variable inserts
- Build a special collation machine that allows a fully personalise standard envelope mailpack to be glued to another fully personalised document/pack
- Develop a production solution that allowed the Client to personalise a document and overlay a self-pealing label over the personalised area. This process achieved considerable cost savings as there was no need to produce an expensive integrated label plus
The above solutions and many other production improvement solutions implemented by Smartcomm has without question saved/generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in improved productivity and subsequently improved ROI for our Client.
Client approached us with a proposal for a new EDM solution. Up until this point, Client had been using an email broadcast program, which had proved to be too restrictive and cumbersome for the email solution they required. Furthermore, each email broadcast had to be sent manually.
As many of our Client’s customers are in large warehouses and workshops, they needed to be able to send out emails very early in the morning. For example, most warehouse supervisors arrive at 5:30 – 6:30AM.
- Create a system where data files can be dropped on to a “hot” folder
- The system polls the hot folder (every 15 mins) and pick up files as they appear, then sends an email confirming data receipt
- Multiple email templates for different communications. The system sends the correct data file to the correct email template. Templates use conditional statements based on standardised flags in the data files. EG. Men get picture 1 woman get picture 2 etc.
- File and campaign naming conventions to enable several campaigns to run on the
- Capture the normal bounces, click thrus and opens etc.
- Export the report data (bounces, click thrus etc.) to a predefined location, and named as per the campaign name prefixed with “Report_”. Update (overwrite) this file with daily updated data for each campaign
- System able to send SMS based on an email campaign. For example, if a certain email campaign is not opened by the customer, the system will send that customer a SMS advising them to check their email
Client’s original brief was to run 2 different data files for 2 different email templates. There are now 18 data files and templates and the list is growing. Smartcomm MCS is flexible enough to grow with the needs of a given client.
Client now use Smartcomm MCS for order confirmations, website login details, direct marketing via predictive product purchasing, as well as internal emails for process checks.
Other successful campaigns for this client include the following:
Objective: Engage current customers who may have been at a sporting event to win a prize but the customer needed to interact via their mobile phone
Client’s customers were sent a HTML email, completely personalised and with variable images asking them to SMS a code word to go into the draw for a prize. When a customer sent the SMS, a personalised email was generated and sent back to the customer advising them that their entry had been successful. The system also picked the winner and alerted the customer via SMS.
Objective: Reduce the number of customers from ordering products via the Call centre and to go to the website and order.
At the time of the first campaign 17% of the Clients customers were ordering online and the balance via a call centre. To reduce call centre costs and streamline ordering process the Client wanted to encourage their customers to go online to order.
A fully personalised mail piece was designed and digitally printed showing the customer a screen shot of the Clients website. The screen shot showed the customers last 5 recent purchases and their top 5 products they had purchased over the past year. Smartcomm had to process over 400 fields of data to achieve this level of personalisation and the first campaign achieved a 50% increase of new customers going online to order. Within 2 campaigns the total % of the client’s customer base ordering online had increased from 17% to 34%.