Free Software Review

A key driver for the project was to set up a structured Offer Management System to support better MI and the future development of an email Management System which would use an API to interact with the SilverPop bulk mailing system.

In order to meet the tight deadlines, the project was split into phases:

Release 1: CMS Replacement / Management Site

The Kaleida team created a new customer website based on Orchard CMS integrated into an ASP .NET application. We also created a management system to allow Brinc staff to organise Retailers and Offers in a more controlled manner.

A key part of the development was migrating the 1.3 million existing members into the new management database and linking them up with the Silverpop database. Insufficient validation and inconsistent data capture mechanisms in the old system had compromised the quality of the data. The migration had to be built to clean it up, for example by removing Javascript etc from the email addresses, splitting up addresses etc.

To address the problems with failed registrations/updates and mailouts, the synchronisations between the management and Silverpop databases were rewritten with full auditing and error reporting.

The system was ready for the deadline and the existing Sitecore system was retired, saving £10k per annum in licence fees (Orchard CMS is open source)

Performance tuning was done on the website, and it was later changed to host images on a Content Delivery Network to reduce load on the web server as site usage increases.

Key Technologies: ASP .NET, Orchard CMS, jQuery, CDN, Universal Analytics (Google)

Release 2: Email Management

Once the new site was up and running, with registrations up by around 50%, the work was undertaken to automate the offer emails process.

The key drivers for this phase were to reduce the manual work creating the email and to get better Management Information. Having already created the system to manage offers and retailers, Kaleida created a user interface to allow offers to be dragged and dropped onto an email template by the marketing managers. The user can then set various parameters to determine how the offer will render in the email. To make the system more flexible, custom snippets can be defined and reused in multiple emails, for example headers and footers. After previewing the completed email, clicking publish sends the generated HTML to Silverpop via its API. The links generated within the email contain IDs for the offer, position, retailer etc as well as placeholders for the member IDs to be populated by SilverPop when the email is sent. This allows much better analysis of high performing offers and retailers as the same offers used in multiple emails are tracked as one entity. In addition, because the HTML generation is automated and offers are reused again and again, the need for multiple layers of checking and authorisation is reduced and the Tri Weekly emails can now be generated much more consistently, quickly and easily. Brinc no longer need to employ an agency purely to create these emails for them, it is now done completely in house.

Key Technologies: .Silverpop API

Release 3: Mobile Specific Website

The initial plan was to create mobile specific pages for just the registration part of the website. However, between this decision being made in May 2013 and February 2014, the number of visits to the website from mobile devices more than doubled so Brinc asked Kaleida to create a mobile specific version of the whole website.

Key Technologies: jQuery mobile. Orchard CMS widgets

Release 4: Data Warehouse

The Silverpop email Marketing software holds data on all responses to its email campaigns. Following discussion with Brinc and InterWorks BI Consultancy, Kaleida has created a job to pull that data from the Silverpop API on a daily basis and reintegrate it with the Management System Data on the database server. InterWorks will shortly be creating Tableau reports and a dashboard to analyse and present this data.

This information will be used in conjunction with the detailed Google Analytics data which is available. Kaleida have set up the site with Custom Variables, Event Tracking and Cross Domain Tracking to facilitate goal tracking on partner websites. Google Tag Manager allows Brinc to add their own tags when needed.

Key Technologies: Silverpop API

Key features & Benefits

  • Simple to use CMS
  • Saving of £10k PA for CMS Licence Fee
  • 50% increase in registrations resulting in…
  • Website supports 500,000 unique website users peaking at 5,000 unique visits per hour, 34,000 per day
  • Removed dependency on external agency to create marketing emails
  • Tighter control over transactions, eg registration, better error handling and reporting to ensure issues are found and fixed
  • Structured Offer and Email data allows much better reporting on high performing campaigns, conversion etc
  • Mobile specific website allowing users to browse on the go

How could we help your business?

A more efficient and profitable use of data. Safer, more secure systems. Operational efficiencies. Special projects. Manage and support your systems to make sure your success is sustainable, is ongoing.

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