BACK

Stories of Success

Consumer Mail File Creation
& Response Matchback Project

GlynnDevins, based in Overland Park, Kansas, is the nation’s premier marketing and advertising agency serving leading senior living communities and their development and management partners. From communications planning, strategic brand development and consultation to data analytics and CRM counseling, GlynnDevins designs high-response programs, integrating online and offline tactics, refined and proven to build a community’s lead base while supporting sales.

Business situation

Due to increased demands for prospect and customer mailings, GlynnDevins wanted to procure a custom database solution that would increase efficiency for the following tasks.

  • Consolidation and standardization of multiple prospect and customer lists
  • SEED management
  • Campaign tracking and reporting
  • Mail list generation and delivery to mail house.

Above tasks were previously accomplished by manually manipulating multiple source files and creating mail lists with little, or no, process defined. GlynnDevins staff spent many late nights trying to accomplish these tasks due to the inefficiencies, lack of flexibility and inability to scale. These manual processes delayed mail file deliveries and resulted in decreased response rates due to timing issues with other marketing initiatives.

Technical situation

GlynnDevins current processes included running manual tasks by leveraging the following software during various steps.

  • MS Excel
    • Various data cleansing/consolidation
    • Ad-hoc reporting
  • MS SQL Server
    • Manual imports along with ad-hoc queries to manipulate data.
    • Manual exports to create mail files
    • No procedural units or standardized storage objects
  • Local file systems
    • Exported mail files would reside on local machines and then uploaded to mail house.

The biggest challenge GlynnDevins had to hurdle was resourcing. Prior to engaging DatumLabs, GlynnDevins stated they evaluated several data professionals to bring in-house that possessed some, but not all of the skills they needed. Additionally, GlynnDevins was having trouble conceptualizing an overall solution that would provide a level of automation that was scalable, flexible and maintained data integrity.

In an effort to control costs and obtain all the skills needed, GlynnDevins engaged DatumLabs and agreed to the following solution.

Solution

Created a centralized, secure database solution that enables GlynnDevins users to generate multiple mail campaign files, track activity and report response and conversion rates. GlynnDevins environment was leveraged for all development, testing and production. All code created by DatumLabs is owned by GlynnDevins and was checked-in to a designated, secure source location.

The solution was repeatable, scalable and enabled GlynnDevins to execute specific tasks for generating direct mail files for various drops across multiple campaigns. The solution encompassed a modular design that facilitated ease of maintenance and enhancements.

This procedure-based solution enables users to execute, or schedule via batch process, a single procedure that requires minimal input parameters. On-boarding setup processes allow the users to configure multiple drop settings that define the mail file to be built.

Solution consisted of a defined, documented process in addition to the creation of supporting database objects below.

  • Tables
  • Views/Indexed Views
  • Stored Procedures
  • Functions

DatumLabs was challenged with a very aggressive timeline of 2 weeks. This only allowed for a couple of days for requirements gathering and stakeholder interviews. The solution was completed within the given time and all subsequent mail dates have been met.

Benefits

  • Saved many FTE hours by defining process and eliminating manual file-prep tasks
  • Increased efficiency from days to minutes
    • Processes were taking 3-4 days and are now taking 5-6 minutes for 250k+ records
  • ROI was estimated around 500% due to the efficiencies gains and the ability to scale for future initiatives
    • Additionally, GlynnDevins avoided the additional FTE costs associated with in-house personnel
  • Eliminated disparate data storage across various platforms and provided industry standard security of all data assets

Products used

  • Microsoft Server 2012
  • MS SQL Server 2012
  • XML

Services provided by other groups or companies

next-page
NextPage was leveraged, through partnership programs, as the mail shop. NextPage received completed files, via SFTP, from DatumLabs processes and provided the following services.

  • CASS
  • NCOA
  • Presort
  • Final suppression & Delivery
    • NextPage maintained GlynnDevins global suppression lists