Targeted email automation
Consistently voted one of the best cruise lines in the world, Celebrity Cruises has been providing quality, luxury cruises since 1988. As a leader in the field, Celebrity Cruises wanted to make greater use of email marketing automation to ensure a fast response to specific user actions and bring their customers the information they need rapidly. Together with Dept, this became reality.
Trigger, alert, report
The objective for this project was to create a fast-acting triggered email system using ExactTarget, so that users receive automated emails with useful information when they complete specific Tridion or ShortStack forms on the website. As part of this, we needed to create two new CRM request types for Ship Visit (SHIPVIS) and Competition (COMPENT) but most importantly to expose an endpoint for third party integrations (like ShortStack/WordPress forms) to call the CRM/ExactTarget implementation.
For this project, the Dept Digital Operations Services team wanted to build in an improved error reporting and enable them to be alerted if certain parameters were not met e.g. if three CRM request types fail within an hour. In addition, we created a Kibana dashboard where the client can easily see reports on successful and failed submissions into their CRM, the database and for their emails.
A fast-acting triggered email system, for receiving useful information
Working with Celebrity’s internal IT and infrastructure team we developed an effective solution which required us to refactor the current form submission process. To provide a generic way of submitting a number of different submission types, the team settled on a polymorphic design pattern to choose the relevant fields and templates for the submission.
We exposed a new controller action to allow third party integrations with ShortStack forms, using a discriminator to describe the submission type. This allowed requests that used both the existing CRM integration and a new ExactTarget integration to store the data, submit to the CRM service and trigger emails in ExactTarget. Using Log4Net.ElasticSearch we were able to index the result of any of the above requests into ElasticSearch and use this data to create statistical dashboards in Kibana and fire alerts when any errors arose using ElastAlert.
To achieve the successful implementation of the project Dept supplied additional support to Celebrity Cruises’ internal teams to get their Siebel implementation mapping to the forms correctly. We also introduced the ELK stack and ElastAlert as a new technology into the Celebrity Cruises’ infrastructure, this provides future opportunities for adding more metrics in, to enhance analytics.
Celebrity Cruises’ brochure upload FTP application has been added into the monitoring service to track issues with brochure request uploads. This was an area of serious impact on customer experience, so being able to simply add monitoring of it into the system was a great way to build on the work we have done and mitigate the problem.
The analytics provided on the dashboard are straight-forward and the types of requests that come through regulate trends in a fast and visual way. Non-technical users can identify issues and the marketing team are able to identify the quantity.