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Varibase Relational Marketing – Infopresse Op

December 13, 2012

Hurray! The magazines are out now, so I can finally talk about our Holiday relational marketing application.

In collaboration with Éditions Infopresse and Imprimerie L’Empreinte we produced some 4300 personalized covers for the December edition of the Quebec premier marketing magazine: Infopresse.

We started by intersecting our list with the Infopresse list to identify which subscribers in the Infopresse list we wanted to say “Happy Holidays” to; business contacts, prospects, customers, friends, etc. Then we added the rest of our list that doesn’t usually subscribe to Infopresse both as a gift from Varibase and a way to introduce them to a great magazine.

This is the result:

The magazine cover carried a USB Pass/Key which, when inserted into a computer, would take the recipient to a personalised web page where they could view the holiday e-card which was waiting for them. Alternatively, the PURL from the cover could be typed into a browser to access the same card.

Not wanting to forget people who live and breathe their mobile devices, on the inside cover we had a vanity QR code in two colours with the Varibase logo, but still personalized (how we did that could well be the topic of an entire post).

Here’s a close-up of that QR code, because I think it’s just too damn cool:

We briefly flirted with the idea of using an NFC tag that was personalised and overprinted with this personalised QR code, but the NFC coded tags wouldn’t have been ready in time for publication. Maybe next time…

The personalised website where the e-card is presented is simple, going straight into the Happy Holidays message. We argued a lot about the music. We didn’t want typical Christmas music, so we finally settled on a jazz rendition instead, which went well with the default brick background and jazz-club atmosphere of the image. Between the testing of the various versions, and the number of tests, well in the hundreds, done for the e-card display system itself, I can’t stomach it anymore, but trust me: the first 15 times it’s a great little tune.

The best part, though, is that recipients can then send their own cards to their friends and contacts, easily from a form just below the initial card.

Now I know what you’re thinking, but we’re not recording the email addresses that are going out; this is not a fishing expedition for email addresses, or to spam anyone. On the contrary, we’re thinking entirely relational. We meant this to be a free e-card for the season, and made it as un-business as possible to be resent to friends with only the slightest Varibase presence in the footer.

Mobile users were, of course, redirected to a mobile version of the site, where the functionality was duplicated in a mobile-readable form, albeit without the music, for technological reasons.


I really enjoyed working on this application and, as a thank you for reading my blog, you can use my access to send cards to your friends this holiday season. The interface is in french, but you can always write the message in English, Irish, or Swahili, provided you can figure out the fairly simple fields to fill out. Don’t forget to play with the colours, and try the different backgrounds to truly personalise the cards you send to your friends.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays, from myself, and the whole team at Varibase. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you get one of these in the next few days. Judging from the usage so far, it’ll be in the thousands of e-cards sent from our application.

Make your own e-card here:

Find out more about Varibase and our relational marketing programs here:

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