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The tricks behind JibJab’s personalized Halloween campaign

4 Minute Read

JibJab's personalized email campaign

Jeni BishopDirector, Marketing

Ask us what Cordial does, and we’d say that we empower marketers to deliver messages that are personal, relevant, and emotionally intelligent. Ask a Cordial client, and you might get a Twitter thread detailing an email campaign that takes full advantage of our technology.

This Halloween, you’re in for a treat. JibJab has launched a highly personalized email campaign using Cordial—and we’ve got front row seats (candy corn optional).

The JibJab app offers an exclusive library of personalized GIFs that aren’t available on the web. Unlike their premium content like eCards and clips, these GIFs are free to make, download, and share. With the goal of tracking behavior around conversions and retention—by driving both non-paid and paid members to this GIF library—JibJab segmented their audience based on subscription status. By creating logic and workflows around these cohorts, they hope to answer questions like:

  • Will driving non-paid members to the free GIF library cannibalize conversion on otherwise premium content? Or will it add to the brand and content experience, increasing the likelihood of a conversion on a premium piece?
  • Conversely, will driving paid members to a library of customizable GIFs (that they may not know about) increase the amount of content they’re creating and sharing? Will this improve retention rates over time?

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how the JibJab Halloween campaign came to life, thanks to its creator, Alessandra Souers of Essex Marketing Co. Within one email template, Alessandra used the Cordial platform to set up the following actions at the time of send, creating a personalized experience for each subscriber:

  1. Generated three different GIF image URLs personalized with a face from the subscriber’s account, falling back to non-personalized GIFs for those who hadn’t uploaded any faces.
  2. Identified three subsegments of customers (plus a failsafe) based on real-time {if} logic. This string of logic combined three possible subscription statuses, the user’s subscription expiration date, and four payment providers.
  3. Updated a contact attribute for each subsegment in the Cordial database for future segmentation.
  4. Automatically added custom Google Analytics UTM parameters to all links that varied by subsegment. (Tip: you can now configure links without code in Sculpt—here’s how!)
  5. Applied “send tags” to the reporting for this particular email to see sends, opens, clicks, and unsubscribes at a glance for each subsegment and domain.
  6. Customized the subject line, body copy, and calls to action based on each subscriber’s subsegment.
  7. Created deep links into app-specific content for subscribers who had the JibJab app, falling back to the app stores for those who did not.
  8. Identified ‘bad actor’ domains (typos like “gamil.com”) and prevented the email from launching to subscribers with those email addresses.

As is standard practice for JibJab, they split each campaign into domain-specific groups to better control targeting based on activity level for more sensitive domains/ISPs. This also allowed them to throttle messages as needed to optimize deliverability for those groups. In this case, JibJab created three domain groups: Gmail/Yahoo, Hotmail, and Other.

To reduce the risk of an edit applied to one place but not another, JibJab funneled all of this logic into two HTML blocks (one for subject line and one for body) that were then pulled into the setup of each campaign. This means that the source of this logic and content could only be edited in one place and would auto-apply to all versions of the campaign.

“Not only does Cordial make this possible, but they are built to handle these intricate complexities, efficiencies, and personalization using SMARTY scripting.”

Alessandra Souers at Essex Marketing Co.

This complex email campaign is just one example of what you could create with the Cordial platform. What’s more, JibJab isn’t limited to Halloween, or GIFs, or even email. They can use these workflows as templates for other highly personalized campaigns in the future. The possi-boo-lities are endless.

If you’re still reading, we hope you’ll excuse that last Halloween pun, sign up for JibJab, and request a demo of Cordial. In the meantime, our platform will continue collecting data from the JibJab campaign so Alessandra and her team can activate that data and analyze the campaign’s long-term success.