If you’ve read our previous blogs or visited our site before, you’ll probably have gathered that Enabler is a piece of email software. However, what you might have missed is that Enabler is more than just your bog-standard piece of email software, sporting sophisticated features which go beyond bulk sending emails. *Cue gasps and other associated shocked noises*
One of these features is Enabler’s Form Builder – you can use this clever piece of kit as a standalone form, embed it into a landing page or website, or use the form as a back-end tool for data capture. To demonstrate how effective these sophisticated Enabler Forms can be, I’m going to showcase a recent example from one of our clients, Real Estate Management UK Limited (REM) – asset manager for The Shard – where we utilised Enabler Forms in their Shard Lights 2017 marketing competition.
Driving Engagement for an Iconic London Brand
Since 2014, The Shard has hosted a light show from it’s spire every December, aptly named #ShardLights, to celebrate the festive season. In 2017, Shard Lights introduced five colours into its show, rotating one per day with an array of visual effects including gradients, patterns and sparkles. These visual light effects occurred every 15 minutes, with an extended display on the hour which transformed The Shard into a spectacular visual timepiece for London.
Now, Enabler’s offices are based literally around the corner from this stunning London landmark, but not everyone is lucky enough to have such natural daily exposure to this amazing light show.
So, to ensure maximum engagement with The Shard during this time, the REM marketing team wanted to run a photography competition to encourage the public to take pictures of The Shard’s light show and share online using the hashtag #ShardLights.
As an existing Enabler client, the marketing team at REM gave our campaign management team the task of creating an engaging campaign with the following key requirements:
- Hosting the photography competition
- A way of collecting entries and associated entrants information
- A trigger email going out post competition submission to recipients
We decided that the best way to achieve the goals laid out in the brief, would be to build a standalone landing page within Enabler which hosted the photography competition. We would then create a built-in Enabler form within this landing page, which would trigger an email to the recipient when completed to confirm that their entry had been received.
The Design and Build
For such an iconic London landmark, the design for the landing page was incredibly important. Our team of designers had to ensure stunning imagery of The Shard, provided by the REM team, was being used whilst also making sure all the relevant information was clearly visible on the page for entrants.
Here is the template webpage design before our specialists started the more sophisticated build:
When translating this design into the build, our developers took the simple static images within the email and transformed them into parallax scrolling images – this allowed us to display the full images without taking up too much real estate on the webpage.
The most important factor our development team focused on was ensuring the form on the frontend of the webpage was linked properly to the form on the backend of Enabler. The REM marketing team were utilising Enabler’s database to house and access the data from submitted entries – so making sure the forms were linked was vital.
Using Enabler Forms for Data Capture
Enabler forms are extremely effective for data capture, allowing you to embed forms onto your website that connect directly into your marketing database. There are two main ways you can embed Enabler forms within an external system.
The first and simplest way is iframing, which involves taking a snippet of code that looks like this:
<iframe src="https://ue.enablermail.com/realestatemanagement/frm/index.cfm?id=A480A319-7983-4C4B-993D-E97064B7C7A5" width="750" height="500"></iframe>
You then embed this code within your desired webpages, which then displays your form exactly as it appears within Enabler – including Enabler’s styling and layout. This, however, wasn’t an option for the Shard Lights web build, due to the beautifully bespoke styling that was required from the form’s design.
Instead of iframing, we used the alternative method of embedding and Enabler form, which is the ‘Form post’ option. Now, this is a much more technical way of approaching form submissions, but it does mean you can style your Enabler form exactly as you want on the frontend of your website.
Now For The Technical Bit…
To make ‘Form posts’ work, you have to tell your form to post submissions to Enabler’s servers. Each individual form field will have an ID associated with it, but all these fields will be stored in the same place in Enabler ensuring you can review and pull all the required data out at once. I’m not going to go into the super technical stuff because a) I leave that to my developers and b) you don’t want to hear it!
Once someone submits a form post, the message (seen below) displays on the website.
However, we also wanted to ensure that each entrant would receive an email confirming their submission as well (for added peace of mind that we had received their entry). To this end, we also triggered an email to go out each time a form submission was received, (as shown below), letting entrants know when the competition closed, and by what date they would be notified if they had won the competition. It also encouraged a social push for the competition for maximum social media traction, using the hashtag #ShardLights.
Now for the Fun Stuff: Reporting
So, it’s all very well collecting this data and all these (hopefully) stunning images, but where would they all be stored? Now, usually with form submissions you go into the form, run a report and it shows you a list of text entries and what those entries said – however for a photography competition, we had to develop something a little different to display images…
If you’re sitting there thinking…”hang on that looks just like Enabler?”, then you’d be absolutely right. Our development team have created a bespoke image gallery where the REM marketing team were able to view all the images submitted at once (making it easier to select a winner), while also allowing them to click into each individual picture to see all of the details of the person who submitted the photograph.
The competition ran from Monday 4th December 2017 until Sunday 7th January 2018, and received a total number of 871 entries. Some of the photos were absolutely stunning, and to be completely honest, some of the entries were basically close up selfies of peoples faces, but all in all we have some fantastic photographers out there parading the streets of London, and I don’t envy the REM Marketing Team having to pick a winner!
We had a fantastic time doing this project, it’s always great for our email team when we can really push Enabler’s functionality in ways that people wouldn’t expect from email software, helping our clients deliver beautiful emails alongside websites that really help them achieve their marketing goals.
Engagement levels like this also go to show the impact well thought out, well designed data capture forms can have on your marketing campaigns, and goes to show the importance of combining your data capture with your email marketing campaigns.
If you like what you’ve seen here or want to learn more about form functionality, please drop our Enabler team an email and we can talk about your next exciting project.