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Sendgrid Integration Brings Marketing Efficiency

Project Summary and Client Background

After the successful completion of numerous projects, Wind Creek recognized their need to move to all their marketing into one single solution. Wind Creek was already using the Kentico platform to host their website which also includes numerous integrations with their backend systems.

Wind Creek’s goal was to transition to using the Kentico Integrated Marketing Solution for all of their marketing activities across all their properties but start initially with their Atmore, Alabama property.

The Challenge

Wind Creek was using an expensive proprietary system for email sending and unfortunately it didn’t provide any visibility into activities occurring after emails were sent and opened. They also had no way to intelligently segment, build marketing automation, or use email templates with that third-party system. This issue, in particular, led to very inconsistent branding across their properties and email marketing.

The disconnected marketing systems caused frustration and pain within the marketing department. Content authors were dealing with code instead of just writing content and setting up emails. Also, the organizational roles within the marketing department were blurred due to the disconnected systems they were using.

The Solution

Business Solution

The first win for Wind Creek came in the elimination of the expenditure for an extra system to send emails and manage campaigns. Bit-Wizards used the existing Kentico platform by configuring the enterprise marketing functionality and analytics so that Wind Creek could collect and analyze more data from their marketing efforts. They were also able to build more effective personalized email content, thus allowing for an increase in email open and click through rates. The new system allows for the clearer separation of roles and work-types, thus, creating a more efficient work environment for the content management team. The Bit-Wizards Digital Marketing team did extensive training for entire email marketing department at Wind Creek to ensure they could effectively use, manage, analyze, and build new templates within the new system.

Technical Solution

Bit-Wizards migrated all of Wind Creek’s data from the old system in Lyris, including contacts and email templates into the newly upgraded Kentico 9 website. The upgrade of their website was necessary so that Wind Creek could take advantage of the global unsubscribe functionality within Kentico version 9.
Bit-Wizards built custom integrations with Sendgrid that allowed WindCreek to get custom email bounce and spam information straight into Kentico for their email campaign analytics. Using the Sendgrid  REST API, Bit-Wizards built custom code to extract email bounce information to connect the bounced email addresses to the Kentico contacts. This custom functionality was mirrored with the Spam email information as well.

The Bit-Wizards team also wrote custom code to integrate with Sendgrid again to allow for emails to be sent at a much faster speed within the Kentico queue instead of using the out-of-the-box SMTP email sending functionality.

Lastly, Bit-Wizards configured Kentico to allow the Wind Creek team to capture relevant contact data, review critical analytics, build marketing automation, and create list segmentation. Wind Creek also received extensive training to how to manage the new system and continue to gather useful and actionable data, on which to make marketing decisions.

The Result

The final solution for Wind Creek Atmore allowed their marketing team to efficiently and consistently deliver branded email campaigns on a regular basis. They saw a sharp decrease in spam complaints due to their ability to better manage their newly segmented lists which in turn, improved customer satisfaction with the use of the new global unsubscribe functionality with Kentico 9. Now Wind Creek can send 100,000 emails per hour using the newly built Sendgrid integration which was not possible before this project.
Client Name: Wind Creek Hospitality
Year: 2016
Industry: Hospitality
Wind Creek Hospitality is the principal gaming and hospitality entity for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Dedicated to providing a first-class customer experience, the casinos and hotels of Wind Creek Hospitality are renowned for their geniality and refinement. The company operates six properties throughout the state of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
  • C#
  • CSS
  • HTML5
  • JSON
  • Kentico CMS
  • Kentico Integrated Marketing Solution
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft Azure App Services
  • Microsoft Azure SQL Database
  • Sendgrid