Holiday Cards. Three stakeholders.  How difficult can that be?


A legal firm wanted to mail Holiday Cards to the marketing database Butler Data Solutions managed for them.  The database contained roughly 10,000 records contributed by fifty of the firm's lawyers.  The primary requirement for this project was for the design to be flexible enough to accommodate customization by participating lawyers.  

Our real challenge was to satisfy three primary stakeholders

  • The CMO wanted a more automated, consistent, and inclusive process
  • Individual attorneys wanted it done “their way“
  • Administrative assistants wanted a less challenging holiday season 


The file structure and our retention of specific data points provided the necessary base data for segmentation and mass customization.  In preparation, we designed and managed a firm-wide update of the marketing database so contact information and attorney preferences were current.

We not only provided the data breakouts, but also managed the fulfillment, variable printing associated with the fulfillment, and all requested mailing services.  The printing of the Holiday Cards and variable signatures printed inside the cards was handled by the firm's commercial printer based on data we provided.

All envelopes provided for use with the Holiday Card distribution had a USPS approved form of "Address Correction" preprinted on them so that any address changes or non-deliverable pieces would be returned with corrections made to the marketing database.

The data work

  1. Each attorney (or their admins) marked which of their records should receive Holiday Cards
  2. They also decided the type of signature to be used with each record
    1. A preprinted digital signature, usually with a comment
    2. Or a hand signed "live" signature
  3. Records in the marketing database were identified as to the lead attorney for that contact
    1. The number of records managed by an attorney ranged from one to 1,700
    2. The greatest number of Holiday Cards mailed for any one attorney was 841
      1. He used three unique digital signatures with different comments
      2. Some of his records were also designated for a "live" signature
      3. His name needed to be printed on all envelope flaps
  4. The database also tracked attorneys that were associated with a record.
    1. The policy goal was to limit to two the maximum number of cards received by a contact
    2. Many records had a lead plus up to four additional attorneys
      1. Records with two attorneys: both attorneys could mail to the contact
      2. Records with three or more attorneys associated with it
      3. The lead attorney received a generic card and addressed envelope
      4. Associated attorneys were identified for inclusion of their signatures if desired
  5. Attorneys self-designated into five classifications
    1. Non participants
    2. DIYs, those that only wanted generic cards and envelopes returned to their office
    3. Those that wanted generic cards with their managed contact list preprinted on envelopes and returned for inserting and mailing
    4. Those that wanted to automate the entire process using a digital signature and have us fulfill and mail
    5. Those that used a digital signature for most of their contacts but wanted a few generic cards for a personalized outreach


No Complaints!  Project completed on time.  The firm’s credibility was enhanced with the reduction in number of cards sent to the same address, accuracy of the mailing addresses printed on the cards, and on-time delivery of the cards during the holiday season.

If all cards were processed through the fully automated procedures, the projected savings were:

  1. Billable hours saved, 113.3 hours

At $200/billable hour = $22,660

  1. Administrative assistant’s time saved, 194.5 hours

At $40/hour (salary + benefits) = $7,780

  1. Postage

Savings from using Standard Mail = $1,955


Back to Case Studies

If you want to improve your marketing… give us a call.