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Managing Emails in a Distributed Network – A Case Study

Managing email in a distributed marketing environment typically requires a more robust system, one that can handle messages being sent from various levels, locations, and divisions within a company. When Brunswick wanted to incorporate localized messaging into their email program, they turned to SM:Enterprise from Harland Clarke, which provided the flexibility for the company’s District Operators to manage email campaigns on behalf of 100+ individual Brunswick Zone locations.


As a long-time Harland Clarke client, Brunswick Bowling retail centers had seen continuous growth and impressive results from their email marketing initiatives. Routinely achieving click-through rates over 25% on emails, with steady redemption rates via a custom coupon program, was proof that Brunswick’s one million-plus email subscribers recognized the messages as high-value communications.

“The partnership between Brunswick and Harland Clarke has historically led to a very high return on our investment,” said Sue Schory, Director of Marketing for Brunswick Bowling and Billiards. “The email program is a great way to get special offers and updates in front of our customers, and the results are exactly what you’d hope for… more traffic coming into our centers.”

While the corporate-driven communications had proven very effective, Brunswick and HC saw an opportunity to take an already successful program and incorporate localized marketing for an even more targeted approach. To strike the important balance between corporate control and local empowerment, HC recommended that Brunswick leverage the capabilities of its SM:Enterprise solution.


HC created a customized account structure allowing each Brunswick Zone location to deploy email marketing communications independent of the main corporate account. This freedom allowed each Director of Operations (D.O.s)— responsible for all locations in a given region—to promote offers and events specific to their location(s), at their own discretion.

With nearly 90 participating Brunswick Zone locations operating across the U.S. and Canada, D.O.s welcomed the freedom to reach out to subscribers at the most opportune times.

“The corporate marketing team had long been receiving requests from D.O.s to promote bowling specials to drive traffic depending on their own situations,” said Schory. “Maybe they are slow on a Friday night. Or maybe it’s 100 degrees outside but nice and cool inside the Brunswick Zone center. It seemed like we might be missing opportunities.”

The level of control afforded via SM:Enterprise was one of the deciding factors for Brunswick’s corporate marketing team. In some situations, this level of self-sufficiency given at the unit level could bring with it the risk of brand inconsistencies and/ or questionable mailing practices, but for Schory and the rest of the Brunswick team, the standardization available through SM:Enterprise helped put such fears to rest.

”SM:Enterprise has allowed us to provide the ability for D.O.s to deploy their own emails, but still maintain control over corporate branding elements within the email designs. The frequency cap tool is another big plus, as it allows us to limit the number of emails one customer may receive over a certain time period.”


Using the patented technology behind SM:Enterprise, Brunswick’s corporate-approved email templates were shared into each D.O.’s account, with only specific pieces of the message available for modification at the local level. For those without HTML coding skills, user-friendly content management tools made it easy to customize messages with localized content and special promotions.

“The ability to send out emails based on low traffic times at my centers has been really beneficial,” said Stefan Cox, Director of Operations for the Chicago-area Zone centers. “As a cost-effective way to attract customers, email does great things for us, and our local offers also serve as a complement to the corporate marketing efforts. It really benefits the entire organization.”

Managing email in a distributed marketing environment can be difficult for even the largest organizations, but the next time it’s raining in Woodridge, Illinois, the lanes are open in Dover, Delaware, or the mercury is about to burst in Mesa, Arizona, Brunswick’s local marketers will be sure to get the message out with SM:Enterprise.

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