Power of Branded Holiday eCards | The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company, commonly known as Hershey’s, is a globally recognized American company and one of the largest chocolate manufacturers worldwide. Founded in 1894 by Milton S. Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the company is celebrated for a wide array of confections, including the iconic Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, Hershey’s Kisses, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. In addition to its classic chocolate offerings, Hershey’s portfolio includes other sweets, baked items, beverages, and snack products. The Hershey Company employs approximately 16,000 people across various countries, all dedicated to delivering moments of joy with their much-loved brands.

The management was looking to launch a branded holiday ecards campaign with a unique twist. They aimed to send online holiday greeting cards to clients and affiliates during the festive season, incorporating an interactive feature. This feature would allow recipients to vote for their preferred charity organization, to which The Hershey Company would subsequently make a donation.

Portal Facts

Type: Enterprise (Multi-Languages)
Seasonal/ Charity Voting

Number of Users: 1,200+
Number of Admins:

eCards Delivered: 4,500+
View Rate: 75%

Design Examples

branded holiday ecards
branded holiday ecards
branded holiday ecards


The Hershey Company envisioned a branded holiday ecards campaign that spread cheer and promoted its key charity partnerships. They aimed to invite employees to send corporate holiday ecards to vendors, suppliers, customers, and friends of the company. More than just a greeting, these ecards were designed to inform each recipient about Hershey’s charity partners and encourage them to participate in a meaningful act of goodwill by voting for their preferred charity.

The Hershey Company committed to making charitable contributions totaling $100,000, which would be allocated based on the number of votes each program received. The four charity organizations included in the campaign were Annamrita, Feeding America, Food Banks Canada, and Energize Learning.

For this endeavor, management needed a comprehensive solution that could integrate the online holiday greeting cards, the voting system, and the results tracking, all within a single platform. The goal was for the portal admin to be able to efficiently monitor usage, track user activities, and obtain the voting results. Considering the global user base of Hershey’s employees and associates, the solution had to provide an efficient, cost-effective method for sending personalized greeting cards worldwide and seamlessly collect vote results.

The Hershey Company engaged Zone1 not only for the technical implementation but also for the best holiday ecards artwork design, with the aim of reflecting the company’s distinctive brand and identity through the visual aspects of the campaign.


Zone1’s eCard platform, with its unique features and capabilities, emerged as the ideal solution for The Hershey Company’s specific requirements.

1. Customizable Brand-Specific eCard Platform: The Zone1 platform offered extensive customization options to The Hershey Company’s users. It enabled them to create and distribute corporate holiday ecards that were personalized and distinctly reflective of the Hershey’s brand identity. An essential component of this customization was the inclusion of unique artwork crafted by the Zone1 design team.

These ecards were more than just standard greetings; they were personalized, creative expressions from Hershey’s employees to their contacts, embodying the brand’s ethos and carrying the voting initiative. The ecard designs served as silent ambassadors for Hershey’s values, subtly communicating these to every recipient. Each design element, from the graphics to the color scheme, resonated with the brand’s unique style, fostering a sense of unity and brand loyalty across languages such as English, Spanish, Chinese, and French Canadian.

2. Real-Time Analytics: Zone1’s platform offered a robust feature set beyond just ecard creation and dissemination. It included real-time analytics, enabling Hershey’s users to glean insights about the engagement and reception of their ecards. Users could monitor critical performance metrics like open rates, providing immediate feedback on their ecards’ impact. The platform also provided detailed information on when and where the ecards were accessed, offering a richer understanding of recipient engagement patterns.

The eCard platform included an administrative portal equipped with comprehensive reporting capabilities. Admins could utilize these analytics to generate in-depth reports, manage users, and overview platform usage statistics. This data offered insights into user activity, popularity of different ecard types, and the timing and frequency of ecard interactions.

3. Voting Results: By amalgamating individual user tracking and the admin portal’s reporting capabilities, Zone1’s platform provided an unmatched level of insight into Hershey’s outreach efforts. This data-driven approach ensured that each holiday e card sent maximized impact and efficacy. The admin could access the voting results in both spreadsheets and graphical representations, offering a clear, easy-to-understand breakdown of the voting initiative’s outcomes.

Critical Factors

First and foremost, it was essential that the branded holiday ecards portal reflected The Hershey Company’s distinctive brand identity. The portal needed to resonate with Hershey’s unique ethos, ensuring a sense of consistency and familiarity for its users. To actualize this, Zone1 closely collaborated with Hershey’s brand team, resulting in a range of bespoke ecard templates, each infused with the distinctive spirit of The Hershey Company. These best holiday ecards templates served as a creative platform for users, allowing them to create messages that were both personal and consistent with the brand’s essence.

Secondly, data privacy, especially the accuracy of the collected information from the voting function, was of paramount importance. In an era of heightened digital scrutiny and data breaches, safeguarding users’ data was a non-negotiable requirement. The Zone1 platform was designed to strictly adhere to data protection regulations across all the countries where The Hershey Company operates. This stringent commitment to global privacy standards ensured that every piece of data provided by users and their contacts was handled securely and ethically. The platform’s robust security measures instilled confidence in users, allowing them to use the portal without worrying about the safety of their data.

Lastly, scalability was a critical success factor. As an organization with over 1,200 portal users, The Hershey Company required a platform that could manage a significant volume of usage. The platform needed to not only function efficiently during periods of average usage but also flawlessly accommodate hundreds of users sending business holiday ecards simultaneously, particularly during peak times such as the holiday season or special promotional events. Designed with this high-level scalability in mind, Zone1’s platform guaranteed consistent and reliable performance regardless of the demand.

In summary, the harmonious blend of brand alignment, stringent data privacy, and robust scalability formed the core success factors. Collectively, they ensured that Zone1’s ecard platform could meet and surpass the expectations of The Hershey Company and its expansive user base.


The process of branded holiday ecards campaign implementation began with Zone1 meticulously integrating its robust ecard platform with Hershey’s own systems on the client’s URL. The system was configured to allow only users with Hershey email domains to access the portal. This crucial step was carried out with great attention to detail, ensuring seamless access for all Hershey users and creating an intuitive interface where users could effortlessly create, customize, and dispatch B2B ecards without interrupting their regular workflow.

Following the successful integration of the system and the development of the ecard templates, Zone1 turned its attention towards the creation of the built-in voting system. This involved a concerted effort between the Hershey IT team and Zone1, merging Hershey’s profound understanding of their brand’s aesthetic and ethos with Zone1’s technical expertise in development, design, and user experience. The outcome was a range of unique, brand-aligned ecard templates and a user-friendly voting system.

Prior to releasing these templates to all users, they were rigorously tested with a pilot group, composed of a diverse subset of Hershey’s user base. This initial phase was crucial in garnering invaluable user feedback, ensuring the templates not only embodied Hershey’s unique style but also met its diverse objectives and user preferences.

With successful integration, captivating company holiday ecards template creation, positive feedback from the pilot group, and a seamless voting panel, the stage was set for a gradual rollout of the platform. The implementation initiated at the headquarters, enabling the core team to gain proficiency with the new platform before it was launched to the wider user base. Subsequently, the platform was progressively rolled out to all users.

During this rollout phase, Zone1 provided training sessions and support materials to assist users in understanding the platform’s various features and functionalities. This educational support ensured that all users, irrespective of their technical aptitude, could efficiently navigate the platform and fully exploit its features.

In conclusion, the implementation and development process was scrupulously planned and executed. It began with a seamless system integration, followed by cooperative design efforts, extensive testing, and concluded with a gradual and well-supported rollout. This methodical approach facilitated a smooth transition for all users and paved the way for the successful adoption of the Zone1 ecard platform within The Hershey Company.


The impact of implementing the Zone1 eCard platform within The Hershey Company was both substantial and positive. Users overwhelmingly reported that the ability to send personalized, branded ecards significantly bolstered their outreach efforts. They appreciated that the platform’s features facilitated deeper, more impactful connections with their contacts.

A clear testament to the success of this initiative was the high level of accuracy in the voting results, which was achieved through the security measures implemented by Zone1. These steps ensured data protection, resulting in a secure and successful campaign that met Hershey’s objectives.

The platform’s real-time analytics feature received considerable praise from users. These analytics provided insights that enabled users to understand their contacts’ behaviors and preferences better to improve the branded holiday ecards campaign. Consequently, users could fine-tune their communication strategies, leading to even more effective outreach efforts. Hence, the real-time analytics served as not just a measurement tool, but also a strategic enhancer.

Another arena where the Zone1 eCard platform demonstrated its competence was scalability. The platform proved its ability to handle peak traffic during high-traffic periods, such as major events and holiday seasons, without any glitches. This reliability, even under high demand, further established the platform’s significance within The Hershey Company.

The leadership of The Hershey Company joined in the accolades, commending the Zone1 eCard platform for its adaptability, customization capabilities, and user-friendly interface. They recognized that the platform had substantially contributed to enhancing the company’s outreach and communication strategy, thus aligning it more closely with the company’s dynamic brand image and fulfilling Hershey’s objectives.

In conclusion, the integration of Zone1’s eCard platform at The Hershey Company was a remarkable success. The platform not only enhanced the company’s communication strategy and pleased its users but also validated the leadership’s decision to embrace this innovation. The success of this initiative sets a benchmark for future digital transformations within Hershey, testifying to Zone1’s effective solutions.

“We were very pleased with the Zone1 product, process and team that we worked with. From working on a tight deadline (delivering content before deadline!), to troubleshooting issues and adapting your technology to provide the voting function, we very happy with the results. My colleagues were impressed with the product, the card design, and the fact we met deadline (a new phenomenon for us, apparently).”


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