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AWS Lambda Can Automate Your Marketing Campaigns — Here's How

Have you ever received an email from a social media platform, theme park, or resort that reminds you of some of your favorite memories? If you’ve been on the internet in the past decade, my guess is that the answer is “yes.” With the rise of digital photography, smartphones, cloud storage, and social media platforms, our photos are becoming archived for digital preservation, giving us access to precious memories in new and interesting ways. Some examples:

  • Social media platforms reminding you of photos taken “on this day” in your past.
  • Theme parks emailing you a gallery of photos taken at the park while you were on a family vacation two years ago.

Unlike many marketing emails, these types of communication tug at your heartstrings, reminding you of some of your favorite memories from your life. Behind the scenes, sophisticated software platforms have been automating these sorts of interactions for years, and with modern services from Amazon Web Services, implementing this sort of automation is now easier than ever.

Use Case: Dishneytown

Let’s explore how a hypothetical theme park called Dishneytown could implement a memory-based marketing campaign for its customers.

Gathering and Storing Memories

When patrons of Dishneytown purchase admission to the park, they’re provided with special wristbands that they can use throughout their stay to scan for park admission and pay for meals, snacks and souvenirs, and more. Throughout Dishneytown, guests are given many opportunities to have photos taken by friendly Dishneytown photographers, while hugging their favorite Dishney character, or even when they’re in the midst of a thrilling Dishneytown ride. These photos are tagged to the wristband automatically and uploaded via Wi-Fi from the cameras directly to AWS.

Photos are uploaded to a custom web service endpoint powered by AWS Lambda and the Amazon API Gateway, where the simple Lambda function takes the raw photos and stores them in Amazon S3 with key names and prefixes that include important metadata about the customer, including their unique identifier.

Photos are also automatically tagged using Amazon S3 Object Tagging to identify if the photo was taken on a specific ride, with a specific Dishney character, and more. In addition, objects are given carefully considered Amazon S3 object lifecycles to ensure that they’re transitioned to cost-effective storage options over time.

As new objects are added to Amazon S3, events are generated that trigger AWS Lambda functions that perform a variety of tasks, including watermarking and thumbnail generation.

Marketing Automation

Dishneytown has now created a massive repository of valuable memories on behalf of its customers, so it’s time to put them to work. Using AWS CloudWatch schedule expressions, Dishneytown’s developers schedule an AWS Lambda function to execute daily which looks for photos in Amazon S3 that were captured exactly one, two, three, or five years ago.

Using the object tags, thumbnails, and watermarked images, targeted emails are generated to remind Dishneytown customers of their time at the park, giving them an opportunity to buy full-size digital photos, prints, or other physical goods. These emails are then automatically sent via Amazon SES to ensure high deliverability.

Maximizing ROI

When customers decide to opt-out of ongoing marketing relating to their stored photos, an AWS Lambda function is invoked which deletes their photos from Amazon S3. For customers who decline to purchase after a few opportunities, data is automatically life-cycled out to Amazon Glacier, reducing the cost of ongoing storage, while not eliminating the possibility of new campaigns relating to their photos in the future.


Marketing is most effective when effectively targeted and connects with the user emotionally while also respecting their privacy. Leveraging AWS’ growing suite of modern services, it is now easier than ever to create powerful campaigns that fulfill all of these goals in a cost-effective way and with little to no management overhead. With AWS Lambda at the heart of this automation, your marketing machine can spring to life, driving new, engaging experiences for your customers. Learn more about how Mission can help you leverage AWS Lambda to meet your marketing goals here.

Author Spotlight:

Jonathan LaCour

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