Push/newsletter communication, in its nature, is part of broader marketing communication and is originated in a commercial calendar/marketing plan. It is achieved based on what the brand wants to convey to the customer. Usually, push/newsletter communication is assigned to activate the customers or subscribers (i.e., visiting a store or reading inspirational materials). It is an effective medium of promotion and news that your brand has to offer at a given point in time.
On a broader scale, push/newsletter communication should be integrated with overall marketing activities as a part of your brand marketing mix. As a compelling owned medium, it should have a strategically assigned role in the overall media plan and perform in an integrated way with other owned, earned and paid media.
Steps in the process of creating push/newsletter communication:
1. ACTIVITY PLANNING
This is where you define the scope based on the marketing communication plan. Specify what to do, how to do it and what to deliver.
The project manager analyses the overall marketing plan and divides it into seasons lasting 6-8 weeks. Collect business needs, i.e. what products or services will be promoted during a given period, describing the background, the purpose and the objectives for an entire season.
The project manager plays a vital role in the overall integrated media planning. The marketing media & communication team verifies all activities in the period. Together decides the role for push/newsletter communication, its role in the customer decision journey and how the newsletters will be integrated and support other media.
Based on this information, PM prepares communication plans (campaign architecture) for the coming season and present them to the entire team.
- Describes the assignment itself, its prerequisites and constraints,
- Set deadlines and challenges,
- Describes what to measure and follow up on the project.
At this stage, it’s critical to involve all key stakeholders from your organisation (i.e. sales team to understand the product strategy, logistics to understand the product availability, finance to understand the impact of potential discounts and promotions). By engaging them, PM ensures clarity and alignment within the organisation.
2. SELECTION OF TARGET GROUPS (TARGET AUDIENCES)
Data team, based on available data, identify specific member segments who are suitable for your communication, such as members who purchased a particular product or product type, members of a particular geographical distribution, members in a specific living situation, etc.,
The data team works closely with the sales/marketing team and tries out different customer incentives. Consider the differentiated offers and content depending on: chosen segments, purchase behaviour, captured interactions, themes of the marketing activities, seasonal input.
Target groups are created for the entire 6–8-week campaigns, determining what communication (messages) each subscriber will receive, thus increasing the probability that a given product, service, or topic may become attractive to the subscribers in a given period as a result data team together with PM make a scheme and specify the different segments and their different offers, main messages and communicative content (merging the business needs with the data-driven insights).
Based on the historical data, the data team also selects the channel preferred by the customer (e.g. email or text message) and values the business potential in the targeted segments in terms of size and purchase potential. This sets up final segments for communication, depending on the anticipated responsiveness of subscribers to individual messages (and channels).
The number of segments should be limited by physical capabilities (how many segments we are able to handle) and efficiency indicators (does increase the number of segments and, consequently, production costs, translate into better campaign KPIs). At the stage of calculating, some subscribers will also be excluded from communication—those subscribers for whom the messages will not be interesting, as including them might make them start perceiving communication as spam.
Having the segments set, the data team defines control groups and ensures these members are also excluded from the communication.
3. BUILDING CUSTOMER PATHS AND PLANNING ASSETS
The Creative Team use insights on chosen segments and consider timing and integration with current marketing activities to gain synergies and better communication effects (integrate and optimise, don’t just adapt).
The Creative Team checks what creative assets are available, both in the company (materials from other channels may be recycled) and outside the company (to be produced). The cooperation of the creative team with the whole marketing team is crucial while briefing on necessary assets.
At the same time, based on the communication scheme prepared by the data team and PM creative team, build email mock-ups for all defined target audiences and secures the customer paths (designing the landing page, i.e. the place to which the user will be redirected). Mock-ups at this stage should specify the list of all messages, products and desired creative assets for all segments and all campaigns for the season.
During a team meeting, the project manager, data and creative teams make final decisions regarding the scope of communication and verify whether their assumptions will translate into achieving business goals.
At this stage, we already have a communication plan for the entire season with calculated segments (target audiences), excluded subscribers, ready emailing mock-ups, verified customer paths, and an inventory of assets (graphics, pictures, videos).
In the second part of the meeting, the technical team test plan is created. Together discuss the usability, viability, feasibility and potential business benefit increase in testing the different offers, creative solutions, communication or channels to improve the effect. PM summarise the test plan for the entire season, which includes: a hypothesis to verify, the scope for pilot and how it will be measured and followed up.
Based on the conclusions from the collaudation meeting, the creative team creates final layouts and copy for all market segments. The technical department codes and supports the creative team in choosing the best ways of presenting the content (e.i. interactive emails, gifs, carousels, etc.). Finally, the technical team carried out the communication broadcasts.
6. FOLLOW-UP OF CAMPAIGN METRICS
The data team prepares a follow-up after each delivery and briefs the team about the results regularly to provide a guide on how to improve the next creation, delivery time, or channel selection with respect to content type, etc. Every email broadcast is the occasion to gain insight and learning (e.i. segment selection). If possible, the whole team should react based on them and include the improvements in the next broadcast.
7. SUMMARY OF THE SEASON
The project manager organises evaluations throughout the campaign at the end of the season. The results and their impact on the business are discussed with the team and verified. A list of improvements is prepared, along with an implementation plan for the next season.
High frequency of campaigns demands from the team to work on briefing for future tasks, carrying out current deliveries, and following up on previous activities, all at the same time.