Newsletters are still the best way to connect to your customer base, maintain loyalty and offer added value. But effectively producing them isn't as simple as rounding up all the news.
My main objective was to increase open-rates, which for Vodafone was higher than the industry standard (circa 16% at the time) at 21%. And to feed into the retention strategy by showcase the value of Vodafone plans.
I worked with all our partners, who were thrilled that we would send out comms to promote their content and hopefully add to their activation KPIs. They provided assets and rough dates. Obviously, some of the biggest content was shrouded in mystery, but we still had plenty to play with.
However, you need to consider use of assets. Our partners had rights to use images of artwork and stills that we could use in our marketing too. And there was rarely a messaging matrix, so we had carte blanche with the copy. Despite all of this, the partners still wanted sign-off, sometimes it would need to go to the studio, club or label to review too.
However, I used data to segment the customer base into five:
- Customers who chose Netflix
- Customers who chose NOW TV
- Customers who chose Spotify (largest base)
- Customers who chose Sky Sports (smallest base)
- Customer who hadn't activated their entertainment package
The content could then write itself. I wrote content about what was coming up over the next month on those channels. Headlining about the Manchester derby, Game of Thrones or Beast of No Nation would already cut through inbox noise.
So the other stories in the newsletter had to soft news items, like Vodafone helping women's refuges by giving them free SIM cards, all the good work they do around conservation and the emergency services, and the charity work they're involved in overseas. This all helps change the perception of Vodafone.
The things I learnt were:
- Data - find out what data you have a segment so the content is personalised and relevant.
- Calendar - have a content calendar with stories that are seasonal and relevant, but be prepared to swap if something trends.
- Content - flex the tone of voice and design so it's more fun and engaging
- Strategy - enshrine the objectives, process and governance
- Personalise - this may mean writing lots of variants and testing them all (the latter is a pain but it's worth it)