Knowledge Bulletin: Expert Advice from Ruth Betz.

One step at a time: Ruth Betz held the position of Managing Director of Digital News at Funke Medien Hamburg until the end of 2021 and is now a consultant and trainer specializing in, among other things, subscriber acquisition. To be successful with newsletters, media companies have to plan very carefully, she explains to turi2. The expert advice will appear as part of the 15th Anniversary newsletter weeks of the turi2 morning newsletter.

What conditions must a media company create in order to succeed in newslettersWork, Ruth Betz?

1. Common goal:
First of all, everyone involved should clarify Why newsletters should be set up as a strategic extension of the product. Is the newsletter a component of the product in itself, which may subsequently be subject to a fee and therefore must serve as a source of income? Should the newsletter support the freemium model and strengthen the transition to a paid digital product? Is the newsletter required for marketing campaigns? Is the newsletter a tool for customer retention by providing added value as exclusive content to subscribers? Or does the newsletter act as a traffic source and ad space site to highlight more ads in the newsletter and on the website? Only when these questions are clarified and everyone involved is willing to invest in the newsletter, i.e. when everyone has the same goal and the same expectations, should the newsletter initiative begin.

2. Resource Calculation:
Staffing depends on the objective of the newsletter and the prognosis associated with it. The success of newsletters, for example, can be predicted by the lifetime value of the customer. Based on this calculation, the company must calculate the number of resources that will be used. Involve experienced editorial and technical colleagues in project management and communicate clearly with existing management support.

3. Concept and Workflow:
In designing the necessary newsletter, the requirements of the business and the needs of the readers must be considered equally. Ideally, all editorial offices work with the same concept draft – Splice Media provides a newsletter board as a starting point. Since newsletters are linked to regular work, effort must be realistically estimated and processes that extend existing operations must be developed and based on user-friendly templates. Are there other areas of work that are no longer necessary, can other tasks be postponed? The goal should be to keep the additional newsletter effort as low as possible and to keep the editors’ overall effort stable by skillfully prioritizing tasks.

4. Data and tools:
The decision on the appropriate email service provider (ESP) depends on the current tool landscape and data integration capabilities. What ESP can be combined with a Content Management System (CMS), Marketing Suite and Data Analytics Tool, and comply with data protection regulations? What is an easy-to-use or easy-to-train newsletter tool? What ESP offers a licensing model that fits the strategic direction and desire to expand? The optimal solution is hardly found, but a few pre-defined questions can help inspire further expansion through data-informed decisions and marketing coupling.

ConclusionMandatory planning, realistic use of resources, visualization of energy savings and work flows, as well as the right tools do not guarantee the success of newsletters – but they make it possible in the first place.

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