What I keep forgetting about marketing communications

Janessa Lantz
3 min readFeb 21, 2020

We had a big product launch last month that involved pricing changes. And I found myself in a pretty typical situation––we needed to send an email to our current customers letting them know how the changes impacted their monthly payment.

This is not a super special or even particularly interesting marketing problem, but in this instance the work just went really, really well, and I was thinking about why.

Marketers write and send lots of emails for all different teams. These emails always require collaboration, and they are almost annoying. Because it usually goes like this:

  • Co-worker on another team gives a request that’s basically, “can you write this email for me?” That’s usually followed by emphasis on how easy it will be because see there are only like 3 requirements!
  • Marketer writes the email
  • Rounds of iterations, edits, new information, more edits ensure. By the time the copy is finalized you realize you still have to write a subject line, pick a send date, and wait…who is this email actually coming from? 🤯

I’ve been there many times.

So in this case our PM/ co-founder and I took a walk and talked about what we wanted to communicate. Pricing changes are stressful. This was happening soon after the holidays. Even though the changes were minor, and in many cases customers would be paying less, it was still an inconvenience. We talked through the implications of timing. At the end I asked him to just write down the details of what we’re working with.

He sent me an extremely un-fancy Google doc that contained:

  • Summary of the information we needed to convey
  • The details of the changes
  • The caveats
  • Custom information for each account and the associated action they would need to take

That’s about it.

So before I wrote any email copy we had already agreed on how we wanted people to feel (not panicked and like they had all the information), what we needed them to know (exactly how this impacted their account), and what we wanted them to do.