Marketing Playbook Examples from the CXL Community

Advertising playbooks assist you to constantly produce campaigns and content material within the face of steady disruption. Regardless of which gamers are within the recreation (copywriters, designers, and so forth.), your playbook will assist produce a constant consequence.

The difficulty is, most profitable companies prefer to preserve their advertising playbooks near their chests (for apparent causes). This makes it troublesome for brand new companies, or these experimenting with new methods, to study greatest practices.

CXL likes to play by a completely totally different algorithm, in order that they’ve created a advertising playbook neighborhood the place consultants can weigh in and share their experiences. 

Briefly, CXL put profitable advertising playbooks on the desk for everybody to see.

On this article, you’ll learn to create an impactful advertising playbook to point out up constantly and develop your online business.

Advertising playbooks are frameworks for constant campaigns

A advertising playbook is a useful resource information that dictates how a enterprise approaches its advertising. 

It’s the advertising equal to a coach’s playbook that covers definitions, formations, and techniques to carry gamers on top of things on how the staff works in order that they will execute a play accurately. In advertising’s case, the play is a marketing campaign or channel. 

For instance, you may need a playbook for a model consciousness marketing campaign that features a number of channels. Or, you may need a playbook targeted particularly in your Instagram content material technique. 

By giving staff members a repeatable (however versatile) framework to observe, outcomes are extra constant and groups work extra effectively, whatever the particular person members. 

Consistency isn’t only a buzzword right here. Advertising constantly earns belief, solidifies model standing, and improves buyer expertise, and it’s proven so as to add as much as 20% to overall growth

A constant staff can also be an organized staff, positively impacting efficiency. In response to CoShedule’s 2022 Trend Report, organized entrepreneurs are 674% extra more likely to report success, and those who proactively plan (one thing you may simply do with a playbook) are 3x extra more likely to report success.

What makes a profitable advertising playbook? 

Each playbook differs relying on the top purpose. However the goal ought to at all times be the identical: give entrepreneurs the information to assist them execute the plan successfully. 

Reaching this helps:

  • Create seamless, repeatable workflows;
  • Lower down on wasted sources;
  • Get advertising staff members on the identical web page;
  • Enhance long-term buyer advertising.

A playbook ought to cowl the 5 most important areas detailed in our information to making a advertising playbook for constant campaigns:

  1. Technique. An in depth advertising technique isn’t required each time (e.g., in case your playbook is on creating partaking Twitter threads, you may most likely bounce proper to content material creation). However it’s best to at all times cowl how the play ties to aims, excellent buyer profiles, and messaging.
  2. Content material creation. Clarify the kind of content material belongings (together with templates), model pointers, and roles and tasks of every staff member. 
  3. Promotional channels. Map out the place content material will probably be shared, how, and the way usually, together with distribution roadmaps and any automation apps.
  4. Measurement. Present how groups will monitor the success of every marketing campaign, channel, or asset, together with KPIs and goal-related metrics and the instruments used to measure efficiency. That is necessary to bettering your playbooks and future campaigns. 
  5. Execution. Map out the content material creation timeline and any key milestones for objectives and efficiency critiques. Right here is the place you must also cowl the dos and don’ts of every platform. 

Whereas that looks like a whole lot of floor to cowl, don’t get too slowed down within the particulars. A playbook isn’t designed to inform a marketer find out how to be a marketer, neither is it an organization handbook. It’s there to information your staff in the direction of a purpose.

Within the NBA, for instance, a coach has a 75-second timeout to speak a play properly sufficient so every participant is aware of what must occur and their position in attaining it.

That will help you talk your message as shortly and clearly as attainable, let’s have a look at some advertising playbook examples from the CXL playbook neighborhood.

1. Playbooks are a staff effort

Profitable digital advertising doesn’t occur in an echo chamber. It takes a staff of individuals bringing their know-how to the desk. 

For instance, an concept that comes from a advertising supervisor is delivered to life by a copywriter and designer, finely tuned by an editor, and shared by a social media government. Every staff member performs a vital position in a marketing campaign having the specified impression. 

CXL places the neighborhood on the forefront of each playbook. Topic consultants can remark and counsel enhancements for every half. 

Take this advertising playbook instance on defining purchaser personas: 

Screenshot of CXL Playbooks Defining Buyer Personas

It outlines 4 steps to outline purchaser personas, together with suggestions and reminders in dropdown sections. 

Beneath the important thing steps is an ongoing dialog about what to incorporate and what these additions imply: 

Screenshot of ongoing conversation on defining buyer personas

This energetic collaboration implies that playbooks have the correct data. It additionally ensures they keep related. If new analysis, instruments, or adjustments in platform insurance policies warrant a change in tactic, customers can brazenly focus on the perfect methods to maneuver ahead. 

Advertising goalposts are at all times transferring. For instance, who may have predicted in the beginning of 2020 {that a} world pandemic would drive stay occasions to maneuver on-line?

Embrace each staff that helps execute a marketing campaign in creating your playbooks, and periodically evaluate its contents.

Tapping into your folks’s information opens your eyes to blind spots and drives innovation. It additionally improves firm tradition and a marketing campaign’s adoption. Folks will really feel extra concerned within the course of if their enter is required, making them extra invested in its success.

This contribution could seem small, but it surely’s a vital transfer in line with leaders. Some two-thirds of C-suite executives say that firm tradition is extra necessary to efficiency than technique or working mannequin.

The takeaway: When creating your advertising playbook, contain your staff members.

2. Make objectives and advantages clear

What’s your playbook for? That’s the query you’ll need to reply from the beginning.

Playbooks are designed to save lots of entrepreneurs time and assist them work extra effectively. Having to dig by data to search out out if a playbook matches their wants stops them from doing this. 

Put your most important purpose entrance and middle. CXL’s playbooks do it within the title: 

Screenshot of Setting your Goal on CXL Playbook

This offers on the spot readability. Entrepreneurs know the issue the playbook is fixing. The following query it’s essential to reply is why the playbook exists: what are the advantages?

CXL playbooks lead with the profit: 

Screenshot of CXL Playbook Business Benefits

The purpose on this playbook is to “section your buyer base.” The profit is to “create customized communications, higher attain buyer wants, and enhance buyer retention.”

The what and the why are communicated in two traces. There’s no have to get any deeper than that. Keep in mind, a content material advertising playbook relies on need-to-know data solely. 

That’s to not say every thing ought to be restricted to a single-sentence clarification. In case your playbook features a obscure or complicated time period, it’s higher to supply a transparent definition. 

It will be certain that: 

a) Everybody understands the knowledge; and 

b) Everybody’s working with the identical definition. 

Take CXL’s playbook on decreasing bounce charge: 

Screenshot of CXL Playbook addressing bounce rate 

Bounce charge is a doubtlessly complicated time period. CXL addresses this in the beginning of the playbook: 

“Bounce charge is a broadly misunderstood metric. Is it dangerous? Is it good? That relies upon loads on what you’re attempting to realize with a specific web page.”

A definition of what bounce charge is and isn’t follows this assertion. By eradicating confusion, CXL ensures readers interpret bounce charge equally, resulting in constant execution. 

Wherever there’s scope for misinterpretation, remove it shortly.

The takeaway: Keep in mind, consistency is the purpose right here. Be clear and concise, however outline and reiterate the place wanted.

3. For particular duties, use actionable steps

If you’d like somebody to finish a job effectively and accurately, give them directions.

Consider a flat-pack wardrobe. The primary time you open the field, you have got a ton of items and a set of directions. By the top, you have got a accomplished wardrobe that appears similar to the image. 

Might you obtain the identical end result with out directions? Probably. However it should take extra time and possibly induce extra stress.

In case your playbook is for a sure job, present readers with clear steps to observe. CXL does this with numbered lists: 

Screenshot of CXL Playbook offers actionable steps for certain tasks with numbered lists

By formatting playbooks this manner, readers can simply work their means from begin to end, and each step requires motion. 

For instance, listed here are the primary three steps:

  1. Conduct analysis to search out an influencer inside your business or whose followers align together with your target market. 
  2. Familiarize your self with the influencer’s work, accomplishments, and values earlier than you attain out to collaborate with them.
  3. Find the influencer’s most popular contact methodology or agent by taking a look at their account bios.

Main steps with an motion verb (“conduct,” “familiarize,” “find”) makes it clear what readers have to do to perform the purpose. 

Duties are then supported with steerage to assist readers do the work: 

Screenshot of CXL Playbook Actionable steps mentioning writing a concise and personalized subject line

Once more, these directions are actionable. They’re additionally particular:

“To enhance your e mail open charge, preserve your topic line quick, ideally not more than 50–60 characters, and use partaking language that can assist your e mail stand out of their inbox.”

Including “not more than 50–60 characters” removes the subjectivity of “quick,” arming readers with guidelines to observe. 

CXL additionally features a good thing about following the instruction: “stand out of their inbox.” This offers readers a motive to need to observe the steerage. Do this, and obtain this.

The takeaway: Give readers particular steps.

4. Create a playbook for each purpose

Every playbook ought to solely go into a lot element.

For instance, if you happen to’re making a playbook for operating a social media advertising marketing campaign, protecting every touchpoint would flip a concise doc into an encyclopedia. 

Think about whether or not a tactic warrants its personal playbook. So, somewhat than one playbook that goes in-depth on every social media channel, you may create particular person playbooks for find out how to optimize Fb advertisements or write killer LinkedIn posts.

CXL’s playbooks are an instance of giving readers the knowledge they want with out overloading them. 

Take this one on rising buyer retention: 

Screenshot of CXL Playbook Increase Customer Retention Page

Like earlier examples, it makes use of numbered steps to information readers to the purpose. However let’s have a look at the first step: “Calculate metrics that can assist you to to measure, monitor, and analyze buyer retention.”

Relying on the reader, we might have two conditions: one the place the marketer is aware of precisely which metrics to measure and one the place the marketer doesn’t.

The second group of entrepreneurs will probably be questioning what they need to measure and the way usually?

CXL doesn’t try to elucidate inside the step. For the primary group of entrepreneurs, this might be pointless data.

As a substitute, it provides temporary instruction, then hyperlinks to a different playbook on find out how to determine buyer retention metrics for customers to study extra: 

Screenshot of CXL Playbook providing brief instruction on how to identify customer retention metrics

How are you aware whether or not to show a job right into a playbook? If it wants its personal set of directions, it wants extra room to breathe.

The takeaway: Think about a number of reader varieties however don’t attempt to cater to multi function playbook.

5. Make duties simple to perform

Earlier examples have proven find out how to make playbooks simple to observe with actionable steps. One other solution to get customers to the place they need to be is to take them there. 

Very like how playbooks can hyperlink to different playbooks, they will additionally hyperlink to instruments wanted to perform a job. 

Advertising playbooks are likely to cowl a whole lot of floor. It’s extra environment friendly for folks to dip out and in of a playbook than learn it entrance to again, then go away and execute.

Linking to instruments is one other means to enhance effectivity. It additionally eliminates the opportunity of folks utilizing the improper instruments.

CXL’s playbook for monitoring e mail open charges in Google Analytics, for instance, hyperlinks to the Google Analytics Hit Builder device: 

Screenshot of CXL instruction on how to track email open rates in Google Analytics

Its touchdown web page CRO playbook hyperlinks to SessionCam in order that customers can shortly get arrange recording consumer classes:   

Screenshot of CXL instruction on how to test your landing page to improve conversion through Google Analytics

That places customers in the correct place to finish the following steps. Formatting it in daring textual content grabs consideration, serving to skim readers shortly discover the knowledge they’re on the lookout for. 

When designing your playbooks, ask your self what you are able to do to cut back stress and remove pointless steps for staff members.  

The takeaway: Hyperlink to the instruments the readers have to streamline workflows.

6. Use examples to extend understanding

If you wish to assist folks study one thing new, make it relatable. In its report The Science of Learning, nonprofit group Deans for Impact regarded on the cognitive science behind how folks study. 

The report confirmed that college students study new concepts by relating them to what they already know. To use this studying to new conditions, college students should perceive the context.

Use examples to leverage this science and talk the correct means of doing issues. Examples are additionally a characteristic of CXL’s playbooks.

Right here’s an instruction from a playbook on organising A/B assessments:

Screenshot of CXL Playbook Instruction on setting up A/B tests

CXL tells readers to “kind a speculation that’s measurable, supplies market insights, and solves a conversion drawback.” 

Seasoned entrepreneurs will perceive this and may shortly go away and do it. However what a few new junior recruit?

CXL provides readability with an instance: “Extra folks will click on by to the touchdown web page (measurable metric) when it exhibits a household than when it exhibits a single man (market perception).”

The instance won’t be particular to the duty, but it surely helps customers perceive precisely what the instruction means. 

In its playbook for rising buyer retention, CXL makes use of a real-world case research instance to assist clarify buyer suggestions loops: 

Screenshot of CXL Playbook Page which uses a real-world case study example to help explain customer feedback loops

This helps carry context to the duty. It additionally tells customers why it issues. Displaying how AppSumo improved its conversion charge with suggestions loops proves they work, making them extra interesting. 

At every stage of your playbooks, ask your self if examples would assist customers higher perceive the purpose. Get suggestions from staff members at each stage to gauge if the knowledge is obvious and straightforward to grasp. 

If readers can’t confidently execute their position the primary time, add relatable context.

The takeaway: Use examples to enhance readability.


The advertising playbook is each a roadmap and framework. It exhibits staff members find out how to get from factors A to B with constant outcomes.

Use CXL’s playbooks to encourage your personal. Work collectively as a staff to consider the knowledge entrepreneurs have to do their job efficiently. 

Be clear and concise. Elaborate with examples the place wanted, however keep away from pointless tangents or directions that don’t immediately affect what you need to obtain. If one thing wants explaining in-depth, create an extra playbook.

Lastly, by no means go away a playbook on the shelf. Assessment their impression often and replace it to remain related. Take what you study from operating performs to tell future playbooks and fine-tune your advertising actions. 

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