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Incisive Media is one of the world’s leading business media companies, serving the financial, legal, accountancy and IT sectors. Their global customers rely on them to deliver news, opinion and insight to inform critical business decisions.


  • Create a scalable model of highly targeted automated campaigns across over 100 magazine titles
  • Create a consistent customer experience across brands
  • Deliver incremental business and revenue growth with innovative customer focused email approach

The Challenge

The Incisive digital team knew that a resource-intensive campaign-by-campaign approach to email could not support their rapidly growing business, and the expectations of their customers. Customers were receiving a disjointed experience, and operations were not scalable.

The business urgently needed to create a replicable, automated model for its subscription lifecycle programs, and newsletter campaigns, across all business units and brands.


  • Multiple business units
  • Multiple brands and over 100 titles
  • Multiple subscription types and format

The Solution

Incisive have integrated their internal CMS to work seamlessly with Adestra’s platform, triggering campaigns via an API integration. Combined with automated data feeds, this has enabled them to fully automate the publishing process for email. The Adestra Professional Services team worked closely with them to design and implement this process.

The 1,200+ automated dynamic campaigns include newsletters, personalized alerts and lifecycle marketing campaigns. They are created using:

  • Conditional content depending on product and subscriber lifecycle segment
  • A dynamic subject line generator
  • Standardized templates, for efficiency and to keep branding consistent

All subscriptions are preceded by a 2-4 week trial in which trialists receive 4-8 in-trial emails (on-boarding from day 1 via email), and multiple newsletters (dependent on brand).

The objective is to drive multi-session, multi-channel usage, and exposure of breadth and depth of content, relating to individual needs within the first 24-48 hours. They’ve discovered that multi-session usage within this time frame has a high correlation with purchase.

Lifecycle Targeted Newsletters

Different content is automatically pulled into the newsletters depending on lifecycle segment: prospect, trialist, welcome, subscriber, lapsed. For prospects, for example, it will link directly to a trial form when they click through to an article.

Subscriber Lifecycle Campaigns

For subscriber lifecycle campaigns (prospect nurturing, subscriber renewal) the templates will pull in personalised content relating to the subscription.

Reactive Campaigns

The automated system also means editors can respond quickly to breaking news. They can rank a particular article, click a button and auto-launch a campaign. These types of breaking stories can generate more article views than a week’s total output.


  • Subscription revenues growth of 31%
  • An engaged audience with average monthly open-rates of 50%, and click-to-open rates of 80%

Naming conventions are consistent across their integrated applications, so Incisive can accurately track the performance of campaigns and customer journeys. This standardized approach means that should a brand identity change, this can be very quickly updated in one place, and new products can be launched to market very quickly.


subscription revenue growth


average monthly CTOR

What’s next

Working with Adestra, Incisive will become even more targeted and personalized in their email communications, by including new data segments based on demographics and job-role information.