Best Practices: Employee Newsletter

Simpplr offers the Employee Newsletter feature that saves time, money, and puts the power of newsletter communication into the hands of your employees with just a few clicks. Newsletters:

  • Group and distribute company wide or site-specific content to users
  • Are built to target specific audiences in addition to the whole company
  • Remind users of content they might have missed
  • Offer nearly endless customization and formatting
  • Ultimately help increase company wide adoption and engagement across the intranet

Note:

Although these best practices are applicable to both the legacy newsletter feature (sunset offering) and Employee Newsletter, the content is more geared toward the Employee Newsletter. For more information on the legacy newsletter that is no longer offered, click here

Enablement and crafting

The Employee Newsletter is an add-on product of Simpplr, but once purchased, it is seamlessly integrated into the application and requires very little setup. The Application manager is responsible for defining who will manage the newsletter experience and will grant newsletter control according to the internal business need. Most often, the users responsible for compiling and distributing will be on the Comms team, Marketing team, HR, or a combination of these. 

We'll talk more about best ways to craft your newsletter below, but in short, the key takeaway is to decide the most important and relevant content you'd like your users to see, and distribute only that. Newsletters can lead to information overload, and users may not understand if everything they're seeing is important. You also can't expect every user on the distribution list to click everything they see in the newsletter. As much time as you may have put into crafting it, you can't expect users to spend a similar amount of time consuming it. 

You 'll also need to whitelist the Simpplr IP address that the newsletters are not sent to spam. Please reach out to your Account manager if you need assistance in granting additional control for newsletters.

Frequency

When thinking of your newsletter communication strategy, it is important to define your audience and frequency of newsletters. There is a happy balance between sending timely communication and too much communication. 

If you currently leverage email channels for weekly updates or monthly updates, then you should consider leveraging newsletters. Depending on your business needs, you can proactively plan, manage, and send newsletters directly from Simpplr. 

Recommendations for newsletters: 

  • A minimum cadence of a monthly newsletter to your entire organization.
  • Some companies require a weekly cadence. If you choose to do a weekly newsletter, we recommend that you have a series of authors responsible for sending out newsletters on a weekly basis. 
  • Department-specific newsletters and newsletters coming from Internal Communications should be leveraged weekly. 
  • Some companies require a quarterly cadence. If you choose to do a quarterly newsletter, we recommend having executive sponsored content in the newsletter to drive traffic and adoption to the intranet. 
  • Newsletters coming from the executive team should be leveraged quarterly. 
  • The best way to maintain newsletters is to deploy a customer survey benchmarking frequency so that you can iterate the cadence of newsletters according to employee feedback.
    PN email view (1).gif

Boosting engagement

So you've set up your newsletter for success, established a frequency cadence, and went through reviews with your team. That's a great start, but it may not mean much if the engagement isn't there.

Note that when setting up your reply-to email address, you cannot select, nor would Simpplr recommend a "no reply" option. This could harm user engagement. We recommend using an email address that recipients can reply to and managing incoming emails with filters that can automatically remove unnecessary incoming emails.

Industry click-through rate is 7% or higher. 

The benchmark for a good click-through rate (CTR) for internal newsletters may vary depending on factors such as your org's industry, size, and the specific goals of the newsletter. Generally, internal newsletters often have higher engagement rates compared to external marketing newsletters. A "reasonable" range for a good click-through rate for internal newsletters is typically between 10% and 20%. 

So what factors play into boosting engagement with your newsletter? Well, it's the same as what makes a successful internal communications strategy. It's crucial to keep in mind the unique dynamics of internal communications. Factors such as the company culture, frequency of newsletters, and the relevance of the content to employees play significant roles in determining what is considered a successful click-through rate.

If your click-through rate for internal newsletters is low, it's essential to assess and implement strategies to enhance engagement. Here are a few things we'd recommend if you're not already putting them into practice:

  1. Baseline measurement:

    • Establish a baseline click-through rate by monitoring initial performance. This will provide a reference point for future assessments and improvements.

  2. Content relevance:

    • Ensure that the content of the newsletter is directly relevant and valuable to employees. The more aligned the content is with their interests and needs, the higher the click-through rate is likely to be. The larger your audience is, the tougher this will be. If you're sending a newsletter to the entire org, odds are there will be some content in there that is not relevant to all employees. You may expect lower click-through rates this way. 

  3. Feedback and surveys:

    • Actively seek feedback from employees through surveys or direct communication. Understand their preferences, and use this information to enhance the content and format of the newsletters. We recommend the Employee Listening suite of survey tools if you're not already using it. 

  4. Interactive content:

    • Incorporate interactive elements, such as videos, quizzes, or clickable buttons to encourage engagement. Interactive content often leads to higher click-through rates.

  5. Consistent communication:

    • Maintain a consistent schedule for newsletters. This goes back to the frequency discussed earlier. Regular communication fosters familiarity and encourages employees to anticipate and engage with the content.

  6. Promotion of internal initiatives:

    • Use newsletters to promote and explain internal initiatives, programs and events. Employees are more likely to click through if they see a direct connection between the content and their involvement or contribution.

  7. Utilize Employee Recognition:

    • Every newsletter has the option to include a Recognition smart block. This is used to highlight employee achievements and recognize contributions within the organization. This smart block is great for smaller audiences especially. When users see fellow team members being publicly recognized for a job well done, they are more likely to click in and see more about it. Content that resonates emotionally or personally tends to generate higher engagement.

  8. Metrics analysis:

    • Regularly analyze metrics, including click-through rates, open rates and overall engagement. Use this data to identify patterns, understand what works well and make data-driven decisions for improvement.

  9. Benchmarking against previous performance:

    • After a time, compare current click-through rates with historical data received during your baseline assessment. If there is a noticeable improvement or consistency, it's a positive sign that your internal newsletters are resonating with employees.

  10. Employee segmentation:

    • Segment your employee audience based on factors such as department, role or location. Tailor content to specific segments to make it more relevant and increase engagement.

Remember that the primary goal of internal newsletters is to improve communication, foster a sense of community and keep employees informed and engaged. While click-through rates are a valuable metric, they should be considered in conjunction with other factors contributing to the overall success of your internal communication strategy.

Improving engagement is an ongoing process. By actively seeking feedback, making data-driven decisions and adapting your strategy, you can gradually enhance the effectiveness of your newsletters.

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