Whether you view email newsletters as a valuable vehicle for company-wide updates or as noise that weighs down your inbox, the fact is that email isn’t going away, and neither is using email newsletters for internal communications.
If your primary method of employee communication is by email or email newsletters, you’re not alone. According to The State of Internal Communications 2021, over 95% of organizations use emails regularly for company-wide communications making it the most commonly used tool. Since 2020, corporate communicators have been using email more frequently, sending 72% more emails in 2020 than they did in 2019.
Evolving newsletters in IC strategy
While these numbers tell us that communication is important, it doesn’t tell us how effective email and email newsletters are. More than likely, where email is the most commonly used method of communication, employees are experiencing corporate email fatigue. However, that doesn’t mean email should be eliminated. As organizations have shifted to either a hybrid or fully digital workplace, emails have become even more valuable to connect employees to company news, updates, and announcements. The question shifts from “should we abandon email?” to “how can we evolve newsletters to be more effective in our communications strategy?”
Common IC newsletter challenges
There are varying challenges that IC tends to face. Simpplr Research has done the research and aggregated some of the most common newsletter challenges IC faces today:
Company newsletter lacks production and polish
Internal communicators often use tools that are simply not designed for communications use cases. You spend hours googling and editing HTML, and let’s be honest – Outlook or Marketing’s email automation software was never designed to help IC send internal emails for the types of information you need to communicate. What you end up with is off-brand or unattractive newsletters that often leave employees uninspired and not engaged.
Can’t govern outgoing internal emails across the org
You’re likely not the only function sending emails to employees. The Sales team has their own weekly newsletter, and so does Marketing. Without a centralized platform to govern email cadences (and email templates) across departments, high email newsletter frequency inevitably becomes spam.
Audience or employee distribution lists are inaccurate
Keeping email lists up-to-date can be laborious and tedious. More often than not, that integration with your HRIS system that syncs employee data belongs to IT, adding another layer of complexity to sending your employee newsletter. When employee changes happen, and the audience list isn’t updated immediately, employees will fall through the cracks and miss company announcements, and consequently, an important employee touchpoint.
Lack of helpful reporting and analytics
Many in IC want better tracking and reporting to measure and improve performance and strategies. Without proper metrics, you are oblivious to what’s working and what’s not, sinking hours throughout the entire process. Now imagine if you had real data to guide your decisions – you would gain learnings and find improvement opportunities – minus the guessing game.
Do any of the above challenges resonate?
A modern newsletter for employee communications
IC should have tools purpose-built for the function to streamline and maximize employee engagement, including an employee newsletter for internal comms. Solutions commonly used by IC are (1) manual with an email service provider like Outlook, (2) a marketing automation tool like Marketo, (3) and a point-solution dependent on Outlook. If these options meet your wishlist, then that’s fantastic!
To answer the question from earlier, “how can we evolve newsletters to be more effective in our communications strategy?”, Simpplr’s Newsletter offers IC a more robust newsletter that integrates closely with the intranet itself, making sharing content, audiences, analytics, surveys, and personalization easy – and without leaving the Simpplr platform. Unlike more traditional solutions, the Newsletter’s modern user experience makes it easy to produce quality and on-brand aesthetics all while reducing the time it takes to draft and publish content. Because it’s tightly integrated with Simpplr’s intranet, you drag and drop existing content, news, knowledge, and people data right into the Newsletter, minimizing duplication efforts and lost drafts.
When you’re ready to send, Simpplr’s Newsletter takes a multi-channel approach, delivering news and announcements to employees whether they live on Slack, prefer email, or are on the floor. And as the saying goes “you can’t improve what you can’t measure”, the Newsletter is built with native analytics that measures intranet adoption (time spent on intranet), giving you another source of referral that improves intranet and content engagement. With everything you need in a centralized solution, you can design, create, and send weekly newsletters in 30 minutes, every time.
Recall the top challenges above. Simpplr’s Newsletter offers built-in solutions to challenges with newsletter design, email newsletter governance, audience lists, and reporting. Simpplr’s Newsletter helps you:
Design, curate, and send an on-brand newsletter in under 30 minutes
Very few practitioners (where are the lucky few?) have the bandwidth and expertise to deliver a perfect email newsletter from start to end. Reducing time spent making pesky design changes allows you more time to focus on the most important ingredient of an engaging newsletter: storytelling.
Works seamlessly with Simpplr intranet
Drag and drop existing intranet content like intranet pages and events right into the newsletter. Save you and your team headaches!
Robust drag and drop layout editor
You can finally produce good-looking, on-brand emails without HTML or design chops. The most common templates (e.g., company updates, employee spotlight) are pre-built for you to begin right away. As a plus, we’ve integrated an amazing image library with Unsplash.
Improve open and engagement rates with 1:1 personalization
Personalized email newsletters are a gamechanger to the employee newsletter experience. Simpplr’s Newsletter uses our AI to send only relevant content to every employee based on his/her/their social graph, like department, location, followers, and other attributes.
Get the proper analytics and additional heatmaps to optimize strategy
Augment IC email newsletter metrics that you can filter and benchmark with heatmaps that offer a visual way to help you understand where employees click.
Maximize reach and timeliness with multi-channel delivery
To best engage employees, be sure to have flexible employee touchpoints for “push” communications and send newsletters to employees where they prefer: via in-app notification, mobile push notification, SMS, or email.
Avoid inbox bloat with easy audience management and targeting
Half of the IC battle is making sure employees receive company communications. Easily target your entire audience or target your audience in segments, such as by department, location, interest, or create custom groups. Audience groups automatically syncs with dynamic lists (in your HRIS), keeping people data up-to-date whenever changes happen. And change is constant!
Send your employee newsletters with Simpplr
The next evolution of the employee newsletter is long due. Many IC practitioners are using tools that simply aren’t designed for internal communicators and business leaders. As communications channels become more saturated and employees experience tech fatigue, it is dire to start evolving your newsletter and communications strategy. No longer should the employee email experience be the same as a decade ago. Simpplr’s Newsletter will modernize your newsletter workflow, making it simple and pleasant for you and engaging for employees.
Simpplr combines modern IC workflows and the best of technology to help you design, create, and send newsletters employees actually want to read. To see how you can create a beautiful and engaging newsletter for your employees in under 30 minutes, learn more here.