Great email marketers – like you – know email marketing best practices. You rock your promotional emails, getting a huge Return on Investment and you have all the measurement to prove it. You tweak your email program based on regular testing and segmentation. You are an email marketing rockstar.
So how does your internal newsletter look?
Let’s face it, “the cobblers’ kids” or whatever the metaphor is, our internal communications don’t get the attention our marketing messaging does. I bet most of us would say “Yeah, duh. It shouldn’t. It doesn’t make us any money!” Right? Sort of right. It doesn’t come with a direct sales pipeline, but there is a return on investing in your internal newsletter just like your external newsletter: happier, more informed co-workers, stronger buy-in from C-level executives, more involvement in team and company initiatives, and overall knowledge-sharing. If your internal newsletter isn’t optimized to the best it can be, you’re not getting the most bang for your … well, time.
So here’s a quick list of the top 5 mistakes you’re probably making with your internal newsletter that wouldn’t dream of doing to your external email campaigns.
#1 Five-mile long emails
If you think your prospects are unlikely to read an email that takes up a ream of paper when printed, your fellow employees are even less likely. If you have a lot to cover, that’s great! Offer snippets and links to an internal blog or landing page (that’s securely behind a login if needbe). If that’s not a possibility, at least offer an easy Table of Contents and “back to top” links throughout the email. The more easily they can control what parts they read, the more likely they are to read.
#2 Not Segmenting
Part of the reason for an internal newsletter is so employees know what’s going on in other departments, so you don’t want to send a Marketing newsletter to the marketing team. But there are some segmentation possibilities with your newsletter. Maybe your Phoenix office would read more often if the employee spotlight where from the Phoenix office or if the events calendar where specific to the Southwest region. Think of ways to engage your internal readers the same way you engage your external ones.
#3 Not Testing
How do you know if your segmentation works? How do you know when the best time in your coworkers’ busy day is to send? Do you know if they’re more likely to click to open a PDF vs. play a video tutorial? A great email marketer tests so s/he knows what’s working.
#4 No Personalization
Do you, or do you not know the recipient’s name? And job title? What about their division in the company? You use personalization to draw readers’ eyes in your external newsletters. Readers are readers: you can use the same types of personalization to make your co-workers perk up and read.
#5 Never look at the Results
Ok, I’ll admit it. I do this. I send out gorgeous internal emails – look at all this cool stuff! – and then just assume everyone reads it. I’ll have conversations with people about what was in the newsletter as if they read every word. Sure, your read rate is probably higher than for your outbound newsletter, but every once in a while, take a peek at what people are clicking on and reading more about. It’ll help you write more interesting newsletters in the future.
I bet I didn’t say a single thing you didn’t already know about, since you’re a marketing smartie pants. But how many of these mistakes are you making in your internal affairs? What does your company’s internal newsletter rock on and *ahem* fall short on?
Takeaway: Don’t make mistakes in your internal email marketing that you’d never make when sales were on the line. Use best practices for all your email communications.