It used to be that you needed advanced training to publish anything digital. HTML coding was a requirement and without it you were out of luck. Fortunately, that is changing.
For those internal communications professionals who are tasked with creating an email newsletter for employees, there are many platforms to consider. However, as is the case with most everything in life, all things are not created equal.
Oftentimes, people will start their research by looking at more basic options such as MailChimp. Yes, you can email newsletters through this platform. However, the analytics are fairly rudimentary and may not empower you with the data you need to improve your newsletter. Plus, you can only choose from pre-selected templates so your customization options are limited. Other platforms such as Constant Contact and Emma are similar, offering simple features that scratch the surface in terms of data and design.
A more advanced email newsletter platform will give you access to rich statistics, personalized design, and in-person customer service. When trying to find the best solution to meet your needs, be sure to consider these questions first:
- Will the provider create a custom-designed template for me that addresses my unique goals or am I limited to generic templates that other companies are already using?
- Can a newsletter be created for me that takes into account my company’s brand and design guidelines to ensure our corporate identity is preserved?
- Do I receive training when I sign up to use the platform?
- Is training self-service or will a person walk me through the process and show me what I need to know?
- Will I be able to talk to a real, live person at the email newsletter company after my initial sign up?
- Will this platform allow me to create landing pages?
- Can I publish a microsite?
- Can readers rate my content?
- Am I able to automatically create a table of contents for my newsletter or do I have to do it manually?
- Are employees able to comment on the content?
- Can a “like” button be added to published content?
- Does the email provider require me to add their logo on my company newsletter?
- Will I be able to determine the amount of time users spend on each landing page and/or article?
- Can my newsletter include a “printer-friendly” option?
- Will past newsletters be automatically archived, with the ability to search for previous articles?
- Am I able to group articles into categories (for easy design and search)?
- Will I have to format each issue of my newsletter or can I just copy and paste text that will format for me automatically?
- Can my mailing list be automatically synced with the email newsletter provider’s platform?
- Does the provider offer advanced demographic reports (e.g. open rates based on job titles, locations, departments, etc.)?
- Can I delete the unsubscribe button so my employees are unable to opt out from receiving company news?
- Am I able to publish surveys through the platform?
- Can I create forms via the platform?
- Will employees be able to submit article suggestions through a form within the newsletter?
- Will the newsletter company be able to accommodate special requests or create customized solutions to meet my needs?
- If I require assistance along the way, will I be able to get it or am I on my own?
Image Credit: FreeImages.com/ChrisBaker