Using Advanced Analytics to Improve Your Company’s Email Newsletter

You are producing an email newsletter for your employees and sending it out regularly. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to figure out if it’s a success or not.

Publishing and distributing your email newsletter is only half of the equation. To produce a good newsletter that enhances employee engagement, it’s critical to analyze how well it is being received. This is where open rates, click-throughs, and other demographic information comes into play.

Hopefully you’re using an email platform with advanced analytics. Sure, most platforms have some sort of analytics tools, but most only scratch the surface. If you want to improve your email newsletter as you go, you’ll want to invest in a platform that allows you to fully understand what is resonating with which employees.

It’s important to remember that open rates can vary quite a bit depending on your IT setup and environment. You’ll want to talk with someone in your IT department or the customer service rep at your newsletter service provider to better understand the dynamics.

Breaking Down the Stats

Once you have a decent open rate of at least 60%, then it’s time to look at your click-through rates. If your email newsletter tool allows you to organize your content by categories, you may be able to compare the click-through rates between different types of content or between articles. For instance, are people reading the employee profile each month, but not the CEO’s message? Are they more interested in the employee benefit information than the events calendar? Did they like the article on the company’s new sales approach more than the article on the board of directors meeting?

If your email platform has this feature, it’s also very helpful to link demographic information to your distribution lists. This will allow you to measure the open and click-through rates for different groups of employees. Are the manager-level employees reading your content, but the rank and file isn’t? Is the office in Cleveland opening, clicking, and reading the newsletter, whereas the office in Cincinnati completely ignores it?

Having access to advanced analytics, and using them, will help improve your newsletter. Creating reports with this information can also be extremely useful to company leadership and/or the HR team. 
Using Data to Measure Engagement

If the manager in Cleveland is rallying the troops, getting employees on board with the company’s new direction, and making them excited about the future, isn’t that a leader who’s worthy of some acknowledgment? As for the head of the Cincinnati office, well, sounds like he may need some counseling on how to motivate his team. That’s data-driven feedback that his supervisor is likely to find very useful.

Remember, engagement directly affects productivity. And a robust company email newsletter can be a powerful tool to get all your employees on the same page—following the same mission.

Depending on the communication goals of your company, its culture, and your executive leadership team, creating reports on how employees are reacting to the content could be extremely useful. Chances are that many SVPs would like to know which of their managers aren’t creating a climate of engagement. This is especially true if your company is altering its course, has been recently acquired, or there is any sort of large scale change happening.

Analyze and Improve

As you analyze your stats, you should ask yourself questions as you go. Is your content targeted enough? Should you have a different email newsletter for the less responsive groups? What’s the percentage of your audience who get the email newsletter on a mobile device (and is your content optimized for mobile)?

To make your email newsletter a real asset, it’s important to look at the stats after each mailing. Identify the areas for improvement and make adjustments. Each issue should be better than the last.

Company newsletters are no longer the frivolous pieces they used to be years ago, filled with baby announcements and birthdays. They are now strategic communications tools that help keep employees motivated, informed about important company initiatives, and get everyone rowing in the same direction.

If your company realizes the importance and power of an employee newsletter, invest in it fully. Be sure to utilize an email newsletter platform with rich analytics, otherwise it’s like baking a cake but not putting the frosting on it. The frosting is what turns something good into something great.

This article is part of a five-part series. The other four parts are linked below:

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