Email newsletters can be found in most organisations’ internal comms strategies today.
Some consider them to be a necessary evil with many IC professionals, often battling low open and click-through rates, unconvinced over the platform’s merits.
So perhaps it’s time for a new approach – and a rewrite of the internal e-newsletter rule-book.
So what’s the big secret?
Publish entire stories inside a newsletter – treating it as a channel in its own right.
The idea stems from news providers, who use email to promote their website’s latest headlines.
Experts say readers’ habits have shifted – with audiences happy to read the headline and intro par on email but nowadays less likely to continue to the main news website.
To counter this change in habit, business publisher Quartz altered the remit of its newsletter – and has now aimed it at providing a full news experience in one place, said Gideon Lichfield, senior editor in charge of the Quartz Daily Brief.
“We think of email as its own thing, as opposed to servicing of another part of the platform,” he added.
And they’re not the only ones.
Millennial-aimed newsletter Ozy, which provides US and world headlines to more than a million subscribers, is read entirely in email.
“One of the realities of the digital world is that people aren’t going to consume content on your site,” said Aneesh Raman, vp of marketing and audience development at Ozy Media. “We’re trying to be more of a digital native.”
Of course, this is completely at odds with the current approach for many internally focused email newsletters.
Snappy headlines and punchy teaser paragraphs are common before directing readers to click through to an intranet or enterprise social network (ESN) for the remainder of the story.
But if click-through rates are low, why not try the alternative approach?
Obviously, content would need to be crafted specifically for the platform (no-one is suggesting lumping 300-word articles into the template) and signposting to your other channels should still be incorporated too.
And there’s another advantage too.
With the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the workplace, more internal communication than ever is being viewed on mobile phones. With publisher article load times being notoriously slow, keeping the content in one space makes a lot of sense.
It is a leap for the traditional tried-and-tested approach to email newsletters.
But if your current newsletter is struggling, why not give it a whirl?