Review: Cerkl – the SMART newsletter

Cerkl - the SMART newsletter review

September 10, 2015

Not everybody reads the same articles in a newspaper. So why would everyone want to read the same company newsletter?

According to bizjournals.com, only 18.5 per cent of us even bother to open email newsletters. So how do we increase this number?

Cerkl – the SMART newsletter believes it has the answer.

The new kid on the newsletter block claims that, by personalising newsletters, it cuts through noise to create long-term engagement, writes Holly Whitecross.

But is Cerkl really the new holy grail of employee engagement?

For starters, Cerkl is definitely more visually appealing than your standard email newsletter.


Setting it up was straight forward and the process oozes personalisation from the outset. Simply pick the newsletter style you like and decide how often you wish content to be sent out.

With measurement of employee engagement being crucial to comms professionals in 2015, Cerkl really does excel on analytics.

You can discover open and subscriber rates, social media shares and most engaged members – a wealth of priceless information providing invaluable insight into employees’ preferences and habits.

Of course Cerkl sells itself on its uncanny ability to fine tune the information you receive.

How is it done? Here’s the clever part. The person releasing the newsletter tags specific topics. If you have personally selected to hear about that topic, you will receive the newsletter. If not, you don’t receive it.

This is a great way to prevent time from being wasted on information that isn’t relevant.


However, there is a flip side to this – sometimes what you want to hear isn’t the same as what you need to hear.

Choosing not to receive certain updates means you may miss out on important information within an organisation, and this is something a business should be aware of when using Cerkl.

For larger teams, the ability to filter out unnecessary email noise could make Cerkl a worthwhile investment.

Its pricing structure relates to the size of the organisation using it, including free use for businesses with fewer than 1,000 recipients.

But, just because it’s free, is Cerkl of much use to smaller companies?

Larger organisations may find some information is more likely to apply only to a couple of departments rather than the entire business, hence the need for Cerkl.

However, in smaller outfits information will probably apply to the majority of the business – so will the filter option still be relevant?

Cerkl’s founder, Tarek Kamil, thinks so.

“Everything is archived online, so if someone misses an email, they can easily find it,” Tarek explained.

“Also, content is private to the team but still easily searchable by team members.”

Tarek points out Cerkl works on all devices: mobile, tablet and web browsers. Keeping up with company communications on the move is a great benefit, but there is no app currently available to make life easier. Plans are in the pipeline for a mobile app in early 2016.

In an age of endless updates from social media to email, internal communication has to constantly evolve.

Does Cerkl help keep employees engaged? Yes. But you have to be careful – you could end up unintentionally ignoring key information.

Verdict: Cerkl
Platform: Web browser and email client.
Final thought: Cerkl is definitely worth giving a go. Inviting and personable, it’s likely employees will open up more newsletters.
But, people are more likely to ignore the ‘dull’ – but essential – information. If used correctly, I think Cerkl could be of use to a larger organisation – but I’m yet to be persuaded on its use in small teams.
Rating: 7/10.

** Cerkl contacted us with regard to the key information issue. They said: “The newsletters are automatically personalised for the recipient (but) organisations can force certain content to the top of everyone’s newsletter if they choose.”
A video series explaining this in further detail is scheduled to be released in the near future.