Many providers produce e-newsletters for employers. Some providers produce them monthly, some quarterly. One or two providers produce weekly or fortnightly updates. However, few providers work out how that e-newsletter is supporting their business, and if it is helping to build strong working relationships with employers. This is a shame, because a well-targeted and relevant e-newsletter is an asset to almost every business.
It’s a good idea, therefore, to check if your e-newsletter is adding value to your employer engagement activities. Here are three questions to help you to work out the answer.
Are you sure employers want to receive your e-newsletter?
There’s only one way to be sure that employers want to receive your e-newsletter and that’s to require them actually to sign up to receive it in the first place. Lots of businesses – including quite a few providers – work on the basis that people who have given them a business card have also given their permission to be contacted on a regular basis. In most cases this isn’t so, and it’s a big mistake to make such an assumption.
Your list may be a long and growing list, but if it’s filled with people who haven’t asked to hear from you, then it’s probably not going to bring you much business.
The best way forward is to put a sign-up form on your website and ask employers to opt in to receive updates from you. If they don’t join your list, then you know that they aren’t interested in what you want to say to them.
Do you know if employers read your e-newsletter?
One of the main advantages of having an e-newsletter rather than a print newsletter is that you can use your web-based analytics package to check what happens to your communications once you have sent them out. For example, you can find out if employers open your e-newsletter or if they delete them unread. You can find out if your e-newsletters “bounce”, that is if, for some reason, they fail to arrive at their destination. You can find out if employers forward your newsletter to other people.
This is information you need to collect. It’s important feedback on the state of employer engagement in your organisation and of the value employers place on the communications they receive from you.
Do employers take action as a result of reading your e-newsletter?
You are sending your e-newsletter for a purpose. Your e-newsletter is one of the channels through which you promote your organisation, maintain contact with employers and build your business. Of course, you want employers to do something as a result of reading your communications.
You might want them to click on a link in the e-newsletter to learn more about your programmes. You might want them to contact you in order to take advantage of a special offer. You might simply be asking them to get in touch with you.
Whatever the outcome you’re looking for, both on-line and off-line, you need to track actions employers take as a result of invitations sent via your e-newsletter. This will help you to work out if your newsletter is helping you to build your employer-related business.
Using the feedback
The answers to these questions will help you to decide if your e-newsletter is earning its keep and achieving the objectives you have set for it. If employers value your current e-newsletter, you’ll know that you’re supplying information they want to read. If you find your newsletter isn’t working, you’ll now know there’s something about it you haven’t got quite right – yet.
Either way, by asking these questions you’ll be helping to improve employer engagement in your organisation.
Margaret Adams is a consultant who helps provider organisations to do more business with more employers.