What is a favorable internal newsletter/email open rate?

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I've seen lots of industry open rates for external newsletters/emails, but nothing for internal. Can someone help?
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ICF International

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Posted 4 years ago

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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Hi there! I haven't seen a firm internal open rate either, likely because there are a lot of factors. I can give you a real-world example, though: Every two weeks, I send a company-wide email sharing the kind compliments Emma users have shared about our products, support and design. It's sent every other Friday at 3 p.m. Central and acts as a warm and fuzzy entry to the weekend.

Using the Compare mailings button on the Response page, I took a look at the last five mailings' open rates. The average is 87.34%. Important factors:
  • The email is consistently sent, and it arrives to inboxes on Fridays, close to when people are doing their final inbox check before the weekend.
  • The email has no call to action other than to read it.
  • The content is positive.
  • The email goes to email marketers, and it's about their own platform.
My point is that this is an easy email to open, so I'd call that massive open rate uncommon when it comes to typical company correspondence. I'd love to hear the open rates others are seeing for their internal emails! I'll share this link around, and please share below the type of industry you're in, when you're sending, the typical content and the open rates you're seeing.
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Ted Hogan, Champion

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Katie, does that imply that +12% of Emma's own employees don't open company emails. I might have kept that little nugget to myself. ;)

I started to skip this since I didn't really think it applied to me.  I've been focusing my efforts on outbound emails targeted towards lead generation rather than on internal communication.  But after a minute's reflection, this post started me to thinking that a regular email targeted internally to our employees might be an excellent idea for me to pursue.

Our company is spread out over 13 locations in 8 states, and this might just offer me a very useful tool to open an internal dialogue about what we're doing with the website and our larger marketing efforts to promote the company. I think it's worth a shot (and measure the response) ... thanks for a good idea at the right time.
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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Hey, it's real life! And this lines up with what I'd expect: Most of our company is customer-facing (Support, Design, Concierge, Sales), so they account for those opens, as their teams are likely to be singled out by a user.

It sounds as though internal email would be a great way to connect the cultures of your separate location. Our Portland office sends a periodic email to the company keeping us in Nashville in the loop about what's happening in their neighborhood. It makes us feel closer.
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American River College

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My college just converted a former PDF weekly employee newsletter to Emma. The results after 3 editions: 16.7% open rate and 28.4% click rate. Very low numbers. It is the end of the semester for us and folks are tired, buried with finals, etc. However the open rates are discouraging.

Looking at the data, we can guess that no one was reading the newsletter when it was previously sent as a PDF attachment - now we just have data to prove it. I think we will need to do some work in the next semester to promote the new Emma version, get folks to understand that the newsletter now is mobile-friendly, more click-friendly, etc.
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Ted Hogan, Champion

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People love to get a glimpse behind the scenes, so maybe you could feature some stories with photos of theatre rehearsals, or inside an art studio, or team practice, etc. Give your audience an inside peek behind the curtain. The more visual you can make it, the better.

Try to think of ways to incentivize the action you want people to take. Perhaps by using the email newsletter to promote an awareness campaign on social media. Close the loop by using that same social media to build awareness of the new newsletter format. Perhaps you could even engage students with a promotion to encourage them to submit photos and comments from events on campus, then feature selected submissions in future editions of the newsletter and social media feeds.

If you can make it fun or rewarding in some way, you can create an opportunity for viral content that your audience will share for you.

Just a thought... Good luck!
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American River College

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Great ideas - thanks. I agree we need to work on ways to incentivize!
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi friends -- I'm so glad to see some helpful solution sharing going on here! :)

I wanted to chime in to let you know that in addition to the Emma tools Ted referenced here, our services team can also offer results-boosting consultation services! In the context of your questions here, American River College, I think the Open Rate Booster package would be a great fit.

If you find yourself needing an extra hand on moving those numbers, let me know. I'll get you connected!
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Ted Hogan, Champion

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I see what you did there, Emily  ... excellent use of call-to-action!
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American River College

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Thanks Emily. We'll check that out. Agree with Ted - good use of the CTA!