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I work in Corporate Communications and one of the things my team wants to do send out internal email newsletters. Right now, everything is sent out using Outlook, which doesn't allow for responsive and well-designed emails. Their workaround is to have me code up the HTML emails, host them somewhere, and paste them into an Outlook email, which doesn't really work because most of the styling is ignored.

So, I'm wondering what kind of tool would work for this? I've used email marketing tools like Mailchimp but my concern with that is that we don't want employees to be able to unsubscribe from these emails. I'm sure other companies out there send out internal newsletters so what's some best practices for this? What tools are best for this?

  • We use an intranet-only instance of WordPress to hold the actual content, etc. and send daily emails via a listserv (Lyris, but any listserv will work) with new content summaries and the usual "click here to read more" stuff. – ivanivan Mar 22 at 14:22
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Some of the better options include:

  1. Author the newsletter to an internal web-server and send out the link. This lets you use the full power of HTML/CSS/etc. and there are a large number of options available for tools to author the newsletter.
  2. Author the newsletter as a PDF document and send it out as an attachment - now you have the full power of PDF. Consider disabling printing, copying, etc.
  3. Author the newsletter as a Word document and send it out as an attachment - now you have the full power of Word - this is worst because unless you password protect the document people can save, edit, etc. (Worst as often bulkiest)
  4. Use 2 or 3 above but send out a link to a server/shared location.
  5. If your company already has a web site you could potentially have an employees only area of the site for newsletters.

A couple of things to consider:

  • Do you want people to be able to forward the content of your company newsletter to external destinations, e.g. competitors, news organisations, etc. if not then either use option 1 above create an Outlook Form for sending out the newsletter with Forward disabled.
  • Do you wish people to be able to hit Reply All - if not create an Outlook Form for sending out the newsletter with "Reply All" disabled.
  • You can do both of the above.
  • If you wish to minimize the size of the mails, and thus the load on peoples inboxes and the companies servers use 1, 4 or 5 above.
  • If you might need to be able to withdraw a specific newsletter later, or correct errors, again 1, 4 or 5 is your best bet.
  • thanks for your response! what do you mean by "authoring the newsletters to an internal web-server"? Another idea is to create an internal site/blog where we post the newsletter articles instead of email. – taylor018 Mar 21 at 15:48
  • @taylor018 That is pretty much what I meant but there are a lot of options that I have seen used, (depending on the size of the company and the available IT support or restrictions). Host your own web server, Employees Only area on company site, Box, even a shared drive - the main point is to send the mails with a link, (and maybe a few headlines), rather than a big attachment. – Steve Barnes Mar 22 at 6:35

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