Our client Mastercard won gold in this award, thanks to our strategy to obtain up to 70% opening rate on the internal newsletter the company wanted to promote.
In this article, we tell you the details of the case.
LAC Insider won the gold medal
So was the case of LAC Insider, Mastercard’s internal news, as it has just won gold at the Stevie International Business Awards.
Here we tell you all about the process of this great project.
LAC Insider, the star of internal communication
Together with Mastercard’s Regional Internal Communications team, we redefined the role of LAC Insider, the company’s news for Latin America and the Caribbean, as an internal communications tool.
LAC Insider keeps teams informed, disseminates regional news, and reinforces core aspects of organizational culture, reaching more than 1,200 employees in more than 15 offices weekly.
Due to its characteristics, it was the ideal vehicle to support regional communication campaigns in a 100% virtual environment, accompanying employees in the most challenging times during the COVID-19 global health emergency, generating a sense of closeness, showing empathy, and strengthening the sense of belonging.
The team’s objectives were to communicate the company’s new business strategy, generate engagement among employees by showing each initiative’s what, how, and why, and highlight actions and messages related to Diversity and Inclusion, essential topics for the company worldwide.
The key, the strategy to empower LAC Insider
In early 2021, the Internal Communications team decided it was time for LAC Insider to take a real leap forward. In February 2021, the newsletter migrated to Salesforce, a more flexible mail platform, allowing different reading levels to prioritize content better.
Design changes were made to optimize readability and efficiency and increase readership. Color codes were defined for each section. The order of the sections’ presentation was also modified to prioritize the most popular ones, and sections with photos were created to deliver more visibility.
Historically sent in English (the official language in the region), the communications team, considering that a significant portion of LAC Insider’s recipients would be more interested if they could read the news in their language, decided to include a Spanish and a Portuguese version.
While LAC Insider’s average open rate as of May 2021 was 24% – above the general statistics of 21.5% – a new target was set: to reach an average opening rate of 50%.
Implementation in 3 steps
Metrics from 17 editions of the LAC Insider in three languages (English, Spanish and Portuguese) were analyzed from February to June 2021. This evaluation focused on the performance of content topics, language, time and days of delivery, and reading duration of each note.
The objective was to gain insight into employees’ reading preferences and habits.
This analysis, combined with knowledge of LAC employees’ dynamics and work rhythm, allowed the initial hypotheses to be formulated.
Specific topics, such as cryptocurrencies or employee rewards, tended to generate the most interest.
A digital survey was sent to all 1,200 employees in the LAC region to confirm the hypotheses that assessed overall interest in LAC Insider, the most frequently chosen day and time of day to receive it, and reading preferences.
The results confirmed these initial hypotheses and yielded new insights, such as that recipients tended to read the title and a summary of the story within the same email.
At the end of July, the team began implementing adjustments based on these key evaluation factors. The chosen modality, A/B testing, was phased in over four weeks.
First, the Internal Communications team A/B tested the day and time of delivery to measure how these variables affected the average open rate. Then it focused on newsletter design and the topics and length of each piece of content.
Each new variable provided insight into readers.
A share of luck
There was also an element of luck. The first A/B test yielded a curious insight: due to a bug in the mailing platform, one of the LAC Insiders got sent at 3 am, and the initial results were significant. This finding showed that if employees received the newsletter very early in the morning, many would read it before starting work, during breakfast, or even in bed.
Another finding throughout the implementation was that employees wanted to read regional news, but most would only click to read a little. So we decided to add more information to the piece received by email, not just a short paragraph, so they could have a general picture of the news and choose to read more if they liked it.
Finally, the Internal Communications team included more employee interviews and stories to give them visibility and engage readers.
Five weeks after the start of testing and the change in turnaround time, the average open rate reached 74% (August 20). This spike responded to the strategy of including two high-impact news stories in the same edition of LAC Insider: “5 things you should know about our back-to-office announcements” (employees were expected to work from the office at least two days a week for the first time since the start of the pandemic) and “Flexible Friday hours starting next week” (a long-awaited benefit for everyone in the region).
As a result, LAC Insider readership increased by 150%, a growth sustained for the rest of the year (and continues to date). This indicator showed that LAC Insider had generated expectations and habits among the region’s collaborators. It had become a high-impact internal channel, key to supporting the company’s objectives and strategy.
Results that were possible from working hand in hand with Mastercard LAC’s Internal Communications team.
We are proud to have been part of strengthening the impact of LAC Insider under a clear strategy and an exemplary implementation, which allowed us to overreach all the objectives and today to have earned an award of international prestige.
About the Stevie International Business Awards
High-performing organizations and executives worldwide have been recognized as Stevie® gold, silver, and bronze award winners at the 19th annual International Business Awards®, the world’s only all-encompassing international business awards program.
Winners were selected from more than 3,700 nominations submitted by organizations in 67 countries.
A complete list of all 2022 Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners by category are available at www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry.
Our mission is to connect and empower an inclusive digital economy that benefits everyone by making transactions secure, simple, smart, and accessible.
Our innovations and solutions help people, finance, institutions, governments, and businesses realize their greatest potential.
With connections in more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks invaluable possibilities for all.