CASE STUDY: Train your staff to write better emails and increase content downloads by 900%

In 2018, a mutual financial services company found that their financial representatives were disengaged from employee-facing content. Employees were ignoring company emails and taking time from client meetings to dig for necessary content. That’s when the company’s communications team turned to Aha Media Group for a two-day, cross-functional content training.

During the workshop, Aha Media Group taught the communications team strategy and best practices to streamline internal messaging into one Daily Digest email. Using Aha Media’s best practices, the daily newsletter quickly surpassed open rate and loyalty rate goals.

The Challenge

20,000+ financial advisors, staff and leadership were overwhelmed by the volume, lack of prioritization and limited relevance of the communications coming from headquarters. They were disengaged and spending too much time digging through content to find what they needed.

The communications team set out to streamline the content delivered to the field, provide more relevance and improve engagement. They brought in Aha Media to deliver a customized workshop that would encourage and excite their internal content production team.

Aha Media’s Approach

After reviewing the company’s challenges, Aha Media customized a two-day, hands-on workshop for members of the company’s communications team.

The workshop focused on:

  • Tailoring content to different audience segments
  • Building storytelling techniques
  • Prioritizing content
  • Learning digital writing best practices

Aha Media used the company’s existing content to demonstrate improvements and best practices. By putting the recommendations into action during the training, in a tangible way, the communications team was able to use the learnings immediately.

The goal was to sharpen the content strategy and production efforts. Aha Media helped the communications team accomplish this by teaching them how to:

  • Implement a more streamlined content strategy
  • Provide a small amount of content for a much larger impact
  • Create content that was concise, targeted, and intriguing

The Results

After the training, the company saw:

  • Improved trust and relevancy, with an email open rate of 53% after 3 months
  • Increased engagement, with 51% of recipients opening and reading emails 3 times over 5 days
Goal Actual
Email Open Rate: 40% Email Open Rate: 53%
Loyalty Rate:* 50% Loyalty Rate: 51%
Content Downloads:**60/month Content Downloads: 600/month


*The percentage of people who opened and read an email 3 times or more over 5 days
**Prior to launch of the Daily Digest compared to 3 months after launch

Content became more relevant and helpful for members of the field. The best-performing content earned a 17% click-to-open rate. Content downloads increased from about 60 per month to 600 per month.

A feedback button included in each email helped the team learn what the audience liked:

  • “I love the Daily. Quick snippets and pertinent information, sent in one daily email, eliminates the need to search the portal. Brilliant.”
  • “It’s not only a great idea in theory, but it’s been great in execution, as well.”
  • “Three pertinent updates plus marketing commentary is perfect. Helps me stay on top of changes without feeling overwhelmed. It’s also short enough that I don’t skip it and tell myself ‘I’ll come back to it later.’”

Lessons Learned

Better training will improve your writers’ skills and confidence so they can produce content that increases content downloads and keeps audiences coming back for more.

  • Training is critical: Investing in your team’s digital writing skills will always pay off in spades. An outside writing expert will encourage and motivate your team and galvanize them to produce crisper copy.
  • Create compelling copy, especially for dry topics: If your goal is engagement, your copy needs to be engaging no matter the topic. Storytelling practices will help you accomplish that goal.
  • Stick to your strategy and voice: Your audience values consistency. Identify a strategy and voice that will help you reach your goals, train your team how to follow it and then stick with it.

“We were looking for somebody who was skilled with digital writing and tailoring to an audience. We brought Ahava in for the workshop. Being able to run through our existing content in parallel with the principles that [Ahava] was covering related to good writing practices was so valuable to the team.” – Financial services client

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