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How Workshop helps Carson Group collaborate on newsletters & put analytics into action

I think that's the thing we love most about Workshop… compared to the email sending platform that we were using prior to Workshop, it saves us five to seven hours every single week.

Maddy Schwarz, Internal Communications Coordinator

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The internal comms team at Carson Wealth, one of the fastest growing financial advisory firms in the country, is mostly made up of Maddy Schwarz and Joe Steuter. Maddy is the Internal Comms Coordinator and Joe is the Senior VP of Corporate Communications… and they collaborate to send incredible comms through Workshop!

Carson Wealth has 13 offices across the country that make up Carson Wealth, Carson Coaching, and Carson Partners, plus over 130 Carson Partners offices. Maddy handles all the internal and partner communications as well as analytics, the strategy for the intranet, and the social media presence for executives. Joe’s focus is on making sure that stakeholders and partners throughout the country remain engaged and informed with everything the firm is doing.

the offices of carson wealth in omaha, ne

There are three members of the team in all, Maddy and Joe plus a multimedia specialist who handles photography, videography, and animation. Maddy manages most of the comms themselves and Joe the high-level strategy.

“It’s incredibly easy,” says Maddy. “As a team of only three people, we have to use our time very critically and we have to be very responsible with it. Compared to the email sending platform that we were using prior to Workshop, it saves us five to seven hours every single week.”

How the internal comms strategy comes to life

The biggest goal for the team is to ensure that everybody is aligned and everyone is moving with the same set of knowledge. That means email campaigns, event planning, and executive team communications cascaded down through all of the organization.

The team’s biggest newsletter is called “The Bottom Line,” which they send every Friday. It’s really focused on engaging employees and providing everyone with the most helpful information they can get without having to dig. According to Joe, The Bottom Line is really meant to distill everything down.

Maddy gathers content from departments across the company. The internal comms team attends events and snaps photos or video. These, plus GIFS, polls, surveys and more go into the newsletter through the Workshop platform. Says Maddie, “It’s a lot of fun – we have videos, and we shout out stakeholders who had babies that week or new people that started. Plus, on Monday of each week I take a look at the calendar to see what’s going on within Carson and in the wider world to plan the content.”

Through a unique segment called The Stakeholder, Maddy and Joe are helping give employee shoutouts and helping people get to know each other all at once. There’s a submission form where anyone can nominate each other for going above and beyond – the internal comms team then records video of the winner who stretched the standard the most. Says Maddy, “It’s a huge hit!”

Targeting the right email content to the right employees

With more than a dozen emails sent every week, the Carson Wealth team uses lists in Workshop a lot. Each message is targeted to a specific audience for a specific reason.
The strategy creates alignment on the big things and shares information that’s going to help each individual do their role within the firm, and also sets up a feedback loop across the organization. They’re connecting stakeholder feedback and stakeholder sentiment with the executive team to ensure that they’re making decisions for the company long-term that align with the company culture.

Quote, "They're sitting, waiting, watching their inbox, waiting for the newsletter to come through"

Scheduling, building, and approving internal messages

Joe says, “The biggest way that we inform and engage our stakeholders as a team is through Workshop. It’s a crucial tool that we use to ensure that any key message that either comes from our executive team or comes out on behalf of the organization through our team is getting out at the same time.”

Maddy does the drafting and deployment of emails through Workshop, and Joe does edits and approvals. One of her favorite things about it is the ability to pull something together quickly when needed. Either team member can collaborate at any time, and decisions can be made on the fly. They’re bouncing ideas off of one another and agreeing that the final draft is what’s going to have the biggest impact across the organization.

The team’s gotten out of the minutiae of what it means to put an email together. “We know it’s going to look professional. We know it’s going to represent our brand. We know that it’s going to come across in a very simple and easy UI so that we’re able to get straight to the point – the message that our stakeholders need to hear,” Joe says.

Using email analytics from the Workshop platform

The Bottom Line has the highest open email rate at Carson Wealth. Maddy tells us she loves sitting on Fridays after pressing “send,” watching the Workshop analytics page fill up with all the graphs and live changes and seeing the open rate skyrocket.

There’s a weekly internal comms team meeting to go over the numbers for the previous week. The team studies how emails are performing and decodes what key messages are resonating with their stakeholders. At the end of each quarter, there’s a deep-dive into all the email performance trends, and that guides the strategy for the next three months.

They didn’t know before what sort of engagement they were getting, or how people would respond to key messages. Says Joe, “We needed a solution that was easily integrated with any of our Microsoft products. We needed a solution that was easy to use because we had email solutions in the past that were very complicated and oftentimes took more training and more time to set up than they did to use.”

internal email analytics page in the workshop platform

Syncing and making employee lists through
Active Directory

Workshop and the Carson Wealth IT team set everything up for Maddy and Joe. And, they built a new Workshop-ready template of the email they were already sending before onboarding! One of the team’s favorite features is Active Directory sync… with such a complex organization and so many lists, they’ve seen a huge time savings in having it all happen auto-magically. Anytime they bring on a new office and go through onboarding, Workshop makes it seamless.

“I think there are probably 200 send lists in our system,” Maddy tells us, “Daily we use I think 7 to 12 different sending lists. Sometimes HR things are different for a remote office versus the internal office. Or if we’re having an event at HQ, we don’t need to send it to all of the remote employees or the people that work in a remote office. And those automatically update, which is phenomenal.”

Experience Workshop for yourself!

The internal comms team at Carson Wealth has been using Workshop for years, and they’re still excited about the difference it makes! To learn more about how the #1 email platform for internal comms can help bring your strategy to life, schedule a time with us to see these features in action.

 

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