There is a funny juxtaposition between what organizations communicate to the public—namely, their consumers and prospects—and what they say to their employees.
Often, you’ll find that companies give external email a great deal of thought, targeting and control, whereas internal emails are a smorgasbord of information gluttony.
Using email for internal communications should be no different than using it for external marketing purposes, yet communicators often ignore it. How does the saying go? “The cobbler’s kids have no shoes.”
Here are a few things to understand about using email for internal communications:
1. As with everything, internal communications need a purpose.
Believe it or not, just because someone works for you does not mean they’ll open the corporate newsletter every month. Every time you send a form of internal communication, you need to answer the ultimate question: “What’s in it for me?”
Sure, there are office/company-wide announcements that you need to make, such as, “Hey folks! Everyone is getting a bonus this year!” But your employees really only care about these things:
- Keeping their job
- Liking their job
- Enjoying company/personal success
- If there’s extra food in the conference room
(Not necessarily in that order.)
If your message doesn’t appeal to those four factors—and believe me, the extra food one can be big, especially on a Wednesday afternoon—then you’re going to have trouble sustaining solid email engagement metrics. It’s the truth.
2. Targeting is important.
If you know a news item will only apply to two departments, send it to just those two departments. For example, if you have both on-site and remote employees, the “extra food in the conference room” email will likely only apply to on-site employees.
It shouldn’t be a matter of data collection. You have the data. Use it to your advantage.
3. Respect your employees by not wasting their time.
And, as an added bonus, you won’t be wasting company time either! If an internal message or newsletter is known to carry important information every time it’s sent, your engagement metrics will be strong at all times.
If you respect your employees’ time, you’ll earn their trust. You have to earn trust over time with email, even with internal folks.
Remember that ultimately, it’s not about you. It’s about what matters to your employees.
Scott Cohen is the vice president of managed services for Inbox Group. He contributes to the company blog, where this article originally ran.