Metrics deliver ROI—and employee buy-in—at Microsoft

How metrics persuaded the software giant to cancel an email newsletter—but keep sending ‘popcorn email.’ Outcome? How about that empty chair in practically every meeting room?

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

When communicators in Microsoft’s customer service and support unit decided to dig deep into internal email metrics, they compared and contrasted two of their publications.

The first was an extensive newsletter for managers, with seven or eight articles that showcased new faces, offered human resources information and linked to further information.

A second was what Tracey Grove, the 9,000-employee unit’s internal communications director, calls “email popcorn”: a postcard format with one paragraph of information. It turned out staffers were scarfing the popcorn and turning up their noses at the heavier fare.

“They were both launched at the same time,” Grove says, “and what was interesting was that the one crashed and burned, and the other took off.”

That’s important information if you don’t want to squander your time. Microsoft, which uses PoliteMail for email measurement, canceled the unpopular publication and put its efforts into the crunchy, salty stuff that employees devour by the fistful.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.