Email is king for communicators. Is it being overused?

We may be falling into an email rut.

Are we overusing email?

Diving deep into the data of Ragan’s exclusive 2022 Communications Benchmark Report, one thing becomes clear: Communicators love email.

Again and again, we see email listed as a top tool, according to responses from nearly 1,000 communicators:

  • 78% cited it as a top channel for internal communications.
  • 60% said it was an effective way to connect employees to senior leadership.
  • 74% turn to it for manager communications.
  • The trend is even apparent in external communications, where 23% say e-newsletters are one of the most effective tools for communicating outside the organization.

For internal communications, few other tools even come close to email’s dominance — the next most-favored tool for internal comms was town halls, with just 56% saying it was a top tool. Intranets came in at 40%, while no other answer broached 20%.The top tools for internal communications 2022

While email is undoubtedly a strong tool for communicating within an organization, the data raises a question: Are we leaning too much on email?

One respondent said that “over reliance on broadcast email” is an obstacle to better communications, a feeling anyone with a bursting email inbox can relate to. Email is also decidedly not a strong tool for communicating with deskless workers.

But email can feel like the path of least resistance. It can be faster to bang out an email than to organize a town hall or produce a video. And despite the growth of messaging programs like Teams or Slack, not all workers are comfortable with the tool yet.

Use your email measurement tools to make sure email really is effective, not just easy. Segment your communications so only the people who need to get that particular message are receiving it.

Perhaps most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment. We’re moving into a new phase of work, with more tools available than ever before for reaching audiences in innovative ways. Take advantage of them. Try sending a broadcast message on Teams or incentivize use of internal social media tools to increase adoption. Or combine tactics by putting videos inside emails or use a town hall to drive users to your intranet.

How are you breaking out of the email rut to experiment with other internal comms tactics?

Download your copy of the exclusive Benchmark Survey Executive Summary today and see how your communication efforts measure up. To obtain a full copy of Ragan’s 2021 Communications Benchmark Report become a member of the Communications Leadership Council. Click here for more details.



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