Internal email usage spikes more than 100% during coronavirus crisis

In the health care industry, usage jumped 300%. Communicators are turning to email now more than ever.


There’s no denying that email remains a critical channel for internal communicators, particularly during the current coronavirus crisis.

Ninety-six percent of organizations used email to transmit key messages, according to a new report from Andrews Partnership.

“All the reasons people use email normally become more powerful in the moment when you really need to reach groups of employees,” says Michael DesRochers, CEO of PoliteMail. “You have a tool that targets those groups.” You can send text, images or video to a group of people and measure if they actually got that message, he adds.

In March, based on millions of emails drawn from PoliteMail intelligence, there was, on average:

  • 100% increase in email volume to employees (1.2 million daily to 2.2 million daily)
  • 300% increase in email volume in the health care industry
  • 1,000% increase in weekend volume (less than 100k to just under half a million each day of the weekend)

Contributing to the increase in volume is the fact that many companies are sending daily updates to employees.

“Employees are clamoring for information,” DesRochers says. “They need a voice of reason and direction coming from internal leadership. They need somewhere to turn, and companies recognize that and are trying to provide as much leadership information, HR and health information as they can.”

Scheduling consistent updates is key, be it every morning or afternoon, so employees know what to expect and when.

“Companies are trying to stay up to date with the news cycle and answer any questions before the rumor mill,“ DesRochers says.

It’s important that all employees have email, even deskless workers. “Just because they’re frontline workers doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have one. They can get email on their phones,” he says.

Pre-coronavirus, PoliteMail research showed short, daily content works best among employees. Now, there’s been an uptick in long-form content and “people seem to be digesting more of it.”

“Longer-form content does work as long as the content is relevant and timely,” he says.

Learn more about email communication in the current crisis environment at PoliteMail’s session April 21 at our upcoming Best Practices in Internal Communications & Culture Virtual Conference.

This article is in partnership with PoliteMail.

COMMENT Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from directly in your inbox.