There is a funny juxtaposition between what organizations communicate and project to the public (namely, their consumers and prospects) and what they communicate to their own. Often, you’ll find that external email communications are given a great deal of thought, targeting (we hope), and control, whereas internal email communications are a smorgasbord of information gluttony devouring some necessary snippets and useful tidbits.
Using email for internal communications really is no different than using it for external marketing purposes, yet it often goes ignored. (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 an internal communication, you need to answer the ultimate question: “What’s in it for me?”
Sure, there are office/company-wide announcements that need to be made (like, say, “Hey folks! Everyone is getting a bonus this year!”) But your employees only really care about these things:
- Keeping their job
- Liking their job
- Enjoying company/personal success
- Is there extra food in the conference room?
(And not necessarily any of those or 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 easier and therefore important with internal communications.
What is one big advantage of sending email to your employees? You know where everyone works and what everyone does (at least by title and department).
If you know a news item will only apply to two departments, only send it to those two departments. (If you have on-site and remote employees, the “extra-food-in-the-conference-room” email will likely only apply to on-site employees—you catch my drift?)
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. (Yes, you do have to earn trust over time with email, even with internal folks.)
And remember, ultimately, it’s not about you. It’s about what matters to your employees.