Email's evolving role in internal communications
Email has been a mainstay for internal comms for decades. Yet as the world of work changes and new messaging tools break onto the scene, many a dramatic headline declares email's inevitable demise. 77% of executives believe it is no longer a viable or effective communication method. Why? Because email is overused and traditionally uninspiring. Until now...
While there's no doubt that the use case for email is changing, the medium still plays an essential role in a modern internal communications strategy. As intranets become the hub for communications, email presents opportunities to capture employees where they are (in their inbox) and push them back to the richest source of information (the intranet or other central comms hub).
To effectively incorporate email into your internal communications strategy, it's important to consider how use of email has changed in the consumer world. Personalized messages and rich media have become the norm in employees’ personal inbox, so to be effective in the workplace, the same elements need to be transferred into the enterprise environment. Consequently, it's time for email to receive a much-needed makeover.
7 steps to futureproof your internal communications strategy
As leaders reimagine their world of work, it is internal communications that will lead the way in aligning the workforce against this vision. Future corporate communication strategies will be decidedly inclusive, agile, and digitalized. To succeed in this new era, internal communications teams will move towards an omnichannel approach that brings the consumer experience into the workplace.
Delivering an omnichannel communications experience with an intranet
Employees have come to know and love integrated messaging experiences as consumers. This kind of omnichannel strategy relies on having a central hub for delivering a seamless communications experience across multiple devices.
"At its core, omni-channel is defined as a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated customer experience. The customer can be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, or by telephone, or in a bricks and mortar store and the experience would be seamless."
Until recently, intranets have lacked the functionality to operate as a holistic communications tool, leading many companies to turn to siloed email distribution platforms like Poppulo. Now, as intranets begin to offer native 'broadcast center' capabilities, internal communication teams are taking advantage of the ability to streamline processes without impacting the quality of communications.
A next-gen intranet should offer the following features to enhance email communications:
- broadcast center to streamline the distribution of content across multiple channels
- tracking analytics that gives you a full view of engagement across every touchpoint
- translation capabilities to support multilingual emails and auto-translated articles
- email templating tools that allow you to build out dynamic emails with ease
- personalization and targeting capabilities that allow you to easily adapt content to resonate with specific audiences
- mobile responsive UX that ensures a rich experience on any device
5 ways to use email effectively to boost engagement with internal communications
#1. Target your content
On average, workers spend just 1.1 minutes reading every email they receive - your employees are busy people. Content must be applicable to your readers' specific role and region to grab their attention. To improve the rel
An intranet with targeting capabilities will improve the relevancy of each email you send. Create sub-groups based on role and location and distribute messages to the appropriate audiences. Targeted approaches are more engaging and reduce the risk of email overload.
#2. Include rich media
When you open an email from your favorite brand, it's rarely a text-only experience. Instead, emails utilize video, audio, and graphics because marketers know a multimedia approach is more compelling. In fact, audiences retain 95% of a video message versus just 10% from text only.
Utilize your intranet to incorporate the same set of rich media in your internal messages. Your CMS should make it easy to integrate images, video, and text in every email and give you complete control over each medium.
#3. Make it an extension of your brand
A clear visual structure goes a long way towards grabbing your audience's attention. Readers look for consistent visual cues and familiar formatting to quickly understand what they are reading and pull out what's most important. Add branding elements, such as your organization’s logo and color schemes, for an authentic feel.
Preconfigured email templates remove the guesswork from formatting and building emails. Instead of starting from scratch, drag and drop new templates into place, personalize the content and articles for different audiences, and hit send.
#4. Analyze your results
When it comes to improving your email messaging strategy, knowledge is power. Analytics are needed to understand what content is resonating with certain audiences and which messages are falling flat.
Your intranet should include built-in metrics to help you measure the success of every email. Take advantage of open rates, views, and click-throughs to gauge content performance and understand what your readers really want.
#5. Define email use-cases
The key to effectively incorporating email into your internal communications strategy rests on having clearly defined use-cases for the channel. Email's demise was largely in response to over-use. Now it's time to instill a new approach that sees email as a tool for achieving specific outcomes.
We know email is not the best medium for delivering engaging experiences - but often it's the best way to ensure a message gets to a user, fast. What we really want is for users to jump from an email onto a platform that can deliver a richer, more engaging comms experience e.g. the company intranet. Therefore, email should be viewed as a tool for pushing users back to the intranet by teasing them with relevant content and reminding them what inspiration can be found elsewhere.
Introducing email templates in the Feature Store
To effectively put the principles above into play, email templating tools streamline the process of creating an engaging internal comms emails. With the introduction of the intranet Feature Store, internal communicators using Unily can now install a pre-configured email templating tool into their intranet to drive best practice and increased engagement and efficiency.
Are you ready to upgrade your internal comms?
If you'd like to see how a Unily intranet can transform your messaging approach, contact us for a free demo. Get in touch with our digital workplace experts to learn more.