One of the fastest-growing strategies to drive employee engagement/morale is to communicate with them in a more strategic way via dynamic, individually-personalized newsletters. I’ve heard corporate horror stories of salespeople getting spammed by their own co-workers and department stakeholders with all sorts of untargeted, irrelevant emails. We would never let that happen with our customer-marketing, so why do we allow it internally?
By not addressing this issue (with smarter, more relevant communications), employees tune out and become frustrated. They don’t clearly understand the vision and priorities of the company. They’re just like customers; they want to be respected, heard, and communicated with on RELEVANT topics in a consistent way. There’s only so much attention and bandwidth employees have in today’s tech-laden enterprise, so ‘getting it right’ and delivering WANTED communications is critical.
Here are 10 key ways you can improve your communications TODAY:
- Mobilize your content. Our clients are finding that employees are using their smartphones to read/scan upwards of 50% of their email. If your content is not ‘responsive’ and readable, then you miss out on half your potential right out of the gate. Employees love to read these kinds of communications during their commute, over lunch, or even while waiting in line at the morning coffee shop.
- Target each article or content-topic to each subscriber. Don’t send everything to everyone. This will guarantee failure. Segment your employee lists by department, role, and function. Any level of segmentation will improve the relevance of what they receive.
- Consider the time-of-day that you send your communications. We’ve found that targeting emails between 7-8am in the morning or 5-7pm in the evening get much better open/read-rates than during the rest of the day. We’ve taken this concept a step further by allowing our more global customers to email people at that time IN THEIR LOCAL TIMEZONE.
- Create searchable archives of your messages, and include links to such content in every communication. Employees, and especially sales teams, want to easily search and find prior articles and documents with ease.
- Consider the communication to be 'sent from' an executive in the company. This offers more personality and also credibility/buy-in from both employees and the executive staff.
- Add video to your content mix on a regular basis. Video content will be viewed and commented on more than 8-times that of any other content. We have a managed solution for you in this area if you want/need help.
- Offer a centralized document-library with your communications. Keep the latest Brochures, PowerPoints, Videos, etc. in a nicely presented and organized layout that is reachable with each and every communication you send out.
- Perform some A/B testing to improve your engagement rates. You can test different subject lines, times-of-day, frequency, look-and-feel of your templates, the types of stories/articles you include, length of copy and more.
- Resend to your audience on Sunday or very-early Monday morning ONLY to those that didn’t read the prior week’s broadcast. Using such a strategy captures those that were traveling, busy, or simply distracted at the time. We’ve found that if a first-send gets a 30-40% open rate, the ‘resend to unopened’ employees a few days later will capture another 20-30% to open and read the content.
- Centralize the authoring process as much as you can. Streamline the communications that go out so that you collaborate with other authors/departments on a “single send” wherever possible. Employees will identify and engage with those communications that are consistently sent (specific day), and represent a single voice, design and platform to stay in touch with the company’s priorities. Augment these sends, if required, with an “Alert” version of your communication; one that has a single topic, is brief, and is strategically important that it go out on its own.
There are certainly more strategies to consider, but I wanted to limit it to a list everyone can absorb. At Proze, we’re working on some very exciting enhancements to our Internal Communications Platform offering that we feel will drive greater engagement and value into your communications. So stay tuned!