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Employee Comms

What drives employees to open internal communication emails?


 — July 23rd, 2016

What drives employees to open internal communication emails?

NCR Communications wanted to understand how their 29,000 employees were engaging with emails, so they ran a statistical analysis on aggregated data. Some of the results may surprise you.

The Marketing function is comfortable with measuring consumer email campaigns in order to improve on future campaigns. The Internal Communication function is still learning about this process. Here is a fascinating case study from NCR (Forbes) who reviewed their internal email performance.

Using internal measurement to gain insight

NCR has a workforce of 29,000. They wanted to improve their internal communications. Their first step was to understand what variables were directly influencing the effectiveness of their internal email communications. Rather than run a survey asking employees how they behave, NCR wanted to see how they actually do behave. They conducted statistical analysis on aggregated data, looking at variables such as action vs. information emails, day of the week, tone (jargon vs. casual), and audience segmentation, among others.

What motivated opens and click-throughs?

Here are some of the results NCR shared with Forbes:

  • Best day - There was no best day. For NCR, the day of the week did not impact open and click-through rates. Monday and Friday - often thought by organizations to be the worst performing days, were no different.
  • Best time - But time of day mattered. NCR's emails requiring employees to take action performed best when sent in the morning. Emails that were information-based performed better in the afternoon.
  • Targeted vs. non-targeted - Targeting is powerful. NCR found the single biggest factor influencing open and click-through rates was a message targeted to the employee receiving it, rather than a general group email.

This NCR's data aligns with our own analysis from aggregated stats of our customers. For example, we see, without fail, that personalized, targeted emails perform better than group emails. They not only help decrease inbox clutter, they are highly relevant to that employee.

NCR used insight to dramatically increase opens

NCR's Corporate Comms team used the insights gained from the analysis to establish benchmarks to measure improvement. The team then created guidelines that are applied to all their internal communications. They reported to Forbes they've already surpassed their annual open rate growth goal in just two quarters.

Are you interested in increasing opens and getting results with your email communications? Watch my on-demand webinar - you'll get best practice tips, plus customer case studies. Learn what content that earns the most engagement, and how to motivate employees to take action

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