Introducing our free IC grader - immediately benchmark your Internal Communication
— December 8th, 2014
Email remains a top channel for corporate internal communications. How does your use of email measure up against internal communications best practices in your industry? It takes just a few minutes to fill out – you'll immediately get a benchmark score against industry best practice. Plus, a customized report to download - giving tips for improving your email comms performance and results.
Email: The top go-to Internal Communications channel
Over 1,200 communicators participated in our recent Internal Communications surveys (Melcrum, Ragan) - and confirm email is their top go-to channel for employee communications. Nearly 60% of respondents send out corporate email communications at least once a week, with the primary goal being engagement. Ninety-eight percent said email is best for critical communications. The big gap here is the inability to measure the success of these campaigns. IC know they need to measure (94% rank 'ability to measure email' as very important), however, only 26% can currently measure open and click-through rates.
Email: Most used, least measured - no plans to improve
So we are looking at an important channel that needs improving - and is blamed often for overload. Yet in most organizations there is no formal tool, process or governance in place for email to increase the relevance and performance of this channel. Email remains a blind spot for communicators, who instead of investing to bring this channel’s technology up-to-date, are instead investing and focusing their efforts on introducing new channels.
The technology available today lets internal communicators add personalization, interactivity, social elements and embed rich media such as videos. Most importantly, it can provide in-depth real-time metrics. Investing resources in the channel - plus a policy governing email use - is the key to increased engagement and decreased overload.
An urgency to prove business value
This is a maturing function, and it’s clear there is a growing respect from senior leaders. There are now greater expectations that Internal Communications should provide proven business value (just like every other corporate function). For Internal Communications that places the spotlight on two areas of historic weakness and poor practice - measurement and email. Improvement in these areas is becoming a litmus test for the best IC functions.
Proving business value is good for communicators too - the more they actively communicate with senior stakeholders and offer them the resulting business insights, the greater the chances of increasing their own (and department’s) visibility - and gaining an advisory role.
Email: Reforming - not replacing
Only 25% of respondents thought internal social networks will replace email in their organization within the next five years. Leading organizations that are investing resources are getting more from their corporate email channel. They are able to send emails that can reach a mobile workforce, are interactive - and personalized and targeted to each employee. Because they have access to measurement, communicators can prove ROI and improve their communications.
Think multichannel Internal Communications
One platform is not going to do everything, nor are channels in conflict with each other. Corporate communication teams need to join the dots between strategy, behaviors and technology, to improve the flow and quality of communication and collaboration. The most successful communicators take a multichannel approach to enhance the reach of their communication strategy.
If you use a multichannel approach to drive your Internal Communications strategy, make sure you include metrics generated from all channel communications to get a full understanding of engagement. For example, if you are driving the adoption of your intranet using email, include the metrics from your email campaigns (e.g. clicked links to the intranet that appeared in the email) in your overall intranet activity.
Email: Best practice = best results
Following industry best practice is a proven way to get maximum ROI from email. Your communications will be highly measurable, engaging and relevant. You will help tackle information overload in your organization because you will be sending less email. To best illustrate what best practice looks like in action - here are case studies of our own customers, such as AB InBev (video), Financial Ombudsman, Vodafone (video), easyJet (video) and Surrey County Council (award-winning content targeting in their email employee newsletters).
Another aspect of best practice is using each communications channel to its best effect. Face-to-face communications will never be replaced by technology, however you can increase engagement through each of your other communication channels. For example, the email technology available today can enhance and extend the reach of all your email messages.
Gartner predicts that by 2015 at least 60% of information workers will interact with content via a mobile device. Best practice for email, means removing all barriers to their communication channels. Templates should be designed for any device - from desktop to smartphone.