As your company grows, ensuring that every staff member stays aware of important business updates can be a significant challenge. You must find a way to keep employees properly informed, but in a way that still allows them to avoid distraction and carry on with their daily tasks.
While there are many apps on the rise to help with this, according to a recent Radicati Group study, email marketing remains the best tool for balancing internal communications with productivity. So, in this article, we’ll cover why internal comms should remain a top priority, and explain how to use email banners and other tools to maximise your engagement.
Why should you pay attention to your internal communications?
With today’s rapidly evolving employee behaviors, internal communication is more important than ever – and it can go far beyond simple HR communications.
Here are the reasons why, plus a few practical tips to get your company started.
1. To keep in touch with increasingly geographically dispersed teams
We’re living in the new normal. In this highly digital-first world, it’s increasingly likely that your company will employ team members on a remote basis. There may also be a rise in employees who opt to work from home simply because of its benefits.
Internal email communications can be a fantastic way to keep in touch with these dispersed team members and to continue to keep them engaged wherever they are in the world. It’ll help to give them a feeling of connectedness with their peers, like they properly belong to the company’s culture. This could in turn encourage them to stay longer and perform higher.
Even better, email is nothing new – so it’s easy to implement compared with new tools such as Slack or Asana. In fact, 67% of employees are already using the classic email to keep in touch with colleagues (Expert Market), so why not use the same channel for internal HR comms?
2. To inform staff of important company updates
74% of employees feel like they are missing out on important company announcements, according to Gallup. That includes important policy updates, employee shout-outs, charity drives, adjustments to the process and all the other shifting changes that make up the life of a business.
So if we know that staff want better company updates, then we see a clear opportunity to use internal email marketing. Here are examples of company updates that your employees will definitely benefit from:
- Changes in policy: Changes in policy can have a huge impact on the business, so make sure that new developments get off on the right foot with company-wide announcements (and, even better, calls for feedback or discussion – to build an effective two-way communication).
- Training opportunities: We live in a changing world, where new skills are required all the time. Offer training opportunities and clearly advertise them with the use of internal news announcements.
- Recruitment/promotion opportunities: Much like skills are always evolving, so too will opportunities for advancement within the company. If this is clearly advertised, you can tap the right people within the company. Even from HR’s point of view, potentials are often overlooked. Who knows? It might be someone you don’t expect.
- Employee recognition: Employee recognition boosts morale and productivity in the workplace. Is someone doing a particularly great job? Let the whole company know with a shout out.
3. To promote company content and new initiatives
Along with news and changes to policy, you can also use your internal HR comms to promote the company’s content, as well as any new initiatives it is taking part in.
For your company marketing to succeed, understand that your staff hold a significant power. Chances are many of them are on social media like LinkedIn or Facebook, both of which are powerful tools in getting a message out. So, if your content is great or you’re taking part in an important initiative (see below for examples), your staff could be your biggest promoters. Get the word to them and encourage them to join in or share, and see how far the news travels.
Here are creative content/initiatives which your company can promote internally:
- Blog content and marketing resources: Your customers are not the only ones who should be reading your marketing materials. Whether it’s customer guides, whitepapers, instruction booklets, or pamphlets, your staff must also be informed to keep the consistency and to stay aligned with the brand.
- Initiatives: Think charity drives, sports teams, social activities, competitions, partnerships. If your company is taking part in something exciting or interesting, get the company on board!
- Staff surveys: How well are your leaders doing? What do employees think of recent changes or new products? Staff feedback surveys can be a great way to generate anonymous insight into the thoughts of the people on the front lines, and internal email marketing is a useful way to get these surveys into the hands of your organisation.
How to use email banners for effective internal communications
An email banner is probably the most underrated and overlooked internal communications tool. It’s the branded image that goes on top or at the bottom of an email accompanied with marketing copy that helps the sender to make a major marketing impact with every message.
What goes into an email banner?
Banners need to be well-made to achieve the desired impact. Typically, they will be graphically designed to maximise their ability to visually promote key initiatives, changes in policy, blog content, and so on.
They can also feature multiple clickable calls-to-action, where every click is tracked and reported on in order to measure engagement with different programmes and initiatives.
Employees use email to communicate the majority of the time, so their collective insights can measure whether your campaign has been effective. And, if you see that staff are not clicking and reading the emails, that itself is also valuable data (it means you may need to make some changes!).
By managing email banners from a central database, which you can do so with a tool like Rocketseed, it’ll also be easy to swap them out for new banners and have those new graphics automatically apply to all the applicable email senders you need (no manually copying/pasting graphics into each individual email).
Other best practice to strengthen your internal communications for HR teams
Aside from making the most of your email banners, here are other ways to promote effective internal communications in your organization:
1. Make the most of your email signatures
Many overlook the opportunities of the humble email signature. Think about it: there’s one at the bottom of every single email that you send, in addition to everyone else at your company.
With a modern HTML email signature generator, you can create interactive signatures with buttons to your social media channels, key web pages, promotions, or whatever it is that you need to advertise internally. Plus, by hooking these buttons up to your analytics system with in-built UTM tracking codes, you can also keep an eye on the performance and see just how effective your comms have been.
2. Promote your brand within the company
Of course, your company’s branding will have been devised with the company’s customers in mind, but let’s not forget to take into account your values and purpose. Just because you’re emailing an internal audience now doesn’t mean branding is no longer important.
Internal branding ensures employees are aligned with the company’s vision, philosophy and tone. When your employees embrace these values, this will reflect on how they interact with your customers and stakeholders.
Your employees probably receive countless emails a day. In order to effectively market an internal message to them, you’re going to need to treat them like any other marketing audience – they have needs, challenges, and time limitations.
Focusing on visual appeal, good UX, mobile functionality, and clear user goals are common techniques that help increase the open and click rates of your internal emails.
3. Keep emails concise
Emails let you write a full-length novel, but that doesn’t mean you should. Employees tend to focus on their tasks at hand, and most people at work are on a deadline, so they simply don’t have the time and inclination to read a lot of text. If you have a lot you need to say, perhaps due to the seriousness of the announcement, consider how you might be able to simplify the message into a few core points.
If it’s imperative that you get the entire message across, consider creating alternate content (i.e. a presentation or PDF) and using emails to market that. Or, consider booking Zoom calls or face-to-face time to find better ways of engaging your audience with a greater message. Again, email can help you market and organise these.
4. Organise, strategise and automate your emails
The old rule of thumb is to avoid sending multiple emails in one day. Nobody likes spam, and your staff has a lot of things on their plate.
If you have a lot of things to say, sending multiple emails a day may not get the message across; your staff might start to ignore you, potentially sending your open rates plummeting as a result.
Consider starting a scheduled internal newsletter with multiple links to important announcements so employees just receive a few emails a month containing everything they need to know. If it’s scheduled, they’ll also know when to expect it and can plan accordingly if it’s something they enjoy reading. Of course, remember to keep it interesting!
Looking for professional email signature and banner software? We’re here for you!
Manually uploading, changing and checking email signatures and banners is time consuming, which is why you need a tool that makes it simple.
Parrot Digital is the exclusive provider of internationally renowned email signature manager Rocketseed in Australia and New Zealand. With Rocketseed, you can centrally manage all of your company’s senders and their signatures/banners, making small changes that can be rolled out automatically to everyone applicable.
Not only that, but we’ve got a talented graphics team on hand to help you design fully brand-compliant visuals and a host of templates for you to pick and choose from if you’d like help making a start on your own. To learn more, check out our pricing page or get in touch with us today.