Email: The benefits we forget about

Email has been, in recent years, the long-suffering tool that we, as internal communicators, have tossed onto the ‘must-have’ in any form of campaign. We add it in as the consort to the queen intranet as we bring out the fireworks in the form of ‘leadership message videos or direct employees to something else be it the intranet, a live quiz, video campaign or physical space. You can also grab someone attention in an email but titling it “Read more here”, “Click here to see the CEO Statement”, “New announcement- find out more”

With COVID-19 and now transitioning back to the workplace, employees and their ways of working will change and working remotely will be the norm. Email may not have all the fireworks, but it will do the job effectively. Here are three reasons why I belive its effective for now.. but can not see it as effective in the future:

Firstly, with the heightened anxiety the world is in, an email allows for employees to digest complex information in their own time. It gives them the space to articulate questions for their managers if they need to and store the email for future reference if the information in it directly affects them or their way of working. These are individual elements of engagement that we sometimes forget when we post crucial information in videos or info graphics that we take down once a campaign or change has ended. 

Secondly, if you are sending your email through a mailing platform, now is the time to use take a leaf out of the marketing book and follow the data. Email platforms offer you a good selection of pick and mix to track effectiveness. If you have your mailing list sorted and clean, you will also be able to genuinely personalise your communications by region, language, time zone and function. Using proper tracking technology and automation will also open up doors to employee engagement that will welcome you in to see who is opening, clicking through and completing your calls to action

Finally, as internal communicators, email allows us to look back on all that you have achieved. Other channels have their moments, but few have the evidence of engagement and delivery that email does. When your CEO wants to know what the company was talking about this time last year, you are one of the few people who can snap your fingers and tell him just by checking what communications was sent out.

Think of yourself as the master storyteller in your company, keeping a log of the past and future events that anybody can benefit from. So go on, open your laptop and start typing your next email. 

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Gihan Hyde
Gihan Hyde is an award winning corporate communication expert with a deep passion for internal communication. Her roles spanned different organisations including HSBC, Barclays, M&S, and Department for International Trade, and the Riyadh Metro Project.
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