Email Embarks on New Era of Employee Engagement

The world’s first email was sent by computer programmer Ray Tomlinson in 1971 – to himself. It was the delivery of the message that went down in history, rather than the content: Tomlinson’s message said no more than “QWERTYUIOP”.

In web years, the nearly 50-year-old email is a dinosaur, but don’t expect to see it in a museum just yet. Despite the rise of social networking, instant messaging and mobile communication, the trusty old medium has timeless appeal. This is especially true in business, where email remains the most popular form of communication and a hotbed of innovation.

Double-edged sword

For internal communications, email is a double-edged sword. It’s a fast and convenient way to reach your employees, but more and more emails are adding to the very real problem of information overload. An average 126 email messages hit the inboxes of office workers every day. The digital juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down, with the number of emails expected to reach 130 per day in 2020.

With so much information competing for your employees’ attention, how do you make sure your message breaks through? Especially if you’re trying to engage your employees around important strategic topics, how do you cut through the inbox clutter with emails they actually want to read?

MailChimp vs Newsweaver

One way is to use an email marketing or newsletter tool. These are helping to evolve email from the digital dark ages of one-way traffic, turning it into a responsive and interactive medium. However, with a myriad of email marketing and newsletter services popping up, finding the right fit for your company can be a challenge.

One of today’s best-known email platforms is MailChimp. The user-friendly service offers a quick and easy way to create good-looking newsletters and email campaigns for your employees. Regardless of how tech-savvy you are, you can build customised templates that are tailored to your company’s needs. Especially if your organisation is still relying on text-only HTML mailings to communicate the latest company news or department updates (don’t worry, you are not alone), MailChimp is a quick and easy way to modernise your internal communications.

MailChimp was originally designed as an external email marketing tool, however. Although it can be used for employee emails and newsletters, it’s worth exploring specialised alternatives.

One of these is Newsweaver, a software company that caters to the needs of internal communications. Its sophisticated service not only allows you to create a custom-made design, but built-in social features such as likes, polls, ratings and comments encourage two-way communication. An elaborate system of tracking employee engagement helps you gauge how well your company’s strategic content is landing with employees. And detailed employee data tools allow you to create personalised content that resonates with your staff. Old-school email used to send into a black hole. Today, new email technology opens up a world of new possibilities.

No one-size-fits-all solution

Whether you’re a seasoned professional, or just setting foot into the world of employee mailings, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. When it comes to selecting an email service provider, there are some key questions to consider:

  • How many emails will you be sending, and at what frequency?
  • What are the levels of interaction you are looking for?
  • Do you want to connect with employees over a variety of media channels?
  • How much control do you want over the design of your email and can you plug it into internal systems?
  • Will your IT team allow you to use a third-party email platform?

Once you have figured these out, you will be surprised how much innovation and opportunity there is in today’s email technology. We have moved way beyond the old days of send and receive.

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