Email isn't evil
I was at a conference recently where one of the speakers made a bold statement. She said, “Email isn’t evil!” My first reaction was skepticism. What world does this woman live in?! But I kept listening because it really challenged my thinking, and I left with my own bold statement. So, here it goes: Email isn’t evil if it’s used the right way.
What do I mean by that? Below is how I’d approach making email an effective tool:
- Email needs to be a part of your larger engagement strategy. First things first, you should develop a good, old-fashioned channel map that outlines the purpose of all your internal channels. Just like how you’d map out the goal of your All Hands meetings or your exec comms, take the time to think through when and why to email is the right way to communicate.
- If it’s important, use email to follow up and reinforce. Sending a concise, well thought-out email after a team meeting, an All Hands meeting or a 1:1 is easy and smart. You can keep your email short since you’re not introducing anything new—you’re simply reiterating and reinforcing key takeaways, deadlines, changes and so on. Isn’t it so helpful to have that info “in writing” to refer back to? I think so.
- Formatting is your friend. Sub-heads, bullet points and bolding text or important deadlines is going to make your emails even shorter and easy to read.
- Track and measure your email activity. There are loads of email providers that offer sophisticated tracking and reporting so you can see what employees are clicking on, what topics are resonating with employees and what’s falling flat. You don’t have to be in the dark anymore about who is reading what!
- Use data and metrics to adjust your approach. It’s not enough to simply track your email stats. Analyze what you find out, look for trends and tweak your strategy from there.
What else can you do to make your email strategy (and your entire internal comms strategy) smarter and better? Challenge yourself to set the tone for your organization and shift how people think about email—everyone will thank you for it.