14 Ways to Help Your Internal Communication Emails Get Read

Email is still the primary way to communicate with employees internally—but it can be challenging to reach those whose inboxes are full or who don't have desk jobs.

That's why it's important to use every available tool to get your strategic internal emails read. Here are 14 tips for creating an email that gets opened and read:

  1. Use a third-party tool. It would be nearly impossible to create the essential features that these tools now offer, from sophisticated designs to insightful analytics, automated features that help you manage and grow your lists, and mobile optimization. We use Campaign Monitor, but there are others to choose from, as well.
  2. Use great design. A reader makes a split-second decision about whether to engage with your email based on how it looks. Good design will absolutely increase your readership.
  3. Curate content with care.  Make sure that your distribution lists and topics are right for each other. 
  4. Avoid corporate-speak and overly sanitized messages that don't feel authentic. Use simple, clear words that your audience is used to.
  5. Use arresting photos. The human brain can take in the information in a photo instantly—but that same information could take pages of text to convey. Look for a great (not good) stock image that doesn't look like a stock image, or invest in a custom shot by a professional. Generally speaking, use more pictures than text if you want to increase readership.
  6. Include a video. It can increase your open rates by 19% and your click rate by more than 50%. An estimated 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after viewing a video.
  7. Keep your text short. Constant Contact says that 20 lines of text and three or fewer images result in optimal email campaign click rates. In our experience with A/B testing, shorter copy pulled better by 11 percentage points.
  8. Draw the reader in with a subject line that invites curiosity and makes a promise your reader cares about.
  9. Create a call to action that's clear and compelling. Visual buttons elicit more clicks than text links.
  10. Send it from someone meaningful that the recipient knows and would like to hear from.
  11. Do A/B testing. Change just one variable at a time, so you know which one made the difference. Try sending it with different subject lines, short vs. longer versions of your content, or using different images. You can also try sending it on different days and at different times.
  12. Review your analytics and incorporate what you learn into your next e-letter. The average open rate for internal communication e-letters is 66%—and the click rate is 10%. In healthcare, it's lower: the average open rate is 39% and the click rate is 6%.
  13. Don't spam. Cognitive overload is real. Delivering relevant, timely messages in the right dosage shows respect for your audience and can help keep your emails from getting ignored.
  14. Invite feedback. Include an Ask-Me-Anything link and see what you can learn.

Want to see what the best are doing? Campaign Monitor provides some inspiration with the most effective email campaigns of 2016.

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