Cerkl Broadcast
Cerkl Broadcast

Internal Email Communication: 8 Key Tips on How to Master It

Harness the potential of 8 expertly crafted internal email best practices for seamless employee communication and collaboration.
Written by: Penny Swift
internal email communication
Published: October 2, 2023
importance of the internal communication

The Importance of Internal Communication

Effective internal communication is the backbone of every successful organization. Learn the ins and outs of internal communications with our research-backed white paper.

Effective communication in the workplace increases engagement, productivity, trust, and employee retention. Poor communication, on the other hand, can negatively affect organizations, ultimately resulting in financial losses and a stressful working environment. It can also result in an uncontrolled exodus of employees of all caliber across the board. 

effective communication in the workplace

Email is one of the most popular and effective forms of both internal and external communication. A survey by project.co states that a third (31%) of respondents claim that email is the primary method of communication with their coworkers. With 62% usage, email is the most popular method of client communication. But simply having email addresses for employees, and using an email program to communicate with them, isn’t going to cut it. And if you don’t follow email best practices, it can be counterproductive. You also want the internal email process to be secure, simple, and strategic.

For example, if you don’t tailor emails in terms of both content and audience, employees will be likely to ignore them. If emails are too long, even if staff members read them, they may miss the point. If they go to a mass audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be relevant to everyone. 

Generally, internal email isn’t the best channel for sharing lengthy internal documents or information you’ll want them to be able to access over time. But it’s great for sharing news snippets, newsletters (that they can download), as well as for important notifications and reminders. This is because, according to Politemail, the average employee is only willing to read an internal email for two to three minutes.  

Why is Internal Email Important?

Internal email is an accessible and trusted form of communication. It provides a reliable internal platform for sharing knowledge with employees. It is also enormously useful for important announcements including policy updates, organizational changes, and new initiatives. Internal email also facilitates feedback loops and collaborative discussions. Employees can share feedback, brainstorm ideas, and work together on projects through email exchanges.

internal email dashboard

Well-designed, contemporary email platforms have powerful design capabilities. These provide the opportunity to craft interactive newsletters, collect feedback from employees, and manage events, all within a single email platform. When they offer internal communication email templates, these save time and increase both impact and overall productivity.

But, to maximize the usefulness of an internal email program, it is important to measure and analyze the effectiveness of internal communications shared via email. 

How to Procure the Best Internal Email Platform for Your Organization

There are several key issues to consider when choosing an internal email platform. By systematically evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision and select the best employee communication software that aligns with your organization’s unique needs and objectives.

First, you should identify your business needs in terms of the number of users, storage needs, security, and collaboration features. Choose a platform that can scale with your business’s growth, ensuring it meets your future needs. Prioritize platforms with robust email security features and compliance options to protect sensitive data. Assess how well the email platform integrates with your existing software and tools, such as CRM systems or productivity apps.

Be sure to consider the platform’s ease of use for both administrators and end-users. Also, make sure that the internal email platform offers a seamless experience on mobile devices, as mobility is increasingly important.

Do Internal Email Best Practices Matter?

Yes, they do. Procuring the perfect internal email platform is just the beginning. You also need strategies to effectively enhance communication, productivity, and collaboration while minimizing misunderstandings and email overload. Good internal email best practices can also help to streamline communication, reduce email-related stress, and improve overall productivity within your organization. 

But what are internal email best practices? Typical examples include personalizing emails, using descriptive subject lines, keeping content clear, concise, and well organized, and highlighting key information. Compelling design using colors and graphics will attract attention. Access to internal communication email templates simplifies this function even for those with graphic design knowledge. 

Internal email communications need to be clear, concise, and effective. Whether you’re introducing new team members or sharing news, content needs to be relevant and to the point. Utilizing short paragraphs, adopting an informal tone, and incorporating a well-defined call to action can boost engagement and elicit higher response rates from your workforce. 

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to formulate a strategy for your organization’s best internal email practices. Many organizations do this, and their strategies are certainly not all the same. 

Formulate an Internal Email Strategy

As an example, the University of Oregon has a very specific email policy. This includes the appropriate use of internal mass email, which is only used when it is critical or time-sensitive, and it relates to most recipients. Inappropriate use is also detailed along with emails that require official approval and authorization. Their internal email best practices guide is relatively short and sweet. Guidelines include:

  • The need to include a succinct subject line
  • Ensure content is self-explanatory, clear, concise, and brief
  • Include contact information or a link for more information
  • No attachments
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms
  • Check spelling and grammar

Learn to Draft Effective Internal Emails

Members of the Forbes Communications Council, all leading experts in their fields, share their insights in Best-Kept Secrets of 15 Comms Pros for Drafting Effective Internal Emails.

Here are some of their most valuable tips for an internal email:

  1. Focus on the human element. Sarah Hanel, global director of corporate communications at OneSpan, says emails are best for “only the most business-impacting information.” And this should always start with a human element. 
  2. Keep it short. Mickey McClay Wilson, chief marketing officer of Freeman, emphasizes the need to keep emails short and on topic. It’s also crucial to understand your audience. 
  3. Include interactive links. Layla Kasha, chief marketing officer of Grocery Outlet, finds that incorporating interactive links helps to improve engagement. 
  4. Subject lines matter. Frank Wolf, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Staffbase, says a compelling subject line will increase your open rate. 
  5. Use humor. Casey Munck, vice-president of marketing at Act-On Software, likes to introduce humor and show a human side. She also finds that including photos and videos increases engagement. 
  6. Minimize the information. Ryan Becnel, a partner and director of marketing for Energea, emphasizes that great internal emails are short and to the point. Above all else, he says, avoid unnecessary information. 
  7. Create a sense of urgency. Deetricha Younger, CEO of her own marketing and business consultancy, likes to introduce a feeling of urgency to make employees read her emails. The caveat is not to create angst. 
  8. Use simple language. Rekha Thomas, CEO and founder of Path Forward Marketing, urges everyone to avoid acronyms and jargon. Keep messages succinct and simple, but give them a human voice. 

The Importance of Measuring Email Analytics

Measuring and understanding email analytics is crucial for evaluating the success of your email marketing campaigns and improving their effectiveness over time. Here are some guidelines that will help you to effectively measure and understand them. 

As Google points out, the most important email metrics you need to measure are the open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and unsubscribe rate.

  • Open rate is the percentage of people who open an email.
  • Click-through rate indicates the percentage of people who click on a call to action (CTA) link in the email.
  • Conversion rate is the percentage who do what your CTA suggests. Typically, the conversion rate will indicate interest in learning more about a product or sales. In an internal email it might be a response to an invitation to a meeting, introduction to a new company project, or perhaps a call to submit ideas.   
  • Unsubscribe rate relates to those who don’t want to get emails anymore. It’s unlikely to be an option for internal email campaigns. 

Adobe adds several elements to this list including the bounce rate, forward and sharing rates, and list growth rate. Emails bounce for all kinds of reasons, and if any of your employees’ emails are bouncing, you need to find out why. Forward and sharing rates will only be important if you need employees to forward or share email. It’s more likely that a business won’t want internal emails to be shared. 

But all things considered, the question is, which of these metrics will help you evaluate internal email strategies? Undoubtedly the open and click-through rates, both of which can be provided by Cerkl products.   

internal email analytics

Cerkl Can Help You Modernize Your Internal Email Strategies

Cerkl CEO Tarek Kamil recently presented with Steve Neruda from Motorola Solutions at the Innovations in Employee Communications conference hosted by Advanced Learning Institute. It focused on how Motorola Solutions modernized its approach to internal email in a global company of 20,000 employees. Since going live with Cerkl on January 2, 2022, the company now delivers modern-looking emails with real-time analytics. 

The Strategy

Since deciding that Cerkl’s internal email tools would suit their needs, the company has sent nearly 10,000 emails using the Broadcast email program. Given the scope and scale of the company, it’s important to deliver the right message to the right audience, and not to overwhelm employees.  Their golden rule is to “send to the smallest relevant audience,” which the Broadcast tool enables via robust delivery and targeting options.

Discussion at the conference indicates that the strategy is working well. With more than 16 million inbox deliveries (and rising every day), they boast an overall open rate of nearly 72%.  

“The design and branding consistency was the advantage that I didn’t know I was going to get with Broadcast,” – Steve Neruda, Internal and External Communications, Motorola Solutions. 

Key Takeaways

  1. More channels don’t necessarily mean there will be greater employee engagement. Maximizing channels may result in misunderstanding and conflicting information. You need to find a balance within your organization that fits your goals. 
  2. When targeting an audience with any internal email, consider who needs this pushed to them versus passive posting on a less invasive channel. This will help you to reduce unwanted and unnecessary emails that will be unread and/or deleted. It’s the all-important noise-reduction feature.  
  3. Credible, timely, actionable communications analytics are vital for measuring the success and effectiveness of any given email. If you don’t bother with analytics, you aren’t going to know if – or how – your internal audience is responding to your communications. Do shorter messages resonate better? How many embedded links are too many? Do certain roles, your sales force, for example, rely less on email… or more? You cannot adjust your communications and improve your reach without analytics lighting the way.
  4. Trust your team! Broadcast has guardrails and failsafes in place that allow upper management to trust their comms teams to deliver messages accurately, timely, and with confidence. The user interface is straightforward and online resources and live support is readily available. 

What Can Cerkl Offer Your Business?

We’ve been discussing ways to master internal communication using internal email best practices. Cerkl Broadcast’s Email Blasts are the answer. Designed to modernize the way you send email, Blasts incorporates an easy-to-use drag-and-drop email builder that will help you build your own internal communication email templates. Using a template will save you time and effort and enable you to produce super-professional results at scale.

internal communication email templates

We’ve emphasized the need to measure internal email analytics. Broadcast Insights focuses on internal communications metrics and will meet your needs 100%. The software will show you what’s trending together with open rates, click rates, and content statistics. It will also track engagement metrics that are relevant to the objectives of your business or team.

Insights works hand-in-hand with Email Blasts and has an audience metrics page that shows you everything you need to know. This includes unique opens and the open rate, and unique clicks and the click rate. You can gauge the overall impact of Email Blasts as well as specific metrics for individual employees. 

Another invaluable Broadcast feature is Campaigns, which allows communicators to group their internal comms into groups or “buckets.” This enables you to see the metrics that apply to this group of comms.

What’s Next?

Are you ready to join the many internal communicators who have improved their email strategies using Cerkl Broadcast? Email Blasts are undoubtedly the way to go. Your emails will look good and you’ll have the benefit of real-time insights to evaluate effectiveness. We’re excited to have the opportunity to show you how you can modernize your email processes with less effort than it’ll take you to send one single internal email.

But before we get started, we’d like to show you our audit template designed especially for internal communicators. It’s a great way to see how well your communications are performing. Then we can help you to improve them.

FAQ

What is a typical example of an internal email?

There are many different types of internal emails organizations send. Typical examples include policy updates and staff changes. An internal email might also tell certain employees about meetings or conferences.

What is the difference between internal and external email?

An internal email is intended for people within an organization while external emails are for those outside, including customers and suppliers.

How do you write a good internal email?

There are some very simple but effective internal email best practices that help people write good internal emails. A good starting point is to think of a punchy subject line followed by short, relevant messaging that will engage employees.

Why do we send internal emails?

Internal emails are a means of communicating with employees. Generally, they’re good for sending basic information, reminders, and important notifications.

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