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Using e-mail for internal marketing

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B-to-b marketers have become quite savvy at using external e-mail to reach customers and prospects with marketing messages. But what about using e-mail internally to communicate with employees about company news and marketing initiatives?

MindComet Corp., an Orlando, Fla.-based interactive marketing agency, recently published “Top 10 Things to Know About Internal E-mail Marketing,” in conjunction with Shay Studley-Toland, communications director at Tyco Healthcare.

Studley-Toland was a guest on a Feb. 21 podcast hosted by MindComet, in which she discussed how Tyco Healthcare uses internal e-mail marketing to help bridge communication gaps in the organization. MindComet manages the internal e-mail program for Tyco.

Studley-Toland said she helped launch an internal e-mail marketing program about a year ago to speed up communications between executives and Tyco Healthcare’s more than 50,000 employees in a way that was faster, easier and more cost-effective than hard-copy newsletters and other traditional communications methods.

“We've gone through massive changes over the nine years I've been with Tyco, and the speed of communicating and the flexibility of doing so is very important to me,” Studley-Toland said. “I've probably launched eight [hard-copy newsletters] throughout my career, and while I think they have a very important role in internal organizational communication, I just don't think that they're fluid, flexible and time-responsive enough to keep the steady rhythm of communication that you need to have an engaged workforce.”

So what makes internal e-mail marketing effective? Here are Studley-Toland’s top 10 tips for marketers:

 

1.        When sending sensitive communications, determine whether the speed of the message takes priority over face-to-face communications.

2.        Keep the message short and relevant.

3.        Determine your organization’s “comfort level” and how often employees would like to receive communications.

4.        Personalize messages to different age groups and demographics.

5.        Don’t use e-mail as a substitute for all other media.

6.        Analyze open rates and click-through rates to see if your internal e-mail is relevant and effective.

7.        Have a commitment from senior management to create an open dialog environment.

8.        Balance content between business strategies and “fun.”

9.        Don’t become so dependent on internal e-mail that it becomes impersonal.

10.     If you are replacing print publications with internal e-mail, reallocate resources from manufacturing and publishing to content generation.

 

Ted Murphy, president-CEO of MindComet, said many of his agency’s larger b-to-b clients are now using internal e-mail to communicate. “Open rates and click-through rates are so much higher for internal communications than for external e-mail,” he said.

For internal e-mail messages, open rates for clients average between 70% and 89%, and click-through rates average between 40% and 82%, he said.

For outgoing e-mail messages, open rates average 26% and click-through rates average 11%, Murphy said.

To hear MindComet’s podcast with Studley-Toland, go to http://www.InternetMarketingVoodoo.com.

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