Many things have been said about the true key to success in business. But today, let’s focus on the very basics. In the end, it’ll always boil down to one thing that any enterprise can’t go without – effective communication. It’s that simple. Or is it really? Well, it can be easy and I’m going to prove it.
Culture, community, communication
No community can exist without information exchange. Period. Human culture is nothing but an intricate network of varied means of communication. Same goes for business. After all, it’s all about the people, right?
The point is to make information reach the right audience and to make sure they understand it. No matter if you’re targeting people who buy your products or people who create them, there’s always a flow of information going.
Still, the two seem to be treated as separate processes and so requiring different solutions.
At GetResponse we have a different approach and we know that what works for our customers is also perfect for our employee newsletters. As you may already assume, yep, we use the GetResponse platform to keep our employees in the loop. Let me show you how we do it.
Email marketing for HR
Okay, so let’s knuckle down, HR people! You all probably know that nothing can work without a good plan. Below, you can find a simple task list, with some tips related to GetResponse and its most useful features. All from the point of view of someone responsible for internal communication and working with the GetResponse platform every day.
1. Sub-goal your goal
First of all, you have to know why you want to launch your email campaign. The simplest tasks may turn out to be more intricate than they seem, so don’t haste through this phase. Think of what you actually want to achieve.
At this stage, the most basic mistake is to focus on the message itself. Just sending it to people is rarely (or never?) what you actually want to achieve. Most of the time, it’s supposed to make people do something, act in a way you want them to.
Let’s say you want to inform your staff about a new recommendation program. The main goal here will be to encourage your employees to refer their friends for current vacancies.
But to do so, they have to learn how to take part in the project, what kind of people they can recommend, where to find information about ongoing recruitment, what are the terms and conditions of the program, and who to ask for extra information. Making sure they know all of that will be your sub-goal.
Newsletters: examples of internal communication
- Communication with candidates (sending invitations for interviews, recruitment tasks, etc.)
- Pre-hiring communication (sending all the info needed before the hire, e.g. about the agenda of their first day at work)
- Welcome emails (sending a hello email to the team on behalf of the newly hired person)
- Event coordination (training, workshops, kids parties – you can handle everything, from lists to sending event agendas)
- Personal celebrations (congratulating on personal achievements and important events e.g. promotions, childbirth, birthdays, you name it)
2. Reach the audience
Never ever try to play it easy at this level. Sending your messages to everybody on the payroll is the worst thing you can do. Unless it’s the real aim of your campaign. You don’t like spam in your mailbox, do you? Your employees don’t either.
Make sure the information sent is relevant to the people on your mailing list. Like, really, REALLY relevant. Otherwise, like in every other email marketing campaign, your deliverability will be low and will go down with the next campaigns. And to make your own people read your emails again is pretty challenging and time-consuming. You can’t get a new subscribers list here, silly.
We’ve got it covered
We’ve been using GetResponse since, like, forever, so we don’t import the data en masse. We add each new person to the campaign manually, whenever someone joins our team. If you need to feed your campaign with a bigger chunk of data, don’t worry. You can also import your contacts straight from your .XLS or other data formats.
What’s even more useful, GetResponse allows you to segment your main list of employees into narrower groups such as people from different offices or countries, or parents (great if you organize events for kids!)
Obviously, you can put all these people on different lists, but we have an easier way to handle it. Use custom fields to label each and every employee. Then, when you’re ready to send your newsletter, you can choose which custom field you want to include or exclude from your campaign. We chose that option at GetResponse and it works perfectly with the number of newsletters we send.
3. Strategize the flow
When you’re ready with your goals and sub-goals list, you can decide how many messages you want to send and in what order. Put yourself in your employees’ shoes and think how they’re going to react when they get your email. How many emails can they take before they start sending them to the junk folder? Can they process the whole information at once? Will they react on the spot? Do they need reminders to do what you expect them to? These are some sample questions that may help you plan your communication schedule.
The frequency of your messages depends on your team and needs. At GetResponse we never send more than two series per day (e.g. a welcome email in the morning and then a signup for the training sessions at midday) but, as I said above, you have to figure out your own routine.
We’ve got it covered
The easiest function you can use here is simple newsletters scheduling. When your newsletters are ready, you can set up the publishing date for your communication. Another thing that can come in handy is Time Travel. Your newsletters will be sent according to the time zone of your employee. It’s particularly handy when you have team members scattered around the world, just like at GetResponse.
If you need something more advanced, you can use marketing automation. This function will allow you to react to your people’s behavior. Let’s assume that they don’t click the button you wanted them to click. It could happen for many reasons, not necessarily because they intended to blatantly ignore your message. You can automatize the whole process, to make sure the reminder will reach only those who hadn’t reacted the way you wanted them to.
More about the function to be found here.
4. Design your content
Another thing you have to cater is the actual writing, the message you’re about to send. And you have to take it from two different angles at the same time. What you’re going to write and how you’re going to present it.
Since a picture may be worth 1000 words or at least some say so, before writing any content think of what has to be written in full sentences. See where you can go with simple information chunks, and what you can replace with design, pictures, graphics, etc. Good design makes the newsletter not only easy to grasp (fewer words, less effort), but also more attractive. And yep, font matters too!
If you’re making your first steps in content writing, there’s a plenty of good advice on the Internet. You can begin here or here. The second one is more about blog posts, but it will show you how to construct simple yet informative messages.
We’ve got it covered
GetResponse allows you to use prebuilt templates that can be easily modified to cater to your needs. If you need more, you can use our drag-and-drop email editor.
At GetResponse we use personalized templates, with a predesigned structure of elements such as buttons, image placeholders, paragraphs, bullets, you name it.
To make it effortless, you can also upload one big image prepared by your design team. Just remember that emails like that work like posters. You’ll be left with no space to work with the design or content. Also, you’ll be able to link just one URL.
To sum up, you don’t have to code to make beautiful email templates, which is definitely a plus. You can use a pre-built template or the drag-and-drop editor to create a newsletter for any occasion.
5. Other media
Don’t forget to amplify the reach of your campaign with additional channels. These can be: data sharing applications (we use SharePoint and Confluence), messengers (Slack works wonders), intranet, or whatever you use in your organization to store and share information. It’s good to decide which medium fits for a specific kind of information. Whenever we have to share terms and conditions or complicated manuals, a newsletter redirects our team to a place where they can comfortably browse the document or download it. For tiny bits and pieces of news, like minor changes in the event agenda, we turn to Slack channels.
Hope this short intro will give you some solid inspiration for using newsletter campaigns in your organization. As you see, GetResponse can do a really good job, making your communication processes not only efficient but sooo easy to implement. Have any after-thoughts? Or maybe you have some tips to share on the topic covered here? Don’t be shy and comment below!