Everything happens for a reason.
Yes, even when it comes to your employee emails.
Every open and every click means something.
Now you may be used to taking your internal email metrics to leadership and getting accolades for your awesome open rate. That’s great.
But if you are just celebrating opens or clicks, without looking into why it happened, you’re losing half the story.
And there is a story.
And like all good stories, it is full of insights and important lessons.
There is powerful, actionable information about the employee email experience lurking just below the surface of your email metrics. Learn to uncover it, and it will help you improve your communications and engage employees.
Using email analytics to get to the human side of data
A lot of the communicators we know get a bit defensive when we start talking about data.
They know they should be collecting it, analyzing it, and making strategic, data-based decisions. Every consultant and employee engagement technology on the market is singing the same tune. (Including us.)
But there seem to be some real cognitive barriers stopping communicators from opening their hearts up to data. And of course, some logistical barriers too.
The biggest problem is that communicators believe they are not numbers people, but rather, they are words people.
To that we say, why the false dichotomy? Why not both? Both sound good, doesn’t it?
The truth is, as an internal communicator, you actually have the perfect set of skills to be interpreting employee email data.
Because you understand that people are not numbers. You know that everyone has a story. You flex that empathy muscle every damn day.
You understand that everything happens for a reason. You know how people think and understand people.
So when you look at the numbers, you’re going to see more than just a data-point. You’re going to see evidence. You’re going to see a piece of the bigger puzzle you’re trying to solve as a communicator.
Ain’t nobody got time for employee email metrics
We also know and respect that communicators don’t have a lot of time.
Shifting priorities, mergers, organizational-wide change, new leadership, deadlines. There is always something.
So when the topic of employee email analytics comes up, though communicators may like to, they don’t feel like they have the time to really get into it. They may have a few minutes to pull some numbers for leadership on how many people are opening internal emails, but beyond that, it doesn’t seem worth the time.
After all, in many cases, no one is asking for anything more in-depth anyways.
How measuring email engagement can actually save you time
Tom manages internal communications for a finance organization of over 45,000 employees. When he was brought onto the internal comms team, he realized his department was sending way too many global internal emails.
But he was met with a lot of resistance when he suggested departments cut certain types of messages or batch them together.
After collecting data for just a few weeks, Tom had the numbers he needed to prove his intuition.
Open rates and click rates were much lower than even he had anticipated, and it was clear that the channel wasn’t reaching employees as intended.
Tom's team used the data to justify reducing the number of global emails to all employees to just two per week (from the one or two being sent per day).
Engagement increased despite fewer emails, and feedback from employees was positive.
The lesson here is that the small time investment of collecting and interpreting the data ultimately led to a huge reduction in the number of emails that the department was sending.
If you aren’t collecting that data and trying to figure out the story behind it because you don’t think you have time, you could be potentially doing way more work than you need to.
Using employee email metrics to become a trusted advisor
We also talk to a lot of communicators who are committed to owning their comms. Who want to do more meaningful work. Be more strategic. Grow. Get that damn seat at the table. They see the potential. And they are hungry.
What they all eventually come to realize is that getting that seat at the table is a numbers game.
It always has been, regardless of department, industry or job role.
Linking your work product to the organization's financial success has always been a good way to get credibility and resources. It’s just that up until now, it has been very hard for communicators to show that link. They have been treated like a post office. And a lack of numbers and data to show their improvement and success hasn’t helped.
Investing in employee email and engagement analytics
We’ll be the first to admit that reading the data and looking for the story is going to take time and practice. It is, at first, an investment.
But as you become more familiar with the language, and more open to the potential ways data can serve you, not only in your organization but in your career, this small time investment will be well worth it.
Learning to understand the data and practicing finding the hidden stories will give you what you need to show leadership what is actually working, and why it’s working.
That ‘why’ piece is how you’re going to stake your claim for more power and resources.
By looking at the data and figuring out the why, you create the potential for radical improvement.
When you own your comms, understand your comms, and can teach others, including leaders, why employees are behaving a certain way, you become an even more incredible asset to not only leadership but to employees as well. You become an interpreter for the organization. The link.
You become the communication channel.
Finding the story hidden in your data
Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to show you how to find the story hidden in your data.
We’ll be whipping up some juicy educational content on the story behind opens, clicks, read time, and other metrics, and show you how to tie it all together into a story that will change the way you send emails to employees for the better.
We’ll also show you how to leverage this new data to prove your success to leadership, without having to learn any fancy algorithms or math skills.
And perhaps most importantly, you’ll have a new confidence in your comms, a new way to measure your own success and improve, and have the satisfaction of knowing you are making strategic and impactful decisions that work.
Join us June 20th for our webinar and keep your eyes on the blog for our next post in the series.