You’ve just finished composing an important internal email communication, created a compelling graphic to grab your employees attention, and survived rounds of content edits and approvals. After rereading it a few more times, you hit send — now all that’s left to do is sit back and celebrate your successful broadcast (well that, and getting going on the next one)!
But the send is only half your success. Did people read it? Now it’s time to consider the second half: measurement.
Why Measuring Internal Communications Makes a Difference
Think about all of the time you spend writing, reviewing and sending internal emails. You put in countless hours each week, and suffer through significant changes to content and style? You’re not sure who’s approach is better. What really works? If you aren’t measuring your communications, you can’t really answer that question. When you start tracking your email metrics, and comparing results of all your internal communications — then you will have the results to prove what works and improve what doesn’t.
Here are a few benefits of measuring your internal communications:
- Measure employee engagement
- Identify what is and isn’t working with your efforts
- See which channels work best for your messages (and employees)
- Gain objective insight into a campaign’s success
- Improves the effectiveness of internal communications and decision making
Whether you send to 1,000 employees or 100,000, the objective of your internal communications is to inform employees, educate and motivate them, and boost their engagement with your business. To make the most of what you’re doing, measurement can provide the insights you need, with the right metrics.
Looking at the Big Picture
It’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus just on your email open rate as a key performance indicator. On the surface, this seems like a good metric because it tells you how many employees read your message, right? Not quite.
Open rates are just a piece of the bigger picture when it comes to measuring your internal communications’ success — and they are usually misleading. Whether someone spends one second or 10 minutes on your email, the open count is the same. Depending on the email service you use, someone who reads your email may never be counted because they didn’t click to download images in the email.
Here are three more important email metrics that will give you a more accurate measurement of your internal communications’ performance.
#1: Time on Page
The key email metric is time on page, also known as the read rate. That tells you how long the person has the message opened — not just that they opened it.
By measuring the time on the page, you’ll have a much more accurate picture of if people are actually reading or ignoring your content. You are sending the message for a reason, so you want to know if people are taking the time necessary to read it.
If not, you can change your content, your layout, and other message component and compare results to see what works to get your message read. A read time metric is critical if you want to improve the value of you email messaging.
Of course, you’ll have the occasional employee who leaves the email open while they run to the break room, but a good analytics tool should factor that in.
#2: Click-Through Rates
This metric is pretty simple: The click-through rate is when someone clicks a link in your email.
For news and action oriented messages, it’s a great metric to measure your employees’ engagement. You are trying to get someone to do something. You could link to a video, an internal blog or intranet news story, an online survey or social media page — whatever it is, it’s good to what percentage of our audience actually did it. And if they didn’t click, but really need to, being able to reach back out to that specific group is essential to successful communications efforts.
It’s also beneficial to measure mobile and desktop click-through. According to an Experian email report, 58 percent of email opens occur on a mobile phone or tablet — so your click-through rates may be affected if your message isn’t mobile friendly, or if your content is not accessible via mobile devices.
#3: Email Engagement Vs. Employee Engagement
These metrics are related, but not the same. Email engagement is how interactive employees are with your digital communications over time. Consistently high readership and click through means high engagement. When you see engagement fall off, that is a leading indicator that you need a content refresh or a new messaging strategy.
Employee engagement might be a soft metric, but it is important to the executive suite, as higher employee engagement has been correlated to higher company profitability. Engaged employees also have higher morale and stay with the company longer. Employee engagement is typically measured through annual surveys or focus groups.
When employees are engaged with your digital communications, including email, likes and comments on your Intranet and company social channels, blog and social media interactions, they are more likely to rate higher on engagement surveys.
“Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it.” —Timothy R. Clark, founder of LeaderFactor
Wondering how to get started with email measurement?
Ready to stop the guesswork and learn how to measure and get the most out of your internal communication efforts?