If you’re researching communications tools, you’ll come across options like traditional email marketing platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact — as well as plugins that work directly in Microsoft Outlook. While the tools may seem interchangeable, there are crucial differences. Understanding them and determining what will work best for your team is vital to success.
According to the Slideshare Cost of Poor Internal Communications 2014, companies with high employee engagement reported an almost 20 percent improvement in operating income. On the flip side, the cost of weak internal communications is staggering. Businesses with as few as 100 employees spend an average of 17 hours a week clarifying communications at an annual cost of $528,443.
Given these numbers, it’s good business sense to engage employees with internal communications and leverage a tool that can empower your team with the insight and analytics to optimize your program.
Platforms like MailChimp allow users to create highly engaging emails, manage contacts, segment lists, and track performance. But, do those features translate when it comes to internal communications? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using a service like MailChimp for internal communications.
Marketing platforms like MailChimp have grown in popularity for a few key reasons:
- Professionally designed templates with design flexibility
- Analytics, benchmarking, and measurement features
- List segmentation, A/B testing, and personalization
- Autoresponders and social sharing tools (depending on the service level you’ve chosen, you may have to upgrade and pay extra for these features)
Using MailChimp for internal communications can present some challenges:
- Learning curve: Your team will have to learn a new platform and campaign creation process, rather than simply composing a new email in Outlook.
- List hygiene: New employees? Staff leaving? Imports, maintenance, and segmenting will need to be addressed prior to sending each campaign to accommodate the changes in your workforce.
- Muddled analytics: If you’re using MailChimp for external marketing, data trends can become scrambled.
- Attrition: Every email service provider includes an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of communications as part of their adherence to CAN-SPAM. This conforms to email marketing best practices, but it’s ill-advised for internal communications. You don’t want employees opting out of messaging.
- Privacy: By default, MailChimp creates a “web version” of your email campaigns. If privacy is a concern, this feature can be a deal breaker.
Ultimately, these drawbacks can limit the success of your internal communications emails — and consume your team’s valuable time.
Rather than using MailChimp (or something similar) or Microsoft Outlook on its own (and, by extension, sacrifice essential tools and analytics), there are specialized tools available — like PoliteMail.
PoliteMail plugs into and unlocks the power of Outlook – providing the email client functions you already understand, with the advanced features and analytics you need.
Ready to learn more about how you can get the most from your Outlook and start measuring your internal communications? Download our guide for tips and ideas.