Internal email broadcasts have the power to inform, motivate and energize your employees. The more engaging you can make your messages, the better -- especially during the holiday season, when most employees have mentally checked out from work.
Here are six ways to infuse holiday cheer and more fun into your internal email communications.
1. Use tasteful inside jokes.
When you spend time with your friends, you tend to reference and repeat your own inside jokes. This type of bonding can work within employee groups or entire organizations as well. When you reference departmental or company-wide experiences -- like the fourth floor toilet flood of 2014 -- you can inspire a laugh and sense of camaraderie. Just make sure the jokes are tasteful and have other team members review them first! You don’t want to alienate or offend a group of readers or embarrass a specific individual in pursuit of a cheap laugh.
Holiday spin: Record a video of the member of your executive team dressed as a reindeer at the holiday family event. It’s an inside joke waiting to happen.
2. Stop being so robotic.
Sure, you want your emails to be informative and professional, but your messaging can still be human. It takes more energy to write formally than it does to write conversationally. It all depends on your corporate culture and style, but writing with casual authenticity is the new normal, especially for leaders. Prioritize important information at the top of your email, but slip in commentary about the new product announcement, the holiday party this weekend or the new Thai restaurant opening next door. If it helps, imagine that you are writing to your colleague over in accounting. She’s a human, you’re a human, so your messaging shouldn’t read like a robot wrote it.
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3. Share stories and life events.
People like stories about people. Whether work or personal accomplishments, volunteer work, anniversaries, new babies or even furbaby rescues, these life events are of human interest, and they’re fun! Be prepared: The holiday season is engagement season, so you may get an influx of, “I got engaged!” announcement requests. You can include life events and personal stories within your weekly newsletters.
Another way to share stories is to produce and distribute day-in-the-life videos. What exactly does Jason in customer relations do all day? Schedule an interview, set up a camera, capture his story and share it as an email link.
4. Include shareable articles.
While you don’t want to overwhelm employees with more content than necessary, one or two shareable articles can lighten up an email. Consider including a “You Gotta Read This” section where you share something like, “5 Ways to Fight Holiday Stress in 5 Minutes,” or, “Top 10 Delicious Holiday Desserts.” Be strategic. If you’re lucky, some employees will bake those gingerbread cookies you want and share them in the break room.
5. Add more visuals and color.
Serious emails are best as plain black text on a white page, but for other content, you can improve attention and readership by effectively using images, colors and fonts. With today's tools, your nicely designed internal messaging will stand out. Why not embed that photo of your executive Tom, wearing that reindeer onesie? Or in your January email, add a cold blue background with large white font. Have fun with your messaging and think beyond the text to keep it interesting.
6. Write a kickin’ subject line.
None of these suggestions matter if your email message gets ignored. Your jokes may be funny, the stories enticing, and the video of your boss dressed as a reindeer might be the best thing you’ve seen all year -- but when your subject line is blah and boring, the message is less likely to be read. There’s value in consistency, but “Weekly Updates,” isn’t intriguing enough week after week. Try adding a flavor of the week: “Weekly Update: Why we added kombucha to the cafe” or “Weekly Update: See who’s wearing the reindeer onesie...” Get people curious and then deliver an interesting and informative message.
It can be a challenge to get your employees to even open internal communications, but when your emails are fun and interesting, more people will read them.
There's no question that social media is quickly becoming the No. 1 way to market to new subscribers and grow your email list. One of the best social websites to use for your email list is Facebook. According to the Pew Research Center, 79 percent of U.S. citizens log on to Facebook. That's a ton of people!
With all of those people, it's pretty much a guarantee that some of these people are going to be interested in the product or service you offer. You can get this community together by building a Facebook group.
You may be wondering how building a group could possibly increase your email lead list. We are going to give you some valuable insights and tell you how to start leveraging your new group to bump up your numbers so you can send out more emails and increase your profit.
1. Create posts offering gifts.
When you're creating content for your group, one of the post types you should add to your mix is "free gift" posts. Think about the types of things you could offer your fans and how this would benefit them.
Your post should not sound generic and blatantly ask for an email address right away. For example, if you're giving away a free e-book, you may want to try something like, "Click here to get your FREE copy of my e-book on starting a small business! That's a $19.99 value!"
Once you have the hook, link it to a lead magnet page where the Facebook group fans can redeem their free book. Almost every single "free" gift requires you to give basic info like your name and email address. Can you guess why? That's right – it's going right into the email list so consumers who are interested in the e-book can go on an email list to get related content.
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2. Use the group invite questions.
Facebook recently added a feature that allows you to set up invitation questions when someone wants to join your group. Many times, these questions are geared to weed out bots and fake accounts trying to gain access to the group in question. Moderators must go over each of the questions before approving new members.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to collect email addresses. Again, you're not going to directly ask, "Can we have your email?" Instead, lead with an offer. Your third question might read something like, "Interested in getting notifications about our free content writing webinars? Great! Please provide your email for information on our next featured webinar."
Is there a chance this will push some people away? Yes. But here's the thing: The people who are coming to your group page to learn about whatever you post about will want to check out the webinar. The people being weeded out likely wouldn't have engaged with you or other group members, clicked any of your links, or added anything of value overall.
It's better to have a group of 1,000 active, productive, engaging members than to have 10,000 members who mostly don't bother engaging with anything you do. In fact, this can be a drawback because Facebook's complicated algorithm punishes groups that have high user accounts with little engagement.
3. Share diverse content consistently.
The great thing about sharing content consistently is that you get plenty more chances to put your lead magnets out there in both direct and indirect forms. These techniques help you build up your email list because your content will be exposed to more people.
Consider diversifying your content with things like quizzes, website content from your blog and other blogs that complement your niche. However, the most important type of content you can post is videos. According to Facebook, its users watch 100 million hours of video on the platform every day. Creating and marketing your videos properly with social media can boost your email lead list as well as your conversion rate.
We know it can be a challenge to keep up with posting on your social media accounts multiple times a day, and sometimes hiring someone to do your social media work just isn't a viable option. For this reason, Facebook has a planner you can use to schedule your posts to release at a certain time every day. This gives you the freedom to write posts when it's convenient instead of at constant intervals.
The most important takeaway from this piece is that building your email list and Facebook group isn't a one-time thing. It's a constantly evolving process that never quite ends. You have to keep your readers engaged if you want to keep them interested in your emails, and you must keep your Facebook group audience engaged if you want to keep adding to the aforementioned list.
It can take some time to get your email list rolling, but it's much like a snowball: The more you roll, the bigger it gets. Adding your Facebook group to the list is the equivalent of adding a blizzard to the situation, allowing you to build your lead-list snowball even quicker.