My journey with staff Email Media started 3 years ago when I rocked up to start a new job and had a loooooong list of induction meetings, one being with my Email Media Account Manager Tamsin. Now I will admit something here, I like to think that I have a good understanding of email marketing, transactional email, and trigger emails, but I was feeling slightly red-faced that I didn’t know much about what you could do with your employee emails.
Email Media is simply a technology that links up with your employee email system such as Outlook, google apps or lotus notes etc., it adds dynamic (and trackable) footers and headers to all employee emails which supports the brand and your business objectives.
In my role at the time I used Email media to support revenue, lead gen, customer service, cross / upselling , and brand messages. We segmented our messaging by department and had multiple messages on rotation so we could communicate different marketing in the course of email conversations.
For those reading this thinking 'well, I don’t know about email media either…' I am pleased to report that there has been a new white paper on this topic from Gleanster Research and it was this paper that got me putting my learning hat on again, as there have been some interesting and exciting developments with employee email that brands are taking full advantage of such as the segmentation, data and CRM opportunities.
One of the key case studies that the white paper features is the British Red Cross. Having worked in the charity and non-profit sectors, I can definitely relate to the challenges that they face and why email media would be such a good channel for them. So I dug a little deeper into how the British Red Cross use it, with the aim of highlighting how all companies , not just charities can benefit, and to share my top tips when thinking about how you might use email media in your company’s employee communications.
We have all heard (I hope) of the British Red Cross and all the fantastic work that they do. You will all relate to their challenges of having multiple stakeholders, numerous campaigns and activities that all need support. Add to that a shrinking budget with a cry from the C suite for clear ROI on marketing spend and the goal of having all your marketing touchpoints working in a complementary way with each other. Sound familiar?
The British Red Cross started to use email media over 5 years ago, and it was set up as a way to control their branding (we all have staff that have created their own take on the brand in their email signatures!) but they also used it to bring in a new revenue stream for the charity.
The BRC have 3,500 staff sending 4 million emails a year, highlighting just how far your employee emails reach.
The biggest 'stop and think' moment for me which was highlighted in the Gleanster whitepaper is that '50-60% of the people that your employees are emailing do not exist in a company database'.
The BRC knew that they had a lot of people sending a lot of external emails, but as well as gaining an opportunity to reinforce messaging with donors and volunteers on their database, adding relevant branded media also plugged a gap and got a message out to people who were not yet ready to sign up to that monthly newsletter.
With a presence in 188 countries and a number of businesses under one brand, from responding to an overseas crisis, or key work in the UK such as emergency evacuation, the British Red Cross have multiple messages that they need to deliver to a wide, segmented audience so email media helped to tick that box of delivering their many campaigns to the relevant stakeholders. These included:
Here is how they promoted their app in their emails:
Their marketing has to work hard, and deliver clear ROI, their teams are always looking for opportunities to improve their marketing performance and maximise their message and fundraising.
More than just the brand team being happy that everyone has a consistent look and feel in their emails, they found that people engaging with the media in their employee emails are 20% more likely to engage in the donation process than those in other channels.
Now this makes sense as you are already emailing someone on a one to one basis so they are already engaged, but what email media is enabling you to engage them further and drive them along the customer journey.
What I love about the BRC case study was that they really know this marketing channel, like any marketing tool you have to work at it.
They segment their email media by departments, they a/b test their creative, and as it is centrally managed and quick to deploy, if they have an emergency appeal they can get a new campaign up within the hour, and with the results in the case study it is easy to see why email media is one of their core digital channels.
A question I ask my clients who use email media 'What are the business goals you are trying to achieve?'. As with all marketing campaigns, make sure they are aligned with your overall business strategy; be it lead-generation, building your database, awareness or revenue. I have given you some examples of how the BRC use email media, here are some other ideas based on my own experience in using this channel.
Example of promoting a will service:
Make sure that the KPI’s you set are not vanity metrics that get the C suit in a huff, you want to walk in and say the services department converted x revenue this month, or accounts provided x additional % on our database increasing bookings or actions by y. They don’t care about time on site, engagement or other how many other followers you got on Facebook.
I hope that this post has got your thinking hats going about how you can use this. I have seen benefit from this channel working with small 10 employee businesses right up to large scale enterprises. There is a real opportunity to set something up quickly, that can support all the other marketing you are doing, and get great results fast. If you want to find out more you can download the free white paper.
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