Put an End to Send Anxiety: A Checklist for Sending All-employee Email

Checklist for sending to allWhen written strategically, all-staff communications are informative and beneficial. On the other hand, if broadcasts are overused — a team frequently sends irrelevant, purposeless, or lengthy messages — all-staff communications may be perceived as a distracting drain on productivity.

Leaders or teams who over-communicate effectively lessen the impact of truly important companywide messages. Plus, non-strategic emails frustrate employees.

Before you send a broadcast email, how do you ensure it is relevant and valuable? Here is a 10-question checklist for your consideration.

  • Is my message relevant to the audience?
    Ask if the content is relevant to the majority of the recipients. Does every employee on the distribution list need to know this information? Or do only parts of the message apply to certain groups? If it’s the latter, consider sending multiple smaller messages to more targeted lists.
  • Is this information critical or time-sensitive?
    If the message content isn’t critical or time-sensitive, there may be a more appropriate channel than email. Is posting this message (or most of it) to your intranet a better option?
  • Have I made ruthless edits?
    Every broadcast email should be clear, concise, and ideally less than 500 words. Cut the fluff. If you need to convey more details, it’s best to summarize that information within the email and link to a webpage or document for additional information.
  • Is my subject line clear and descriptive?
    People filter their email by sender and subject. Use your subject line to clearly convey the intent and purpose of your message, or ask the question which your message then answers. If there is an action or deadline, say so in the subject. If there are multiple news items that don’t fit into a single sentence, try a short list of interesting keywords.
  • Before: March 2021 Corporate Newsletter
  • After: News: 72 Hires | Q2 Breaking Records | Social
  • Is my subject line too long? Since most mobile and desktop inbox previews cut the subject lines off at about 42 characters, aim to keep yours to seven words or less. If you’ve written a longer more descriptive one, try to convey the same thing by removing unnecessary words.
  • Do I expect replies? Email is correspondence. If employees have questions, can they reply? If not, who should they contact? Make this obvious in the footer of your email by providing a link to more information. If you will respond to replies, indicate that; if not, include the appropriate contact information.
  • Does my message align with brand standards? Are the appropriate fonts, colors, and logos used? If you stick to your brand guidelines, your message will be more consistent and official.
  • Have I proofread this message? Check for spelling and grammar mistakes, and avoid acronyms and jargon. If you need to use an acronym, the first time you use it, write it out (e.g., Internal Communication (IC)). It’s also smart to have someone else proofread your message — whether you’re a professional communicator or not!
  • Should I collaborate with anyone on this broadcast? Do other departments need to send broadcasts at the same time as you? By collaborating with others on content and timing, you can reduce the number of messages and potentially avoid competing for limited attention spans.
  • Have I optimized my delivery? When you’re ready to send a companywide message, avoid sending it at the end of the day or late Thursday or Friday afternoons. The best times to send an email is earlier in the day and earlier in the week. Ideally, use time-zone sending features to reach employees at the start of their business day, wherever they are.

And one last reminder: After you send your message, avoid sending frequent follow-up messages or reminders to the entire company — unless you’re sending emergency communications, of course. Instead, use segmented analytics to only send targeted reminders to individuals who haven’t taken action or who ignored previous messages.

Email broadcasts are critical, strategic corporate communications. To be most efficient and beneficial, reserve large broadcasts for your most critical, time-sensitive, and action-oriented content. By following this standardized checklist you can ensure your messages are well received and error-free.

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