The Trouble with Using Email Marketing Tools for Internal Email Campaigns

Marketers use external email marketing software like Marketo, MailChimp or Drip to communicate with customers and prospects and generate revenue. When internal communicators seek email engagement metrics, they often turn to the same software their marketing team already uses. If it works for customers, it works for employees, right? Not necessarily.

External email marketing software isn’t ideal for internal email campaigns. Using the same software often complicates your communications efforts. Here are three reasons to consider a specialized internal email communications tool instead.

  1. Get yourself out of the list management business.

In large organizations, employee lists change often. If you are used to simply picking an Exchange distribution group in Outlook and sending it, using an online email marketing tool will mean requesting updated lists from your HR or IT team every time you need to send, uploading it, and then dealing with anyone who decides to opt-out.

With a specialized internal tool, you don’t have to manage any lists, you can just send. If you Exchange and Active Directory lists are not up to date, today’s more advanced tools have integrations with both AD and your HR software, which generally has up-to-date employee data, to automatically maintain targeted employee lists and provide better segmentation and targeting capabilities. Internal tools enable you to focus on the content for specific audiences, without having to perform a bunch of list management steps every time you need to send something.

  1. Did you even reach the inbox?

Email marketing tools make it relatively simple to design, compose and send an email, but that misses the point if the beautiful message doesn’t reach the intended inboxes.

With today’s anti-spam tools, more and more marketing email end up in the junk folder or never gets delivered at all, and some big email marketing broadcasters are being blocked altogether by corporate IT systems. Even when that email makes it through the IT gauntlet, Outlook’s focused inbox AI tool might file it away to keep you focused on your work email. Which is why you want your employee broadcasts to be properly considered by your systems as work email, not marketing email.

  1. Are you reporting accurate metrics?

Besides better inbox delivery, specialized internal tools will also produce better, more accurate data, because the images and links will not be blocked. Data accuracy is important when reporting email results to your leadership.

Why do you need the most accurate data? According to research published by MIT Sloan Management, the number of irrelevant or “incongruent” email interruptions is negatively related to employee performance. In another recent study analyzing communications in the digital workplace, “The volume of email was perceived to be so high that for many it was impossible to read everything.”

If you want to make data-driven communications decisions about what message to send, whom to send to, what volumes are appropriate and when is best to send, having accurate, reliable data and consistent reporting is paramount.

Email marketing has proven its value as a customer communication solution. By using software built for internal messaging, you can more easily build and maintain targeted employee lists, send congruent emails and centralize messaging efforts. Through these improvements, you can also reduce the negative impact of email overwhelm and better engage your employees.

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