Are Employees Reading Your Emails? 3 Metrics to Track

If you work in HR benefits you send employees important emails on a weekly or monthly basis. Those communications are the key to employees understanding their compensation and benefits and can unlock the secrets for financial stability. You spend a lot of time with communications, legal, business partners and program owners to ensure the message is complete. So why does it seem like employees often don’t read or comprehend information that is clearly in their best interest? Is it possible they don’t notice?

Yes, it is 100% possible and maybe even quite likely.

The average person will receive 120 emails per day in 2014. And many of those emails are carefully designed & optimized by marketers to ensure they capture your employees attention – and attention is a finite resource. To understand whether or not you are getting through the clutter in your employees inbox, there are a few metrics you can focus on that all email solutions will provide:

  1. Open rate:
    This metric is self explanatory. How many people are opening the email you sent. If they don’t open it, they can’t read it. But most people don’t open their email. Open rates average from 13-30% depending on the topic, typically, the key factors that influence open rates are the sender, the day and time the email is sent, and the subject line. My experience is that they are much higher from employers to employees, but you never really know until you measure it.
  2. Click through rate:
    This measure tells you how many people clicked a link in your email. A click through rate is a good indication an employee is paying attention. If you don’t have links, you can’t measure this, but most employers use links. Average click through rates range from 1.6-6.6% depending on topic. Click through rates or most often influenced by the content in the email, the imagery in the email if any, and the call to action.

    A call to action (CTA), is the primary thing (button, link, graphic) you want your employee to pay attention to and click. It should have the highest click through rate. A single CTA is a design best practice. If you want your employees to pay attention, make it very very clear what the most important thing is you want them to pay attention to in the email. They have been conditioned by all those other emails to look for clear calls to action…or to ignore emails that lack them.

  3. Percent of Emails Delivered:
    This metric measure if your employees are actually getting your emails. If your employees don’t have corporate email accounts, or if you don’t often clean out old email address from your list, some of your emails may not be getting delivered properly. Delivery % will give you an exact number of how many of your emails made it to your employees email inboxes. It is important to monitor this number to make sure that your emails aren’t getting caught in spam filters, and to ensure that your database is up to date.

There are dozens of metrics you can use to measure communications effectiveness (digital and analog). These are a good start for email and I find once employers know these basic metrics it helps them optimize and hone their communications to better reach their employees with critical information. Let me know what you think, comments and emails welcome.

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