Big stacks of pancakes are like too much email content


When it comes to sending emails about benefits and other HR programs to employees, more may actually be more.

How can this possibly be true, given that employees are suffering from information overload and that everyone complains about receiving too much email?

It’s simple: Most HR and benefits emails are too densely packed with information. As soon as an employee opens the email, he/she can tell that he/she will have to invest time in reading the content. So the employee is likely (especially in the middle of a busy day) to close the email and wait until later to address it.

The problem, of course, is that later seldom comes. The email falls to the bottom of the pile and eventually gets deleted, often without ever being read.

A better idea is this: Separate one email into several separate messages, each focusing on what an employee needs to know or do right now. If possible, create a visual, ad-like email, using HTML or another format. The employee can then spend just a few seconds getting essential information.

This concept is worth exploring, especially if you can segment your emails to specific employee audiences. As Email Insider columnist Loren McDonald writes in her blog, Go Ahead — Send More Emails, "'Sending more’ can and should mean sending more segmented, targeted, real-time behavior-based emails, as well as fun, timely broadcast emails that are engaging and provide value.”

When you think about email differently—not as a written letter-type communication but as a quick way to get attention and encourage employees to take action—more may indeed be more.

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