Friends on a boardwalk eating cotton candy

For more than 100 years, New Jersey’s boardwalks have been a favorite destination of recreation seekers. Sunburned visitors can choose from a seemingly endless variety of games, rides, snacks and other amusements. That means every shop owner needs to put extra effort into getting noticed.

What does this have to do with the emails you create to communicate benefits, pay and other HR programs? Well, to your employees, that urgent compensation email is not a star attraction; it’s just a popcorn stand sandwiched between a ring-toss and a hotdog cart.

But the good news is you can leverage the same attention-getting techniques that have made snack booths, rides and other amusements so popular down by the seashore. Here are 5 boardwalk inspirations that will make HR communication a walk on the beach:

1

Be bright and flashy

Neon ferris wheel and fireworks

Rollercoasters and Ferris wheels are big attractions at the boardwalk because they’re...well, big. Their bright lights and towering profiles grab attention from across town. Your employees are just as distracted as someone strolling down the boardwalk, so use visuals and captivating headlines to make your emails stand out.

2

Offer a prize

fair game prizes

On its own, a game like the ring toss isn’t particularly exciting, but add the chance to win a stuffed animal and suddenly things get interesting. For HR topics such as compensation or wellness, the “prize” for each employee is not a teddy bear, but how the topic helps him or her make more money, get healthier. So emphasize “how this will help me” in every email you create.

3

Keep it short and sweet

Salt water taffy

No trip to the Jersey Shore would be complete without signature salt water taffy. The bite-sized pieces are neat, quick and digestible. Your content should be just as snackable.

4

Give clear how-tos

You must be this tall to ride

You can find simple instructions near most attractions on the boardwalk, which make it quick and easy for customers to learn the rules of a game or how to stay safe on a rollercoaster. While something like a benefits change isn’t as exciting as a ride on the tilt-a-whirl, a set of actionable next steps helps employees understand what’s required of them.

5

Pick the right time

Closed arcade

Shops on the boardwalk don’t typically open before noon. And for good reason—no one wants to eat funnel cake first thing in the morning. Consider timing when sending your emails. For example, don’t send a message about wellness on Friday. Instead, send emails when employees will pay the most attention—try first thing on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

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