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Reducing Internal Email Volume

“Our target audience notice our communications, they’re not getting lost”
Cosima Wagner, Marketing & Communications, Wipro Retail.

9 Alternatives to Internal Mass Emails

  1. Recognize the impact of internal communication emails
  2. Aggregate mass emails into a single format
  3. Visual communication by screensaver
  4. Target your audience and make messages relevant
  5. Desktop messaging for urgent / important messages
  6. Reduce the background noise
  7. Train staff on the appropriate use of email
  8. Know what is hitting the mark
  9. Avoid running group discussions via email


Tip 1- Recognize the Impact of Internal Communication Emails

"The Communications team worked out that they are asking reps to read the equivalent of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird every month" CTC

Multiple, uncoordinated mass internal emails from different parts of the business such as; planned outages from IT, product information updates from Marketing, new policy information from HR, social club notices, and so on, can add up to an incredible flood of uncoordinated information hitting employee inboxes. This can cause important messages to become buried and employee productivity and engagement to drop.


Tip 2 –Aggregate Mass Emails into a Single Format


Summarize Internal News


Coordinate the people and business units sending mass internal emails and consolidate them into an electronic newsletter. Keep messages brief and add hyperlinks to relevant supplementary information on the intranet/ SharePoint.








Tip 3 – Visual Communication by Screensaver

Employee Screensavers provide an excellent format to communicate visually with employees in a way that doesn’t interrupt them or add to information overload. This is ideal for messages that may not be urgent but are important from an employee ‘awareness’ perspective. These type of internal communication often end up buried and unread when delivered by mass email or posted only to the intranet. For example:


Broadcast Screensaver Messages

  • New technology implementations
  • Service change and upgrades
  • Security policies
  • Compliance education
  • Virus and safe computing announcements
  • Disaster recovery/ business continuity policies
  • Benefits communication
  • Dashboard indicators
  • Support channels available
  • News and events
  • Training opportunities
  • Brand messages
  • Event updates
  • Product launches
  • Sustainability messages
  • Reinforcing key elements of staff training

Embed hyperlinks into screensaver messages

to allow employees to interact or to navigate further information on the intranet or supporting documents.


Tip 4 – Target your Audience and make Messages Relevant

"The average information worker spends 13 hours per week on email at an average cost of US$21K per employee." IDC

Research your audience, segment by needs and interests and use internal communication channels that allow you to target communication to specific employee groups.

Tip 5 – Desktop messaging for urgent and important messages


Internal Network Alert

Cut-through important messages

Desktop Alerts are a good format for internal communications that need fast effective cut-through. It is possible to specify desktop message recurrence and escalation options based on the users response to the message.

Can you get your message across in a punchy headline?

If you can, think about pushing scrolling headlines onto employee computers. If employees see a headline of interest, they can click hyperlinks for more information.



Tip 6 – Reduce the background noise

Expire out-of-date internal communications from communication channels and make information that is still relevant available via a central searchable repository.


Tip 7 – Train Staff on the Appropriate Use of Email


Desktop Employee Quiz

Train staff of the effective and appropriate use of internal email but remember that in 30 days people typically forget 80% of what they’ve learned. Reinforce training with Staff Quizzes and follow up communication(s). You can also use internal quizzes to:

  • Enhance knowledge (e.g. “When you are running a meeting, is it better to… A,B or C”)
  • Influence attitudes with ‘scenario’ quizzes (e.g. “Under what circumstances is it appropriate to ‘cc’ a colleague/manager… A,B or C”)

Choose a quiz format that allows you to push quizzes directly to the desktop, so they do not add to internal email overload. Quiz recurrence and escalation options, if used, can help drive participation.

Tip 8 – Know what is Hitting the Mark


Staff Survey tool

Ensure that internal communication channels provide reporting options which allow you to see exactly what employees are reading and what is being ignored. Refine and improve your internal communications based on the evidence and continue to monitor and improve.

Get feedback

Regularly run employee opinion polls and surveys to find out which internal communication are working and which are not. Survey staff to get feedback as to the types of information relevant to them. Use polls to benchmark and set standards (e.g. “How clear and concise are the messages sent out by Marketing, Finance etc?”)



Tip 9 – Avoid Running Group Discussions via Email


Internal Social Media Channel

Ever received 60 reply all messages to a single unimportant email? Transfer any messages that will require group collaboration into discussion forums. Use a plug and play format that allows you to quickly target access and usage rights to specified employees and groups.





Better Ways to Deliver Internal Communications

Related Resources

Reduce email overload infographic
Bringing line managers on board
Example Internal Communications Strategy
Case study - How Vodafone reduced internal emails
Case study - Reducing internal email overload within Wipro
Case Study - How TVNZ reduced internal communications via email
Case Study - How LaSer UK found an alternative to email in a call center
Case Study - Reducing email volumes in an academic environment
Case Study - Addressing email overload within an insurance company


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