Mobile Engagement: 5 Ways to Reach More Employees, Faster

by Jesse Lahey on July 16, 2015

600x600 Guy 2 Blank darkWith 75% of Americans now regularly sending and receiving text messages, there’s good reason to consider adding mobile to your toolkit for workforce communications.

How many employees will actually read an e-newsletter or other email communication? Statistics show only about a third of salaried employees will open it … and even fewer hourly employees.

And what about paper newsletters, brochures, posters, and other print communications? Many people still prefer to read paper now and then. But printing and mailing costs can add up. And, paper doesn’t provide ongoing analytics on how many employees read it and take action.

A Mobile Option

What if you sent a short text message a couple times a month to your employees’ mobile phones? Studies show that within three minutes, 90% of recipients read a text message.

How much can you convey in a text message? Text messages have a 160-character limit, but they can also include links. And, research shows that significantly more people will click a link in a text message than in an email.

Mobilizing Workforce Communications

Here are five ways that mobile communication can be an effective part of your communication strategy:

Reach more people, faster.600 infographics2 Email, print, intranet, and face-to-face communications still have their place in reaching portions of the workforce with certain messages. But most companies have sizeable segments of employees who don’t regularly access these communication channels — for example, sales teams and hourly employees often are more difficult to engage. But with 90% of American adults owning a cell phone, chances are those employees would read a text message. You may also want to invite employees’ spouses and family members to subscribe to certain types of texts.

Provide engaging content and useful resources. Text messages can drive recipients to features that are more interactive than a typical newsletter. Need to send out an alert, pronto? Make it something they can’t miss. Want to provide an inspiring update about the company’s strategic plan? Include a link to a short video. Planning to engage employees in a health challenge? Inspire them with a mobile site.

Leverage content in multiple ways. I didn’t see Marvel’s Agents of Shield when it was broadcast on TV, but now I can watch it anytime on Netflix. Similarly, you’ll reach more employees when you take content from one communication (such as a newsletter) and re-purpose it on other communication channels, including mobile. In addition to reaching more employees, you’ll reach them in multiple ways; at least three is best to gain their attention.

Save time and money. Once the content is created, it can take weeks for paper communications to be printed and delivered to employees, and the printing and mailing costs can be substantial. With a text message, you could bring people to a digital newsletter (or just a short article or other feature) in just seconds, possibly eliminating the cost of printing and mailing.

Measure the results. What analytics do you currently receive about the effectiveness of your communications? With text messaging, you can track how many people click on a link. You’ll have data to help you make decisions on the types of messages and linked resources that are most likely to engage your people.

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TRY IT: To see mobile communication in action, text the word engage to 31996. (You’ll receive an automated text message within a minute or two, plus occasional updates. Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP anytime to opt out.)

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By Jesse Lahey, with Joe Loya and Kelly Skarritt-Williams. Jesse is the host of the podcasts Engaging Leader and Workforce Health Engagement. Jesse, Joe, Kelly, and their other colleagues at Aspendale Communications help mid-size and large employers attract talent, engage employees, and achieve business results. If you know anyone who would benefit from this information, please share it!


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