9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 5, 2010 9:38 AM by grsnovi

    Are internal email newsletters SPAM?

      A few years ago a federal law was passed that required organizations pushing email at people to provide an easy way for the people to opt out.  This switched the model to a subscription based one where only the people that want the information get the emails.  The federal government and the people defined the unwanted emails as SPAM.


      The internal emails have continued to use the push model and measure success by the number of emails they send.  While important company information still needs to be pushed to a large group, unfortunately, not everything that gets pushed into an email inbox meets that criteria.  It is time to shift the measurement of success from “who do I want to tell” to “who wants to know”.  Employees at a number of companies complain about digging through large amounts of email to find what is important.


      The other major problem with a newsletter is that most are more history than news.  In an attempt to address the complaints about inbox overload and the cost and effort involved to create the colorful, graphics heavy newsletter, the trend was to have fewer that cover a wider amount of time.  Newsletters that cover a quarter, a month, or even a week, only tell you what has happened, not what is happening.  We respond and react to news.  We review and reflex on history.


      Luckily, we now have communities.  Using communities, we now have a way to collect, display and distribute useful, interesting information that is not at the level which justifies sending it to thousands of people.  The very core of communities is a subscription based model for distribution of information.  With RSS feeds, email notification, and each of the authors to submit an item closer to the point where it is or will be happening, we can switch easily from a history to more of a news perspective.


      What has been your experience?  Are you ready to join the cause and work to end this plague?

        • Re: Are internal email newsletters SPAM?

          I think it depends a lot on the type of company where you work.


          When I parted company with Autodesk in January of 2009, they had something like 7500 employees worldwide.


          Internally they had an intraweb set up that allowed useful information to be viewed on a pull basis rather than on a push basis.


          I know they would benefit from an SBS deployment.


          Prior to Autodesk, I was with another large s/w firm - they didn't do massive internal newsletters either.


          Sure, there were occasional emails that were sent company-wide but they were rare.


          Since most email systems allow you to set-up your own rules, anyone who is repeatedly annoyed by newsletter-like spam can usually ensure that it immediately goes to the trash. This of course raises the question of: how many people really know how to use their email effectively? How many people do you know who have hundreds of read and unread emails in their INBOX?

            • Re: Are internal email newsletters SPAM?

              Thanks.  I think it depends on how we are measured.  In the old style where I get to push content at people based on a distribution list, such as all employees, if you do not count the wasted resources and only credit me with “informing” everyone, then we get out of control emails leading to overload.  If on the other hand, we use a pull system and I get measured on the value of my content, we have less traffic and a more useful set of information.


              There will always be the case, such as a benefits update announcement, where we need to push.  It will be interesting to move the mindset and have people focus on what is needed, as defined by the consumer of the information.



              From: Gary Smith communities@jivesoftware.com

              Sent: Sunday, April 04, 2010 1:35 PM

              To: Crocker, Michael

              Subject: New message: "Are internal email newsletters SPAM?"




              Are internal email newsletters SPAM?

              reply from Gary Smith<http://www.jivesoftware.com/jivespace/people/grsnovi> in Internal Collaboration - View the full discussion<http://www.jivesoftware.com/jivespace/message/376455#376455

                • Re: Are internal email newsletters SPAM?



                  I'm pretty sure there wasn't any measurement taking place.


                  Should there be?




                  I think we're teetering on the brink of a shift in enterprise values.


                  In the "old" system you'd have people who would send email and cc a million others just to cover themselves and ensure political correctness. This lead to an inbox full of mail that you really didn't need to read - mailbox rules come in handy here.


                  It may be that "new" companies - those started by GenXers or GenYers, will approach the whole communication thing differently. Again, in the old days you had the telephone, you had typed and copied inter-Co memos and you had letters. That whole communication paradigm has changed (or is in the process of changing).


                  Today, IM's, tweets, text and other live feeds to your hand-held have begun to replace email which replaced the copied inter-Co memo.


                  But, who is doing the measuring?


                  Unless you are measuring yourself against some personal efficiency factor - I don't see a wave of corporate measurement taking place (doesn't mean it isn't happening).


                  Perhaps I keyed in on the word "measure" ? I'd be curious to hear if/how you perceive the measuring being done in your universe.