Elevate your L&D through increased learner engagement. Here’s a checklist of tips on how you can use email communication to boost your learners’ interest and involvement in your training program:
Now more than ever, organizations worldwide are seeking ways to adapt to using digital learning spaces for corporate training. And there’s still the lingering problem of lack of employee and learner engagement.
One solution to this is email communications. But how can you write emails that make your learners feel that they belong in your organization, that their goals are in line with the objectives of the company, and that they’re in the right path?
We got you! Here are some tips that can help you create emails that are engaging even before, during, and still, after your training program:
BEFORE: Preparing emails that your learners will read
Before the launch of your training program, it’s better that you send out teaser emails that can excite your learners. Make it to a point that they get curious about what’s about to happen.
To make sure that these kinds of emails are read, follow these tips:
1. Get somebody important to send them.
Your learners receive a lot of emails everyday. According to a survey conducted by Adobe, in a typical day for American workers, each one of them spends an average of 209 minutes checking work emails and 143 minutes checking their personal emails. These total to 352 minutes each day (around 5 hours and 52 minutes). And this is a lot!
So it’s only normal for your employees to instantly filter out their inboxes and only pay close attention to those they deem important. One thing they first look at — the sender.
So instead of having only one dedicated email or a generic mailbox to send communication emails regarding your L&D program, it’s best to compose the body of the email first. Then, ask somebody influential or a person of authority to send it out.
For example, you can tap direct managers to send out the emails and newsletters to their employees. You can do this across your organizations for better coordination within teams and departments.
2. Write short and descriptive subject lines.
After looking at who the emails are from, the second filter that people use is the subject line. In today’s fast-paced and busy corporate world, an email subject line that’s difficult to understand might get archived, or worse, deleted.
This is why subject lines should capture the essence of your email without giving too much information within a few words. According to Mailchimp, the optimal subject line length is 28-49 characters while Hubspot says that using 50 characters or less is ideal.
3. Always think of your audience and readership.
This is why if your learners are mostly Millennials, you also have to learn how to better engage them and know what makes them tick. Through this, you can better tailor fit your email communications based on your target demographic.
In fact, Millennials are known to be obsessed with emails. More than half of Millennials from age 18 to 24 check their emails while still in bed in the morning and 43% of Millennials ages 25 to 34 do the same. Interestingly, they are also more likely to check their emails on desktop compared to their mobile devices.
Aside from knowing your audience, if time and your overall strategy permit, you can segment your audience. This yields better engagement and interest among your learners.
Your segmentation can be based on department, interests, relevance, and behavior.
DURING: Crafting engaging emails for your learners
After launching your learning program, it isn’t enough to stop there. Actually, you should continue sending more emails to your learners to keep them engaged and involved in the whole process.
You can do this by sending them quick-start guides, introducing them to new features of their learning portals, and informing them about new course offerings.
To do this, you can follow these few guides on how to create engaging emails:
1. Use appropriate tone.
As L&D leaders and HR professionals, it’s a great practice to always be careful when sending messages through email. This is because electronic communication doesn’t capture a person’s vocal tone, body language, and facial expressions.
So determine the correct tone of your emails depending on the current context. You can try being less formal and more conversational if you want to better engage your learners.
For example, your learning program teaser emails can sound more “fun” while the quick-start guides should be more “formal” and “technical.”
2. Focus on the message.
After knowing some best practices on how to prepare engaging emails for your learners, you should know what types of email you should send. The most critical part of sending emails is the message you want to send.
Here are some examples of emails you can create:
- Learning reminders: To remind your learners how they can best leverage their training programs and eLearning courses
- Contests: To gamify your corporate training and motivate learners to use your LMS/LXP more to maximize training
- Learner testimonials: To get feedback from your learners on how to better improve your training program’s design and delivery
- Executive sponsorship: An avenue for executives and managers to encourage workplace learning and push learners to upskill and reskill
Aside from sending out emails like these, you must also remember to always be in constant communication with your learners by setting clear learning objectives with them.
This is very important in order to set clear expectations for your learners which will hugely affect how your learners engage with the overall training process.
3. Consider send time and frequency.
This means that if you start your work day at 9 AM, your email communications can be scheduled to be sent at 9 AM on a Monday morning for more engagement. And this can be your usual schedule of sending out your emails.
Consistency is indeed important. When your learners get the habit of receiving emails for L&D during a certain time, this expectation can lead to better attention to your emails.
But you should also note that when you bombard them with so many emails, they can be overwhelmed. A once a week “FYI email” is enough. This email should be concise, straightforward, and relevant.
AFTER: Communicating constantly with stakeholders
Training design and delivery are two very important things to consider while deploying your workplace learning program.
But constant communication is also critical to the success of your training program. So make sure to always send updates and FYI emails to your learners.
Here are great practices you should do to ensure great communication with your learners:
1. Consider email metrics.
After each sending of an email, always check the metrics. Factors you should look into are:
- Open rate – Shows how frequent your emails are being opened
- Click-through rate – Shows the number of learners who click a link in your email
- Read rate – Shows which subject lines generate less engagement with your learners
- Attention rate – Are your emails capturing people’s 8-second attention span?
After this, you should study the metrics and adjust your practices accordingly. These metrics can guide your department and organization to gear towards a more data-driven culture.
2. Get feedback from your learners.
Always seek feedback from your stakeholders, most especially from your learners. If there’s someone who knows best about how you can better engage learners, they are the learners themselves.
Ask the reasons why they read through an email, how they want the training program to be delivered, and more questions about the training program in general.
One way or another, you’ll surely get meaningful suggestions from learners not only on how to improve your emails but also about other aspects of the training program.
3. Always strive for improvement.
Based on the performance of your emails and newsletters through different metrics and through the feedback from your learners, you can now easily tailor your email communications.
Just remember that this process is a constant one. There will always be room for improvement. So cut yourself some slack and continue creating emails for your learners!
To ensure success and effectiveness, make it to a point that the majority of your learners are active participants in your training program.