3 steps to make emails more impactful (so people actually read them)

Facilities management is responsible for tasks with a direct impact on stakeholders’ campus experience. From changes in custodial services to major renovations, most facilities units take steps to communicate how the work will impact students, faculty, and staff.

However, facilities leaders sometimes struggle with the clarity and timeliness of their messaging. We gathered three steps to optimize facilities’ email communication and ensure campus stakeholders don’t miss important information.

Step 1: Set a clear purpose

The content, structure, and branding of a facilities email frequently changes from message to message. Varying by purpose, below are the most common types of emails facilities might send:

  • Internal emails, including daily announcements
  • Capital project plans and initiation
  • Updates on construction impacts
  • Planned utilities outages
  • Changes to maintenance or service schedule
  • Email newsletter
  • Response to an emergency
  • Weekly staff spotlights

Staff can use the Guide to Effective Email Communication to identify the goal, frequency, branding, and content of each email.

Step 2: Draft messaging that clearly articulates intent and action

While emails are a familiar form of communication, leveraging them for the mass distribution of information requires effort. Clear and succinct content is key, as displayed in the University of Massachusetts Amherst email below. It outlines the scope and duration of the work, why the work is taking place, the impact on traffic with a corresponding map and alternate route, as well as contact information for follow-up questions.

Road closure email

Step 3: Send email at appropriate time

Lastly, while delivering an email may seem as simple as hitting send, facilities leaders and communications directors should carefully consider when and how they send their digital messages to achieve the highest view and response rates. They should make sure to:

  • Proofread emails before sending
  • Target only the necessary audience
  • Time emails to arrive at prime reading hours for that audience

Conversely, don’t forget to consider non-email communication options. Some messages (sensitive or highly personal topics) are best delivered in person or over the phone.

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