email alert system
Communications Oct 19, 2017

Why You Can’t Just Send an Email

Still using an email alert system for emergencies and urgent messages? A mass communications system can do so more reliably, faster, and with less effort.

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Emails. How many do you get each day? How often do you check them? Email communication is still the lifeblood of most businesses. But with instant communications available via mass text alerts, instant messaging, and social media, email is rapidly losing its charm–particularly among millennials.

Email still has its place in the work environment for non-urgent messages and day-to-day communications, but is an email alert system really the most effective way to notify employees of an urgent situation? Likely not.

There are several problems with emails. A few include the volume we receive each day (an average of 121, per one study), the inevitable delay between sending and receiving, and the possibility the recipient won’t take the time to open and read it. If there is a network outage, you may never even get your message across.

When it comes to emergencies, emails simply do not convey a sense of urgency. People assume they can get to an email whenever they get the chance. But statistics show that only 20-30 percent actually get around to reading them. That’s nothing compared to text messages, which have been shown to have a 98% open rate. In fact, 90% of text messages are read within three seconds.

Few emails garner the same level of attention as a text alert or similar form of communication. Email alert systems are fine for run-of-the-mill announcements, but when safety is on the line, you need to have access to other communication channels.

Crossing Every Channel

For emergencies, it is critical to reach your audience as quickly as possible and ensure each person actually received the message. The best way to do this is via an emergency communication system that can relay messages across multiple channels simultaneously or on-demand. These channels include email, but also utilize SMS, push notifications, voice calls, intranet, social media posts, and even custom channels. Using text alerts for business, in particular, can solve many of the problems with an email alert system.

The case for multi-modal communications is becoming stronger every day. People are checking their phones an average of 80 times per day, compared to just 15 times per day for email. This makes the mobile phone the most logical device to target.

Sending the Right Message

When companies invest in a mass communication system, they are getting a powerful tool. Whether for emergency communications, operations, or day-to-day communications with various audiences, mass notification software is the ideal tool to connect any audience to important events as they happen.

Once you have your mass communication system in place, however, the work isn’t finished. The power is realized in the message itself. Make sure you are only sending out relevant, targeted messaging. Otherwise, the system will turn into an email alert system–less effective and eventually ignored.

The best way to optimize a mass communication system is to use pre-built templates. These will help you craft messages rapidly when a crisis occurs. Designated administrators can just fill in the template, segment the audience population, and select the ideal channel(s)–all in under a minute. Having templates will save precious time in an emergency and ensure messages been thoughtfully developed instead of haphazardly sent. (If you don’t already have communication templates for hurricanes, wildfires, or winter weather–take a look at ours!)

Going Beyond an Email Alert System

By this point, you probably see the shortfalls of email. Once you implement a mass communication system, though, you open up all sorts of new ways to take advantage of mass communications. Here are just a few examples of unique ways to utilize a modern system like AlertMedia.

Example #1: Time-sensitive announcements

Emails are great for many types of communication, but an email alert system isn’t the best if you need to get a message out quickly. Obviously, this is true for any emergency. But it also goes for other types of urgent communication.

For example, what if the first person to arrive at the office finds that the coffee machine is broken. This might not be an emergency per se, but for many at your office—it’s close. The problem is, everyone is either on their way to work already or about to leave for work. You need to get the message out quickly: make sure to get some coffee on your way!

If you are stuck using an email alert system, good luck. You might reach one or two people, but the majority will be left with caffeine headaches all morning. If you can quickly send out a text message, though, you will probably reach most, if not all, of your employees–diverting a no-caffeine disaster!

Example #2: IT outages

One of the biggest threats to any company isn’t a natural disaster but a downed server. Business can come to a halt when computer systems cannot be used. To top it all off, you likely won’t even be able to use your email alert system to let employees know.

A mass communication system will enable you to provide timely notifications to your people via their mobile devices. By simply using your system’s mobile app, you can quickly craft a text message to any affected employees. You can then give them instructions on how to operate offline until the servers are back up. If all you are using is an email alert system, your employees probably won’t even be able to receive the message if your servers are down.

Example #3: Coordinated logistics

For logistics companies, time is money. Synchronizing operations allows them to work at peak efficiency. Email might be useful for these companies for long-term planning, but when it comes to operational efficiency, they need automated notifications.

For example, one AlertMedia customer with a retail delivery fleet uses our system to auto-notify locations when a shipment is about to arrive, enabling them to load and unload quickly, saving time and money. Needless to say, an email alert system is useless for something as time-sensitive as logistics.

Finding Your Communication Solution

These are just a few examples of the ways you can use a mass communications system to connect with your audience. It doesn’t stop when you hit SEND, though. These communication systems also come with detailed reporting. They give you various metrics to improve your communication in the future. You can see what channels were most effective in delivering the message, message open rates, message response rates, and the time it took to deliver the message.

Does your email alert system give you that information?

Today, people expect on-demand, instantaneous information. Isn’t it time you move from an email alert system to a robust, scalable platform? You’ll be guaranteed to reach more people with less effort and time. If you haven’t seen what a mass communication system can do for your company, hit the button below to learn more about how AlertMedia can streamline your communications. Email isn’t going anywhere, but your emergency communications deserve better.

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