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How to Replace Email with Texting for Team Communications

By: Matt Baglia

 

How to Replace Email with Texting

When seeking to better reach your company team members, consider strategically replacing emails with text communication. A recent study found that 60.8% of respondents ignore emails at work—that’s almost two thirds. Additionally, 30% of respondents indicated that they don’t check their email after they leave the office. If you’re looking to improve your company’s communication tactics, focusing on a transition to internal text outreach could be well worth the time and effort.

Finding the best digital communication strategy

Unsure of whether your company is better suited for email communication or texting? There are pros and cons to each. The demographics of your employees and size of your company can help determine which method is best for your company.

1. Email

Using email to reach your employees is a familiar and standard approach to communicating, but even though you’re used to it, there might be circumstances where email isn’t the best communication method.

Pros of using email:

  • If your company has employees who are used to email communication, transitioning to a different method of communication might require a learning curve. If your current method of communication is working, it might not be worth the effort of establishing a new one.
  • Email is typically thought of as a more formal mode of communication and has a professional connotation. When communicating with employees, keeping internal dialogue to email chains can help enforce a formal tone.
  • Sending out a mass message via email can sometimes be easier than via text. When anyone responds to mass text, the notifications can get bothersome. Email chains allow you to respond to one user, rather than the collective group.

Cons of using email:

  • If you have an important message to communicate, email might not be the best avenue. In fact, new data shows that 60.8% of respondents ignore emails at work.
  • With the amount of spam messages your employees receive via email, their inboxes can get cluttered. This can make it more difficult to decipher what is important and what can be overlooked in their messages.
  • If you want to be able to reach your employees after they got home from work, email probably isn’t the best way to do so. Depending on the size of your team and how accessible your employees are expected to be, communicating via text can be a better way to reach members of your company after they leave work.

2. Texting

If you’re looking to improve communication between the members of your team, texting can be the way to go.

Pros of texting:

  • In a recent study, 7% of respondents said that fewer emails would increase their happiness at work. If diversifying communication with texting means fewer emails, you might be able to improve overall employee morale.
  • Smartphone use is ubiquitous globally, meaning that there’s a high chance the members of your team will be available via text.
  • Text communication means easily accessing members of your team while at the office or at home. If you’re looking to get messages across in a casual and efficient manner, using text messaging can be the way to go.

Cons of texting:

  • Using texting to communicate with your team can blur the lines between time at work and time at home.
  • If you have a large team, you might need a text message software specifically for professional use. Otherwise, sending messages in a large group text can result in an overwhelming amount of responses—becoming a nuisance rather than a helpful tool.
  • Some members of your team might resist the switch to text communication. Having your coworkers and supervisors communicate via text can feel like an invasion of privacy to some.

When should you replace email with texting?

The communication channel you use will typically be influenced by what you’re trying to communicate. Here are some scenarios where you might want to text your employees instead of emailing them:

  • When you have an urgent message to get across.
  • For circumstances where you need to elicit a reply, such as clicking a link or getting a response to one specific question.
  • To convey information about meeting times, locations or deadlines.
  • When you want to take a personal approach to large team communications.

However, there are also scenarios in which email is a better form of communication. Does a lot of your company communication involve outside business contacts? In this case, sticking to email allows one standard avenue for you to discuss business both internally and externally.

Consider your company size and needs before deciding to switch to text communication.

Tips for professional texting

If you do decide to switch to texting, make sure you keep it as professional as possible. Here are a few tips to help keep your thread appropriate and useful.

Use formal language

Though it can be easy to revert to casual language when using text messaging, focus on keeping your language as professional as possible. In other words, avoid slang, emojis and other informal texting language to maintain a sense of professionalism when appropriate.

Outline appropriate text conduct for your employees

As you roll out your new method of communication, consider sending out a memo to employees to inform on appropriate texting conduct. If you set the tone by emphasizing professional language and communication in your company thread, you’ll give your team a positive standard of what’s acceptable from the start.

Use a professional texting service

Using an SMS service to send your texts, rather than sending them all from your phone, professionalizes the texting exchange. It also helps you provide more privacy as responses to a group text from a professional texting service don’t automatically get sent to the entire group.

Published: January 27, 2020
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