Utilize internal mailing lists.

I’ve talked about internal blogs before, but I haven’t talked about the importance of internal mailing lists. Mailing lists have been around since before the Internet as we know it was the Internet and that isn’t an accident – they’re useful and easy to use. Internal mailing lists can be used for a wide variety of purposes:

Collaboration with employees. Mailing lists can be used to collaborate with other employees. Work on projects, make other employees aware of particularly tough issues, point out bug fixes, etc. A mailing list can be used not only to keep other employees in the loop, but also allow them to contribute themselves.

Sending service updates. Service updates should be sent to both employees and customers, but that isn’t always possible. Internal mailing lists can be used to keep employees informed about service updates (including those that are upcoming) as well as any information about outages, upgrades, etc.

Reminders and tips. Some companies send out a useful “hint of the day” about a new system or how to help customers. These are great to send over mailing lists and can help employees do their job better. Tips of the day via email aren’t typically sent over mailing lists, but assuming the tips are actually helpful, employees will actually appreciate them.

A lot of these uses seem obvious, but when each team or group gets its on mailing list, it can really help make communication easier and more unified than just CC’ing people randomly. Be sure to give each team (or any group that asks for it) their own mailing list. Make sure archives of the mailing lists are kept so people can easily refer back to them and ensure that the archives are searchable. That will allow you to get the most out of them and let people who weren’t on the list originally get caught up.

3 Responses to “Utilize internal mailing lists.”

  1. Adesh Sidhu said:

    Nov 13, 08 at 12:50 pm

    You can also use them to send a thank you note to them. In these hard times, a genuine thank you will go a long way in recognizing their efforts.

  2. Tom Sullivan said:

    Nov 13, 08 at 3:21 pm

    Good points raised.. internal mailing lists are still a very effective method of communication. In any chain of e-mail with a long CC: list, invariably someone will reply to a message without using reply-all and communication gets fragmented and information scattered. Using a mailing list is an efficient tool to keep all members of a group or project informed.

  3. Service Untitled said:

    Nov 13, 08 at 10:56 pm

    Adesh, that is a great idea and another good way to use a mailing list.

    Tom, well said. Mailing lists keep people in the loop and help communication stay a lot more orderly than large CC chains.