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Transitioning from email to Pyn

Consider these decisions you’ll need to make to help your Pyns get read and actioned

Julianna Kapjian-Pitt avatar
Written by Julianna Kapjian-Pitt
Updated over a week ago

Deciding between Pyn, Slack, and Email

Send an email or slack if you’re looking to:

  • Engage in a dialogue or back and forth with your recipient

  • Respond to an existing request or message

  • Correspond with people outside of your organization

Send a Pyn to

  • Track the readership of your message (long messages only)

  • Automatically trigger communication based on a change in your HRIS data (e.g. onboarding or new manager, birthday, etc)

  • Time your communication based on a specific date, event, or employee moment

  • Send the same message (or a variation of the same message) to different employees at different times without manual work

  • To compose, edit, or copy Pyns from our library or create your own.

Moving Content into Pyn

First, copy and paste your existing email message into a new Pyn.

Add formatting including H1 and H2, attachments, Google Forms, links, videos and text

Pyn’s content editor provides many formatting options similar to formatting options in an email client

If you are copying and pasting content from Google doc:

  • Bulleted or numbered lists (nested bullets are available in long message only)

  • Bold, italic and underlined text

  • Quotes (long message only)

  • Links (including a Google Form)

  • Add images (long message only, and short message via slack)

  • In addition we suggest you structure your Pyns with Headings (Headings 1 and Headings 2) instead of a big block of text.

    • Use the rule: one action per heading to break the headings up by tasks. Headings are only available in long messages.

Then, go through these questions:

Should I select a short or long message?

Pyn allows you to select between two different message formats no matter your delivery method.

Message Formats gives you more control to determine the type of interaction a reader will have with a Pyn. For example, will the format be a simple short message? Or a description with a button that opens content?

In a short message all content is in the body of the email or slack. In a long message readers click to read more content.

It's best to send a short message when you want to:

  • Send a Pyn that is short enough to contain in a single message.

  • Rather than have someone click away, I want the message to appear directly.

  • include 1 or 2 Paragraphs.

  • Send a quick reminder (holidays or office closures), 1 or 2 actions at most, a small ask or prompt.

  • It’s a Pyn people receive more than once based on an automation (eg new hire starting or an employees birthday)

Think of short messages as best for just that, short messages.

Ask yourself, "if I was sending this message to a friend would I text or send an email?" If the answer is text, a short message is likely a great option. The receiver can read it and take action quickly. If the answer is email, a long message is likely best.

It's best to send a long message when you want to:

  • include more than 2 paragraphs

  • Include more than 1 action or reminder

  • When you want to see and track readership. This is not currently available in short messages.

Should I add a read and accept (acknowledge) or reminder?

Pyn's Read and Accept feature allows you to track a recipient's acceptance of policies or other content.

Read and accept is ideal for:

  • Compliance tasks (i.e. security training) or enrollment in programs or policies)

  • Confirming employees have read and agreed to content

  • You want to see acceptance rates for your messages

Note: Not every Pyn needs to be acknowledged. Be selective about what needs acknowledgement. (eg: holiday reminders likely don’t need acknowledgement).

Pyn's Reminders feature allows you to easily remind a recipient to read or action a Pyn.

Reminders may only be added when there is a read more or Acknowledgment section to your message because reminders are automatically triggered if a recipient does not click the link within the email or the button in slack. When triggered, the message will appear the same, but will include a "Reminder" heading.

No Reminders will be sent after the recipient has clicked on the email link or Slack button.

Be sure to complete the content in the "Read More" or "Acknowledge" section before sending your message.

Add a subject line and description

Pyns have subject lines just like emails do. A subject line may be the first thing you write, or one of the last before sending your Pyn.

Note: the subject line you create will be visible no matter your delivery method. So, one big difference is that Pyns sent via slack also require a subject line.

Which subject lines perform best

Subject lines determine if people want to click to open your message and spend their time and attention reading it. It’s not just about having a catchy subject line - it needs to be helpful.

Pyn’s user research shows a strong correlation between someone clicking an email and reading it fully. that’s why it’s important to have a helpful headline that benefits the reader. Ask yourself, “what’s the promise we’re making to our employees if they open this email?”.

We’ve identified 4 components of a great headline:

  1. Contains an action: Choose the action you want employees to take instead of just the topic. “What to do or know” tied to a specific event for a specific person.

  2. No jargon: Our brains like certainty - jargon doesn’t help. Better to be clear and concrete in our language. This helps in two ways:

    1. It relaxes the brain. This makes it easier to digest information because our brain knows how to orient what’s to come.

    2. It builds trust. Don’t waste employees’ precious cognitive resources on asking them to guess on their own what’s inside or decipher our fancy HR speak (competencies, anyone?). Instead answer, what’s the ‘so what?’ of the jargon.

  3. Personalized: Early Pyn data also shows personalized subject lines (via tokens) tend to perform ~10% better.

    1. Personalized headline: "How to work well with [the manager name]”

    2. Impersonalized headline: “How to work well with your manager”

  4. Timebound: Tell your employees not just what you need them to do or pay attention to, but by when. Use the formula: Task + Time.

    1. Timebound headline: “Complete your self-review this week”

    2. Non-Time Bound headline: “Your self-review is coming up”

Great headline: 5 things to do on your first day at

Poor headline: What to consider when you join a new company

In long messages you’ll need to add a description in addition to a subject line. This is a small block of text that appears below your subject line. Descriptions describe what’s inside the Pyn if people click.

Add a header image

Personalize your Pyn for your organization by adding a header image. Header images appear on the top of a Pyn sent via email once a recipient clicks read more.

Note: header images are only needed for long messages sent via email.

You can select the same header image for every Pyn (eg: your company logo), or a Pyn-specific image (eg: birthday candles for a Birthday Pyn).

A header image is a great opportunity to brand your Pyn for your company. A template header image will appear if none is added.

Images that are 1200px X 540px with a 72 p/inch resolution will fit perfectly.

Add personalization tokens

Your content will be more engaging if it’s personalized vs. a one-size-fits-all approach.

Personalize content by adding tokens that let your recipient know you’re talking to them instead of just anyone.

You can use tokens anywhere in your Pyn message to add tokens including name, hire data, manager name, full or preferred name, company name and more. Be careful not to repeat a token several times, meaning no need to add a @name token more than once or twice in a message.

Tokens are especially impactful in your subject lines and descriptions because it helps to grab someone’s attention right away.

Hero Pyns - Here is what a great Pyn looks like

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