Strong participation in your ESPP should be a primary goal in offering it. To increase participation in your ESPP, it is important to promote the plan to your employees. By reminding them about the value of participating in an ESPP, they’re more likely to enroll or re-enroll. The key is making use of the right tools at the right time. Following is a both a communication timeline for you to follow along with some suggested tools for you to use.


ESPP Enrollment Communications Timeline

The right message can fail when it is not delivered at the right time. The same holds true when communicating your ESPP to employees. But if you follow our timeline below, you should be well on your way to a successful ESPP enrollment campaign. During the planning process, consider the following:

  • Message channel. Choose the appropriate communication channels for your messages, i.e., flyers, mailers, text messages, videos.
  • Segmented messaging. Identify specific segments within your workforce (new hires versus current plan participants) to target your messaging differently.
  • Archive and repeat. Save all of your communications in one easy to locate place for future reference.
  • Messaging headers/subject lines. Use headers or subject lines in your messaging that are short and will peak interest.
  • Call to action. Include a call to action in your messages that you want your employees to take.
  • Target date. Set target dates to send your communications.
  • Status. Keep track of and update your progress as you move through the planning and enrollment process.

4 weeks before enrollment period starts
  • Enrollment kickoff campaign
  • Target audience — All eligible employees
  • Message type — Coming soon: ESPP Enrollment
    • Sample subject line — ESPP Enrollment – Save the Date
    • Call to action — Log in to website to review program materials!

2 to 3 weeks before enrollment period starts
  • Continuation of enrollment period kickoff campaign
  • Target audience — All eligible employees
  • Message type — Highlights of [Company Name] ESPP or Overview of [Company Name] ESPP
    • Sample subject line — Top Benefits of [Company Name] ESPP
    • Call to action — Review plan documents!
  • Briefly explain top benefits of your ESPP, i.e., look-back feature, 15% discount or provide a brief overview of your plan
  • Highlight any changes to plan with important enrollment period dates/deadlines

1 week before enrollment period starts
  • Continuation of enrollment period kickoff campaign
  • Target audience — All eligible employees
  • Message type — ESPP Enrollment Begins Next Week
    • Sample subject line — ESPP Enrollment Begins Next Week — Tip #1
    • Call to action — Set a reminder [include calendar invite]
  • Prep your employees with a week of daily tips. (For example, Start with “How to enroll in the plan” and Ways to maximize tax savings with an ESPP)


Enrollment period: Weeks 1 to 2
  • ​​​Target audience — All eligible employees
  • Message type– ESPP Enrollment Starts Now
    • Sample subject line — 3-2-1 Enroll Now!
    • Call to action — Enroll now
  • Message type 2 — Reminder to Enroll
    • Sample subject line — Are you part of the X% already enrolled?
    • Call to action — Enroll Now
    • Update employees on the % of completed enrollments with reminder to enroll


Enrollment period: Weeks 3 to 4

  • Target audience - All eligible employees
  • Message type – ESPP Enrollment Period Ends Soon
    • Sample subject line — Last Chance to Participate in ESPP
    • Call to action — Reminder to enroll now

1 week after enrollment period
  • Target audience - All employees enrolled in the plan
  • Message type – Post enrollment survey
    • Sample subject line — What did you think about the ESPP enrollment process?
    • Call to action — Respond to survey
  • Send a survey to ask employees about their enrollment experience and thoughts about your ESPP

Communication Tools

To properly launch your ESPP, or boost enrollment on a current plan, it’s important to provide enough information to your employees and in ways that will reach them. Following are a series of tools you can easily adapt to your own needs.


Email
If your employees all have a work email address, use emails to communicate ESPP enrollment information from beginning to end. Keep these messages brief and include a call to action that either sends them to a web site for more information or to enroll.

Announcement Letter
If some or all of your employees do not have a work email address, you can send a letter to their home mailing address. It announces the plan and provides some basic information, including where to go to get more detailed information.

Postcard
A simple and cost-effective way to build awareness among employees about the ESPP. The messaging should be brief with a call-to-action that sends them to a web site for more information. Postcards are effective even if you are also doing an email campaign.

Poster
The poster announces the ESPP and the coming enrollment period. It is meant strictly to build awareness and drive people to a web site or other location to get more information on the plan. Hang them in break rooms, by the coffee machine, near copiers, or anywhere your employees may congregate.

Highlights sheet
A one-page sheet that offers a quick overview of the ESPP, how it works, and how to get started. You can print out copies and distribute to employees during any in-person educational meetings. You can also post the Highlights sheet wherever you maintain all plan documentation, such as your company intranet.

Frequently Asked Questions
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is a far more in-depth review of your ESPP. It is meant to provide detailed information to help employees decide on whether or not to participate. Areas to cover include what is an ESPP, how to enroll, how the offering period works, how purchases work, how sales work including any participant-paid fees, and how taxes are calculated.

ESPP Overview Presentation
A step-by-step introduction to what is an employee stock purchase plan and how it works. Use this for either in-person or online educational sessions. Record one of these sessions and post wherever you maintain all plan documentation, such as your company intranet.

Account Setup and Enrollment Presentation
A step-by-step instruction on how to set up one’s account on your vendor’s web site, followed by instructions on how to enroll in your company’s ESPP. You can present this as part of your educational sessions, but it is better for employees to review it on their own when they are ready to enroll. Post it wherever you maintain all plan documentation, such as your company intranet.

Video
Videos are great at capturing and holding attention, but only for a short time. Use them to build interest with the wow factor of a video. Keep the time to under two minutes. You might consider multiple videos on different aspects such as, What is an ESPP? How do taxes work? How do I enroll? Another good use of video is to have the CEO record a message.

Microsite
Rather than post your ESPP materials on the company intranet (if you have one), you should consider posting them onto a microsite, which is a web site of only 2-3 pages focused on single subject. The microsite would have a public URL that is accessible anywhere, including on mobile devices. If you want to secure the site, add a password feature.

Ready to start your own ESPP enrollment campaign?
If Computershare administers your ESPP, we offer several solutions, including our popular ESPP Enrollment Success kit, with numerous templates to help you launch a communication campaign in no time for little to no cost. We also offer fully customized solutions that have proven successful for many of our clients. Talk to your relationship manager to learn more.

And if you are not a Computershare client, maybe you should be! Computershare is a full-service provider of administration services for plans of all types, including ESPPs. Visit us at computershare.com/employeeplans​ to learn more or fill out the form below.​​​​

Dow​nload a free copy of our do-it-yourself ESPP Enrollment Success Kit!

The kit contains a collection of templates along with instructions to get you started in developing your own ESPP communication campaign.

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