With all that clutter, your company’s newsletter has a lot of competition, but not to worry. For your next issue, try these 13 tips for an internal company newsletter that will grab their attention and get them reading.
Internal newsletters: combine, thought, design, and technology
1. Start with a great design
Your newsletter design is a communication tool that projects an instant message about your content. Just as people judge books by their cover design, your employees will judge your newsletter by its design — and that’s a good thing. By using the power of design intentionally, you’ll amp up your newsletter content from that very first glance above the fold.
Set headlines apart using size, font, and color for easy scanning. Use images to draw the eye and support each story, from charts that convey information to photographs that humanize your content.
The “bones” of your newsletter template are shapes, color palettes, lines, and structures that define blocks of content. These elements set the tone, provide cohesive branding, and help readers visually digest information.
Fortunately, you don’t need an art degree to bring your design together. The best communication platforms for business come with built-in newsletter templates so you can hit the ground running, with the ability to add your own custom designs at any time. Check out internal company newsletter examples online to get ideas for your own.
2. Keep your employee newsletter short and simple
People are busy, especially in today’s workplace. Employees have very little time to engage with internal company newsletters. On top of that, mobile email statistics state that an estimated 85% of people use their phones to access emails. On smaller screens, there isn’t much space to get your point across.
Email newsletters need to be short, simple, and clear. Focus on titles and short teasers that click through to longer content with more details. This makes your newsletter easy to navigate so employees can jump to the company information they want.
For a better employee experience, consider an intranet newsletter with built-in analytics and heatmaps to measure engagement, so you can see how well your content is working.
3. Give it some personality
Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. If you want to build employee engagement with your newsletter, it can’t be overly formal. It should appeal to people on a personal level and communicate your company culture through both design and writing style.
Make use of existing company branding with familiar images, colors, and styles to evoke a sense of belonging and reinforce your company values. That said, your newsletter shouldn’t feel like a marketing email. Design it to cultivate a company culture of teamwork and shared experience.
4. Find the best look for an engaging internal newsletter
Whether you use a pre-made template or design a custom one, put together a handful of newsletter examples you can test to find the version that performs best, varying things like the size of the images and the length of the teaser text.
Take the time to gather employee feedback as you explore different formats for your company goals and needs. Employees are a great source of company newsletter ideas! Consider seasonal templates for holidays or a special anniversary template that reflects the changes and growth of the company over its history.
5. Link to great content
When considering newsletter ideas, choose your stories intentionally. If employees click on your teaser text only to be disappointed by the full story, they’re far less likely to engage with your next newsletter.
Always include new content, whether it’s industry news, upcoming events, or company updates, and consider using your newsletter to break down information silos. Highlight what’s happening in different departments and how those efforts come together so employees can see the full value of their contributions.
6. Include timely posts
If your internal company newsletter is filled with outdated information, employees won’t look to it as a source of current, company-wide news. People are much more interested in news that’s as current as possible, such as:
- New product rollouts
- Milestones reached
- New hires
- Upcoming company events
- Improvements in metrics
- New or expanded benefits
7. Write catchy headlines
Great titles are specific and easily scannable. Along with your images, they’re the driving factor in the split-second decision to read or not to read.
Apply these popular techniques for attention-grabbing titles in your internal communications channels:
- Include numbers or statistics (Foundation Fundraiser Drives a Record $7 Million)
- Create urgency (Only 3 Days Left to Choose Your Benefits)
- Pique their curiosity (Biggest Hazard on the Shop Floor — It’s Not What You Think)
8. Don’t forget your subject line
In researching the state of internal communications, we’ve discovered that over 95% of organizations are still using internal emails regularly for company-wide communications.
If you haven’t switched to an intranet-based newsletter, the first challenge is getting employees to open your email. To do that, your subject lines should be short, specific, interest-grabbing, and personalized.
Dale Carnegie famously said, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Use automated personalization to add each employee’s name to the subject line and grab their attention.
9. Personalize the hook — and your content
Like a fishing hook, a hook in a title or subject line is meant to grab readers’ attention. Thinking about the hook for each title forces you to think about why you’re really choosing that story and what it means to your employees.
As you do, keep in mind that employees are unique individuals in different roles and locations. Knowing who they are and what they need is the key to getting and holding their attention.
When your company news is delivered through a modern intranet platform, you can personalize your newsletter’s content. Change each story dynamically based on an employee’s location, job function, division, and more.
10. Hype the human-interest angle
People like stories about their co-workers’ hard work, success stories, and even simple things like birthday celebrations. Human stories add an emotional dimension to company news.
Emotional investment is one of the most potent ways to keep a reader engaged. And it isn’t hard to tap into that in the workplace! In fact, a study reported by CNBC found that 56% of workers spend more time with their colleagues than they do with their own families.
With employees spending so much of their lives around each other, those emotional connections are inevitable. Tap into them for content ideas that are engaging and uplifting.
11. Write like you’re talking
Leadership teams have a tendency to use an abundance of jargon and corporate speak. Everyone has heard something along the lines of: “Let’s circle back to this on Monday and give it 110% when we’re fresh. There are a lot of moving parts and we’ll have to find the bandwidth, but this idea might be a real game changer.”
While that’s a bit of an exaggeration, too much corporate jargon can feel inauthentic and even condescending. Add in enough acronyms, and new employees can find it especially frustrating to keep up with a lexicon of codewords.
Instead, focus on writing more conversationally. It’s far more relatable and personable, which is key if you want employees to read and value your newsletter.
12. Offer interactive segments and incentives
Another tried-and-true method of building newsletter readership is to offer interactive segments, especially if they come with incentives. Try including a feedback survey or an attitude survey with the chance to win a prize. Or enter employees in a drawing if they share a promotional social media post.
Either way, you’re compounding the benefits of your initiatives.
Intranet newsletters have features that can take this idea one step further, embedding surveys and polls right in the newsletter content.
13. Encourage feedback
Often attributed to Peter Drucker, there’s a common saying in business: “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” It’s just as true for your newsletter’s performance as it is for any other KPIs.
For email newsletters, track open rates and ask employees what you want to know. Do they like reading about customer case studies? Quarterly metrics? Project milestones?
If you’re using an intranet-based internal newsletter, you don’t need to depend on employee participation in surveys. Instead, use built-in analytics to track engagement — see your content performance by clicks, content types, heatmaps, and more.
Taking your internal newsletter beyond email
According to a 2020 survey, Gen Z could free the world from email. People over 30 used email as their primary internal communication tool, while people under 30 used Google Docs most, then Zoom and iMessage.
Simpplr’s intranet solution is one of the best internal communication platforms to send employee newsletters through a number of communication tools, including SMS, push notifications, and messaging platforms like Slack, Teams, and Chatter, Simpplr can help you reach employees wherever they are.
Simpplr also uses AI-driven technology to create personalized feeds for each employee, just like social media, with the option to embed native video, surveys, polls, comments, likes, and sharing.
To learn more about how newsletters are evolving in internal communication (IC) strategy, explore our State of Internal Communications 2021 survey results.