Creating an employee newsletter that people actually want to read requires thoughtful curation of content, engaging storytelling, and a user-friendly format. It’s an opportunity for you to showcase your company’s culture, recognize employees, and build a sense of community. But all that’s much easier said than done. That’s why I’m going to share my top tips for getting the most out of your company newsletter!
What is an Employee Newsletter?
An employee newsletter is an internal communication tool used by companies to share important news, updates, and relevant information with their workforce. It serves as a regular digest of company events, business updates, operational changes, and employee recognition.
Employee newsletters are typically distributed via email, company intranet, or mobile apps, and they play a crucial role in keeping employees informed, engaged, and connected to the organization’s mission and culture.
The Purpose of Employee Newsletters
So, what makes newsletters different from ad-hoc posts and emails? The purpose of an employee newsletter is to streamline and efficiently share internal communications. Consolidating regular updates and messages into one newsletter helps you stick to a cadence and cut down on the noise for your employees.
When done well, a newsletter helps you:
- Keep your employees informed. Sending targeted newsletters to your employee segments ensures that all employees receive the right information at the same time, reducing the risk of miscommunication and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
- Build a sense of community. Employee newsletters often include employee spotlights. By highlighting the achievements and contributions of employees, newsletters help foster a sense of belonging and community.
- Reflect the company culture. All internal communications should be an extension of your culture, and a newsletter is no different.
- Inform employees about industry news. You can include curated content and industry news, trends, and insights relevant to employees’ roles in your newsletter. This keeps employees informed about external factors that may impact their work.
- Build trust. By regularly sharing transparent updates with your employees, you can build trust with your employees.
- Drive engagement. Engaging and well-crafted newsletters capture employees’ attention and encourage them to actively engage with communication and take required action.
What Do Engaging Company Newsletters Include?
The content of a newsletter for internal communication can vary depending on your goals and priorities. However, some common topics include:
- Company News. This section covers updates on company initiatives, new product launches, financial performance, or any significant changes within the company.
- Employee Spotlights. Recognizing and featuring outstanding employees, celebrating work anniversaries, promotions, or accomplishments is a great way to boost morale and foster a sense of belonging among the workforce.
- Department Updates. This section highlights the achievements, goals, and projects of various departments within the company. It allows employees to understand the broader scope of the organization and appreciate the collective efforts.
- Industry Insights. Sharing relevant news and trends from the industry provides employees with valuable knowledge and helps them stay informed about the broader context of their work.
- Employee Resources. Employee newsletters can include links to other valuable resources, such as training opportunities, wellness programs, or HR policies, to support employees in their personal and professional development.
- Upcoming Events. Sharing company events, workshops, town halls, or team-building activities through the newsletter helps employees plan their schedules and participate in meaningful engagements.
- Messages from the Executive Team. Messages from leadership can provide insights into the organization’s vision, values, and future direction, fostering transparency and open communication.
How to Make Your Newsletter More Interesting
Your newsletter won’t be engaging just by including certain content sections though. It’s all about how you present the content that matters. Here are a few things to consider:
- Compelling Headlines. It doesn’t matter how awesome the content in your newsletter is if you don’t compel people to open it first. Grab attention with catchy and intriguing headlines.
- Visual Appeal. Incorporate visuals such as images, infographics, and videos to make the newsletter visually appealing and share messages in the best medium.
- Storytelling. Share stories from across the business to create an emotional connection with your audience and make the content relatable and impactful.
- Personalization. Tailor the content to resonate with your specific audience to ensure that the content is relevant and valuable to them.
- Use of humor. Injecting a bit of humor into your newsletter can make it more enjoyable to read.
- Employee contributions. Employees want to hear from each other. So, encourage employees to contribute content, such as articles, tips, or photos, to the newsletter.
- Keep it short and snappy. Long blocks of text can be overwhelming, and employees may lose interest. Opt for shorter, easy-to-read sections that deliver information effectively.
- Mobile-friendly design. A responsive design allows employees to read the newsletter conveniently on their smartphones or tablets, which is where many will read your newsletter.
- Calls to Action. At the end of the day, internal comms should drive action. Include calls to action in your newsletter to make it clear what employees should do with the information presented.
How to Measure the Success of Your Newsletter
Let’s face it: no employee newsletter strategy is going to be perfect right out of the gate. We have to measure our success and improve.
Email Newsletter Metrics
Although there are many channels you can share your newsletter on, email is still one of the most common. Track the following email metrics to gauge the success of your newsletter on that channel:
- Open and click rates. Monitor the open rates to see how many employees are actually opening and reading the newsletter. Additionally, track the click-through rates on links within the newsletter to assess the level of engagement with the content.
- Read rate. Some email providers let you see the percent of readers who glanced, skimmed, and actually read your newsletter. This information is invaluable to see if you lose interest too quickly!
Employee App Newsletter Metrics
Employee apps are the rising stars of internal communications channels. You can share your newsletter via your app as one PDF or even break it up into multiple posts. To measure the success of your app newsletter track:
- Content opens. Just like with email, the click does matter. If you want employees to take action on the CTAs within the newsletter, they have to read it first.
- Time spent. Apps like theEMPLOYEEapp let you see how much time your users are spending on the app to gauge engagement rates.
Other Ways to Measure Employee Newsletter Success
Not all metrics are going to come from the platform you share your newsletter on. It’s also important to use employee surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews to learn what’s resonating and what isn’t.
This can also be a great way to learn specific ideas to improve the newsletter as well as the best way to share that newsletter (e.g. what channel, what type of content, etc.).
How to Repurpose Your Company Newsletter Across Channels
As I mentioned, we don’t have to rely solely on sending our newsletters via email or…printing them out. 😨
There are many ways to repurpose your employee newsletter across your channels to extend its reach and impact. Not to mention, deskless workers probably don’t have access to business email anyway.
But don’t just copy and paste the exact same newsletter in the exact same format across all your channels.
Your email newsletter might work best with short text and images with links to key resources.
But your intranet newsletter can have embedded video, podcasts, and links to detailed stories and articles.
The sky’s the limit. But it’s important to figure out what content types (e.g. video, text) performs best on each channel. And who is reading the newsletter on each channel. Your frontline workers might prefer your employee app while your office staff may prefer their news via email. Understand your audience and cater the newsletter’s format to them!
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