How to Ensure Employees Don’t Hit Delete on Your Internal Newsletter

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Lauren Durfy

An internal newsletter provides a quick snapshot of what is happening within an organization and is a great way to create operational alignment. Newsletters can showcase successes, connect siloed departments, promote transparency, drive home company messaging, and galvanize employees to be better brand ambassadors.

Internal newsletters are an important marketing tool for keeping all employees informed and bought in. The McKinsey Global Institute found productivity improves by 20-25% when employees feel connected to their organization. This is especially true for large multi-nationals where teams are split by offices, time zones, and even continents.

While most organizations see the value of internal newsletters, they often fail on the execution – receiving abysmal open rates and lack of engagement. An ‘awesome’ internal newsletter has a lot in common with an outbound e-blast, engagement is paramount for success.

Remember your target persona for this email is your employees. As a fellow employee, think about what is important to you and use content that will drive emotion both in relation to your fellow employees and brand. This should be value-add content that makes employees feel more in-the-know.

Now you know why you should include an internal newsletter as part of your marketing strategy, here’s how to get employees to actually read it:

Tips For Success

Consistency

Everyone likes to showcase their success and events coming down the pipe, but sending multiple emails isn’t effective – it creates email fatigue. Wrap this all into one e-newsletter and create a consistent schedule for sending (Wednesday at 8:45 am / Every first Monday of the month / once a quarter). Sticking to a consistent release date makes the newsletter more habit-forming because employees know when they should be on the lookout for it in their inbox.

Minimalism

Edit, edit and edit some more. The shorter and more concise the better. Think liscles, top-tens and bullet points. If we are being realistic, most busy employees will only be scanning these emails. Drawing their eye to 10 to 25 key pieces of scannable information helps ensure they retain more information.

Here at PostBeyond, we distill everything down to a monthly top 10 rundown of facts and events employees should know.

Transparency

If an important change is happening, let employees know. No one likes to feel caught off guard by outsiders having more insight into their organization than they do. Internal newsletters provide the perfect platform to ensure everyone is looped in especially since 43% of U.S. employees will be working remotely at some point during the year.

Content

Last, but certainly not least is content! This is the key to long term readership and higher open rates aka more informed and engaged employees.

Here are the top nine ideas:

Recognition: Is one department absolutely smashing it or developing something new and cutting edge? This is not only a pat on the back for that individual or team, but also provides other employees with some positive and interesting word-of-mouth stories to share with their friends, family, and extended networks.

Work Anniversaries and New Hires: Recognition of work anniversaries and welcoming new talent is a great way to recognize loyalty, show appreciation, and promote a culture of inclusivity and community. Include a short blurb or employee quote about their time at the company. For new hires, add a link to their LinkedIn to help new employees connect and network.

Job Postings: Employees want to know if the company is growing. They may be looking for a promotion or a chance to work in a different department or maybe they know someone perfect for the open role. Posting open positions in the internal newsletter not only grabs attention it can also be a huge help to the talent acquisition team.

Event (Photos!): Announce any events the company is sponsoring to help employees spread the word. In addition, include internal team events and company outing photos. People respond well to content containing those they recognize – people are also visual creatures so team photos at events and outings are a win-win. Here is PostBeyond at a team paintball outing.

EGC (Employee generated content): Encourage employees to make content suggestions. People will value things they’ve contributed to more than they would otherwise. You can use a simple Google form (or survey, mentioned below) to ask for user submissions in each newsletter. Whether it’s photos, events, department performance stats, user-generated content is a great way to get employees involved and interested.

Surveys: Make your newsletters more interactive and employee focused. Leverage easy to answer online surveys to define internal newsletter content or to gather feedback on internal changes. Giving employees a chance to share their feedback fosters a sense of inclusivity.

Contests: Want to encourage a certain behavior? Run a contest because who doesn’t like to win free stuff. Running and placing this type of content helps to gamify newsletters and encourage open rates and adoption. It can be as easy as people who open, respond or share the newsletter are entered into a draw.

Company, Product, Industry, and Competitor News: Back to the theme of transparency, those who care about the business and are bought-in to the vision want to know what is going on. These internal newsletters provide a great platform to introduce new external and internal changes that will affect the company. Having one newsletter to contain all these updates (with links to more information) keeps everyone up-to-date and doesn’t spam their inbox.

Press: Don’t let employees be the last to know. Similarly, don’t solely rely on external forces to promote your business. If you receive great press, share it with the organization and encourage them to share it with their social networks. This is an easy way to snowball press and media coverage. Share this cheat sheet with employees to help guide them on what content to share with which networks.

Social media cheat sheet banner

Internal newsletters are just as beneficial for employees as they are for the organization. It keeps everyone aligned, in-the-know and feeling included; however, they need to be engaging in order to work. Following the key steps mentioned above helps ensure that newsletters are informative, interesting and habit-forming – all the key attributes needed for long term newsletter success.

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