Creating and Measuring Effective Employee Newsletters
The employees are usually experiencing information overload in their email inboxes. Companies have to deal with low open rates and poor employee engagement.
Organizations must define a clear employee newsletter strategy to effectively build two-way communication with employees and get high engagement rates. According to Gallup, almost three-quarters of employees feel like they miss out on company news. It’s essential to make sure newsletters get the attention of your employees. The mission is to create something worth reading and engage employees in communication.
This blog is a part of the Recipe of Employee Engagement series:
- Importance of Two-way Communication in the Workplace
- Building Two-way Communication with Company Newsletters
- Creating and Measuring Effective Employee Newsletters
- Employee Email Survey Templates Ideas
Why sending a company newsletter is effective?
There are plenty of internal communication channels, so why use a newsletter? This channel is one of the best ways to make sure news and updates get across to the employees.
In chats or newsfeeds, information can be passed quickly, but it also means that important news can be lost in the information stream. With a newsletter, you can ensure that employees receive the specific information directly to their inbox and can get back to it anytime they need it. In addition, newsletter analytics help to track who opened and read the newsletter so communicators could be aware of who went through the sent information.
The benefits of sending an employee newsletter:
- Helps employees and teams to connect by sharing what each is working on
- Keeps employees up to date with the company news and happenings
- Newsletters boost company culture by sharing company values
- The message stands out compared to other channels
- Branded newsletter templates get more engagement than plain messages
- Embedded surveys build two-way communication
What makes an employee newsletter effective?
It’s easy to send a newsletter but not so much to make it effective. There are multiple checkboxes to fulfill when preparing a newsletter. Below are some of the main aspects of an engaging and successful employee newsletter.
Newsletter subject and sender
What are the first things employees see when they open their email inbox? It’s the sender and subject title of an email. Employees must be aware of a specialist, team, or department that sends internal newsletters. When employees understand from whom they receive information, they’re more likely to open an email and read it.
The subject line must leave no questions on what topic a newsletter is. State what you’re trying to communicate and transmit the idea why employees should read this email. Make it short – the subject line should contain up to 40 characters or six to eight words.
Focus on employee engagement
It’s common to have a misleading image of an internal newsletter. Usually, people imagine corporate newsletters as emails containing formal information and general company news. Here’s a different point of view – employee newsletters should be fun and creative.
How to make reading an internal newsletter experience entertaining? One of the best ways is to include dynamic content and turn your newsletter content into two-way communication with employees.
Different formats of dynamic content can be included in your newsletters: videos, GIFs, pictures, infographics, or surveys and polls. They can turn newsletters visually more appealing and provide information to employees in a fun way.
Surveys have the power of two-way communication. Create polls to ask for employee feedback or share their opinion on a specific topic. There are multiple ways how surveys can be used. They can be a source of information on something of high importance but also can be done only for engagement purposes.
Newsletter’s branded design
Companies sometimes overlook internal newsletter design. One thing is sure – sending plain newsletters without any stylistics and structure won’t increase employee engagement. In addition, the internal newsletter represents the company itself. Thus, the newsletter should be well-designed to look professional.
Put attention to a template, include the company’s branding colors, and add graphics and pictures which suit your company’s voice.
The added value of the newsletter
Part of company information is relevant to the whole workforce, but part of it isn’t. Content must be relevant to each recipient for the newsletter to be successful. Segment your audience to send only relevant news and ask employees to share their preferences on topics they’re interested in.
Easy-to-follow newsletter layout
Make the layout of your newsletter clear and structured. An email should be easy to navigate when opened. For instance, at the beginning of the newsletter, you can add an overview of the topics covered or critical takeaways at the end of an email.
Usually, internal newsletters contain:
- The title: choose a title that suits your newsletter content well. Is it an update, weekly or monthly news, or an important announcement? Name it accordingly; a title is the first thing employee sees when a newsletter is opened.
- The opening paragraph: grabbing readers’ attention in the first lines is vital. State what your newsletter is about and what value it’ll bring to an employee.
- The sections: first, each section needs a catchy heading. Second, the body copy of the newsletter should be in tune with your company’s tone of voice. However, employees need to feel that behind that copy is a human, not a robot who wrote it. Write the content thinking about your target audience. It needs to be digestible, thus, enjoyable, and easy to read.
Included clear call-to-action (CTA)
There should be a specific call to action present in your newsletter. The action has to be clear: register for the event, participate in a contest, watch the webinar, read the article, or answer a survey.
Make your CTA clickable:
- Differentiate your call-to-action from the rest of the content. Make a bright design or a more significant title to make sure that it’s visible in the whole layout of a newsletter.
- Use appealing word formulations to make employees take action. Try to describe a benefit for employees; for instance, use “Discover the full story” instead of “Read more.”
Concise information and clear structure
Nobody has time. Employees also! A newsletter should be easy and quick to ready. Break your paragraphs, direct employees to internal or external full articles if they want to read more, and use more stops, bullet points, and numbering. Making sentences shorter and structuring paragraphs make reading smoother. It also helps to remember read content better.
Align text in a layout to the left. We read from left to right, so aligning text helps to read more text going down. This minor adjustment means that more content will be consumed.
It’s essential to communicate important updates and news to employees. But even with updated information, try focusing on a story instead of formalities. For example, if your company introduced a new CMO, instead of putting basic information about the change, interview a person, and ask questions your audience would like to hear answers to. Take an approach from the storytelling side.
Employees are a focus group when sending newsletters. Evaluate their pulse by asking for feedback. It can be as simple as asking if they enjoyed a newsletter. Employees’ voices should clarify how internal communications should be taken and improve your future newsletter’s content.
How to measure internal newsletter effectiveness?
Newsletter success depends on employee engagement. The main goal of a newsletter is to get employees to read it. Monitor your newsletters with advanced analytics. Keep your eyes on open rates, clicks, read time, and devices used to view the newsletter – segment data by the office, department, and job title.
According to IABC, even 60% of internal communicators still don’t measure their communications. Analytics check is a must-do if you want your newsletters to be effective.
View open rates to choose the best performing newsletter titles or check when it’s the best time to send newsletters. The more information you receive from analytics, the better you can optimize newsletters for excellent results.
An effective newsletter can be defined differently for each company. The best practice is to test and view analytics constantly to understand what works best for your organization. The goal of an internal newsletter is to inform and engage employees, so focus on the value of your content.
Enhance your internal newsletters
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