An email newsletter can be a great way to keep your employees engaged and connected, to keep them up-to-date on what’s going on within the company, in their department and in others and even as a way to boost morale! That is – if you know how to create an email newsletter that is interesting and read-worthy.
If your role involves any hint of communicating to co-workers on a wide scale, then, you’ve likely come across the issue of how to create a company email newsletter that actually gets read.
Don’t put too much blame on yourself, because your email is only 1 of the 196 billion that is sent to over 4 billion office accounts every day. Not a typo.
How does one go about developing a newsletter that actually gets read and provides employees and customers alike with the things they want to know about?
Read on to find out!
In this article we’ll take a look at:
What is a Company Newsletter?
A company newsletter is a document, email or other form of media (e.g. video, audio, infographic) that is sent to employees within an organization informing them of current events within the company, announcements and other important and interesting information.
The goal of an internal email newsletter is to keep employees informed about and engaged with the company and its activities.
That said, here are a few ‘rules’ on what to do and avoid when it comes to crafting a readable and inspirational missive.
The steps below will help you with how to create an email newsletter that accomplishes these goals.
How to Create an Email Newsletter – Do’s and Don’ts
- Design simply: This will be covered extensively below, but don’t go overboard on colors (keep it to one with varying shades) and use relevant CTAs.
- Target a specific audience: On relevancy, make sure that you’re not trying to communicate everything to everyone. No message, no matter how well-intentioned, can (or should) try to speak to finance and ops and human resources all at the same time.
Break the rules: Use an eye-catching or blog-like template that’s video, picture and infographic-heavy to lead readers into the more word-intensive communique.
- Be proud: Take advantage of company logos or jokes to evoke an emotional response from readers; just be sure to do so quickly so that employees keep scrolling and clicking as they are your ‘customer’ in this instance.
- Personal insights: Lead with an interview of a new employee or share a good news story that makes everyone in that department want to pitch in on the next volunteering day or all-night coding party!
- Don’t ramble: Like we said, everyone gets too many emails in a given workday, which is to say all day and night (given there’s no truly 9-to-5 anymore). Thus, preserve this medium and only send out pieces that are succinct and actionable.
- Opt-in and out options: Employees still have data-protection rights based on geography and so should have the option to opt-out of emails. Meet with your legal team to discuss whether your mode and means of delivery are all aboveboard.
- Don’t assume you know what each department wants: We will discuss this A/B testing and voice of the customer-aspect below, but engage with your target audience so that your company email newsletter does not find its way to the bottom of the (electronic) bin.
- Design for mobile: Consider how your employees engage with their email (i.e. Is it on the phone? Is it on servers? Is it on MS Outlook? Is it Google or Yahoo mail?) and make sure all the content transfers in a readable manner.
How to Create an Email Newsletter
1. Get to know your audience
If you don’t already, get to know your audience – that is, your employees!
Learn more about what is important to them, what information could help them do their job better or more efficiently, what types of company information they are interested in, if they have any questions about the company and how often they would like to receive company updates.
An internal newsletter should be interesting, helpful and even fun and uplifting. You want employees to feel that reading the newsletter was worth their time. So, gathering information about what your employees want to read and know more about is an important first step when considering how to make an email newsletter.
What’s the best way to learn more about what employees want to see in a company newsletter? Ask them! Create a survey asking these types of questions – or do it the old fashion way and have a conversation face-to-face.
2. Decide what to share
Based on your survey or discussions with employees, decide what types of information will be most engaging and helpful to include. Focus on the content your employees have said will help make their jobs easier, things they are interested to know about and segments that will boost morale.
Make sure not to include too much information – this can become overwhelming and may actually prevent employees from reading the newsletter.
Here are some examples of content to consider including in your newsletter:
- Employee of the month spotlights
- New employee announcements
- New product or service announcements
- Updates on products and services
- Competitor information
- Training opportunities
- Job postings
- Industry news
- Messages from leadership
- Company events
- Company awards and achievements
- Project updates
- Company performance reports
- Employee Q&A
- Fun at the office highlights
- Content created by employees
Once you have decided what to include, try to keep it consistent in each newsletter. Consistency will help streamline the process for you – making gathering info and developing content quicker and easier.
3. Decide how often to distribute your newsletter
Decide how often you are going to send out your newsletter based on what employees have told you they would like to see. But don’t forget to keep in mind what will be sustainable. The smaller your company the less frequently you may need to share.
Weekly, monthly and even quarterly internal newsletters are common.
A strict distribution schedule does not need to be set in stone right off the bat! Feel free to play around with the frequency of the newsletter. The most important thing is that your schedule is sustainable.
4. Decide what format you want your newsletter to take
This could also be a question you pose directly to employees – how would they like to receive a company newsletter?
You don’t need to get too fancy with it – most often companies just send internal newsletters out in the form of an email. But, if you’re keen, there are many options to explore! From videos to podcasts, the sky’s the limit when creating a company newsletter.
The most important thing to consider when choosing your medium is which form will be most easily accessible and consumable. Ideally, you want to engage all employees and therefore creating the newsletter in different formats may be something to consider.
5. Create it!
Lay out your segments, gather the information needed for each, develop the content and create some eye-catching headlines and graphics to go along with your content.
Take what you’ve developed and put it directly into an email, a video or audio file or make use of one of the many tools available that offer templates for developing company newsletters.
Here are a few examples of tools that can help you out with the creation step:
An all text, information-dense newsletter is the last thing somebody wants to read during a heavy work day. With Canva, you can create interesting, engaging email banners and graphics that’ll entice your audience to actually read the newsletter.
6. Examine the results / Follow up
You’ve taken the time to develop a newsletter that you think will be engaging and useful to your employees – now it’s time to take a look at the results.
If you’re using an email newsletter development tool, like those suggested above, metrics like open rates and click-through rates may be helpful to see if your newsletter is being read. However, the best way to discover if your newsletter is actually being consumed and enjoyed is to ask!
Talk to employees about the newsletter (or send out a survey). Find out what they like about it and what they don’t. Ask for their input and suggestions and make changes where necessary.
Things to Keep in Mind When Creating a Company Newsletter
When considering how to make an email newsletter, keep in mind the following:
- Keep the newsletter short and sweet. No one wants to read a long, boring document. Include only what is necessary, interesting and helpful.
- Make sure to include photos, infographics, videos and eye-catching headlines and colors. A text-heavy document can be overwhelming – these elements will help to break up the text, making it easier and more enjoyable to read.
- Encourage employees to join in on the development. Including employee-created content can boost engagement rates and, better yet, co-creation can be a fun!
- Be open and honest with your employees. Good or bad, it’s important to share the truth. Include company updates with the full details of what’s going on, what the company is experiencing and any changes that are being made.
Key Takeaways on How to Create an Email Newsletter
While the above might seem like a lot to consider at first, bear in mind that you are trying to reduce the amount of emails that employees receive and the amount of irrelevant, uninteresting text that they may have to read.
Creating an awesome company newsletter is one of the best ways to keep employees informed. And, when done right, an internal newsletter can even boost morale and company engagement!
Here are the key takeaways for how to make an email newsletter:
- Discover what it is your employees want to read and know more about.
- Decide what to share based on feedback from employees. Consider what information will be most interesting and helpful to them in their jobs.
- Make a plan of how often you’ll distribute your newsletter. Take into consideration what employees have told you they would like to see and what is sustainable given your company size and resources.
- Decide on the format. Will you go with the classic email or maybe give video or audio distribution a try? Be sure to consider what is most easily accessible to your employees.
- Create it! Develop your newsletter in a plain email format or use newsletter tools and templates like those offered by Mailchimp, Constant Contact and Canva.
- Assess the outcome. Take into consideration data like open rates but more importantly talk to your employees to get a sense of what they like and don’t like about the newsletter. Evaluate and adjust your future newsletters based on their feedback.
Planning, creating and evaluating your company newsletter with the help of the employees is key to developing an informative, interesting and valuable internal newsletter.