Despite the countless communication methods we have today, email remains the most-preferred channel for reaching employees.
In fact, 95% of people say it’s their primary communication method, and 50% of workers actually use email more frequently since the pandemic began.
It’s no surprise then that employee newsletters remain an essential tool for communications professionals.
That’s why we put together this definitive guide, complete with sixteen employee newsletter tips to keep your workforce informed and engaged.
But before we outline all the ways you can create a top-notch employee newsletter, let’s take a look at what an effective one can accomplish.
What is the Purpose of an Employee Newsletter?
At one time, employee newsletters were simply used to inform workers about company news and events.
However, today, employee newsletters can have a variety of objectives, depending on the organization’s needs and goals.
A newsletter may be used primarily to convey information, for example, but it can also be used to engage employees, celebrate accomplishments, contribute to company culture, and more.
Companies may even send several different employee newsletters each with a distinct purpose.
Just take a look at the variety of things an effective employee newsletter can achieve:
- Inform employees about company updates, events, and milestones — which is important since 74% of workers say they miss out on important company news.
- Educate them about policies and initiatives, open positions, competitors, and more.
- Invite them to company events and training sessions.
- Connect remote employees.
- Collect employee feedback.
- Showcase employee-generated content.
- Aid in employee advocacy efforts.
- Contribute to knowledge sharing and management.
- Reinforce company values and culture.
- Develop employee thought leaders.
Regardless of the purpose of your employee newsletter — whether it’s to inform workers about an upcoming lunch-and-learn or to entertain them with a blooper reel from the company conference — all newsletters should aim to engage the workforce.
Engaged employees have higher job satisfaction, are more productive, and better contribute to the business’ growth, but to reap these impressive benefits you first need to craft communications that employees actually open.
Employee Newsletter Tips to Improve Email Performance
Seventy-one percent of employees don’t read company communications, and engagement with employee newsletters remains low, according to Ragan research.
Because 62% of emails workers receive aren’t important and because communications professionals aren’t doing everything they can to make employee newsletters relevant, useful, and easy to consume.
But we’ve got numerous employee newsletter ideas to do just that.
1. Follow employee newsletter best practices.
Before you hit “send,” make sure you’ve done the following.
Designate who the email is from.
Instead of sending your employee newsletter from simply the company name or a generic “no reply” email address, use the email of an actual employee.
This could be someone on your communications or marketing team, but you can also customize the sender based on the email’s content. For example, company news could come from the CEO, while a hiring update could come from the HR director.
Sending your newsletter from a real person increases the likelihood that employees will open it and read it.
Adding images to your employee newsletter makes the email more engaging and it ensures that it looks different from a regular text-based email.
A common guideline for text-to-image ratio is 40% images and 60% text, but experiment and see what works best for your audience and your brand.
Images can include the email header, photos, graphics, illustrations, employee pictures, and more.
Just ensure the image file sizes are small, so the newsletter will actually arrive in workers’ inboxes, and don’t include too many images to avoid your email landing in spam folders.
Keep the file size small.
Aim for your employee newsletter to be under 102KB.
This ensures it’ll pass through spam filters, and it’ll prevent Gmail from “clipping” your email and not displaying all the content.
Ensure it’s mobile-friendly.
Mobile accounts for nearly 42% of email opens, so it’s essential that your employee newsletter have a mobile-first design.
Preview and test.
Before sending your newsletter, preview it and send yourself a test email. Most email platforms, including popular ones like Mailchimp and Hubspt, have this option.
Check the overall design and formatting of the newsletter, click every link to ensure they work, look for typos, and see how your subject line and preview text display.
2. Focus on providing value.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to take a big-picture look at the content to include in employee newsletters.
As we established earlier, newsletters can have a variety of objectives, but regardless of whether your newsletter is intended to convey information or contribute to company culture, it’ll fail to do either if employees don’t bother to read it.
The best way to get people to open your employee newsletter and read it is to ensure that it provides value in some way.
So before crafting an employee newsletter, ask yourself how it benefits the reader and identify ways to make your communications more useful and relevant to the individual employee.
One surefire way to do that? Customization. 👇
3. Customize employee newsletters.
Not all company news is suitable for every employee. While a new HR policy may apply to everyone, the latest technical update from the engineering team may not be relevant to your marketing team.
Also, not every employee consumes content in the same way. Frontline workers may be more likely to open newsletters on mobile or at different times of day than desk workers, for example.
That’s why it’s so important to utilize customization and segmentation.
You can send communications to only employees in certain departments, for example, or craft department-specific employee newsletters.
That can be a lot of work, of course, especially if you’re part of a small comms team, but EveryoneSocial makes it a breeze to deliver individualized content directly to employees’ inboxes.
You can set up a content newsletter in EveryoneSocial that’ll automatically pull trending posts, specific group updates, and employee-generated content for each individual. The employee will receive a personalized newsletter filled with content that’s relevant to them — and that they haven’t yet engaged with.
This automated approach to employee newsletters allows content to go out regularly (+ you only have to set it up once!) and it ensures that every worker is aligned on the most important, relevant news.
4. Write engaging subject lines.
Of course, if you want people to read those employee newsletters, you have to get them to open the email first. That’s why you need a compelling subject line.
Here are a few employee newsletter tips to craft a subject line that’ll send your open rate skyrocketing.
- Personalize them. Adding the recipient’s name increases email open rates by 26%, and your email platform likely already has a feature to make this a cinch.
- Foster a sense of curiosity, urgency, or FOMO (fear of missing out). Craft subject lines that make recipients want to open the email and learn more. For example, try something like “This hack will save you time” or “Only one day left to sign up” vs. “Learn to save time” or “Sign up for training.”
- Add emojis. Simply including an emoji in the subject line can increase the open rate by 29%. 🤯
- Keep it short. Limit your subject lines to 60 characters or fewer to ensure your subject lines don’t get cut off in mobile inboxes.
5. Include employee-generated content.
Photos, videos, blog posts, and any other content created by your workers is a great way to add a personal touch to your employee newsletter.
Sharing employee-generated content, or EGC, has numerous benefits, including increased employee engagement and job satisfaction.
Plus, when you share EGC, it begets more of this valuable content because it encourages employees to share their own thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
6. Invite employees to attend events.
Whether you’re hosting an internal training session or sponsoring an external conference, invite people to attend via your employee newsletter.
Some email platforms have event-management features that’ll even allow you to embed invitations and let people RSVP.
You can even further engage employees by encouraging their participation. Invite them to submit ideas, volunteer, or apply to be speakers or moderators.
7. Make the newsletter part of your change management strategy.
Employee newsletters are often sent at regular intervals, such as weekly or monthly. But you can send these informative messages whenever you need to tell team members about significant news.
This is especially important if the company is undergoing a major change such as a merger or acquisition. In these cases, your employee newsletter should be an essential part of your change management strategy.
But do more than simply convey information — make it clear how employees are impacted by these changes. This makes them feel valued and appreciated and leads to greater overall employee engagement.
8. Highlight employees.
There are numerous reasons why employee recognition is valuable in the workplace — it improves retention, increases trust, and improves morale, just to name a few.
And yet 82% of employed Americans say they don’t receive enough recognition at work.
Highlighting team members in the employee newsletter can change this though.
Showcase people’s work accomplishments, but also recognize personal achievements and news, such as volunteer efforts, vacations, birthdays, marriages, births, and more.
9. Share open positions and hiring news.
Use the employee newsletter to keep workers informed about job postings and new hires.
Invite them to promote open positions and refer candidates. And introduce them to the latest team members.
Keeping workers in the loop about how the company is growing will help them feel more connected to their teammates and engaged with their work.
10. Add video.
People are 75% more likely to watch a video in an employee newsletter than read text, so make it a point to include videos from time to time.
These can be purely informative, such as the HR director explaining a new policy or benefit, or they can be lighthearted and fun ways to showcase company culture, such as a skit from the marketing team or a highlight reel from a company event.
And be sure to include the word “video” in your email subject line since this can boost open rates by 6%.
11. Include CTAs.
Increase engagement with the employee newsletter by including calls to action.
Invite people to learn more, provide feedback, sign up, RSVP, volunteer, share their thoughts, and more.
CTAs don’t only increase your click rate, but they also help employees understand the “why” behind the content you’ve included in the newsletter.
12. Summarize key takeaways.
No matter how engaging or informative your employee newsletter is, not everyone is going to read it.
But you can quickly communicate your most important points by including a bulleted list summarizing the content at the top of the newsletter.
13. Ask for feedback.
Employees want to feel comfortable voicing their opinions and know that their thoughts are valued, so ask them for their feedback on the newsletter.
Ask what they’d like to see in the future, what employee newsletter tips they have, and more.
The employee newsletter is also a great way to distribute pulse surveys to gauge employee satisfaction and engagement.
14. Plug your employee advocacy program.
There’s a reason why the world’s top brands like Facebook, T-Mobile, and Dell invest in employee advocacy — it works.
But the key to continually winning at advocacy is to expand your program and keep workers engaged, and employee newsletters can help you do that.
Use your newsletter to invite more people to join your pure play employee advocacy solution, suggest content for sharing, highlight the numerous benefits workers can reap by participating, and promote contests and feature your top sharers from the leaderboard.
Your employee advocacy solution should also have newsletter capabilities — that’s why it’s a central feature of EveryoneSocial.
15. Experiment and have fun.
As we’ve said, the employee newsletter doesn’t have to be simply an avenue to deliver company information — it can also be used to entertain, to improve morale, and to contribute to company culture.
So don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it.
Use GIFs, tell jokes, share anecdotes or silly moments from around the office.
You can also play games like trivia, feature a contest or giveaway, make recommendations, share recipes, and more.
16. Analyze email performance.
It’s essential to know what kind of subject lines entice your people to open a newsletter, what links they click, and so on.
This data shows you what content resonates with employees and empowers you to take steps to continually improve your employee newsletter performance.
Yet 60% of communications professionals don’t measure the effectiveness of their internal communications efforts, according to the International Association of Business Communicators.
Luckily, most email platforms make it easy to track these metrics for you.
For example, you can see how your EveryoneSocial content emails perform at glance.
“I love that I can see the number of recipients, the opens, and the clicks with the EveryoneSocial emails,” says Shannon Ma, Instructure’s global email marketing manager. “I can easily look at the data, get it exported, and see exactly what people are interested in.”
Get the Best Employee Newsletter Solution
Clearly, there’s no shortage of employee newsletter tips. However, we understand that communications and marketing professionals also have no shortage of tasks to complete on a daily basis.
That’s why EveryoneSocial’s content emails are a great way to augment your employee newsletter or even serve as its alternative.
You can set up a content newsletter in a matter of minutes, schedule it to send at regular intervals, and trust it to keep everyone up to date on the most important items shared in EveryoneSocial.
Content customized to each employee will land directly in their inboxes. And you won’t have to design, update, test, and send constant employee newsletters, freeing up your time for all those other tasks on your plate.
But that’s not all EveryoneSocial can do!