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Mar 8, 2022

Newsletters that employees actually read


Newsletters that employees actually read

We’ve all done it – seen a newsletter come into our mailbox and clicked ‘delete’ or marked it ‘read’ without even finishing the subject line. So, what’s the difference between newsletters like these and newsletters that employees look forward to getting? Here are Engage Me’s top tips for writing newsletters that employees actually read:


Guiding principles for your newsletter 

  1. Put employees at the centre: Employee-focused and employee-generated content are guaranteed to grab the attention of your audience. It goes without saying that content should always be relevant and well crafted.
  2. Think ‘snack sized’: We’re all bombarded by different forms of communication every day, so newsletters need to be delivered in an easy-to-consume format. Create ‘snack-sized’ content such as short video clips, infographics or even cartoons.
  3. Bring your purpose to life: The most successful organisations live by their purpose and strive to create a positive impact. Focus on news that will get employees excited about the organisation and their contribution to it. Encourage leadership visibility, celebrate key achievements, and keep employees informed and updated.
  4. It goes both ways: True communication is two-way, so sending out standardised information to the entire workforce doesn’t mean you’re communicating. Build two-way relationships with employees that will result in effective internal communication. Encourage dialogue by asking for feedback, running surveys, or hosting fun competitions.
  5. Get visual: Commanding attention amidst the sensory clutter that overwhelms us on a daily basis is becoming an increasingly challenging task. These days, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it that counts. Make sure your newsletter stands out from the crowd by using eye-catching design and images. The use of colour is also a great way to differentiate between different content types.

Best practice content tips 

Internal newsletters should be divided into clear content sections. This makes it easy for employees to skim past what doesn’t relate to them and find the information that does. This also makes it easier to design a layout that is visually appealing as well as user friendly. 

Examples of best-practice content sections include:

  1. Leadership
    Every issue should begin with a message from the CEO or a C-Suite member. It needn’t be long (remember ‘snack-sized’), but it should reinforce the organisation’s vision and mission and provide recent business highlights.
  2. Employee spotlight
    Dedicate this section to your employees by:

    • Recognising individuals and teams for great work, embodying your company values, or for going above and beyond.
    • Welcoming new joiners.
    • Hosting interviews – ask an employee to answer fun questions about themselves. The content can be delivered in video format.
    • Celebrating major milestones like long-service awards or personal events like marriages and the births of children.
  3. HR updates
    This is a space for HR to share their news, such as:

    • Any HR updates and announcements.
    • Training resources and opportunities (with a call to action to sign-up).
    • Company values in practice.
    • Employee wellbeing tips, and relevant resources

  4. Business cluster/division spotlight
    As mentioned earlier, employee-generated content is the Holy Grail for newsletters, and the easiest way to succeed with this is to focus on specific business clusters or divisions. Each month, a different cluster can be allocated space to share their news. Encourage every cluster to have a turn, but if a cluster has nothing exciting to share, don’t force the issue.
  5. Make it social
    Thanks to the Covid pandemic, everyone is craving personal relationships. A great way of encouraging these is via a social hub within the newsletter. Examples include:

    • A company events calendar (remote and in-person).
    • Employee offers with added value.
    • Picture of the month, submitted by employees (consider running a competition where employees vote for their favourite submissions).
    • A healthy recipe of the month, submitted by employees.
    • An inspiring quote of the month, submitted by employees.
    • Quizzes and polls
  6. Industry trends and news
    This is a space for snippets of industry news and thought leadership pieces related to your business that are quick and easy to read. Don’t copy and paste external press-releases – make sure they are relevant to your audience.

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