Guide To Employee Newsletters: Everything You Need To Know

Grace M

 on 

in Employee Newsletters

Guide to Employee Newsletters

To create a successful employee newsletter, communicators should focus on three key components: content, tools, and measurement. Read on as we break down everything you need to know to assemble the best internal newsletters.

Company newsletters are a powerful tool for boosting engagement, fostering a positive company culture, and keeping your team informed and connected.

With employee inboxes bursting at the seams, it’s more important than ever to have a solid internal communication strategy that engages and educates. That’s where a well-constructed internal company newsletter comes in.

So, what is the purpose of a staff newsletter? A well-crafted employee newsletter can bring an organization together. It’s where company news, employee recognition, important updates, and even leadership strategies get disseminated.

However, creating a corporate internal newsletter that employees want to read is easier said than done. It requires planning, excellent content, trackable email performance, and a flexible communications strategy.

In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to create an internal company newsletter that truly shines. From understanding the key elements of an effective newsletter to exploring creative content ideas and design best practices, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also look at the important internal newsletter metrics you should track to measure and improve your email stickiness. 

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Why Employee Newsletters are Important

Employee newsletters are important for many reasons. An internal newsletter is a regularly distributed publication designed to keep your team informed, engaged, and connected. A good way to frame your staff newsletter is to use it as your company’s digital magazine or newspaper. Unlike MS Teams or Slack, it’s an opportunity to round up key pieces for deeper dives, survey employees, and foster two-way communication. 

Corporate internal newsletters are a powerful tool for:

  • Sharing essential updates and announcements
  • Celebrating achievements and milestones
  • Reinforcing your organization’s mission, vision, and values
  • Fostering a sense of community and belonging
  • Receiving employee feedback and building engagement
  • Promoting upcoming company events

When done right, an internal newsletter can be the communication that holds your workforce together. It helps break down silos, promote transparency, and ensure everyone is on the same page. And in today’s remote and distributed work environment, that’s more critical than ever.

But here’s the thing: Your newsletter competes for attention with a constant barrage of emails, notifications, and distractions.

To cut through the noise, your newsletter must be legitimately informative, engaging, and visually appealing. Knowing which employee newsletter ideas will generate interest and deploying good newsletter design is paramount. 

The secret sauce for building an engaging and effective staff newsletter is balancing business and pleasure. You want your newsletter to be relevant and timely, easy to digest, and a mix of serious and light-hearted content.

Get it right, and your internal newsletter will help your internal communications teams and other departments to:

If you’re not sending out a regular employee newsletter or are sending one but it’s falling flat, now’s the time to leverage email newsletter best practices (and the right internal communications software) to drive engagement and impact.

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Why Employee Newsletters Are a Powerful Engagement Tool

The best internal newsletters boost engagement and morale within your organization. A well-crafted newsletter will keep employees informed, celebrate wins, and encourage two-way communication. Employees who feel in the loop are more likely to be engaged and motivated.

Imagine this scenario:

Sarah, a new hire, receives her first employee newsletter. The content is digestible, the layout and design are attractive, and she understands clear calls to action. She learns about the company’s upcoming charity event, reads about a colleague’s innovative project, and discovers a new wellness benefit.

Suddenly, she feels more connected to her coworkers and the company’s mission. She’s excited to get involved and make an impact. That’s the power of a great internal newsletter! 

But what makes an employee newsletter effective isn’t just about delivering warm fuzzies. They should also drive real business results by increasing employee engagement and morale.

According to Gallup’s report, The Benefits of Employee Engagement, companies with engaged employees have:

  • 23% higher profitability
  • 43% lower turnover 
  • 10% increase in customer loyalty and engagement

By investing in employee newsletter best practices, you’re not just boosting morale but also your bottom line.

How to Create a Successful Employee Newsletter: 8 Key Steps

Ready to create an internal newsletter your employees will look forward to reading?

Follow these best practices to design and write compelling employee newsletters that inform, engage, and delight your team.

1. Keep it concise and scannable:

No one wants to read a wall of text. Break up your newsletter content into short sentences with line breaks. Use headlines and subheadings, and incorporate bullet points or numbered lists. Make it easy for busy employees to skim and get the information they need quickly.

2. Embrace visuals

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in newsletters. To add interest and break up text, include branded images, infographics, charts, and videos. Treat your newsletter as you would a polished piece of external content.

3. Show some personality

Your newsletter should not be stuffy or boring. Let your company’s unique voice and culture shine through. Write like you’re having a conversation with a work friend. A dash of humor, storytelling, or engaging employee newsletter names can make your content more engaging.

4. Provide value

Every newsletter should contain something of value for employees, whether it’s need-to-know company updates, helpful resources, employee recognition, or fun team-building content. Leave it out if it’s not informative, interesting, or entertaining. Focus on content employees will actually care about and look forward to.

5. Make it interactive

Employees are more likely to engage with content when you invite them to participate. Include polls, surveys, quizzes, or contests to gather feedback and encourage interaction. Celebrate milestones, birthdays, and work anniversaries. Spotlight different employees or departments in each issue.

6. Stick to a consistent schedule

Establish a regular cadence for your newsletter and stick to it, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Consistency builds anticipation and helps your newsletter become a welcome ritual. Create an editorial calendar to plan content in advance and stay organized.

7. Optimize for mobile

Over 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices. Ensure your internal newsletter template is responsive and easy to read on smartphones. Use a single-column layout and large fonts, and follow the best newsletter design tips for all screen sizes.

8. Test, measure, and iterate

Track key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and employee feedback to understand if your newsletter is effective. A/B test different subject lines, content, and designs to see what resonates. 

Crafting an engaging employee newsletter requires trial and error, but it’s well worth the effort. For more tips, check out our employee newsletter checklist.

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Engage Employees with these Newsletter Content Ideas

Creating fresh, engaging content for your employee newsletter can be challenging. But by mixing it up with a variety of relevant topics, you’ll keep your audience interested.

Here are some employee newsletter content ideas to get you started:

1. Employee spotlights

Highlight individual employees, teams, or departments to recognize their achievements, share their stories, and foster community. These spotlights can include:

  • Employee anniversaries
  • Promotions
  • Personal milestones like weddings or new babies
  • Volunteer work or community involvement
  • Unique hobbies or talents

2. Company news and updates

Keep your employees informed about what’s happening within the organization. Share information about:

  • New product launches
  • Upcoming events
  • Organizational changes
  • Financial performance
  • Charity initiatives or partnerships

3. Industry news and trends

Help your employees stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your industry. Curate relevant articles, reports, or videos that provide valuable insights and spark discussions.

4. Educational content

Provide opportunities for professional development by sharing:

  • Tips for improving job-related skills
  • Resources for learning new tools or technologies
  • Invitations to webinars, workshops, or conferences
  • Articles on leadership, communication, or time management

5. Fun and engaging features

Break up the serious content with lighter, more entertaining pieces like:

  • Employee polls or surveys
  • Trivia questions or puzzles
  • Photo contests
  • Recipes, book recommendations, or travel tips
  • Funny or inspiring quotes

6. CEO or leadership messages

Include regular messages from your CEO or other senior leaders to:

  • Share the company’s vision and goals
  • Celebrate successes and milestones
  • Address challenges or changes
  • Show appreciation for employees’ hard work

Remember, the key is to mix it up and keep your content fresh, relevant, and engaging. Tailor your newsletter content to your company’s unique culture and employees’ interests. For example, if your company promotes employee wellness, you might include healthy lifestyle tips, recipes, or fitness challenges. Or, if innovation is a core value, spotlight employees who have come up with creative solutions or feature articles on emerging technologies in your industry.

For more inspiration, check out our employee newsletter content ideas for every month of the year.

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5 Key Metrics for Measuring Employee Newsletter Engagement

If you’re not tracking your employee newsletter metrics, you’re flying blind.

How do you know if your content is resonating with your audience? Are employees reading your newsletter?

Measuring key metrics is essential for optimizing your newsletter strategy and ensuring your efforts pay off. Here are the most important metrics to keep an eye on:

1. Open Rate

This is the percentage of recipients who opened your newsletter. It indicates the level of interest and curiosity among employees. Depending on the industry, a solid email open rate typically falls between 27% and 40%.

2. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of recipients who clicked on links within the newsletter shows the level of engagement and activity. If employees click, it means they find your content valuable and want to learn more, sign up, attend the event, etc. Be sure to check out our guide on how to increase newsletter CTR.

3. Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR)

This metric calculates the number of unique clicks relative to the number of unique opens. It’s a better indicator of engagement than CTR alone, as it only considers those who opened the email.

4. Bounce Rate

This is the percentage of invalid or blocked email addresses. It indicates the accuracy and update status of your email list. A high bounce rate means it’s time to clean up your list.

5. Unsubscribe Rate

The percentage of people who opted out shows the relevance and value of your newsletter. If this number is high, it’s a red flag that your content isn’t hitting the mark.

If you use external marketing software like Mailchimp for internal newsletters, your audience may unsubscribe from your newsletter. Adopting an internal email platform like ContactMonkey will help you avoid this issue. This is because internal communications do not require an unsubscribe button. 

But don’t stop there. Dive deeper into your data by tracking engagement by department, job title, and office location. By regularly monitoring these key metrics, you can continuously improve your employee newsletter and ensure it’s performing optimally. 

Calculating Click-to-Open Rate: A Key Metric for Employee Newsletter Success

Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR) is a crucial metric for understanding how engaging your email content is to those who open it. It’s calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks by the number of unique opens and then multiplying by 100 to get a percentage.

Here’s how to calculate your CTOR:

  1. Divide the number of unique clicks by the number of unique opens.
  2. Multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage.

Example Calculation: If you sent your newsletter to 1,000 employees, 300 of them opened it, and 60 clicked on a link, your CTOR would be: (60 ÷ 300) x 100 = 20%

Tips to boost your click-to-open rate:

  • Craft compelling subject lines: Spark curiosity to encourage opens.
  • Segment your email list: Deliver targeted, relevant content to specific groups.
  • Optimize email content: Ensure your email content is engaging and provides clear calls to action.
  • Test different send times: Find the optimal time for your audience.
  • Maintain a clean email list: Keep your list updated to avoid bounces and undeliverables.

Remember, CTOR is just one piece of the puzzle. To get a complete picture of your newsletter’s performance, track other key metrics and align them with your organization’s goals.

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Ready to Create Better Employee Newsletters?

Creating a high-performing and modern staff newsletter is crucial for boosting engagement, improving internal communication, and fostering a positive company culture. 

Remember to focus on consistency, tone, and visual appeal when crafting your newsletter. Use a variety of content types, such as employee surveys, company news, and industry updates, to keep your readers engaged.

Track email analytics, such as click-through rate, click-to-open rate, and bounce rate, to regularly measure the success of your employee newsletters. This will allow you to continually refine your approach and unite employees regardless of department or location.

Take your employee newsletters to the next level! Book a free demo with ContactMonkey and discover how our powerful email tracking and internal communication tools deliver newsletters with results.

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