We feel your pain. You’ve been working hard on crafting a new newsletter or engaging internal emails to round up important news about your company.
You send out an employee email to the entire organization and days go by without anyone saying anything about it.
What’s worse, most of your employees have probably missed the important announcements and you’re stuck wondering how to create engaging internal emails.
Even after sending out internal emails with all the relevant information, you will be bombarded with questions like:
“What? I didn’t know we could get the flu shot at the office!”
“Is office yoga still happening?”
“When are we being sent our tax information?”
And it will take all of your strength and self-control to not climb on your desk and yell,
“IT WAS IN THE EMAIL I SENT OUT LAST WEEK!!!”
It’s not your fault. It’s not their fault, either.
Modern life has become a battlefield for attention and the #pingpong channel on Slack, funny memes and Instagram are your competition. What this means is that your employee emails better be engaging, concise and entertaining to have a fighting chance. This is even more relevant if you’re communicating with remote workers.
For that reason, let’s go over 7 hacks we’ve encountered that will help you create engaging internal corporate newsletters and emails.
7 Hacks for Creating Engaging Internal Emails
1) The first impression (aka the subject line) matters
You can craft the perfect and most beautiful newsletter or write award-winning copy, but if no one opens it, your email might as well be empty. To ensure your emails get opened, you have to:
- Use short subject lines: research has found that subject lines between 6-10 words have the highest open rates. Another thing to consider is that most people check their email on their cell phones, so a shorter subject line will ensure that your email is displayed correctly.
- Lead with desire: put yourself in their shoes, what email would you open? For your employees to open an email, the subject line needs to go beyond information to address their desires and needs. For example, if for your weekly pizza lunch the menu has been changed to Thai food, which email subject line would you click on …
“Information regarding pizza lunch” or “We’ve got a delicious surprise for lunch” ?
2) Make the content relatable (inside jokes are welcome)
Just as inside jokes play a key role within your group of friends, employees also like to feel that their organization is unique and special, so they will appreciate any references to company-wide experiences in the form of a call-back to that funny shirt your CEO wears or that time the power went out.
Instead of just being informational, make sure that your content speaks to the specifics of your company, whether in the form of a comment about the local sports team, the weather, or the beer selection at company socials.
3) Make it fun and memorable
On that same note, since you’re now competing for attention with Instagram and funny videos of monkeys on YouTube, you need to embrace that your readers expect you to be entertaining. Here are some tips to do exactly that:
- Add memes, gifs and other visuals to break up your text. Giphy is a great tool that allows you to add gifs to your email and they even have an Outlook add-on (get it here)
- Add emojis to your subject lines whenever possible
- Keep it short, fun-size, easily digestible. The golden rule to remember: brevity is king
- Be a real person. Even when it comes to official announcements, people like hearing from actual people who sound human so your tone needs to reflect that
4) Use the inverted pyramid for information
You know firsthand that people have a hard time reading your emails, so you need to make the most out of the couple of minutes when you have their attention. For that reason, you need to embrace the inverted pyramid, a technique used by journalists that illustrates how to prioritize information.
In short, the inverted pyramid entails that you should lead with the most crucial piece of information first, followed by other important details and then finish with general information. That way, if your audience stops reading half way, they will still have taken away the most important announcements.
5) Reuse old content
Since most people don’t finish reading emails (and sometimes don’t even open them), employees will undoubtedly miss some information, so reusing content is a great way to increase the chances that they see important announcements. You can find some tips for getting more people to read your messages here.
You might think that repeating content could get annoying, but fortunately, modern tools allow you to track your emails to the link level right from Outlook or Gmail, so you can see which announcements have been looked at and which haven’t.
Keeping an eye on that granular information will help you understand what works and what doesn’t, leading you to write better emails every time you send something out.
6) Actually learn what they like
A key way to create engaging communications is to actually learn what your employees want to read!
With ContactMonkey you can track internal corporate newsletters on an overall campaign level or an individual employee level right within Outlook using your Outlook distribution list. Tracking opens, link clicks, devices and location will help you identify what content employees find engaging.
7) Turn your newsletters into two-way engaging internal emails
Think about the last time you found a conversation with someone to be really engaging.
I can think of certain times at a party or a conference when I really connected with someone and the one common denominator in all of those interactions was that I felt that I was being heard. I felt like the other person cared about what I had to say and that they were actively listening.
That very important principle of communication needs to be present in your internal emails as well. For your employees to care about what you have to say, they need to feel like you’re actively listening to their feedback and taking action.
Think about it, your employees are already used to giving feedback on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in the form of emojis, like buttons, etc so why not add those to your newsletters?
With our email template builder for Outlook and Gmail you can actually embed those tools with a simple drag and drop. Now, with every email communication you can let your employees know that their feedback matters.
Here are some of the ways how:
Using Social Reactions within Internal Emails
Give your employees the ability to love, like and laugh at any content you send them via email. With social reactions now your internal comms team can constantly gather feedback in a seamless way.
Pulse Surveys for Employee Engagement
With pulse surveys, you’ll also get actionable data on your email communications in seconds. You’ll be able to see all of the responses live in real time on your ContactMonkey dashboard.
Spend less time trying to build the perfect newsletter. Our drag-and-drop email template builder lets you do that in seconds.
Like Buttons within your Newsletter Content
By adding like buttons to your own internal emails, you’ll be able to engage your employees with your content and actually learn what they like. (Keep reading to learn how you can create interactive emails for your employees)
Direct Feedback with Employee Comments
The way companies engage their employees should be similar to the way your employees are already using other technology. It should be social, visual and mobile-friendly, which an annual survey usually isn’t.
To really engage your employees, use a tool like ContactMonkey to allow employee comments and answers directly from your newsletters. That way, every time you send an internal email, you’ll get actionable feedback from your employees without using a costly annual survey tool.
Interested in seeing how employee comments work? Sign up for a personalized tour.
Creating Engaging Internal Emails Is Fun
The bottomline is that, if you want to create really engaging internal emails, you need to embrace some of the fun, entertaining characteristics of the content your employees are already consuming everywhere else.
Using jokes, adding GIFs, and adding pulse surveys will allow you to really capture the attention of your employees while letting them know that their feedback matters.
These hacks have worked amazingly for our clients and us, but we’re always on the lookout for more. How are you getting your employees to open your emails?
What has resonated in the past with your employees? Let us know in the comments below or tweet at us!
If you want to start learning what actually engages employees you should test drive a free trial of our Internal Email Tracking Tool for Outlook! Simply request a demo and we will get you set up!