Creating an internal newsletter can seem simple, but it often proves to be a challenging task.
How can you make sure that your internal newsletters will not go directly to the trash folder? How can you encourage the employees to open it, and, let’s be crazy, even read it? Here are a few useful tips from the webmarketing field that will work very well for your internal communication.
1. Be creative in the email subject
To know if your internal newsletter is a success, you first need to ensure that the employees open it !
The opening rate of your newsletter will depend on the level of creativity in the email subject. It is not because it is an internal publication that it must be serious and dull. People like to be surprised.
In order to create an internal newsletter that works, we advise you to change the subject depending on the target audience, and why not try different subjects to see the ones that work best.
Here are a few tips :
- Use the title of the most attractive article as the email subject : the interview of an employee, the winner of a social game, etc
- Be short, simple and precise
- Use figures : “3 tips for…”
- Create a feeling of urgency… but without mentioning the word
“urgent”! For example : “ D-15 before…”, “ only X days left to register…”
- Avoid exclamation points
- Test generic titles, such as “ the monthly newsletter” :
surprisingly, descriptive or generic titles do not always show the lowest
opening rates. On the contrary, they can give the impression of seriousness
- Be intriguing
NB : A best practice is also to send the same newsletter, a few days apart, with different subjects. You can try it out for yourself, you will be surprised by the results !
2. Vary the sender
Talking about best practices, Ragan et Politemail advise to send your newsletters from different mailboxes, depending on the content and the target. This is the best way to avoid being on the blacklist.
You can also keep the same mailbox but change the name of the sender only. Maybe “Stephanie” will have more success than “ the communication department”.
3. Only publish added-value content
It is difficult to give you precise advice on the content of your newsletters of course. By definition, your newsletters were born because they answer a specific need, and because there is a lot to communicate.
4. Be visual, structured and go straight to the point
Rule #1 : always use an image as a header
According to the infographic by Bandwagon , the websites that use the most visualcontent compared to those using only text get 84% more views and 94% more clicks.
Rule #2 : Use a simple and clear structure
If you have little content, a linear structure (list) will do. However, if you have many topics, on various areas, then you can optimise
space and go for a varied and structure layout.
Rule #3 : Go straight to the point !
Even if the readers know how to scroll down, that is not a reason to be lengthy. A newsletter should not go on forever, it should be a teaser !
That is to say it should showcase attractive titles that link to more content. Indeed, the newsletter is the doorway to a more developed content on other platforms : internal magazine, Intranet, website, etc. If you do not have any other platform to contain your digital content, doing a long newsletter instead is still not recommended. In that case, why not think about launching an internal magazine in parallel.
The frequency that you will choose for your newsletter depends on the level of information of your company, the ecosystem of your internal communication, and the objective of your newsletter.
You can decide on a weekly publication, monthly or quarterly… Your common sense will tell you if that is too much or too little. A monthly publication is not excessive when it is justified by its content, and when the employee is not overwhelmed with other communications coming from the intranet, the company app, the company web TV etc
As you may guess, sending too many newsletters may have the opposite effect to the initial goal, meaning the readers may grow weary. Instead, newsletters that are too scarce may not be able to answer the employees’ needs for information.
In order to create an effective newsletter, one of the main rules is to be consistent! Especially if the newsletter does the job of an internal magazine.
Of course, you can have a bit of flexibility. Wait until you have enough high quality content before talking to the staff. Remember that they have a lot of solicitation, internally but also externally in their professional and private lives.
6. Sending date : avoid fridays!
It may sound obvious, but it is always best to avoid sending newsletters in the evening, and outside working hours.
If you have finalized your paper a bit late in the day, you can always use a scheduling tool, they are available in most newsletter softwares. On the same topic, we recommend avoiding the last day of the week.
Especially as the trend is to reduce or stop emails on fridays like Intel or Deloitte & Touche who have implemented a “no email friday” policy.
7. Be dynamic !
The secret to create an effective internal newsletter? Think beyond the traditional text+image combo !
You may indeed want to rely on videos, audios, gifs, and presentations as well.
8. Multiply the ways of sharing and spreading the word
The information within your newsletters is not always confidential, and would sometimes benefit from being spread out, both inside and outside the company. It can be the case for example for employees interviews, or video reportage of a company unit. In some cases, social sharing buttons (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) or an option to send the article via email can be interesting.
On another note, in addition to the newsletter sent via email, you can also give the employees the option to download the newsletter from the company intranet or ESN.
9. Measure the efficiency of your newsletters
Last but not least, never forget to check your newsletter’s metrics! How many people opened it? clicked? Which headlines were the most successful?
This is the best way to really evaluate the success of your newsletter, and improve the following ones, or even adapt the content when needed.
Do you need a template to measure the performance of your newsletter? You can download it for FREE here!
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