Internal newsletters are a classic way to inform and engage employees.
They keep your workforce abreast of what's happening at the company, boost morale, increase engagement, and create a sense of togetherness.
But do employees read these newsletters?
Employees typically have overflowing inboxes, and internal newsletters often go unnoticed or ignored. They consume content from various sources and may see internal newsletters as just another piece of content, keeping them from reading or taking any action.
So what’s the way forward?
In this blog post, you'll learn more about internal newsletters, plus how to create fun, engaging, and useful newsletters that your employees will actually open and read.
What is an internal newsletter?
An internal newsletter is a form of digital communication emailed across the organization as part of a larger group message.
It's a great way to update employees on the progress of various projects and upcoming changes or events. Internal newsletters quickly disseminate information to a large group of people at once, keeping everyone on the same page. They connect your workforce and help maintain an efficient and productive work environment.
Why do you need internal newsletters?
Employees are often bombarded with information from multiple channels, and important details can easily slip through unnoticed. The internal newsletter consolidates information and puts it in one convenient place for employees to easily find what they need. Below are some reasons why you need internal newsletters.
Sharing company news and updates: Internal newsletters allow you to share important news and updates with employees, such as new hires, promotions, or organizational changes.
Building a sense of community: Newsletters can help build a sense of community by providing a platform for sharing personal news such as birthdays, anniversaries, or achievements.
Improving communication: By providing a consistent and regular way to share information, newsletters can improve communication and make employees feel more connected to the company and its goals.
Boosting employee engagement: Internal newsletters motivate employees with relevant information about the company and its mission, as well as opportunities for professional development and growth.
Overall, internal newsletters help effectively communicate, foster a sense of community, and improve employee engagement and morale.
What are the benefits of internal newsletters?
Here are some positive impacts a well-structured newsletter can have on your business.
Trust and transparency: Keeping employees up to speed about what’s happening at the company gives them a sense of trust and transparency.
Innovation and productivity: Sharing important news and updating employees on new developments sparks curiosity and allows them to develop new ideas and better solutions.
Employee retention: Informed and engaged employees naturally connect more to their work and are more likely to stay.
Employee recognition: Newsletters help recognize and celebrate employees and teams for a job well done.
Inclusion and a sense of purpose: A newsletter can help build a shared identity, make employees feel part of something meaningful, and contribute to a common goal.
Workplace culture alignment and silo removal: It also creates a company culture and a shared understanding of what the company stands for and how it works, preventing employees and teams from feeling isolated or siloed.
Interpersonal communication: Newsletters encourage employees to learn about others' experiences and share their experiences, fostering open communication and exchange.
How to create an internal newsletter
Creating an internal newsletter – or upgrading an existing one – isn’t a one-step process. In fact, it evolves constantly. Start with something simple that gets the job done, then work your way up to a more sophisticated, targeted newsletter that reaches specific audiences.
1. Select the right email tool
You can find many email marketing and management software to easily create effective newsletters. Look for software that lets you quickly create rich, targeted, and interactive newsletters that bring dynamic, personalized, and relevant content directly to your employees – whether they're a global operation or a small local office.
Essentially, you want a tool that allows any admin to create segmented newsletters with custom content tailored to your audience – either on an automated schedule or for specific occasions and events. Users should also be able to receive notifications on their mobile devices when they receive a new newsletter, and analytics should let you know what content has been read.
2. Start with a smart, global, easy-to-use newsletter engine
Before getting too involved in complex email workflows, establish a baseline and test the water. Make sure you can walk before you run. Yes, you want your email tool's newsletter engine to do all the amazing things it can.
But first, create simple, generic newsletters using pre-made templates to get the branding and aesthetic right. Decide what your newsletter will contain and how it will look before adding complex targeting or dynamic content.
3. Gradually onboard your employees
If your newsletter is part of a larger online employee communication, you need to engage your employees better to drive adoption. You’ll also want to prepare them for the new newsletter and get them into the rhythm of receiving, opening, and reading it.
Build the right momentum by announcing that a new type of newsletter is arriving. Explain what sections it contains, how often it will arrive, the added value of reading it; perhaps most importantly, how employees can get involved and contribute to it.
You don't want to get too complicated too quickly. Explain the benefits of the new newsletter and reinstate how it will improve the working experience.
Best practices to create an internal newsletter
Creating an effective internal newsletter requires careful planning and consideration of audience, content, and design. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating an employee newsletter.
1. Catch attention
Of course, you want your newsletter to stand out from the rest of the digital clutter. One way to do this is with a newsletter template, which helps the newsletter stand out and be instantly recognizable. Mobile notifications are another option. Notifying employees when a newsletter has been delivered on their mobile devices will dramatically increase open rates.
2. Stay relevant
To ensure the information is relevant and worth reading, send targeted newsletters to the appropriate workforce segment. It might not make sense to send detailed information about new local safety regulations for a plant in Germany to a corporate office in Brazil.
However, when information is more global, an instant translation capability can ensure important, relevant news is absorbed by all employees, regardless of their local language.
When newsletters are easy to create, more get sent, and more targeted versions can also be added. One way to do this is with automated dynamic content. If your email tool can add dynamic content relevant to each employee, use it!
Additionally, it pays to have established audiences for different versions of the newsletter, which can be based on department, geographic location, interests, and more.
To optimize your process, an email tracking tool can help you to determine open rates, completion rates, and other data that can make it easier to get the most from your internal newsletter.
Internal newsletter ideas
There are endless variations of content that can be included in a newsletter. Every business has a different culture and dynamic; your newsletter should reflect that uniqueness. Here are some great content ideas to pair with your company's voice:
Big announcements: Share the big news, announcements, updates, and anything else that needs attention, keep everyone in the loop and make sure no one is left out of important conversations.
Messages from top leadership: Convey critical information and build team spirit and morale. You can include articles, upcoming announcements, events – almost anything substantial from senior management.
Employee ideas: Let employees contribute some ideas to the newsletter. For example, what they expect from the company's CSR program, how they feel about working remotely, and general thoughts on corporate life and how it can be improved. Employees are the lifeblood of a company, and the newsletter is a perfect way to give them a chance to share their thoughts.
Feedback on health and wellness: Remind your employees of the resources and channels you have for their physical and mental well-being so they know who to turn to when needed.
Industry and competitive updates: Share what's happening in your industry – key trends, competitive insights, innovations, and how your business fits into the ecosystem.
Boost collaboration: Encourage employees to collaborate, say, share tips on work-life balance, especially if they're hybrid or remote.
HR news: Include everything from new hires and exits to job openings and training in your newsletter to make employees aware of staffing updates and the actions they need to take.
Employee recognition: Recognize strong sales figures, CSR achievements, solidarity initiatives, and personal achievements to build company culture and team spirit. Employees are happy when their colleagues get the recognition they deserve, and engagement skyrockets when their name appears in the newsletter for a job well done.
Survey results: Get employees' opinions on a specific topic by encouraging them to take a survey. You can combine business-focused surveys with fun questionnaires, share survey results, and show your employees that you value their feedback and opinions, all via a simple newsletter.
Customer feedback and client stories: If you get positive customer feedback or have a success story to share, add it to the newsletter! You can share both breaking news, like closing an important deal, and less press-worthy developments, like a positive email a customer sends to express how happy they are with your product.
Regardless of how you create your internal newsletter, via a broader internal communications platform, using newsletter software, or the old-fashioned way, it helps to have a selection of newsletter templates to choose from so you don't have to start from scratch.
These templates should allow you to add your company's branding with colors, logos, and fonts. This makes your brand feel more personal and unique. Employees are more likely to identify with it if it sounds familiar.
Templates should also set separate spaces and columns by subject. Think of it like a newspaper – you want essential news to be “the front page,” while lighthearted columns or less-critical news can be farther down in the reading order.
No matter how you structure your newsletter, the template you choose should make it easy to fill in the preexisting structure with fun and relevant content.
The right tool plus the right content will make your newsletter shine
Breaking through information clutter isn’t always easy. Emails, notifications, social media, text messages – all the information overload can overwhelm your employees. But with the right digital tools and well-targeted, relevant content, you can turn your internal newsletter into a powerful engagement tool.
Reading internal newsletters becomes part of employees' routines when they find the content engaging. Creating great newsletters doesn't have to be difficult. Email platforms and software can help you achieve this without investing time or resources.
Just be smart in your targeting strategy, remember to give your employees a voice, and don't be afraid to make the experience fun. Your employees will thank you!
When you communicate, don't forget to bridge the gap between cultures. Expand your knowledge and leave a lasting impression in a globally connected world with cross-culture communication.
Communication is key
Create a more connected and productive workforce with employee communications software.
Barbara Marzari is Communication and Engagement Strategy Director at Sociabble, the Saas software for internal communication, employee advocacy, and social selling. With her extensive marketing and communication experience, Barbara promotes a vision of communication more focused on employee experience and engagement.
Communication is key
Create a more connected and productive workforce with employee communications software.