A company newsletter helps make sure that all your important makes it to your team members, no matter whether they work remotely or in the office. The bigger your company and the more geographically spread out your organization is, the more critical a company newsletter becomes for communication. Today we’re discussing how to make one for your company, so your team actually wants to read each issue:
A company newsletter is a document, usually an email, that shares relevant business and team news within an organization. The human resources (HR) department, marketing team, or head of communications often takes the role of creating and distributing this kind of internal bulletin. Most organizations use company newsletters to share new employment announcements, answers to common questions from the team, or updates within the company or industry. Other items sometimes included in company newsletters include:
Internal newsletters benefit both company management and team members through areas like:
The theme and tone of your newsletters help you set and sustain company culture. Through the topics you pick and the media you include, company management is telling employees what’s important and acceptable within the organization.
Think of company culture as internal branding. What do you want your employees to feel when they come to work? How do you want them to interact with each other? What do you expect to overhear them talking about as you walk through the break room or cafeteria? When you understand the answers to these questions, you can create content for the newsletter that reflects these ideas.
Newsletters don’t have to be one-sided forms of communication. Use the newsletter to ask your team questions or include polls and surveys to gather feedback about company practices, culture, or events. This information can help management better connect with their employees. It can also help you learn about employee goals and preferences. Feedback is useful for planning company events, training sessions, and guest speaker visits.
Like other types of newsletters, one of the primary purposes of a company newsletter is to keep people informed. With employees in and out of the office, perhaps even working from different states or countries, the break room bulletin board might not be the most effective place to share information. Sharing information directly via email can help make sure that everybody who needs to see organization updates can do so.
Company newsletters are a great way to brag about your employees and talk about the good things they do, both inside and outside of work hours. You can also highlight company achievements, such as a new distinction or particularly good feedback from happy clients. Talking about these achievements is good for morale. It helps remind employees, even in challenging times or situations, of all the good things happening and why it’s important and satisfying to come to work every day.
You probably already talk about company goals in meetings, include them in documentation, and maybe even have them posted around the office. But the company newsletter is another good place to restate these goals in writing. Goals can include anything from long-term visions for the company or individual goals for a specific quarter or project. Restating these items in the newsletter might help keep team members focused and hold everyone accountable for company success.
There are five elements that can help you optimize your newsletter. They include:
Before you write your newsletter, you have to know who you’re writing to. Yes, it’s for your team, but who are they as people and employees? What do they like? What do they care about? Knowing your company demographics is important for writing content they look forward to reading. Sending a GIF-filled newsletter to an older audience may not hit the mark, just as being too formal may be off-putting to younger staff. To learn more about your team, try:
The whole point of writing a newsletter is to get people to read it. Find a balance in style, structure, and tone that reflects the company voice but also appeals to your audience.
People are more likely to open and read emails with strong subject lines. Be enticing, even from that preview, to get employees to click on the email and read its contents rather than just shipping it off to a different folder, or worse, the trash. Consult with your writing and marketing teams or borrow some of your company’s best copywriters to help create subject lines that increase your open rates.
It’s important to include information your audience actually wants to hear and read about in the newsletter’s body. Keeping each section brief, but informative helps boost engagement. Newsletter copy is just as important as any other content marketing you do, even if it’s for your internal team. When you work with a company like CopyPress, you get access to quality writers, editors, and strategists to help you with both internal and external content projects.
Another aspect of making your newsletter engaging is good design and layout. Use your organization’s color scheme, fonts, and logos so that the publication fits with the aesthetic of your website, social media profiles, and other company documents. Also, keep the design clean and streamlined so people can find everything they’re looking for with ease. Make links and buttons clearly visible, especially if you plan to track click-through rates.
Even though a company newsletter is an internal document, there’s likely still something you want your team members to do after reading each publication. Maybe you want them to keep working towards their goals, respond to a survey, or sign up for a training session. Whatever it is you want your readers to do, include a strong call to action that motivates them to complete that task. You may add your CTA throughout the newsletter or end with it to remind readers to complete the action before closing the email.
Use these steps to create an effective internal company newsletter:
Though it’s clear that your internal newsletter goes to employees within your company, you can subdivide who exactly receives the communications. You might send the publication out company-wide, to employees at certain locations, or even just to specific teams. Who you send it to factors into how often you send the newsletter and what information you include.
For example, if you’re creating a newsletter specifically for the marketing team, that audience may not care about updates from the warehouse unless it directly affects their daily operations. Once you have an exact audience in mind, you can plan more intricate details of the newsletter.
Newsletters are consistent publications, like magazines and newspapers. Setting a schedule for sending them is important so that employees know when to expect the next edition in their inboxes. You can create a schedule that works for you and your team based on the amount of information you intend to include and the size of your audience.
Smaller companies with less information may consider weekly or biweekly newsletters. This is because it takes less time to collect and source information compared to bigger companies. Larger organizations may opt for monthly or quarterly mailers. Knowing the sending dates in advance helps you create a publishing schedule that saves you time during the creation process.
Image via Unsplash by @solenfeyissa
Before you create content, choose your design or template. This helps you understand where each piece fits within the newsletter. It also helps you choose correctly sized images and determine the ideal length for your text. If you need templates for your newsletter, keep reading. We provide a list of resources later in this article.
After you know your target audience and when they’re receiving the communication, you can plan the content. While you might not include the same pieces or sections every time, it’s helpful to have an outline in mind of interesting things to share. Consider including:
This balance works because it includes multiple streams of content that appeal to your audience. You can, of course, add additional sections or pieces based on the time of year, your industry, and your employees.
Once you know what content to share, it’s time to write and collect it. Whether you pull your copywriters to help or do the work yourself, start with writing any new content for the newsletter because it may take you the longest. You can also collect links, blurbs, photos, videos, and other content to complete other sections. Consider using a document, content management system, or cloud drive with different folders to keep all the information for each newsletter grouped together.
Add the content in the right places on your template or within your design. Make sure that the photos are visible and clean, not blurry. Check links to any outside sources to make sure they work properly, and proofread your content for spelling and grammar mistakes. It’s a good idea to double-check the names of any employees you mention, making sure they’re spelled correctly.
Use your email service provider to schedule the newsletter for delivery. While you can send your newsletter at any time, WordStream suggests the best time is in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. Consider sending your newsletters on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
This window works because more people are at work in the middle of the week rather than at the beginning or end. This time is also a lull period after lunch but before the end of the day when people are likely to be at their computers or desks.
Newsletter creation doesn’t stop when you hit the send button. If you want to know if your team is reading and engaging with your newsletter, track the metrics. Most email service providers and programs offer built-in analytics features that can help you measure things like:
Beyond tracking metrics, you can also ask for feedback about the newsletters. Consider sending periodic surveys to ask questions like:
Use these tips to help your newsletters become an enjoyable and expected part of the company culture:
How you handle humor in the newsletter goes along with knowing your audience. Sometimes humor can fall flat or sound offensive in the wrong context. While it’s important to be conversational and relatable in your internal communications, pay attention to the type of humor you use, or leave it out altogether. There are plenty of other ways to be friendly without making jokes.
A newsletter is a publication, but it’s not a magazine, newspaper, or novel. Try not to make your newsletter any longer than a typical blog or informative article, which is typically between 500 and 3,000 words in total. Consider providing overviews of each newsletter section and linking out to your website, social media feeds, or shared company documents to offer more detail about longer or more complex topics.
No matter what news you’re sharing, be honest. Use accurate facts and figures when talking about company progress or projections. Being honest doesn’t mean being blunt, rude, or calling anyone out. It means telling the truth, even when the news isn’t positive. If you deliver unpleasant news in your email, consider countering it with additional positive or happy points for balance.
Put the most important information at the top of the newsletter. The most important piece or section may change from edition to edition. To figure out which information goes at the top, ask yourself this: if you could only share one thing in the newsletter that people needed to know, what would it be? You can also rank subsequent content to determine the order of information following the primary piece.
Like any good publication, you can name your company newsletter. This allows you to be creative and add additional internal branding for the company culture. When brainstorming a name, think about your company’s values, goals, and culture. Are there ways you can work those concepts and titles into the name?
While some companies may have a graphic design team to help develop their newsletters, not all do. You don’t have to be a Photoshop expert to make your newsletter stand out. You can try newsletter templates from services such as:
Creating a company newsletter can boost morale, share important information among departments, and solidify company culture. If you understand the basic steps for creation and publication, you can use this communication tool to your advantage within your own organization or department. To get an example of how your internal company newsletter could look, sign up for the CopyPress client newsletter. Learn tips about how to create your own direct communications and discover more about your content marketing journey in the process.
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