The practice of using an internal communication newsletter to keep employees informed has been around for almost a century. And it’s still a common practice today.
Research has shown that more than 60% of firms, especially those with over 50 employees, currently send out a quarterly internal newsletter. It’s still seen as an effective internal communication strategy for keeping employees informed and engaged with what is happening at the company. And it can foster a stronger culture and sense of community. Indeed, this is as true today as it was in the 1950s. However, one thing that has changed is the way that we create, send, and digest communications. In the digital age, the traditional paper or even email news bulletin probably won’t cut it. In the world of today, we have seen new internal communication trends emerge, ones that require a different strategy and technology, to adapt this valuable practice to the realities of communication and online usage. Here is how to do that—and how to bring your best employee newsletter ideas to life.
There are several hurdles that consistently prevent traditional company newsletters from being properly received and read by employees as internal communication tools. After all, office workers spend an average of 2.5 hours a day reading and replying to email. Therefore, there is considerable competition for any newsletter. This is typically what stands in the way:
When you send a generic, untargeted newsletter email to the entire company, it means much of the information will be irrelevant to any specific department or employee. And relevancy is the key to engagement.
Not Mobile Friendly
The fact is that people use mobile devices for almost everything, company communications included. Realistically, if your newsletter isn’t delivered on a platform that’s mobile-friendly or an internal communication app, there’s a good chance employees won’t read it.
Yes, there is a design element involved with newsletters. For example, try to think of it like advertising. If the structure and visuals are not appealing, and the information is not presented in a clear, concise manner, your staff won’t feel compelled to spend time reading it. Obviously, that’s not what you want.
“When you send a generic, untargeted employee newsletter email to the entire company, it means much of the information will be irrelevant to any specific department or employee. And relevancy is the key to engagement.”
So the obvious question: how can you fix this? Specifically, how can a company adapt its newsletter strategy and technology to stay relevant and engaging in the fast-paced, mobile, digital era? At Sociabble, we’ve helped more than a few companies update and evolve their internal and employee communication needs, and these are some concrete steps we suggest for getting your newsletter up to speed with the times, and sharpening one of your most powerful internal communication tools.
Build a Beautiful Template
Yes, you can design your staff newsletter in house, but the right communication platform will have attractive templates ready to use. Make good use of visuals, especially large photos, and make sure that it is mobile friendly. It should look just as good on a mobile device as a desktop.
Use a Mobile App Notification
If you have the ability to send an app notification on mobile devices, use it! Employees are much more likely to engage with an internal company newsletter if they receive that little pop-up on their phones or tablets. Keep your company news top-of-mind.
Segment Your Users
You have different types of employees, so it doesn’t make sense to send out a single, generic staff newsletter. Therefore, use targeting and customization! Send segmented newsletters by geolocation, department, subjects of interest, and profile.
Time it Right
It’s important to be consistent, and send regular newsletters at the optimal moment for every category of employee—and it might not be the same for all. Indeed, you may want to even think about time zones if you’re a global company. Realistically, little things like that can matter.
Good Content Mix
Company updates, important industry news, employee developments—variety is the spice of life. Keep the content interesting by mixing it up a little. A good newsletter deals with the entire professional ecosystem, internal and external. And keep the titles exciting and fun. Just like your favorite magazine. Use them as expressions of your employee newsletter ideas.
Keep the content spread out. This means that every department has things to say, and should be part of what is said to employees. Remember, if it’s not relevant, people won’t read it. Get everyone involved in the creation of content.
Keep it at a Manageable Length
This one’s simple: if it’s too long, nobody will read it. Therefore, try to stick to juicy tidbits, and when it comes to external content, just provide highlights and link to the longer article. Nobody wants to read an encyclopedia on their phone, over their lunch break. Keep it short and sweet. Indeed, some experts suggest as little as 20 lines of text.
Let Their Voices be Heard
Conversation is a two-way street, and it’s important that your newsletter gives the chance to provide feedback. Specifically, quizzes, polls, and surveys all give employees the ability to speak their minds and make positive change. Additionally, don’t forget strong calls to action. Get them involved! Indeed, use their employee newsletter ideas, too!
With Sociabble, you can use a variety of attractive templates to create a newsletter in just a few clicks.
How Sociabble Can Help
Revamping and redesigning your traditional company newsletter isn’t going to happen in a day. Indeed, it can take a bit of time and work. But as an internal communication tool, Sociabble can make the process much easier and much more effective. As a platform, it has the capabilities built-in to help implement the above suggestions, and bring your internal company newsletter into the modern, mobile, digital era. This is just some of what Sociabble offers:
—User group segmentation by area and interest
—Subscription to personalized newsletters via content channels tailored to their interests
—Push notifications via mobile app
—Automated personalized newsletter capabilities, with targeting based on levels of engagement
—Ability to create newsletters in a minute, via aggregated company, user generated, and third-party content
—Analytics, so that you can improve step-by-step, based on employee engagement
—A host of attractive, customizable newsletter templates to choose from
To book a free demo and learn more about how Sociabble can help with all your internal communication needs, company newsletters included, click here.
Sociabble is also mobile-friendly, meaning employees can receive a newsletter on the go.
The Sociabble platform makes it easy to send out automated, and even segmented newsletters to your employees.