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These days, inboxes are flooded with more emails than usual. With many crisis-related subject lines, it’s difficult to ensure the most critical messages get seen and read by all your employees.

So how do you ensure your employees see the internal communications that matter most?

The answer’s simple—and quite attainable: Create an internal newsletter that gathers together your most vital content, and present it in a way that compels employees to read and take action.

The goal is to make sure every internal newsletter includes a combination of relevant information and creative elements to grab the attention of your team.
Unfortunately, most companies don’t put that much effort into their internal email comms, assuming employees will read their messages anyway. And while plenty of focus is put in the brand experience for your customers, oftentimes it’s overlooked for employees and staff.

Your internal newsletter is even more important during an unprecedented time. A well-branded, thoughtful internal newsletter conveys relevant—and possibly urgent—information. It also lets your employees feel confident in their leadership.

Here are some tips to elevate your internal email newsletter, solidifying culture, creating a reading habit, and providing comfort and support during uncertain times.

Create internal email newsletters your employees look forward to.

We’ve put together these guidelines so you can transform your staff newsletters into delightful, valuable resources that help your employees excel. Because when your employees feel empowered and informed, they enjoy being at work and stay engaged.

To help you stay connected with your employees during a time of crisis, rethink your internal emails to create messages your employees look forward to reading so they never miss an important update.

1. Solidify your company culture with internal branding.

The easiest way to banish bland internal emails is to develop guidelines for how, when, and where you communicate with your employees. Your branding plays a role in how you communicate with subscribers, so bring those same guidelines into your internal newsletter as well.

This helps you create effective internal communications and also builds a strong corporate culture.

Internal branding matters. As marketers, we’re concerned with how we convey our brand to our customers, though we often forget about how we convey our brand to crucial employees.

Email directly connects you with your employees and teams—the people who keep the company running. Consistent branding makes the company and its goals more relatable, helping employees understand how their role contributes to the overall success of the company.

At Campaign Monitor, for example, these types of communications take the form of “Top of Mind” emails with our CEO, Wellford Dillard. This regular newsletter keeps employees connected across the globe and functions like a virtual watercooler.

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The branding aligns with the branding of our global values, serving to remind employees of what it is our company stands for. When the message of these emails aligns with our values, it’s easy to remember the “why” behind what we do.

When your employees relate to the emails they’ve received, they’re more likely to engage with them. Over time, such interactions promote an emotional connection to the company, driving up employee engagement across the board.

In this way, internal branding is both powerful and practical. Developing a brand voice gives you the freedom to be more creative with your communication, allowing you to include more interesting content.

A standard brand voice also gives you more control over the way your employees understand your message. It puts everyone on the same page.

2. Consistent communication makes reading corporate emails a habit.

Just like with external marketing, consistency in corporate emails keeps readers hooked. Employees need to know when your internal newsletter will be sent in order to look forward to it—and that’s never more important than when you’re trying to share crucial, time-sensitive information.

Consistency builds habits. Use email for as much of your general internal communication as is appropriate, including press releases, announcements, industry news roundups, and more. However, you’ll want to exclude random, one-off tidbits in each email.

Instead, remain consistent not just in the times you send, but also in the format and information you share. An internal newsletter that consistently uses the same template enables employees to set their expectations and scan for the most important or applicable pieces of information to them.

Employees are more likely to read your emails when they expect to receive them and know they’ll get to read something interesting, informative, and actionable.

3. Create separate corporate newsletters to address specific issues.

Unique times need unique solutions. While sending too many emails is a good way to get ignored, creating a separate newsletter to address a specific issue makes it easy for you to communicate the most important information to your employees more effectively.

This serves two purposes: It allows you to be very specific in addressing employee concerns while freeing up space in your usual newsletter to focus on culture, events, and business as usual. Both are important messages, and trying to fit them into one email is a sure way for employees to miss crucial information.

There’s still no way to know when the world will go back to normal. And some industries will likely never go back to the way they operated before the pandemic. That means it’s time to adjust to this new normal as much as we can. Continuing with your usual newsletter allows you to instill confidence in how your company has shifted to accommodate the unexpected.

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Our parent company, CM Group, sends out specific updates on how it’s addressing COVID-19 concerns. While most of our offices have been working from home for weeks, the newsletter addresses how the company is working to keep us connected and healthy as an organization. It also offers support and opens the door for any employee to reach out for whatever help they need.

Weekly culture and news update from CM Group’s HR and internal comms team. Email introduces digital cooking classes, a video from the CEO, and other events hosted by the HR team.

You’ll also notice this email has fewer design elements than the “Top of Mind” email. That was an intentional choice: The no-frills formatting matches the email’s more serious content.

You don’t always need to use a highly visual design if it doesn’t match your message’s tone.

4. Embrace video to boost engagement.

While open rates might not be the most important metric for your corporate emails, interactive content has proven to be a powerful tool to boost open and click-through rates. Even if you aren’t worried about metrics, including video is still a great way to keep your messages interesting so more people will engage.

And the more people engage, the more people will read and retain the important information you share.

Whether your video is a message from your CEO or an instructional video on how to cook falafel, including video keeps your message entertaining and surprising. Just like an email marketer aims to surprise and delight subscribers, there’s no reason an internal message can’t be both delightful and informative.

Video: Tips for creating a stellar internal newsletter

For more tips on how to create a high-performing internal newsletter, here’s a short video from Campaign Monitor’s former CMO:

Wrap up

At its core, creating corporate emails that your employees want to read is all about including interesting, high-value, and actionable messaging. That is, after all, the entire point: Ensure employees have all the information they need to do their jobs well and remain engaged with your brand’s mission.

This requires an examination of not just what we say but how we say it. Every message to your employees is an opportunity to cement your brand values and keep employees engaged.

By embracing marketing concepts in your corporate emails, you’ll create not only more engaging emails, but also more engaged employees.

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