You have a lot of responsibilities to keep employees happy and informed. You are not a marketer or a designer, but you’re tasked with developing and creating internal newsletters that your company's employees will feel good about and be proud to be part of something special.
That's a lot to think about.
This guide to creating internal employee newsletters is meant for you! We'll share the best practices, design tips and tools to create professional newsletters that will surprise and delight your team.
You’ll love the benefits that come with sending an internal newsletter:
But that’s just a fraction of it. Read on to see how internal newsletters can help your company’s communication.
An internal newsletter is, as the word implies, a newsletter that is sent within your company. This could be monthly, weekly or whenever there’s a need to share information.
Most people treat an internal newsletter as a way to share updates about the company, but it's also an opportunity to build morale or generate excitement about the company.
Internal employee newsletters differ from a plain email because they A) look much better and B) give you the opportunity to embed useful newsletter features.
When you create a newsletter with an email marketing tool, you can add in-email surveys, share videos, surveys, edit images within your email and add countdown timers.
Furthermore, you can easily create groups so you can choose whether you send your newsletter to a particular department or the entire company.
You probably use a tool like Slack or a similar messaging app to communicate within your company, so why bother sending a newsletter on top of that? Can’t you just mark important messages bold and call it a day?
You could, technically. But in reality, these messages tend to be scattered throughout different channels and get lost in the many GIFs and other notes.
Internal email newsletters are great to keep things clear and organized for everyone.
Yes, it does take a bit of time to gather all information and create the newsletter, but think of it like this: you’ll do your team a tremendous favor.
As a result, the entire team will feel more connected across departments. When everyone is on the same page, it's much easier to achieve common goals. Plus, because you can see the open and click rate, you’ll know how engaged your team is.
At MailerLite, we send a monthly email that recaps everything important that happened that month—from new employees to software improvements and customer support stats. This way, we make sure that everyone is in the loop and didn’t miss out on any important notes. Employees that were out vacationing can read them and we can forward these emails to new employees to get them geared up.
At MailerLite, there’s no set time or day that we send our employee newsletters. However, we could experiment whether doing so would positively influence engagement.
If your internal newsletter includes important information or announcements, it makes sense to send these on Mondays. When you send newsletters around different topics, it’s easier for your employees when they know what day to expect your campaign (e.g. Friday roundup or Monday memos).
Remote teams can also use the “delivery by time zone” functionality or agree to send emails based on HQ’s hours.
Though keeping people in the loop is the main use of our internal communication newsletters, we also use them for other purposes.
No matter what the content idea, it's important to organize and clearly communicate your ideas within the newsletter. Here's a separate guide all about crafting content to help you out.
Before you get started with your internal employee newsletter, there are a couple of things to plan and think about before you get going.
At MailerLite, different teams send a monthly newsletter that recaps everything they’ve been working on during the previous month. You could do the same, or decide to send just 1 email routinely.
For example, you might send an email newsletter every Friday that rounds up all the articles, news and updates that were discussed on Slack or your Intranet. You can also decide to send newsletters less frequently and discuss a specific topic, like technology, marketing or career, in each edition.
Each employee newsletter can have a different goal, and your companies’ email strategy might include a variety of campaigns with different goals.
For example, one campaign can focus on informing employees about important events, while another is for entertainment. The first is one has the goal to inform, while the second has team-building as its main purpose. The content of these newsletters will differ accordingly: Announcements or important dates versus employee anecdotes and insider stories.
Though creating an internal newsletter is often as a team effort, make sure there’s 1 person responsible for taking the lead. This person will collect all input and take care of the content, format and design of the newsletter.
The best part about company newsletters is that your target audience is pretty clear: your employees.
You can start by importing the employee email addresses into your email tool. The fastest way to do this is with an Excel upload or by using an integration (if you have your email addresses already stored elsewhere).
It makes sense to integrate more data than just the employee’s name and email. Think ahead of the type of email campaigns you want to send out.
Do you want employees to receive a birthday email? Then you’ll need their date of birth.
Do you want employees to receive a welcome email on their first day? Then you’ll need their starting date.
You get the picture. Think ahead about future employee newsletters so you’ll know what information to import (though obviously, you can always add more data later).
After the import has finished, you’re ready to start creating your first company newsletter.
Who receives the newsletter depends on you. You can either send it to the entire company or select a group(s).
These groups could be based on departments, location, joined events, how many or which emails the person has read.
When you’re using an Excel file to import subscribers, you can add, for example, the different departments in a column so your email software imports them automatically. These tags can be used to sort employees into groups.
When you import all information about your employees, you can also use your email software as a CRM tool.
Have you heard of our dynamic content feature? Dynamic blocks are kind of like magic. You’ll decide which subscribers get to see them! Drag the block inside the newsletter, add content and then set who’ll be able to see the content.
With dynamic content, you can send one newsletter and show different information to different people. That’s much easier than creating separate newsletters!
All that theory, but what does an internal employee newsletter really look like?
Congrats, you’ve made it to the part where we show you some examples of our own internal company newsletters. Feel free to copy these concepts for your own internal newsletter marketing strategy.
We’ve categorized the examples based on 8 different goals you might have for your internal newsletter.
In our monthly update newsletter, we make sure everyone knows what’s happening in the company. Ours is written by HR, but you can also have the management be in charge of this. This strategic newsletter aims to keep people up to date on updates, goals and achievements.
Subject: Megan, the August newsletter is here!
Since MailerLite is constantly growing, we’ve realized that it became harder to keep up with what other teams are working on—especially as a remote-first company. This is why some of our teams have also started to send their own newsletter.
For example, in our first marketing monthly newsletter, our CMO Ilma shared:
Here’s what that, sort of, looked like (sorry, we had to leave out some confidential parts!).
Subject: Marketing Monthly
Our project managers do the same in their newsletter.
From: Project Management Team
Subject: Hey Megan! The first update about projects arrived
Though these newsletters are sent to the entire team, you can also decide to send a newsletter only to people within the team, or targeting specific roles such as team leads or the management.
For many new employees, their first week starts with catching up on material and getting familiar with how things are done within the company. An easy way to convey this information is by automating it.
We’ve set up a workflow that automatically sends a welcome email whenever we add an email address of a new employee to the list.
In the onboarding email, we introduce tools, share links to important sources and give a small, fun homework task for the next day.
You can also recommend lunch spots in the neighborhood, share a welcome video or other information that might be relevant for newcomers.
How much do you really know about the new people in your company? If you’re a fast-growing company and the person isn’t working in your team, often the answer is: not that much.
Our brain can more easily remember names when they attach it to a story or reference. For example, I remember Alberto from Support because he’s a boss at baking Japanese cheesecakes. This fun fact makes him stand out, plus it’s a great conversation starter.
As a company, you could create an email template with premade questions that new hires need to fill out and send on their first day. Kind of like a friendship book, but digital. It’s a fun way to keep people engaged!
Subject: Hi, I'm new at MailerLite!
Newsletters with the goal of employer branding could include anything from highlighting team members that participate in events to sharing pictures from your last company party. It’s any content that celebrates your values, team and the individuals that collectively contribute to the company’s success.
For us, we often send these types of emails before, during and after workations. MailerLite organizes get-togethers twice a year (we call these team-bonding events workations and you can read about it here).
To inform everyone beforehand about the workation, we create a dedicated landing page using MailerLite.
After the workation, our COO Ilma sends a request-for-feedback email where everyone chimes in about what they liked and didn’t like about the program. The in-built editor feature to create surveys makes it easy to gather feedback. Ilma just needs to drag the survey block into her newsletter and it’s ready to go. She can then add several open-ended questions, a satisfaction score and a Thank You message as the outro.
Subject: How did you like the workation?
Special events can be anything from monthly call announcements, game nights, after work drinks, the Christmas party announcement, etc. As long as it’s special!
It can also be about putting employees in the spotlight. Our Slack channel #birthday-wishes fills up with cake and balloon emojis and funny GIFs every time one of our team members has a birthday, but it’s also nice to send a birthday email on their special day.
By using personalization, you can create a personalized text that shows their name (or even their age or interests if you want to get really creative).
From: All of us at MailerLite
Subject: Happy Birthday Megan!
When our developers were almost done with the BETA version of our mobile app, they wanted to announce it with more than just a chat message. For the occasion, our designer Ignas created a stylish announcement email.
From: Ignas & Adam
Subject: Workation is almost here!
I don't know about you, but our Slack channels are continuously packed with new content. In #random we post, well, random articles, memes, jokes, and more. In #marketing_resources we share interesting studies and articles. The list goes on.
Weekly digest newsletters are a good way to share article roundups or to highlight ones that might have gotten lost. These newsletters are to educate and entertain your employees and can be read whenever (like on a Friday late afternoon).
To structure your long-format newsletter, make sure to work with different headlines, visuals and separators. Make room for elements by increasing the padding.
Subject: Your weekly digest
You can use your own employees as guinea pigs too. A/B test two different subject lines and ship off your newsletter without notifying your employees about their unopened email. Let them discover and open the corporate newsletter on their own. This way you can test what email subject gets more attention. Your findings can be used for your newsletters to customers.
Sending newsletters with an email tool makes it super easy to style your newsletter exactly how you want to. You can pick a template and edit the colors and images, or create your layout from scratch. With MailerLite, you can edit your images directly within your newsletter. Add effects, a border, text, shadows or crop your image as preferred.
Your corporate newsletters are also a good opportunity to bring some extra motivation and engagement within the team. Find the right tone of voice for your newsletters and pay attention to how you convey things. There are many different ways to tell your employees about achievements and each one can evoke a differ reaction (from neutral to excited).
With regular email newsletters, you often want customers to click somewhere in the newsletter. For example, you’d add a button that leads to your online shop. Internal newsletters are a bit different. When you’re communicating important messages, you want to share the information as complete as possible so the reader gets all the information at once.
Even though your employees should feel motivated to read company news, keep in mind that their time is valuable. Keep your newsletter compact and to the point, so the content can be digested easily and quickly.
As you’ve read, internal newsletters are not just to inform employees about the latest happenings within the company. The topics are endless and once you get creative, you can send some really fun and engaging newsletters that’ll boost team spirit. We highly recommend starting your own internal corporate newsletter!