10 Ways to Get Employees to Read Your Newsletter

Posted Mar 21 2013 by in Blog, Company Culture, Leadership

Whether you are in a specific Communications role, or in a Leadership position, chances are you have experienced the frustration of communicating valuable information to employees.

From relaying the company strategy, to recognizing employees, to letting people know the kitchen needs attention, there will always be the need to communicate in the workplace. But with the number of communication platforms increasing and employees suffering from email overload, it’s becoming harder to connect the right people to the relevant information.

Newsletters have traditionally been used for communicating company-wide, but they often get lost in the clutter.

Here are ten tips to ensure your next newsletter gets read:

  1. Create value. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at the amount of newsletters that hold no relevance to their audience. Consider your readership and create content that appeals to various departments and personalities.
  2. Include a poll. Whether you are enquiring about attendance for the next holiday party or are curious as to employee job satisfaction, a poll is an easy way to increase newsletter engagement. Be sure to share poll results after.
  3. Add a trivia contest. A contest is one of the easiest and obvious ways to increase readership. Ask questions relating to the  company, or something found in the current issue of the newsletter and reward a prize.
  4. Consider additional formats. Paper formats may seem outdated, but printing a newsletter and posting in the lunch room almost guarantees it gets read. If you have a large screen TV, consider broadcasting  it there as well.
  5. Include employee features. People love reading about themselves and their coworkers. If you don’t already have an  employee feature, its a good way to generate interest.
  6. Keep it web-based. PDFs don’t allow for the flexibility or click-through opportunities like a web-based message. Having an electronic format will also allow you to analyze results to better tailor future newsletters.
  7. Make it readable. Whether your employees are well educated or not, the language you use needs to be simple. You should aim for a Flesch–Kincaid grade level of 7 or lower with a reading ease of over 70%. Remove clichés, use the active voice, and avoid words with multiple syllables.
  8. Add photos. Office parties aren’t the only reason to share photos. Even if your newsletter is product focused, a picture will increase the readability.
  9. Recruit some ambassadors. Find a few champions to spread the word about the newsletter. Encourage department managers to remind staff to read any valuable and relevant content that may be located in the newsletter.
  10. Consider a collaborative Intranet-based tool. Finally, if you are still having difficulty in communicating company news, consider using a dedicated content sharing platform. This will also allow authors to focus on developing content rather than worrying about template design and production.