Employee Comms

How to create a newsletter in 5 steps


 — April 21st, 2021

How to create a newsletter in 5 steps

You already know that creating a high-quality newsletter your readers will look forward to is a tall order, but did you know that the way you organize your publication from the very start has a huge impact on its success?

Here are five straightforward, easy-to-follow things you can do to help ensure the newsletter you create will be successful.

How to improve employee newsletter open rates and drive engagement

Decide on your content areas

Engaging content that's easy to read is a must, which is why we've written previously with advice on what content you can include, from company FAQs to housekeeping updates like how to reserve meeting rooms.

Your readers want predictability, so decide which type of content you will include and stick to that format in each issue. You don't want readers searching for "Meet the Team" (news about staff changes is often a perennial favorite, only to find it's missing in this issue.

Have a responsive newsletter template

Fast Company urges organizations to remember the big three of a successful newsletter: it should be "mobile-first, simple and skimmable". Assume recipients will read your newsletter on mobile, and make sure your newsletter template is responsive, adjusting content layout for different mobile devices.

Even in a corporate environment, where IT has some control over device type, there can be a huge variety, so check how your content looks across devices.

Don't forget to check your analytics, too, to see the percentage of users reading on mobile and device types used. Facebook now gets more than 90% of its ad revenue from mobile and defines itself as a mobile-first company -- proof, if it were needed, that we should all be doing the same.

Get creative with clickthrough text

We're skipping overwriting the content (you'll find creative ideas on content creation for your newsletter here) and going straight to delivery. Here's where you need to slow down and make sure you groom everything before you send, from your eye-catching subject lines to your clear calls to action.

Get creative with the text on clickthrough links: instead of "read more," why not customize the clickthrough prompt per article, such as "Meet [name] here" on the clickthrough that leads to the profile of a new team member?

View your newsletter across email clients

It can be a shock to create your newsletter in Word and discover the content looks utterly different when you view the newsletter in Gmail.

Some email clients can change the font, and graphics can be stripped out, which means it's never a good idea to put text on top of an image if the text is essential for the reader to understand the article.

Leaving plenty of time between the finalization of content and delivery day gives you the luxury of viewing the content across all the different email platforms your readers may be using – time well spent to ensure your hard work isn't lost.

Do not let your delivery schedule slip

This is key. Many a newsletter has begun in a flurry of good intentions and ample content, only to fizzle out after issue 2 or 3. Do not let your delivery schedule slip. Regular, no-fail delivery of your internal newsletter is part of an overall, well-built internal communication strategy, which commits the organization to keep all stakeholders informed, whether they are in senior management or on the front line with clients.

Forbes has great food for thought on this: in this age of social media, every employee is a potential brand ambassador, so why not ensure everyone's on the same page with regular, clear, and reliable communications?

Do whatever it takes to hit that delivery schedule, and look for ways to ease the burden of content creation and layout -- tools like Poppulo's saved templates can help, making it faster to generate each new issue.

How do I make a newsletter attractive?

Design a header

Any newsletter that is going to appeal to readers and receive their approval requires a header. When designing your header, make sure it includes a title, along with your company name and logo. Once you’ve decided on the header design, you should consistently use the same one for every new edition of the newsletter you create.

Let your logo dictate the color scheme

A good idea to make your newsletter more aesthetically pleasing is to choose colors that match your company logo. Incorporating these colors throughout your newsletter will make it more original and unique to your organization.

The color scheme can be utilized in the fonts, borders or anywhere else you see an opportunity.

Stick to standard fonts

When deciding on the font for your newsletter, it is important to keep in mind that clarity and practicality are most important. You should always opt for easy-to-read fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri.

When deciding on what fonts you want to use, try not to pick more than two. It is also important to be consistent and use the same fonts in every edition of the newsletter you send out.

Use subheadings

A professional-looking company newsletter will include several different pieces of content, separated by subheadings, similar to a regular newspaper. These subheadings should be smaller than the header at the top of the newsletter, but larger than the main text.

Include pictures

Incorporating images throughout your newsletter is a great way to catch the audience’s attention and draw them closer to the message you are trying to convey. These images do not have to be taken by a professional and can simply be snapped around the office with a smartphone or digital camera.

For example, you may use an image of an employee for a spotlight piece, or include a picture of your newest product to share with readers.

If your business does not have a lot of opportunities to include new images in every edition, then you might want to consider using simple graphics or investing in stock images that you can add where appropriate.

What do you say in a newsletter?

Some newsletter content ideas include:

  • Job postings
  • Anniversaries or milestones
  • Top 10 lists
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Recommendations
  • Surveys
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Employee profiles
  • Employee stories
  • Team spotlights
  • Contests
  • User-submitted content
  • Recent articles about your company
  • Business changes
  • Events
  • Departmental updates
  • Advice column
  • FAQ
  • Big wins
  • Training opportunities
  • Free resources
  • Reminders
  • Competitor News
  • New hire profiles
  • Customer stories
  • Positive reviews
  • Social media mentions

How to improve employee newsletter open rates and drive engagement

What makes Poppulo an effective program for creating a newsletter?

Poppulo is an all-in-one service to help create your company newsletter as it provides:

Easy to use templates – Poppulo’s professionally designed templates are ideal for providing your newsletters with an effective layout that will command audience attention and help bring your brand and message to life with maximum impact.

Real-time analytics – Poppulo’s analytics provide you with a straightforward method of measuring the impact of your company’s newsletter, by offering insight into how your readers are responding to it. With this information at hand, you can determine how effective your current approach is, and decide if any changes need to be made to your newsletter’s content or design.

Mobile App – Poppulo’s Mobile App offers an easy way to keep readers up to date with your latest newsletters, or any other content you may be putting out. Creating newsletters that are mobile-friendly and interactive will make it simple for readers to connect with your content through the use of the app.

Personal Interaction - Poppulo offers the opportunity to make your newsletters interactive and opens the door to two-way communication by making it possible to incorporate pulse surveys and polls for your readers to respond to.

Key Takeaway

To create a successful newsletter, there are a number of factors you must take into consideration. To begin with, it is vital that you are clear about the type of content you want to include in your newsletter and then stick to this type of content with each new edition you create.

You must also learn to keep to a consistent delivery schedule and ensure that every company newsletter sent out has a professional and clear layout. By putting out high-quality newsletters, you provide your readers with the opportunity to obtain all the news they require without having their inboxes inundated with numerous messages and emails.

When creating your newsletter, it's important you work hard to ensure it is not only visually appealing but that it effectively communicates your brand’s ideas and messages. Most importantly, always keep in mind that the overall goal is to succeed in creating a newsletter that your readers look forward to receiving.

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