Tips for standout internal newsletters
To increase employee engagement and open rates in a monthly newsletter to roughly 1,700 University Services employees, University Relations internal communicators recently tried out Axios’ Smart Brevity approach (this video series goes more in depth).
Get to the gist
- Familiar details dilute messages and distract from important information. Focus on what’s surprising or new to show your email isn't a waste of your reader’s time.
- Pick “1 Big Thing” and place it at the top of your message.
- Email greetings are often too long. Use a sentence or two and then get into the main point of the email.
- Bullets make your message easily scannable.
- Following a consistent format helps readers know what to expect.
Check out these apples
Since launching this format in May 2022, the emails have a 62% open rate and 6.56% click rate on average. In addition:
- The majority of respondents to a survey preferred the Axios-style format compared to the previous format.
- Some of the most clicked links were in the third or fourth item listed, which demonstrates people are scrolling further than the first few sentences.
Attention-grabbing email subjects beat generic, repetitive ones
- Become a flu-fighter!
- Get the best benefits for your buck!
Don’t fear puns, alliteration, or rhyming words when they make sense
- It doesn't get "cheddar" than this.
“Cheese” wisely! Visit the Meat and Dairy Salesroom from 2-5 p.m. on Wednesdays to buy a variety of U of M-made cheeses, ice creams, and frozen yogurt located on the main floor of the Andrew Boss Lab of Meat Science.
What makes the narwhal, a type of whale with a unique spiral tusk that lives exclusively near the Arctic Circle, so special? Find out at the Smithsonian’s Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend exhibit at the Bell Museum through January 8.
Keep it regular
Include 1 Big Thing, a fun fact, closing thoughts, and don't include more than five items.
- 1 Big Thing: Get to antibody-building!
Don’t let the flu sneak up on you! It’s the best time of year to get your annual flu vaccine. Make a flu shot appointment today at Boynton.
- Did you know?
The University’s Locksmith Shop manages more than 200,000 keys! They certainly open a lot of doors.
Don’t freak out—link out
Provide key details and use links to supplement the rest. People who want to learn more about a subject will click on them.
If you have any questions about making your internal emails stand out, reach out to the UR Internal Communications team at email@example.com.