Increase your email open rates with these engaging content ideas

In today's digital workplace, employees are besieged by vast amounts of information. Here are some tips to break through the noise and deliver engaging emails.

Increase your email open rates

It’s no secret that we are bombarded with unprecedented volumes of information, both personally and professionally.  

  • In 2020, an estimated 306.4 billion emails were sent and received.
  • In 2021, 18.7 billion texts were sent worldwide every day. 
  • And for those weather buffs, it is said that 18,055,556 forecast inquiries happen every day.

With your employees receiving an extraordinary amount of information and pulled in many directions, internal communicators need to find a way to create engaging emails that break through the noise, share important company updates, and ensure content and change management stickiness. Read on to learn ways to spice up your content and increase email open rates.

  1. Celebrate your employees: Some of the most engaging content on our Firstup communications platform is authentic celebrations. Take time to share employee milestones, achievements, and celebrations with announcements and pictures of your employees. Pictures do truly say a thousand words. This content is especially helpful in a remote world so your employees can feel connected across the globe. However, it is also popular with deskless employees that are on the go or work different shifts. Celebrating employees via your emails allows all shifts to be a part of the celebration and feel more connected. Take time to share anniversaries, birthdays, awards, and more.
  2. Share your job openings: It’s no secret that employee referrals are the best way to find top candidates for your open positions. Including job openings in your email newsletters also provides visibility for employees to open positions and helps them envision growth and development within the company. When you share job openings with your employees, you are also showing that you encourage internal growth. Plus, job opens are easy content for email newsletters because you most likely already have a job posting to quickly link to. Job openings are a win-win-win for email newsletters with employee referrals, employee development, and quick and easy content.
  3. Celebrate people on the move: I love a good “People on the Move” newsletter. Whether on the Firstup mobile platform or in email format, when people get promotions and/or change organizations, this is the most popular content. Employees need to understand organizational changes so that they can better collaborate and work cross-functionally, but they also love to be in the know. Increase your click through rates by sharing where your people are moving to within the organization.
  4. Hold a contest: Everyone likes to win stuff; simple as that. Add contests to your newsletters – a scavenger hunt through the email or your modern intranet, a quiz from the last newsletter, or a company history/values question. If you don’t have a big budget for prizes, don’t worry. Do you have a swag shop or a wellness program where you can give away points? What about a free lunch or company sweatshirt?
  5. Write an advice column (text or video): Do you have a highly-esteemed leader that employees would love to learn from? Perhaps an authentic, engaging leader that writes about their favorite leadership tips. Or, if you have a doctor on staff, could people write in their wellness questions and the doctor answer them? Think through those leaders that you want to elevate but also have a charismatic personality to connect via asynchronous communication. Better yet, make it a video advice column and have them record a quick iPhone video each week.
  6. Spotlight your employees: Similar to recognizing employee anniversaries, consider spotlighting a new employee from a different department in each newsletter. This serves as recognition for the employee and also helps other employees get to know their colleagues and what each job and department does.
  7. Share your company calendar: We all love and want a vacation day or need to know about an upcoming company event. Share the upcoming calendar of holidays so people can schedule accordingly. Also, don’t forget about those important company functions that you want employees to attend like town halls or lunch and learns.
  8. Have leaders share their “favorite things”: Oprah’s Favorite Things list has always been very popular content for readers/viewers. Create your own leader “favorite things” by highlighting their favorite leadership books, movies, or recommended thought leadership articles.
  9. Share meeting recaps: On average, professionals are in 25.6 meetings a week, meaning they are bound to miss a meeting and/or forget key information shared at the meeting. Share meeting recaps in your newsletters, including the “top five takeaways” from the meeting, meeting slides, and a Zoom/Teams recording of the meeting.
  10. Have a change management corner: Change is hard for everyone and many times is resisted. To help with change management, share updates on large projects. Make it short and sweet – communicate the latest updates, the project timeline, or the reason for the change.

Breaking through the noise and ensuring your employees not only receive the information they need but also open and read it, can be difficult in today’s modern work world. However, by skipping the standard corporate emails of old and creating engaging, targeted email content that delivers useful, fun, and/or personal information can vastly improve your internal communications and in return, open rates. It creates a strong brand voice that employees will respond to, while increasing morale and engagement. And since engaged employees have higher productivity, job satisfaction, and retention rates, it all helps contribute to the growth of your business. 

Hopefully these 10 tips on increasing email open rates have given you a solid place to start next time you are crafting your next employee email!

Firstup can help you reach employees with relevant and engaging content, without the traditional hassles of email management. Take a look at how easy it is to create email that employees actually want to read; watch our 5 minute demo of of Firstup Email:

Related resources

Picture of Brittany Barhite

Brittany Barhite

Dr. Brittany Barhite is the Head of Employee Experience at Firstup. She has more than 16 years of experience in employee, leadership and external communications. Prior to Firstup, Brittany handled internal communications for a Fortune 500 company, overseeing employee and executive communications. Her experience and education provide a fresh internal communications approach that is focused on creative storytelling and transforming the employee digital experience.

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