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on February 28, 2018 Internal Communications Employee Engagement Newsletters Messaging Tools

Five Subject Line Tips for Your Company Newsletter

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More than 225 billion emails are sent each day, and that number is expected to increase to about 246 billion in 2019.

As inboxes grow more crowded, the competition for attention is intensifying. You’re going to have to craft better subject lines if you want your email to get clicks.

After all, a subject line is essentially the first impression of an email. And first impressions are important. In fact, 47 percent of email recipients say they decide whether or not to open an email based on subject line alone.

Of course, email marketers know this. There are several ebooks, courses and how-to guides built specifically to help external communicators compose the perfect subject line to drive engagement to their email newsletter.

But often, internal communication departments don’t have the time or resources to develop fitting subject lines for their company newsletter. Although IC teams are perfectly capable communicators, they might be spread thin and occupied with other tasks.

Honestly, deciding that subject lines are something that IC teams should prioritize is half the battle. Often, something like “Company News Update” is slapped on as the subject line in the last minute.

Click here to read: Three reasons why you should pay attention to employee engagement analytics

Here are five subject lines tips that will generate more engagement with your company newsletter.


Instead of sending the same subject line to your entire employee population, personalize your message. Targeted subject lines establish a stronger connection with your intended audience — and, can get more employees to click on your newsletter.  

Specific information is always more intriguing than a vague information with a company-wide interest. Remember — your employee has a job to do. Before they engage with the company newsletter, they’re going to want to know: “How is this information relevant to me?”

Ideally, we would recommend sending different content via segmented email lists to reach each of your departments independently. But, if you don’t have the time — or the bandwidth — to create separate newsletters, at least customize the subject-line so that it feels unique to each department.

One last tip: most email software will let you automate your newsletter with the first name (or other property) of each recipient. Automate the greeting of your company newsletter and address your employees as individuals. See how you can use backstitch to personalize your company newsletters.

Tease the most interesting information

Instead of just saying “Company Update”,  try including a teaser of the most important information that will be found in your company newsletter.

(Hint: this ideation process will be easier once you’ve segmented your email list by department and personalized your newsletter. Different departments and management levels might find different information interesting. See step 1.😀)

But, don’t give away too much information away that they don’t bother clicking on the company update. The purpose of the subject line should be to get your employees curious about what information you have to share with them, prompting higher levels of email engagement.


Incorporate urgency in your subject lines.

Do you have a holiday party coming up, or, open enrollment in company benefits? An upcoming, company-wide wellness challenge? Is there a deadline looming to sign up for your organization’s next volunteer opportunity?

Such timely updates are messages that you won’t want to omit from your subject line. Try saying something like: “Only 5 days left to sign up” or, “Volunteer event next weekend (Details!)”


To ensure that it can be read on all devices, email subject lines should be kept under 50 characters.

Although it may be tempting to get wordy, try and keep it concise! Short and snappy subject lines are less overwhelming to read and can attract more newsletter clicks.

Conversational tone

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that your subject line adopts a conversational, casual tone. This will make you seem more approachable and can establish a stronger connection between internal communications teams and their larger audience.

To do this, feel free to include: contractions, emojis, exclamation points, puns, and more — whatever feels the most natural to you and your company brand.

Try and write your subject line as if you are sending a message to a friend. The point is to exude warmth and for your subject line to stand out amongst the gaggle of boring, impersonal emails already in your employees’ inbox.

Learn more about how backstitch can revamp your company newsletter

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Meghan LeVota

Content Strategist at backstitch