A lot of internal emails we come across lack the fundamentals of clarity, consistency and a mobile-friendly approach -- and that’s a problem. But we get it - you’re busy and Outlook was never designed to send internal emails, especially for the breadth of information you need to communicate. Unfortunately after you read this, those excuses aren’t going to cut it anymore. 😉
Using standardized email templates will not only help your message be understood but also make sending internal emails easier. Besides the immediate benefits, these templates will make other departments and stakeholders come to you because it’s clear you own this channel.
We’ll be going over the five core email templates every internal communicator like yourself should have in your comms tool box to help you communicate in a clear, impactful and efficient way.
Our criteria for these five templates:
- Must compete for attention with all other messages employees receive
- Communicate the intent, relevance and urgency of each message.
- Maintain a cohesive design (feel like they originated from the same sender).
- Work across a range of mobile devices employees are using.
By replacing brand colors and logo in these templates with your own branding, you'll start to see how these can work for your organization.
It's also important to note that the use of templates for various topics depends on the roles you have at your organization and how it's set up. These templates make the most sense for communicators responsible for all the message that get sent out internally.
The Core Internal Email Templates
Internal email newsletters cover the broadest content and are the most flexible type of emails. This makes newsletters especially powerful and all the more reason to nail down the format, so every time you send a new communication out to employees, they can easily consume the information in the message.
Purpose: Newsletters are the roundup of news and inner happenings at your organization. Generally, this information is not immediate news that employees must act on right away. This email template is meant to inform, entertain, recap and are sent on a regular basis (weekly, monthly).
Types of emails this template is good for: Company-wide news, news from specific departments, employee stories, event recaps, awards and contests, interviews, articles, etc.
Why we’re excited about it: Depending on how employees access your stories, you can include as much or as little of the actual written content in this design -- the feature image and story grab attention and the organized blocks keep eyes moving down the page.
Key elements: Feature image, main story, image and call to action for each article.
Alerts are one-off messages sent to communicate a single piece of pertinent information quickly. Because these messages are of high importance they need to be as clear and easy to digest as possible. This heavily relies on a clean template, with little to distract the reader from the central message of the email. Use this template to create specific branded messages for departmental updates from IT and HR.
Purpose: This email communicates important information in the clearest way possible.
Types of emails this template is good for: Safety alerts, codes, IT issues, one-off messages with an immediate action required.
Why we’re excited about it: This format is clean, straight to the point, and communicates an important message quickly. With the help of bold color, whitespace, a headline, and consistent iconography, it’s the kind of email that calls for an action to be taken and information to be read -- there is a sense of urgency to the message.
Key elements: Consistent icons, bold color, concise headline.
Organizational announcements communicate information that is important enough to be separated from your newsletter but is not critical enough for an alert. This template borrows ideas from other alert emails: focusing on a single message, with a title and header that provides clarity.
Purpose: This email template is well suited for complex and important topics that your organization communicates, and those that need to come from the organization rather than an individual.
Types of emails this template is good for: Organizational changes (i.e. mergers, acquisitions), policy updates and crisis communications.
Why we’re excited about it: This template provides a vessel for more complex, non-immediate messages (whether positive or negative) that need to be communicated in a way that doesn’t compete with any other headlines or information.
Key elements: Informative title, concise summary, call to action.
The personal update is similar in many respects to the organizational update, however, this template should be used for updates coming from a specific individual in your organization.
Purpose: This format borrows elements from the organizational update, differentiating itself by attaching a face and name to the content and omitting the call to action.
Types of emails this template is good for: Leadership updates, big wins, mission and vision, and key messages from specific individuals.
Why we’re excited about it: This template leverages the advantages of getting personal and humanizing your leaders by adding elements that make it feel like a one-to-one letter.
Key elements: Photo of individual the update is from (leader, ceo, manager, stakeholder), blockquote from the message, name of individual, signature.
Event invitations need to be both exciting and informative -- our template accomplishes both.
Purpose: To generate excitement and communicate details of an upcoming event happening at your organization.
Types of emails this template is good for: Event invitations, save the date notices, reminders to RSVP (add to calendar).
Why we’re excited about it: Events don’t always get the special treatment they deserve or need -- that's where this email template comes in. It uses elements from external emails and works for getting the message across in an aesthetically pleasing way that also stands out from other corporate messages.
Key elements: Calendar icon with month and date, brief description of event, specific details, RSVP/add to calendar button, stand-out feature image.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be going over these email templates in greater detail, unpacking why they work, and looking at examples of how to apply them to your internal communications.
By joining our half-hour webinar on designing really good email templates you'll get access to the free downloadable HTML versions of these templates for you to add to your toolbox for Outlook.
Our templates are a starting point and that’s where your organization’s unique identity, our email designer and Bananatag’s engagement data comes in. The templates are easily adaptable to cover whatever communications you need to send.
We’re always looking to improve and find ways to make communicator's jobs easier; if there’s anything you think we should add or change to these templates, we’d love to hear about it below!