Join Bobby Owsinski for an in-depth discussion in this video The elements of an artist newsletter, part of Mailing List Management for Musicians and Bands.
There is a lot of thought that goes into creating a newsletter. If your title doesn't attract attention the email might not get opened. If the content is weak the next one might not get opened or worse yet, the person could unsubscribe. You can have a great offer that no one acts on because it was presented poorly or visually buried. You don't want any of that to happen. So, let's take a look at the elements of a great newsletter. The subject line is extremely important, because if done well it entices the person that receives it to actually open it. Remember, that we live in a world of spam, and people get so much email everyday that if the title doesn't immediately register with them as important.
It's in the trash. That's why it's important to keep your subject line to 55 characters or less. Most email programs cut the subject line off after that many, so keep your subject line short, to the point, five of six words is about the max. Try not to use predictable phrases, subject lines will say something like, come to our show or our new CD is out are to boring, if it's boring, people won't open it or read it, and worst of all they won't come to your show. Always avoid scam words in the subject line like Free and Help. These will end your message in the junk box a great percentage of the time.
Above all don't use something like Hey or Yo alone in the subject line. This has spam written all over it and chances are your open rate is going to be near zero. Put some thought into the subject line and you'll be rewarded with the high open rate. Also remember that using a first name in the subject line grabs attention, something like this. Most ESPs will allow this as long as you've connected the first names in your sign-up form. Testing shows that the response rates go up 50 to 70 percent or more when first name is included. As in the subject line, first names get attention, so try to use the first name of each person you send a newsletter to.
That's why it's also better if you can at least collect the subscriber's first name on the sign up form. If you have a large number of email addresses without a name, it's probably better to send a separate version of the email to them without a salutation at all. And avoid something that's too generic like Dear subscriber, which degrades any personal impact that the newsletter might otherwise have. Something like Greetings from beautiful down town Burbank or whatever your city is, is a good catchall that seems personal, even if you don't have a subscribers name. Here's an example of one of my newsletters and what I use is Happy Summertime.
Because a great number of the people on my email list didn't provide their first names. The copy is the body of your email that most of the text resides. Check out the video on crafting your copy for tips on what to do. A call to action is a section where you ask the recipient to do something. Every newsletter should have one, otherwise you're missing an opportunity where you have the reader focused only on you. We'll discuss this element in depth in another video. In this case, here's a call to action in this particular newsletter. Even though you're communicating with an email, social media is still important.
Each newsletter should also include links or icons to your social site, so people who aren't yet following you can easily do so, as well as having sharing functions embedded. This allows people to tweet, and add your news to their Facebook status. Do this, and you've just multiplied your audience. Make sure to include all of your info on your signature. If people want to contact you, they shouldn't have to go through a game of hide and seek to find out how. The very minimum that you should include is: your website address, your email address, your Facebook page address, your Twitter address, and your YouTube channel address.
Get more music marketing tips from Bobby in Website Management for Musicians and Bands and Facebook for Musicians and Bands.
- Why your mailing list is so important
- Choosing a mailing list service
- Creating lists
- Importing email addresses
- Deciding on a subscription strategy
- Designing the newsletter
- Crafting your copy
- Using templates
- Getting fans to respond to your newsletter