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Tuesday
Mar062012

5 Critical Things To Add To Your Monthly Newsletter

So – as you know I am a newsletter evangelist!

I believe it is the NUMBER ONE thing that will help you create a career in the music industry; communicating with your fan base regularly and consistently. 

If you do not already have a schedule mapped out for sending your newsletters – get your calendar out NOW and pencil in 12 dates – 1X per month (I suggest you send your newsletter 2X per month but start with once a month and grow from there). 

Studies show that the best days to send newsletters (for the highest open rates) are Wednesdays and Thursday so make sure to send them out mid week.

 

(Courtesy of Mail Chimp)

Here are 5 critical things to keep in mind as you are crafting your newsletters:

1. Keep Your Subject Line to 55 Characters

Most e-mail programs cut off the subject line after  55 and 60 characters, so keep your subject line short and sweet, and to the point; five to six words max.

2. Get Personal

Saying something personal brings you closer to your fan base.  So share a photo of something you love (your pet, your kids, your friends), or something fun and non-music related you did recently like a vacation.

3. You Don’t Have To Have A Show To Send A Newsletter

How about just inviting everyone on your newsletter out for drinks evening, or to join you for a show, or share something fun that you’ve done recently; again, or maybe you just purchased a new album and you love it, and you want to talk about it.

4. Mailing Address & Unsubscribe Link

Know that by law you need to put your mailing address and an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each of your newsletters.  If you are uncomfortable adding your home address, then open up a P.O. Box and use that.

5. First Names Get Attention

Use the first name of each person you send your newsletter out to.  The best way to get anyone’s attention is to include their first name in the subject line of an e-mail, something like this:

Hey Kevin! Summer News From the Darrin James Band.

It’s catchy, and it gets people’s attention immediately to the subject of your e-mail.  Any of the mailing list / newsletter management service that I love, including Bandletter, Fanbridge and Reverbnation can help you customize your e-mails so that your first names of your e-mail list appear in the subject line. Testing shows that the response rates will go up 50%-70% or more if you include first names.

Reader Comments (4)

...and be sure to attach email addresses in BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) mode because it drives nuts when one reveals all other addresses to the recipients, additionally making them vulnerable to frequent spambots.
Personally, I don't like when bands attach my email address to their mailing lists (vide: Fanbridge/Reverbnation services) without asking for my approval first
I also do believe an RSS feed is a way better method of delivering fast updates than emails (which can be marked as spam by malicious people so to make it hard for you to deliver any newsletters later).

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterNINa

Agreed on using a Blog with RSS feed vs emails. It's easy to stay informed of 30 bands/musicians or even a hundred, just scrolling through looking for changes or updates.

Doing the same thing from emails would flood my inbox, especially considering when also using for work activities, hobbies or personal communications.

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

zounds. the only thing i agree with here is #1. all the other things (except #4, which is innocuous enough that i don't even notice if it's there or not) make me stop reading newsletters from that person/band. don't send me a newsletter unless there's a good reason. don't put my name in the subject line -- that makes it look like spam. don't get personal, i just want to know about one or two music-related things, i don't really care about anything else. i would have thought one of these golden rules should be keep it brief...give me two things to read about and then leave me be.

but that's simply my opinion.

March 6 | Unregistered Commentergraydon

So what are your reasons for sending a newsletter? Be clear about that. Basically, you want to increase loyalty and ultimately your income. So if your newsletter results in lots of unsubscribes then change what you're doing. Tweak until you figure out what your fans like.

Eliza

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