Monday, November 30, 2009

What Do Fans Really Want in Your Newsletter

As an artist, there is no end to the number of social media outlets where you can send
updates to fans through. From Twitter, to Facebook, to MySpace, it’s hard to judge
which networks your fans pay attention to the most (let alone the time it takes to keep
info consistent across all of them!) Email newsletters are different because not only has
email consistently proven to be the most effective direct marketing channel to fans, but
email also offers artists the ability to better target each fan.

Writing effective email newsletters can be tricky though. So, I want to share some
thoughts on what makes a great email newsletter vs. a boring one that fans are going to
not pay attention to.

First, the most important thing, whether you are releasing a new song/album,
promoting an upcoming show, or just want to say hello to your fans, is to set a goal for
what you want fans to take away from your newsletter. In the marketing world we call
this a “Call to Action” and it basically means you've got you're fans attention for about
30 seconds (at best) so you want to make it as clear and obvious as possible what
exactly you want fans to do once their done reading your newsletter.

Examples of calls‐to‐action could be a link to iTunes to encourage fans to buy your new
single, a link to buy tickets to a show (even better if it is targeted to their area), or even
just a link to a YouTube video of your music that you want them to go watch. Your
newsletters call‐to‐action can be whatever you want it to be, but make sure you are
only putting in 1 or 2 so fans don't get confused – and ALWAYS be sure that you are
making it easy and obvious for the fan to understand the action you want them to take!
Now that you know you need one or two clear "Calls to Action" in your newsletter, it's
time to cover how you can encourage fans to read your whole newsletter, and thus
really get to know what it is you want them to know/do...

Effective email campaigns strike an important balance between text and visuals (ie.
photos, graphics, etc). Tons of boring text is going to lose the attention of your fans fast,
and an overwhelming collage of visuals may get their attention but really isn't going to
help you reinforce your "Calls to Action". As such, you need to find a happy medium
between text and visuals. Pictures from the road and links to videos express much more
than a block of text, and can be skimmed through quickly, which is good ‐ and when you
pair these kinds of visuals/links with text that gives context then your newsletter is sure
to be a winner!

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