This guest blog by digital PR expert and author Ariel Hyatt originally appeared on her SoundAdvice blog on February 13, 2012. Ariel is a thought leader in the digital PR world: the founder of a successful PR firm; international speaker & educator and the author of two books on social media and marketing for artists. Ariel’s Cyber PR® process marks the intersection of social media with engaged behavior, PR, and online Marketing.
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.
Image 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.