How to create an effective newsletter

Following on from last week’s guest blog on how to ensure you get yourself a hit, this week we’re focusing on the best way to keep your fans up to date with news, gigs and releases – the newsletter.

behyped.com has named email marketing as the most effective way to establish a link with fans – the value of keeping your followers up to date cannot, and should not, be underestimated.

But how do you make your newsletter stand out from ‘inbox clutter’, and ensure that it doesn’t get put in the file marked ‘delete’? Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of updating your fans.

  • Use a proper management system – Why make it harder for yourself? A newsletter/email management system, like the one Zimbalam offers, will make it much easier for you to write your newsletter. You can import contacts, choose from four languages, pick a template and add videos and other elements. Then all you have to do is what you do best: make more great music, then tell your fans about it.

  • Personal greetings and subject – Studies show that if you make the greeting in the subject line personal, then people are more likely to open and read what you have to say. So give your newsletter the personal touch and tell ‘Bob, news from our tour!’ Once they’re in, make it visualy appealing. No one wants to read a page of text, so make it colourful, with good headers and easy-to-read font.
  • Don’t go for the hard sell first – Your fans want to feel like you value them, not like you’re just using them to boost sales. The main point of a newsletter is for you to communicate with people and tell them what you’ve been up to. Whether its the new music you’ve been writing or a funny story from tour, let them know what you’ve been doing since you last checked in. Requests to download music (which come later) are not enough.
  • Send Regularly – Don’t keep your followers guessing as to when your news will come through, and find the balance between too little, and too much, information. Judge from your fans how often this means – if you’re signed up to Zimbalam backstage you can view click rates and other statistics of your newsletter, and see the interests of your subscribers.
  • Write about fresh news only – Don’t re-tell people what they already know. Alert newsletter subscribers about just-written songs, recent radio plays, gigs you’ve just done or mentions in magazines that have just come out.
  • Build value – To add significance to your newsletter and ensure that your subscribers stay subscribed, give them something that they can’t get from your facebook, twitter, blog or website. This could be a story thats not online, or a free track every so often – whatever you decide make sure it can’t be found anywhere else. If you’re signed up to Zimbalam backstage, you could even add a video of your free new track in your newsletter.

  • Close with Call To Action – After everything else is covered,  Then comes the part when you can ask your fans to buy your music and come to your gigs. However, telling them what’s going on isn’t enough. Offer up links to where they can buy songs and tickets to make it easy for them, and you.
  • Finally… Don’t forgetto put links to all your sites and social media, have a subscribe/unsubscribe option and have your contact details and copyright information at the end of the page/s. Secondly, don’t forget to check spelling! It seems silly, but rather that than the embarrasment of a fan emailing to tell you you’ve misspelt your band name. And last but not least – think about who you are sending this too – is it really necessary to send your fans in Germany all your news about the UK and links to gigs in Devon? The fan connect feature on Zimbalam backstage allows you to send your newsletter to specific groups of your contacts.

To sign up and get all the features that Zimbalam backstage offers – go to www.zimbalam.co.uk/join

This post is by Believe Digital/Zimbalam Social Media intern and blogger Jess Boyer @jessroseboyer

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