A simple template for writing a regular newsletter

In this article I will show you how a simple template can make writing a regular newsletter easy.

Most good musicians understand the value of having a regular email newsletter but many find it hard. What do you write about? How long should it be? How often do I need to send it? Do I really have to write stuff? These, and many other valid questions stand in the way of musicians doing something really important, communicating with their best fans. And believe me, if you do it right, your email list will be your best fans.

Is email worth it?

Some people question the value of email lists and writing a regular newsletter in the age of social media but here’s the thing. Email marketing isn’t dead. Emails are THE way to talk to your most engaged fans. People look at social media and paid ads as the most powerful ways to find fans but every one of those platforms is owned by somebody else. Facebook could turn around tomorrow and totally change how businesses promote on Facebook. Remember MySpace? That didn’t end well for the millions of musicians who saw their entire fanbase disappear almost instantly. It can happen.

“You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.”

Campaign Monitor

With email marketing, you own a database. You own your list of fans and customers. You can talk and communicate with them however you want. With cheap software like Active Campaign, you can automate how often you talk to people and convert them into fans.

Finally, fans READ emails. If you’re worried about spam, just think about what spam is. Unwarranted and unwanted, non-helpful and invasive emails. Are you planning on sending those types of emails? I hope not. If you’re worried about people opening their email, give them value. Think about how much value you want to send to your list and deliver that. They’ll read it.

A message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook.

Radicati

What’s stopping you

Fear of starting

When people have a small list, 4 or 5 people, they don’t want to start mailing to such a small number. For some reason they think it’s embarrassing or a waste of time.

In fact, you NEED to start early and get your message out there as soon as you can. If you don’t, two things are going to happen. First your list is going to forget who you are. If you decide to wait to email them until you’ve got 100 people on your list, the original subscribers will have long forgotten about you. When you do email them, you’re never going to get a return from them. Next, the reasons to start are never going to be compelling enough and you’ll never start. Is 100 people enough? 1000? If you’re unsure of what to do now, why would you be any better in 96 subscribers time?

Bite the bullet and start talking to your list now. Learn from your mistakes early and grow your database. Your list doesn’t know there’s only 4 people on it. Start talking to them now and get used to the process.

Not knowing what to write.

The fact is that there is an endless list of things you can write about. The problem with endless lists is that you never quite know where to start, so most times you don’t. What you need is a formula or template to stick to so that writing a regular newsletter becomes an easy task. Here’s one you can easily copy and modify to suit yourself. It’s a template I call the “C.I.A.” method. I’ll include a PDF form you can download and use for yourself below.

The C.I.A. Method

C is for Connect

You should always start your email by trying to make a connection with your reader. It might involve telling them something about yourself, your recent activities, your family, it doesn’t really matter what. Keep it simple and honest. You are looking to connect and engage with the reader on a personal level. Keep it cheerful and happy. Make people feel glad they opened it. Importantly, personalise your emails by including the readers name in the introduction. “Hi Mary” is so much nicer than “Dear recipient”. All good email list hosts have this feature.

I is for Inform

The middle segment of your newsletter should be informative. Say you have a special gig coming up or the launch of a new single, this is the place to promote it. Don’t be lazy and just add a list of all your gigs. Pick out one and talk about it. Tell the reader how you’re looking forward to playing there. Be specific. You can include a link to your full gig guide at the end as well. Keep it to no more than about three paragraphs. If people need more detail, send them to a more comprehensive article on your website.

A is for Action

In marketing terms a “call to action” means asking the reader to do something. It might be to buy your latest album, follow you on Facebook, or buy a ticket to your gig. Whichever one you pick, make sure your email finishes with a clear call to action. It is also important to only include one call to action in each email. Don’t do the old “join my Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, etc” thing. Pick one each time and promote that.

By following those three steps you should have no trouble coming up with enough content for writing a regular newsletter. Actually, you’ll probably have the opposite problem now, deciding what to leave out! That’s a much better problem to have.

Including a call to action button instead of a text link can increase conversion rates by as much as 28%.

Campaign Monitor

Do’s and don’t’s

Here’s a few do’s and don’t that will make the task easier. I will include them on the worksheet download below.

  • Do spend the time to write an engaging subject for your email. Ask yourself what would make people want to open it.
  • Do include personalisation in your emails.
  • Don’t send emails that are long. Each of the three sections need only be 2 or 3 paragraphs long.
  • Don’t just sell. Be personal and informative.
  • Don’t use every font and colour available. Stick to no more than two fonts and a simple colour scheme.

That’s really all you need to get started on your journey with writing a regular email newsletter. The benefits will grow over time like a snowball if you are diligent and patient.

I’ve included a downloadable PDF worksheet and checklist to help you along your way. Please feel free to tweak it to suit your needs. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions at all. If this is something you’d like help with then please get in touch.

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