With the advent of Mail Chimp, it is now both quick and easy to send a weekly newsletter. It really shouldn’t take you more than an hour to two hours maximum to shoot something visually delightful out to everyone you know! Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Make sure the subject in the email is not spammy – there is nothing worse than putting in all this time and effort in designing and creating content in a beautiful newsletter and then having little to no responses. Think of a few creative, clever subject titles and send them to a few different friends for feedback. Trust me, it is worth taking the time to check what people respond to best.
Good titles are clear, succinct and to the point. Definitely include your name, maybe the title of your new series of work or upcoming exhibition, maybe even just ‘From the Studio of…’ or ‘Studio News.’
2. Make a good balance between text and images – lets be honest. Not many people are really going to read through a long press release or even an incredibly long artist statement! Whilst you do indeed need some text, make sure to put in plenty of imagery too. After all, we are in a visceral field and people respond well to visuals. Pick 3 newsworthy items, write a brief text for each and put in pictures. There you go!
3. Use the same design/template every time for consistency – once you build up your lists and people begin to take more interest in your art, they will appreciate a similar background color and layout each time. It will become easy to read, they will know what to anticipate and, although you are NOT a brand in the same way a business is, having a distinct and consistent style does work.
What I mean is, everyone expects the same red and white from Coca Cola or the green and gold from Harrods. We like familiarity, so develop your color palette and patterns.
4. Use the Lists options in Mail Chimp to make sure you send a relevant version of your newsletter depending on the recipients – it is worth taking the time to create targeted newsletters (when you get to that stage). Create one personalized newsletter for buyers/collectors (show who you are, give studio insights and artwork updates/works in progress shots); create a separate one for press contacts (include press release, artist statement, previous press links, achievements and upcoming events).
Not every contact you have or have yet to make will be interested in exactly the same thing. Take the time to think what you want the recipient to know, how you want them to respond to you (write about you? feature you on their blog? buy something?)
5. Check the Reports – please, do not forget to go into Mail Chimp and click on Reports. It is always helpful to analyze the numbers. How many people clicked in to your website via the newsletter? How many opened it? Did anyone unsubscribe? Don’t stress yourself too much, but do try and learn from the reports to see which newsletters are most popular (then try and recreate them!)
Case Study: Jester Jacques Gallery
The Gallery always uses the same banners and the same format as seen below. With several targeted lists, they create different newsletters depending on who they are sending it out to.