Every time I mention how essential it is for artists to send out routine, preferably monthly, newsletters, I’m guaranteed to hear two big complaints in response:
Sound familiar? No problem! You’re going to love this article!
First, let’s go over five tips that will make creating a newsletter more enjoyable for you and reading your newsletter more memorable for your subscribers.
1. Load up on pictures. This is obvious, right? I mean, your subscribers want to keep in touch with you because they love your artwork and they’re interested in you and your life. So, show it to them with pictures! Feel free to use a lot of the same images you’re using on social media in your newsletters.
2. Make it brief, if that’s all you’ve got. Nobody wants to read a lot of fluff, so never feel like you have to manufacture content for your newsletters. However, you can always find something to write about, and if you’re totally stumped, see the list of suggestions below. It’s okay for some issues to be shorter than others, and if you really struggle with finding news for your monthly newsletter, consider dropping down to a once-every-other-month or even quarterly publishing cycle.
3. Keep it personal. An artist’s newsletter is not a formal thing. In fact, those that are written in a casual, conversational style are always the most enjoyable. When you sit down to write, imagine that you’re writing a note to a specific friend. Adopt that mindset, and whatever you write should be just fine. And if you really lack confidence in your writing abilities, consider using a free online tool like grammarly.com for editing help.
4. Be helpful and informative. Subscribers have requested your newsletter because they hope to get something out of it. Naturally, the thing they want most is to see your newest creations. But if you can find other ways to be helpful and informative, by all means, do it. Invite them to events, teach them something about art, recommend something you think they’d enjoy… you get the picture.
5. End with a call-to-action. At the end of every newsletter, always ask your readers to do something, to act on what they’ve just read. Ask them to contact you if they want to buy the new artwork you’ve just revealed, or to pre-order the coffee table book you’re publishing, or to enroll in your new online painting class. If nothing else, ask them to pick one friend who likes art and forward your newsletter on to that person.
Okay, then. Now that you’ve wrapped your head around the qualities of the ideal newsletter, let’s get writing. Here’s a handy list of ideas:
- Announcements of recent accomplishments, such as events you’ve recently participated in or are going to participate in, awards you’ve just won, media exposure you’ve just received, and so on
- Invitations to upcoming events that your subscribers can attend, including the details, ticket info, and links to the event’s site
- Work in progress shared through both pictures and words, including an explanation of why this work is meaningful and fun for you and perhaps even what’s been challenging for you
- A big reveal… of never-seen-before work, a new workshop just added to your roster, etc.
- Stories about your life as an artist, whether they’re thought-provoking, interesting, inspirational, or simply funny
- Favorite quotes and other things you find inspiring combined with an explanation of what they mean to you
- Recommendations of books, movies, and more about art… or even not necessarily about art but that you found meaningful and inspiring
- Tips, demos and other how-to’s, again shown through words and pictures, because even the non-artists among your subscribers appreciate learning about the art-making process
Is a monthly newsletter really worth it? I say yes. It’s hard to determine the exact return on the investment you make in publishing these monthly missives, but it’s certainly one of the most targeted ways to reach your base of fans and followers. Unlike social media, newsletters go straight to your subscribers’ inboxes. And if even 25% of the receivers open your message, you’re doing great. So again, in my opinion, a newsletter is a worthwhile marketing tool. And with a little extra finesse, your subscribers will look forward to receiving and opening them!
Now it's your turn. Please share your favorite idea for content for an artist's newsletter in the comment box. Let's connect!