How to Structure Your Email Newsletters (Clint Watson)

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How to Structure Your Email Newsletters

In our last article about email marketing, we looked at what type of content you should send. In this post, let's look more specifically at the right way to structure your email newsletters:

Use your real name as the from address.

The "from" address is the most important field in an email newsletter and it determines, more than anything else, if your email will be opened and read. People open emails from people they know or follow. They often ignore emails from "brands." So use your name in the from address, not the name of a newsletter, brand or studio. If you sign up for my newsletter the from address of "Clint Watson" is better than "Thoughts on Art, Wine and Life." As an artist, you have a huge advantage here in that you can use your actual name instead of a brand name.

Make the subject line clear, compelling, and actionable.

A subject line of "Please vote for my painting in the BoldBrush Art Contest" is much better than "Check out my art."

Use a different subject line for each email.

Please don't use subject lines like "Newsletter #4" or "Winter Update from my studio." Take the time to craft a unique (and compelling) subject line for each newsletter.

Write like you talk.

Even if it's not grammatically correct. Breaking. Grammatical. Rules. For. Effect. Works!

Keep the formatting simple.
The more it looks like a personal email from you, the better. The less it looks like an ad or newsletter the better. Match the method to the medium. Don't add a header or a title bar. Don't cover a bunch of subjects or try to make it look "slick." Make it look like a personal email.

Use a white background with black text.
We recommend you stick to a white background with black text. If you must have a header, keep it very simple. Don't use banners or crazy borders. Don't use wild colors, and don't go overboard trying to make it match your website.

Only one goal and one Call to Action (CTA) per email.

Examples of Calls to Action: "See my latest artwork", "Read my latest post", "Receive an invite to my next show", "Register for my Italy workshop." If you wanted to communicate the four ideas above to your fans, then you would need four separate emails. Don't try to cover four ideas in one email with four sections.

Make calls to action obvious.

Put your calls to action on a separate line in your newsletter. Preferably as a large, clickable button.

Make most calls to actions "micro-commitments."

Micro-commitments are actions that you ask your subscribers to take that require very little effort or commitment from them. Here are some examples of "micro-commitments: Replying to your newsletter, sharing a page, taking a (short) survey, viewing your art - those are micro-commitments. Asking for a purchase is a major commitment.

Occasionally ask for a big commitment.

Send a minimum of three newsletters asking for a micro-commitment before you ask for a big commitment which, typically, is asking your followers to purchase something. So your pattern will look like this: Micro-commitment, micro-commitment, micro-commitment,...ask for purchase. Gary Vee calls this Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Getting people used to you asking for small commitments prepares them for you asking for a sale.

Link everything to the same CTA page.

All links in the newsletter should go to the same place - whatever page contains the action you are asking your subscribers to take. This means link all images to the same page, links in the text should go to the same page and your button should go to the same page. There is room for exceptions on this rule, it's more of a rule of thumb.

Keep each email fairly short.
Think of each email as a movie trailer, you want to entice your subscribers to go see the movie - your website, to learn more.

Write for skimmers.

Make the first sentence of your email attention-grabbing and short.

Ensure each paragraph consists of three sentences maximum.

One point or thought = one sentence.

Bold important words to direct the reader's focus.

Use "you" in your emails so they feel personal.

Use a PS

A post script (PS) is one of the main places subscribers read. Put your big ideas in the subject line and the PS.

Here are some ways you can utilize your PS:

1. Use it to remind your subscribers of the call to action in the email.

2. Use it to build anticipation for your next email.

3. Use it to get your subscribers thinking by raising questions in your emails. Rhetorical questions, for example, are a great way to engage your subscribers and get them to reply

Use alt tags and captions on your images.

You want every image to have an alt-tag so that something meaningful appears in that spot for the significant number of subscribers who have images disabled. You should also use captions under images, especially under your artwork images. What's great with FASO's ArtfulMail solution compared to stand-alone alternatives like Mailchimp is that with ArtfulMail, your art portfolio is already integrated from your FASO site and we can automatically add the Alt tags and captions for you, which we do.

Preview every email by sending it to yourself.

This should be obvious, but before sending a newsletter to your valuable subscribers, send it to yourself first to be sure it looks and reads well. All email newsletter sending software has a "send test" option.

Until next time, please remember that Fortune Favors the Bold Brush.


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Clint Watson

BoldBrush & FASO Founder / Art Fanatic

PS - If you're looking for new ways that you can market and sell your art, click here to sign up for your free FASO trial today. Try us free for 30 days and find out for yourself why 15,000 artists have entrusted FASO with their website.

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