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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Want to understand more about Email Marketing?

Earlier this month I was invited to speak to the Ellicott City Arts Coalition on Email Marketing. I've spent much of the last few years learning about this subject through research, practice, and testing what works and what doesn't work. 

Since a couple of other groups have also asked me to speak on this topic and other business of art topics, I decided it was time I put together a class.  In this case a short class was requested 

This was a one hour class that covered: 

  • The importance of newsletter marketing
  • The frequency of the newsletter
  • Content
  • Email newsletter Services
  • Branding you and your art
  • Getting a list 
  • Getting readers to subscribe
I have heard too many webinars or attended classes that spoke in such generalities it was difficult to get a grasp of what to do, so I included examples to help bring reality to the information.

This group is composed primarily of small business owners, so we didn't spend time discussing how their goals affect the content of their newsletter, but knowing your goals and having a plan for achieving these goals is an important element to determine what to include in your newsletter and what not to include.  If a subject won't help your goals, then don't waste your time including it.  Also consider your target audience: is it customers who have purchased from you, prospective customers, friends, gallery owners, the press? 

Be sure to focus on what your audience needs, not sales. Some say not more than 20% of your content should be sales oriented or you risk losing your readers. Pay attention to your open rate (the percentage of those who receive the newsletter open it) and click rate (the percentage of those who open the newsletter follow a link in the newsletter.) Obviously getting the newsletter opened and not deleted is the first goal. Since your readers must opt in they likely open the first few newsletter they receive, but do you retain them as readers? 

The average open rate for the arts and crafts industry is about 25%. I have managed to achieve 40 - 45%, but I pay a lot of attention to who opens the newsletter and what links do they click. When I see the open rate begin to decrease I evaluate what people are exploring further (i.e., which links do they follow) and which aren't of interest. As long as you pay attention and tailor your content to the audience, you will do well. 

If you feel you don't know what to talk about, there are lists available on a variety of blogs that provide suggestions. Tip: I've found that when things occur I immediately place them in my next newsletter as a reminder. A few days before publishing the newsletter I review the content removing what seems of lesser importance and refining what I decide to keep. 

My husband serves as my proof reader. His critique has improved my writing style so there are now fewer and fewer edits necessary. If you don't have a family member who can proof your writing, find someone. Thoughts from someone else can only help.  

Interested in receiving my newsletter? It is published twice a month and includes announcements about my latest art, exhibits, and how-to on the business of art. You can join for free by either:
  • Texting amrart to 22828  
And don't worry you can unsubscribe at any time if you decide its not for you.

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I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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