Some basic strategies for effective email communications
With the arrival of email, sending out communications about your projects couldn’t be any easier. Now commonplace and long accepted as a norm within the arts community, email is fast, easy, and cost-effective. But it’s not without it’s challenges. Getting your reader to open your message and read it is more difficult than you may imagine. Some strategies include
- Sending good emails
- Sending updates regularly
- Using software to manage your list
Sending good emails using the three C’s.
Start here and try to create a balance of all three and also incorporate our list of email best practices.
Now is not the time to use academic language, art lingo, and big words. Make it easy to understand. Try to steer clear of highly technical wording.
People aren’t going to read your email like a their favorite novel. They’re going to skim it. Make your message as long as it needs to be and no longer. You can always link out to more information.
People like stories, background, narrative, and personality! Why is this email important now? What makes me want to read more? Show your passion for the topic.
Be conscious of the volume of email you send out per month. Too many emails have a similar effect on people and will inevitably turn them off. Only you can determine how many emails to send out each month, but feel free to condense recent news and upcoming projects, rather than sending out one email for each item.
When to Send Out an Email Blast
The general rule of thumb is Tuesday to Thursday in the mornings. Research has shown that many people don’t pay close attention to emails received on other days. Monday emails get buried in inboxes, especially inboxes at work, along with dozens, if not hundreds, of other emails. Friday, Saturdays, or Sundays emails are usually ignored as people are focused on the weekends.
What Is Email Worthy?
Any event could be considered fair game, including upcoming exhibitions, performances, readings, screenings, publications, new writings on your blog, etc.
In his book Here Comes Everybody, author Clay Shirky notes that news to traditional newspapers has meant two different kinds of things:
- events that are newsworthy
- events that are covered by the press
Think about using the former- events that are newsworthy as a rule of thumb for email communications
Ask yourself the following question. Is my announcement concerning an event that others can participate in some way (in the biggest sense of the word)? Exhibitions and performances are activities people can attend, buy tickets to, or consume as interested audience members. If people can’t participate in some way, why tell them about it?
What Information to Include
It’s pretty simple, just think: who, what, when, where, how and why. Keep the content of your email short and sweet. For events, provide the name and a description of the event, date, venue, street address, contact information, web site address, and directions to get there.
Include links to the venue, to where people can purchase tickets, and back to your personal website.
Image attachments make for a more compelling communication, but don’t overdo it – you can always link out to more. 3rd party email marketing services make this much simpler and keep the your email from becoming gigantic, taking forever to download.
Your subject line is a headline. It should be as clear and informative as possible. Think again: who, what, when, where, how and why. Here’s a good example : Jane Artist: New Paintings at GALLERY opens Friday
Include a block of text (automatically!) that contains your name, address, phone number, email address, and website address. Sometimes is also contains a pithy quote, a current or upcoming event, a disclaimer, or other bit of information. Signatures are great because they not only provide people easy access to your contact information, but also a live link back to your website. And you want to drive people back to your site at every possible opportunity.
To set up an email signature, see the preferences section of your email software. Here’s an example of a signature:
72 Berry St. Brooklyn, NY 11211
Eric Heist, Director
Michael Waugh, Assistant Director