Monday 26 November 2018

How to Write a Great Newsletter

  I'm not sure whether those of you who follow me on here know that I actually have a newsletter. It's a growing list of more than 200 people. It's a mix of Singapore-based and international subscribers. If you're interested to be a part of the list, you can sign up for it by clicking here.

  I'm constantly trying to learn how to be a better content-creator. I know that when I send out newsletters, I have to include things of value. For me, that's often inspiring photos of my art or my students' art works. Other times, it includes how-to's and tutorials.

  Recently, I read some very helpful articles on a site called "Emma".... From there, I learnt what I should and should NOT to include in my emails. And I thought to share what I'd learnt with you....

Titles Are Important
  Emma says to not use misleading titles- what you say in the subject line should describe what is within your email. Titles should NOT be one word only, nor should they be any longer than about twelve words. I think I'm pretty solid on this matter. I always take a moment to think about an interesting title that describes the email's content.   However, apparently, I'm not supposed to use any phrase with the word “free” in the subject line. This is a problem when I have free workshops.... I always thought it'd be a positive to mention that in the subject line, but supposedly a lot of email providers sort emails with certain keywords in their subject line into the spam folder. Think along the lines of "Guaranteed increase in size!" and "Limited time offer of natural cure to cancer!"... I can see their point.

  For a list of words that you should void, you can refer to this post:

Pre-header Text Are a Thing
  I actually didn't know this was a thing.... Preview text appears right after your subject line. It's usually the first sentence in your email. So you need to ensure that your first sentence will make people want to open your email. I'll definitely be using this nifty trick in my next newsletter.

No SHOUTING or Emojis
  I've never used all CAPS in an email to anyone, ever. So that's good. No emojis, too, they say. Reason being that not all devices can read emojis. So the person reading your email might just see a bunch of boxes... I'll stick to smiley faces. :)

Targetted Emails
  This is something I've never considered. I've never collected details of my subscribers' locations. I don't know how many of them are based locally in Singapore, and how many are international followers.... Emma says it'd be good to send targetted emails to my audience. So, for example, if I'm just talking about local classes, I might choose to not send that email to those subscribers living outside of Singapore. I'll need to sit and think about whether I'd want to find out that info, and how I'd go about collecting that info as well.

Your Subscribers Are Not Hostages
  Therefore you shouldn't make demands. Everything should be phrased as an opportunity for your subscribers, not a command. I'm sitting here, squinting... trying to recall if I've ever made a demand. Does "Sign up soon as slots are limited" sound like a demand? ... I think that doesn't sound so bad. What do you think?

Buttons are The Best
  Emma says that "Calls to Action" buttons can increase click-through rates by 28% compared to traditional hyperlinks. All of my links are traditional links, so I'm going to have to think about how I can change my work flow to include buttons in my newsletters...

One Thing at a Time, Please
  This is something I definitely am at fault for. I will be super excited to tell my subscribers about the hundred and one projects I have going on... and so I will try to include seven pictures, three links, and information about an up-coming class all in one email. hahaha. Apparently, too many choices causes people to not choose anything at all. So my solution is to split different things into different emails, that I will then send out on different days.

  And that about covers all that I've learnt. I hope that this condensed post taught you something for your own newsletters. If you are an artist/art teacher and have your own newsletter, I'd love to be a part of your subscriber list. So I am inviting you to leave a short note on who you are and a link to where I can subscribe to your newsletter in the comments section below. :)

  I hope you're having a great day so far. Much love until time.

Thursday 15 November 2018

it's been how long since I last posted??!

  It's been a hot minute since I posted on here. Here's a collection of pretty pictures from back when I left for my maternity leave...

  Starting with a class tile:

  I'm so glad I'm back to teaching weekly/private classes and corporate workshops.

A Travelling Tangles Project tile:

  And pages from a hand-stitched mini sketchbook made using Fabriano paper:

  Not so pleased with this page. But it is what it is, and I choose to share my successes AND occasional flops. So here it is.

  And if you haven't seen the flip-through video of the entire sketchbook... Here it is:

  And a Fugu border on a colourful cotton candy coloured tile. Want to learn how to draw this? Click here.