Teach Me Tuesday: Creator/production newsletters

(Bri Castellini) #1

Welcome to Teach Me Tuesday! Today’s topic:

What should you include in a newsletter for fans/supporters?

I’m especially interested in what people put in newsletters that occur when they’re between big announcements/big measures of progress.

(Bri Castellini) #2

@Craia9 and @noamkroll I know you guys both put a lot of emphasis on newsletters and email contact so I’m curious to hear your thoughts!

(Bri Castellini) #3


(Meg Carroway) #4

I don’t have a reason to make a newsletter yet… but I like seeing behind the scenes photos even of like meetings or table reads! Or snippets from upcoming projects (scripts, too!). I just like to feel like I’m in the know more than any other random Twitter follower.

(Bri Castellini) #5

Interesting! So just updates, then? How frequently do you like being reached out to?

(Meg Carroway) #6

Not too often cuz it’s email, not social media… but often enough I don’t forget who you are. Maybe like once a month unless there’s something happening you have to email me more for, like a crowdfunding campaign?

(Jonathan Hardesty) #7

I’ve got an email newsletter for Flagon but I haven’t really had anything to say about the project for awhile and it hasn’t made sense to make it monthly. I probably should so people don’t forget who we are…but…

(Bri Castellini) #8

Yeah it’s one of those things where it almost makes more sense to have a “company” or personal newsletter rather than a show-specific one, at least when the show is on haitus. Like having a Brains newsletter made sense while we were still making it, but I eventually transitioned those subscribers to a more general Bri/Undead Burrito one which has kept it fresh.

Of course, I have tons of projects going in varying states of complete and that’s not always the case, in which case… I have no idea what you do!

(Arthur Vincie) #9

I put out a monthly email (let me know if you want to be on it) that goes out to a relatively small mailing list (430 I think at last count).

I try to put in about 5-10 items per email. It’s a balance between stuff about the current project and cool stuff that my friends/cast/crew/peers are doing (plays, books, film screenings, seminars, art shows - anything really). Lately I’ve been including links to books/podcasts/etc. that I think are worth mentioning. The balance should ideally be “20-30% my shit/70-80% other people’s stuff.”

Every so often, when something big happens (winning an award or getting into something) I’ll post a “special edition.” At the end of the year I’ll put out a “season’s greetings.”

I don’t usually include pix except for the logo (and the season’s greeting things) 'cause I want people to get the info fast, and I find that pix slow me down when I’m reading an email on my phone. Campaigner sends out HTML and plain-text emails.

I built a database in FileMaker that I put in the “items” which then compiles them into HTML and plain-text versions that match the styles in the email template. I then have to go through and hand-rework the plain-text ones a little bit.

Campaigner (formerly Contactology) manages the mailing list, and I try to grow it, but I’m honestly terrible at adding folks. I don’t want to add people’s names just after meeting them (that is so obnoxious and it happens to me a lot).

Besides that I send out Seed & Spark updates roughly every six to eight weeks, and private emails to the cast/crew every couple-three weeks (also haranguing them into sending me info on their activities to include in the email blast).

I used to add a blog entry timed to the eblast (so there’d always be at least one thing to mention in the email), but that was exhausting and the readership count never got very high, so I stopped doing that.

(Amanda Taylor) #10

I don’t love the idea of newsletters just because there are so many things already that people have to read and follow and I personally don’t sub to ANY. (I used to, and found the pressure of keeping up on them was too much.) I used to write one myself that was more of a blog delivered to your inbox … but for Apple Juice I worry about committing at all like “this is in development!” and then it not being made. Also: we’ve released things as a surprised more than once. hehe.