An email newsletter is considered one of the most direct and cost-effective marketing tools. If you need proof, just go to your inbox and see how many you have received in the last week.
Does a video production company or an individual need to create an email list and have a regular newsletter? Ultimately, it is a question of marketing. It doesn’t matter if you're a large company, a small start up or even an independent; you need to generate both viewers and clients who will hire you. In both cases, an email list and newsletter can help. Here’s why.
1. It helps build an audience.
The first target for any video producer’s newsletter is viewers. We create in a visual medium, and the bottom line will always be the people who watch our work. This is true for your YouTube Channel just as much as it is for cable and broadcast TV. A newsletter can be a great tool to generate interest about your next great release or even past projects that don't get clicks any more.
Ideally, you’ll want to include an image or two to give people a glimpse, but don't give away any spoilers; you want them to click through the links you include to get to the content on your website or elsewhere. Email targets should include anyone who has enjoyed your work in the past or anyone you might think is a potential viewers. Don't forget to include a suggestion to forward your email to a friend.
2. It reminds people about your work.
In advertising, there is an old principal called the “Rule of 7,” which indicates that a person has to see or hear an ad seven times before they gain interest. The rule dates back to the 1930s. Today, because of the constant advertising barrage of print and online media, estimates glean that more like 20 exposures are necessary to spark interest. No matter how great your work was to a viewer or a client, they will forget your name unless you keep it in front of them.
No matter how great your work was to a viewer or a client, they will forget your name unless you keep it in front of them.
They may not read every word of the newsletter, but just having your name in there inbox will be a regular reminder. Maybe the reader doesn't need another video produced right now, but when they need you, they will remember your email and whatever cool project it showcased.
3. It inspires new ideas.
Sending out a regular newsletter is actually a great way to show clients your work, potentially giving them an idea for their next project. For example, if you are in the wedding video business, what’s the next step? Having babies! Why not send a screenshot and a link for a gender reveal video that you just produced?
You never know how a project that you're currently working on may inspire someone else. Of course, if you’re working commercially, some discretion may be in order. Your current client may not want all their competitors to use unique ideas from their project.
4. It’s a place to show off new tools and techniques.
New tools can also mean new viewers or clients. Did you just add a drone to your arsenal? How about new editing or graphics software? Did you start producing in 4K? All of these could be great material for a newsletter.
An email newsletter with shots from a project featuring your latest gear shows that you are improving and keeping up with the technology. Yes, even your video fans want to see you get better. Let everyone know what you’re using.
5. You can start immediately with little or no money.
Perhaps the best reason to start an email newsletter is that you can create one right away and it only costs you time. Depending upon your client base, you can search through previous emails and come up with a list. You may even want to create two lists and two newsletters. One could be potential clients and the other, fans of your work. Make sure you craft your newsletter with links to all your social media and video channels.
To keep your email from ending up in the spam filter, you’ll have to send your emails out individually. You can just create one and address it to a dozen emails. If your email list is extensive, you may want to consider an email marketing service like Constant Contact, Drip or MailChimp. Most of these charge for their services, but some let you start for free. And don't create a PDF file and attach it. That is the same same as sending out a snail mail newsletter. All of the content and links have to be part of the email.
Remember that the goal is to gain the reader’s attention. Use catchy titles, good graphics and interesting lead sentences. A newsletter can help legitimize your business in the minds of potential clients, so don’t send them sloppy work. With a well-composed newsletter, you’ll be on your way to growing your audience and your business.
Jeff Chaves is the Chief Creative Officer of Grace Pictures Inc., which he co-owns with his wife, Peggy. He got his start as an Army Broadcaster in the 1980s and spent 12 plus years working on broadcasting. Jeff left broadcast television to pursue full-time ministry.