Sending HTML Newsletters

Newsletters are a terrific way to keep in touch with clients and art collectors. My entire business was build around one newsletter for artists. But, how best to send them these days is a mystery. In Cultivating Collectors, I outline e-newsletters and print versions. While the formats are different, the content is pretty much the same.Picture_1

The big debate is whether to send your email newsletters as HTML or plain text. For the first time, the Art Marketing Action newsletter was sent out as HTML this week. It was gorgeous! (Thanks to Pat Velte!)

In addition to being better looking, sending in HTML allows me to see the percentage of newsletters that were actually opened. (If I wanted, I could also check out exactly who is opening them, but who has time for that?!)

On the downside, I can see that not everyone–by a longshot–is opening the newsletter. Today is Friday. As of this posting, Monday’s newsletter has been opened by 41% of my subscribers.

On the upside, sales are up this week! Of course, this is common for ArtBizCoach.com. I guess everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions to get their art business into shape. Time will tell if the HTML version helps boost sales.

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5 comments to Sending HTML Newsletters

  • The advance tracking feature which shows how many HTML-version e-mails were opened is certainly interesting but it’s not accurate. I know it’s inaccurate because it doesn’t show I opened my HTML message… which I did, several times. (As Alyson’s web guru I have access to the tracking system.) My version of Outlook didn’t display the images in my message when I opened it on Monday, which means it didn’t “pull” the image files from your server. The tracking system therefore had no indication of activity from my system (via the e-mail). The system can’t track text because it is included in the message while the images are HTML code pointing to the actual images files on your server. I tested this by opening Monday’s Art Marketing Action newsletter and telling Outlook to display the images. I then checked your Advance Tracking report and my e-mail address was now included with an “open date” of 12/30/2005. So your success rate on “opened” messages is much higher than the tracking indicates. I suspect a lot of people use Outlook and also keep the default setting so images are not displayed in HTML messages. What interesting stuff! Pat

  • The newsletter did look great. Things are very quiet here at work this week, maybe all your readers are on vacation along with my coworkers. And did you see I got the trackback thing to work for the last post. How very techie!

  • It does look beautiful indeed! Congratulations! I’m pretty sure I still just received a text-only version this week, though. Then again, I could be mistaken, given how much is going on this time of year. I’ll be more alert next week to see which version I receive.

  • I’m curious if you have had any challenges with your HTML newsletter and the people who have AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo mail, etc. We have done HTML newsletters for several years and it seems some of these people can’t read HTML mail. Terry, PS, I’m one of those husband agents who does all the business stuff artist usually don’t like to do. Right now I am in the middle of changing Julia’s website to a database driven system and planning to go live shortly.

  • I’m sure you’ve already heard this, but just in case you don’t know it already: a 41% open rate is really, really good.