Inside Our Weekly E-Newsletter

By Brian Potter on October 21, 2011

We get a lot of nice feedback on our Sunday morning e-Newsletter. Readers often tell us how much they enjoy the behind-the-scenes information and engagingly personal tone of each note, and how they feel more like friendly conversation than a sales pitch. Some even refer to their Sunday morning reading as "breakfast with Miles." These emails are a lot of fun for us to produce and a wonderful way to keep in touch and bring our enthusiastic audience a little closer to PCMS. If you ever wondered how these emails come together, here's an inside look into how the sausage is made, so to speak.

Screenshot of a recent PCMS eNewsletter

Step 1:  Each Monday or Tuesday, Miles, our artistic administrator, identifies his "topics of the week"  with periodic input from Jacob and me. Often this entails an inside look at an upcoming concert or two, perhaps an anecdote from back stage, an update on concerts that are close to selling out, and occasionally a special offer exclusive to list subscribers. Miles organizes these various ideas into a coherent whole and emails me a rough draft by the end of the day on Tuesday.

Step 2:  As in-house copy editor and html monkey, I edit and proofread the text, crop and upload the photos, drop in the links, perhaps add some video content and otherwise set the whole thing up in html (aka web-speak). Mailchimp, our handy-dandy email marketing service, makes layout and distribution easy.

Step 3:  Once it's all laid out, I send test copies to Miles and Erik (our marketing and development assistant) so they can confirm that I didn't screw anything up (believe it or not, it happens). Following any last-minute corrections, I set up a text-only version, queue it up for the designated hour (most of the time, that's Sunday at 7 am), tell Mailchimp to send it to our Weekly Newsletter list (as opposed to our lists for press, educators, young friends, etc.), and, voilí , 5,200 patrons are ready to be served "breakfast with Miles."

If you're not already receiving our weekly emails, by all means hop on board today using the signup form on the lower right of our home page. If you're already reading, we certainly welcome your thoughts, suggestions and praise (although not necessarily in that order). In all seriousness, we strive to be as responsive as possible to audience feedback, so let us know in the comments what you like and what we can do better. Thank you for reading!