Anatomy of a musician newsletter

The over-sharer? The “they want something” friend? The ex-friend? The PA of a friend? The real friend?

It’s a great idea to remember that the subscribers on your newsletter (or future-newsletter, if you didn’t yet get started!) are real life people rather than random inboxes dotted around the world.

Imagine each and every one of them is a friend, and check how your newsletter reads before hitting that send button… 

It sounds like a good idea to have a mailing list, but when it comes to actually finding something to write about… well there’s always something better to do.

Until, of course, your new album drops and you want everyone to check it out! 

That, though, is a little bit like the friend who calls you once in a blue moon when they need something. 

As I’m sure you are aware, those friends don’t exactly inspire action and support.

Or what about the over-sharer? The friend who gets in touch with long, rambling stories that seemingly have no end…

You might love this person, but are you concentrating on everything they say?

Or maybe you just give up sending the newsletter for good. The ex-friend

Otherwise, you pop your ‘manager’ hat on and send a carefully crafted email in the third person, explaining concisely and ever-so-drily what “the artist” is up to. That’s probably the strangest, as if your friend hires an assistant to write to you…

Or there’s the real friend who is great at keeping in touch and, maybe because you can really identify with them and their stories, it never feels like you are chatting too much. In fact, the more the better. And, if they ever need some support, they can count you in. 

So how to avoid falling into any of those bad friend traps? 

If I was going to leave you to fix it alone, I’d simply say:

  1. be yourself 
  2. Provide 80% value for every 20% you promote something

If you were hoping for a little more specific than that, let’s look at some fundamentals of a great newsletter…. 

Subject Line Is Important

smashing laptops + jazz

Let’s not get started by chatting about the weather. 

Use your subject line to make sure they know that you’re the interesting one in their inbox for now, and need to be heard! 

Be personal

personal intro

It’s hard to be a good friend if you’re never personal.

Mailing list providers nowadays give you a super easy option to add in the recipient’s first name anywhere you like.

Use it to say hello and you’re automatically more likely to hook them.

Tell a Story

Next, remember the ‘over-sharer’ friend and decide one main theme or topic you want to talk about. 

Maybe a story, something that happened to you, a thing you’re working on, a piece of upcoming news, or a musing about your influences. 

The more story-like the better. 

“I’ve been locked down in my home studio (aka small cupboard) this last week… I thought I was done with the arrangements for the new album, then this happened…

smashed laptop

I KNOW, I should have backed it up…

Check *this* out

Ask them to take some sort of action, either a click, a reply, or both. This not only helps your email deliverability, it also helps cement that two-way relationship.

Anyway, they’re all redone now, and I couldn’t resist sharing a little something as a sneak peak at what’s to come…

Check it out here…

Round it up

Draw the mail to a close, and sign off in a friendly way.

If you have something to ‘soft sell’ (ie mention without really pushing it) you can do it here, or tell them to look at the ‘ps’ area. 

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. If you have stories of losing a week’s worth of work in a similarly stupid way, I’d be (very) happy to hear…

If you’d like to hear what became of the last set of arrangements, you’ll find links at the end of the email.

Otherwise, I hope you have a great week and look forward to sharing the first clips from the recording studio soon…

All the best

Matt Fripp 
Key Social Icons

Use the PS

The ‘PS’ is a great place to slip in more info without distracting from the story. It also grabs the attention of those who skim straight to the end.

PS As promised, here’s the link to check out the last album on Bandcamp. Those arrangements only had to be done once! 


If (like me) you want to avoid your newsletter *looking* like a newsletter with lots of flashy design and graphics, you can use the space at the end of the email to fit in some pre-designed info about tour-dates, merchandise and other ongoing offers. 

This means you can give people the option to ‘buy’ every time, without making the email all about that. 

Rinse and repeat

Hit send, and move on with your day! 

The key is to keep it easy, light and something you will be happy to repeat 2-4 times a month. 

And, if you ever have the concern you’ll be emailing too much… just make sure your emails are so great that you’re the friend that every wants to hang out with! 


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