Newsletter, Snoozeletter: 3 Ways to Make Your Emails Stand Out

3 Ways to Make Your Emails Stand Out by Dallas Travers

Let’s get real: if you’ve worked with me before or ever read my blog, you know I think a monthly newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with your “fans,” the people who love your work and support you.

Been there, done that, right?

But I still get lots of newsletters every week with subject lines like “Jane Actor’s Updates” or dry lists of resume fillers. Your fans want to hear from YOU, not an autobot with audition stats. And it’s that vulnerability that keeps you connected and on their radar.

So here are my three golden rules for email newsletters to help keep your marketing interesting and welcome in your fan’s inbox.

Take A Look At Your Subject Line

Do your subject lines entice readers to open the newsletter? I’m guessing they could use a little sprucing up.

Statistically, newsletters are much more likely to be opened if the recipient’s name is in the subject line. Make it punchy. For instance, instead of a subject that reads, “I have exciting news,” try, “Hey Dallas, open up! I have exciting news.”

Just recently, I received an e-mail from The Workshop Guru with the subject line “Need some Tuesday inspiration, Dallas?” and I opened it right up.

Most email marketing software offers a function that will include the first name in the subject line of the email. It may take a moment to learn how it works, but it is well worth the effort.

Provide Value

Find a creative way to give value back to your readers. What would they love to hear about or learn that has nothing to do with your acting career?

For example, one of my clients includes a “photo of the month.” She loves National Geographic Magazine, so she’ll always have an image that she finds really striking.

You could include a funny video you found on YouTube, an inspiring article you read, or your new favorite recipe. Whatever it is, choose something that is fun for you that your readers can look forward to opening up.

Add a Personal Touch

It’s a good idea to create a habit of reaching out personally to every person on your list once or twice a year. This can be an easy and fun way to reconnect with the individuals you haven’t personally interacted with in a while. Plus, it reminds people why they wanted to receive updates from you in the first place and may prevent them from automatically clicking “delete” when your newsletter comes through.

Send this email from your personal account, not your email marketing system, and make the message individual. Maybe you can ask them if their dog, Sparky, likes the cooler weather, or if they have any fun plans for the long weekend.

Whatever you write, make sure it’s specific to that person and not a career update.

Keep in mind that in the Internet marketing world a good open rate for newsletters is 22%. So if 22% or more of your list is opening your monthly email, you can consider your newsletter a smashing success.

Over time, people will naturally filter themselves out and that’s completely out of your control. Remember, it’s not about the size of your list, it’s about the quality of your relationships with the people on the list.

Have you found any ways to keep your marketing fun and engaging? Share your tips in the comments below.

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TAC Scholarship Winner: October 2014

Congratulations to Thriving Artist Circle scholarship winner, Dipti Mehta!

Dipti won a free year in the Thriving Artist Circle (TAC) for her inspiring photo answering the challenge:

In one compelling photo, show us your favorite “must have” item for auditions.

Check out her submission here and learn how you can be next month’s winner.

My favourite item for the auditions is my orange mudlove bracelet that reminds me of what I am striving towards, and grounds me with my intentionality. Orange is a color of transformation so it symbolizes the transformation as an actor into the character.. And it also reminds me of greater good in the world, as buying the bracelet helped someone in Africa get clean water….

You could be next month’s winner…

Answer this month’s challenge question, and you could win a free year in the Thriving Artist Circle.

This month’s challenge is very special because we want you to contribute to the TAC Tiny Film Festival in a BIG way.

So, October’s question is:

In one compelling photo, promote the TAC Tiny Film Festival viewer’s choice award. Our favorite will be featured during the festival voting!

Include #TAC or the TAC logo in the picture.

Post your photo on the TAC Facebook Page before October 29, 2014 to be entered to win.

Click here to download the logo to print and use in your photo.

Here are the rules…

1. Picture must visibly include #TAC or the TAC logo within the photo.

2. Picture must be an original work of the entrant.

3. Submissions must be posted to BEFORE the deadline to qualify.

4. You MUST answer the question to be considered for the scholarship.

5. Please, no inappropriate images, language, or behavior.

6. You will be evaluated on the following criteria:

- did you follow directions?
- creativity + originality
- quality of your answer

Winners + their entry will be announced at the end of every month and featured on,, + Image may also be used in promotional materials for

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How To Put Yourself On Tape Without Spending A Fortune

How To Put Yourself On Tape Without Spending A Fortune by Dallas Travers

Seems like more and more casting directors are asking for taped audition submissions. I won’t be surprised if soon the first round of all auditions are done on tape and sent in via email.

In some ways, it’s ultra-convenient: self-taped auditions usually have a deadline, but you can work around your J.O.B. and family schedule rather than having to drop everything and run across town for an in-person audition.

On the other hand, you could easily spend a good chunk of change if you pay someone every time you need to put yourself on tape. You know that the production value of your video audition needs to be good, but exactly how good is good enough to be considered professional quality?

Here are a few quick tips for making a professional video audition on the cheap without it looking that way.

DIY Video Prep

I get a lot of questions from my clients about the “industry standard” of a taped audition. There are three components that make up a professional-quality video audition: the sound must be good; the lighting must be clear; and, there cannot be anything distracting in the shot.

Sound: Get a USB mic that plugs into your computer. I use a Snowball to record all my videos, and the sound is awesome. You can find a mic like this on for about $64.

Lighting: Set yourself up during the day facing a window so you have as much natural light as possible. Place your computer in front of you to help illuminate your face.

Background: Check that there is nothing distracting in the background. If the wind is blowing, be sure to close the windows so the drapes aren’t whipping around, and put your pets in another room so they’re not walking back and forth behind you.

Now, the downside to this strategy is that you can’t move around too much, but if you follow these three tips, you will have a clear, focused picture with great sound. And that’s a professional quality tape.

Switch Up Your Motivation

Rather than thinking, “My goal is to put myself on tape, so I can knock it out of the park and book this job,” try something different. The next time you’re putting together a video audition, make your goal more along the lines of: “I’m putting myself on tape in a cost-effective way, so I can sustain this process financially.

Now that might feel like a really big stretch because the stakes seem so high when you’re auditioning. However, the more you practice imperfection, the more you’ll realize it’s really about great sound, great acting, and a clear picture.

Besides, the more experience you get at self-taping auditions, the better. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if video auditions are the wave of the future.

Do you have any tricks for putting yourself on tape? Let us in on your secrets by leaving a comment in the space below.