I would love to take it as a compliment that so many bands send me email asking me to check out their music or come see them live. It should mean I’m important. Instead, I disregard most of it as spam.
Mile-long emails telling me about how so-and-so is the next hot artist blowing up all over my face. New album press releases that assume I have 40 minutes to spend learning all about how some artist “grew up in the poorest regions of such and such area before ‘rising to fame’”. It’s all hype that makes no sense given that you have only 80 fans on Facebook.
What is most annoying about these emails is that they’re not even addressed to me. They’re sent to the Earbits customer support email address, and have clearly bcc’d the rest of the world. Sometimes, they’re not even smart enough to do that, disclosing hundreds of email addresses to everybody else on the list. These untargeted, long-winded marketing pieces are lazy, in some cases costly, and completely pointless. Stop sending them.
Just a few days ago a radio promo company sent me one of these pieces of crap. I was too busy to even begin reading the very long, untargeted email, but almost set aside time to email the band and let them know that the company they hired to get the attention of people in the industry was a joke. Not only are they sending out emails that I can almost guarantee nobody reads, but it’s made worse by the fact that the easiest way to get your music on Earbits is just to submit it to our online form. You don’t need a radio promo company to do that. Fire anybody who is sending wasteful notes like this on your behalf.
The simple fact is that anybody who can do anything for your career is busy. They’re obviously working hard and you’re probably one of countless people who send them emails asking for their attention. You are very unlikely to get that attention if you, through ignorance or not, waste their time by contacting someone with no interest in your style of music, or by making it take 30 minutes to get to the point.
A couple weeks ago, an email from one band cut through the noise. As a result, last night, I went to their show. Today, I wrote a review of the show. Do you want to see how easy it was?
My name is Nikki, and I front the alt/prog/rock band Lucid Fly. I came across a blog you write for Earbits, and I wanted to contact you (I noticed you dig progressive music!). I was wondering if you regularly do live show reviews? We are artists on Earbits Radio, and we have a show coming up on Fri. May 18th at the Good Hurt. The lineup up is great..all progressive rock bands
Here is the link for the event: http://www.facebook.com/events/352948288098430/
The lineup is:
8pm Inverta - www.facebook.com/inverta
9pm Black Magic Driver - www.facebook.com/blackmagicdriver
10pm Lucid Fly - www.facebook.com/lucidflymusic
11pm Nature by Numbers - www.facebook.com/naturebynumbers
12am Solidmente - www.facebook.com/SOLIDMENTE
If you are interested, I can add you to the Guestlist Let me know your thoughts!
Look at how simple this email is. There is no hype telling me how cool the band is or how I’ll love it. Instead, the band found the right person for their genre, spent my limited attention span telling me why they were contacting me and what they wanted, and they made it painfully easy for me to support them.
Joey, we took the time to find out that you like progressive rock and mail you specifically. Good job.
Joey, we actually read stuff that you wrote. That’s nice, and earns you points.
Not only that, but we’re customers of your company. Great, you support me and I support you.
We are playing a show about a mile from you and would love a review. We will put you on the list. They even took the time to find out where I am located, and offered to make it painless for me to come support them.
This, my friends, is how you contact industry personnel, and it’s dead simple.
1. Find the right person.
2. Send them a personal note.
3. Keep it super short and to the point.
4. Tell them who you are BRIEFLY, and why you chose to contact them.
5. Tell them what you want.
6. Provide links to only the most relevant information they need to fulfill your request.
7. Then make it painless to do what you need.
I’m not going to lie. It took time to find the right person at our company, do a bit of research, and craft a personal email. It definitely took more time than emailing our general support email and moving on. The big difference is, the latter is a complete waste of time, the former was not.
In addition to writing a perfect email to get my attention, Lucid Fly sent me a Guest List confirmation email the day before the show to assure me that I would not show up at the door only to find out that they had forgotten to put me on it. Their approach to working with industry professionals was extremely professional and, not only did they earn a glowing review on our site, but they converted a new fan, too.
That, my friends, is how you do it. Don’t use a shotgun approach. Be a sniper.