Are you still not sending out newsletters to your fans? Studies prove you should be… Boston based research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey has completed a study that all musicians should know about. Here are the important highlights:
Three-quarters of web users are likely to share content with friends and family, and nearly half do so at least once a week. But while much social networking content is built around such shared items, most people still prefer to use email to pass along items of interest.
The study goes on to say:
Overall, 86% of survey respondents said they used email to share content, while just 49% said they used Facebook. Broken down by age, the preference for email is more pronounced, as users get older. And only the youngest group polled, those ages 18 to 24, reverses the trend, with 76% sharing via Facebook, compared with 70% via email.
So, if your audience is older than 24 you better be thinking about your newsletter strategy now! In conclusion the study says:
“Rather than focusing on sharing content they thought the recipients would find helpful or relevant (58%), most respondents cared more about what they thought was interesting or amusing (72%).
Here’s the entire study if you want to read it (with lots of pretty graphs too): http://bit.ly/b4dfcI
So, ask yourself: Are you including content in your newsletters that is interesting and amusing?
If you are just talking about your next show and/or your next release, then you may be missing the mark.
Long story short, in the online world, email is still king when it comes to generating revenue. You make relationships with fans on your social networks, and turn them into customers with your newsletter.
Greeting - Make it Personal
Share something non-music related here. Pull people in on a human level. Make them care about you as a person, not just as a musician. Some ideas:
- Something that you like / a theme of Fun, Beauty, etc.
- Whatever you are reading or listening to
- TV and movies you are into, why you liked them
Post photos of these personal touches on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, your homepage, etc.
Guts – The Body of the Newsletter
What are you up to as an artist? Are you in the studio? Are you touring? Writing new tracks? Remember people love and connect to stories, so TELL STORIES
Getting – Put Readers Into Action With Your Call To Action (CTA)
This is the part of the newsletter that gets your fans to take action. This is the most critical part of the newsletter: Examples of Calls To Action For Community
Building TIP: Do these before any Calls to Action asking for $
- Follow on Twitter
- Like your Facebook Fan Page
- Listen to a new track on Facebook or Youtube and like or subscribe to you
- Vote for you in any contest you may be in
- Comment on your blog
- Review you on iTunes, Amazon or CD Baby
- Invite them out to hang with you at a bar, club, coffee house, another person’s show, etc. This is great for bonding with fans on another level.
- Have them watch a video of you on YouTube & subscribe
- Send them a survey to fill out or a contest to participate in
- You could also simply ask them to have a free download – a special gift makes you memorable!
Examples of Calls To Action For Money (once you’ve developed rapport)
- Invite them to an upcoming show
- Invite them to buy your music iTunes, or CD Baby: 1 track or a whole album
- Sell a merch item – a hat, a T-shirt, etc.
- Let them know that you play backyard BBQs and private parties; have them email you if they are interested (money maker!)
- Record personalized songs upon request (money maker!)
TIP: There should only be one Call to Action per newsletter. Fans will get confused and choose nothing if they have more than one choice.
A Note About Subject Lines
Keep your subject line short and sweet; no more than 55 characters!
Studies show that including the reader’s first name in the subject line grabs their attention and increases your open rate (the amount of people who open your email).
Most newsletter management programs can easily insert first names right into the subject line; please consult with yours on how to do so.
Send Newsletters Regularly & Consistently
It is important to deliver your newsletter letter on a consistent basis. Fans will look forward to this email every month.
I recommend sending out newsletters once a month. Plan the issues in advance that you will send out your newsletter. Separate yourself from the countless artists who never hold themselves accountable, and stick to a consistent schedule; your fans will notice.