Releasing mixtapes are an important part of your career. It’s one of the moment that your handwork and patience is put out in the world and into the hands of your fans. It’s exciting and for most artists it’s rewarding. However, with all of the excitement, it’s easy to only focus on your mixtape release and forget about promoting it.
Entries in Email (14)
It’s deliciously tempting to ignore everything and obsess about getting more fans.
It’s natural to want more fans. It’s not even a bad thing.
But what if you aren’t getting the most out of your current fans? Is getting more fans going help?
It’s easy to think that more is the answer. We do a simple math equation…
- More fans = more people to sell to
- More fans = more people to fill a venue (and venue owners like that)
But adding more fans isn’t always the answer.
Somebody always has something that you want.
- Better distribution methods
- A particular person’s contact info
- Knowledge you want to have in your brain
It’s just a matter of getting access to it. For me and lots of other independent artists, emails are the most efficient way to go about this, and this one email in particular has opened a lot of doors.
When emailing a band’s management for the first time, you only have a few chances to get our attention. Mess that up, and your email is lost.
Below is a list of common mistakes and pet peeves from years of receiving emails, along with suggestions for ways to improve your communication to people you do not already know. Reading this will increase your chance of the support slot, or the desired response you hope for.
Remember, we are all people, trying hard to share music, just like you.
If you know anything about marketing, you already understand that having a growing email list of fans can be your most powerful promotional asset. But, like any good tool, you have to know how to use it.
One of the great challenges with email is getting people to open and read your messages. It’s not the end of the world if your fans see your emails pop up in their inboxes but don’t have the time to open them. At least they see your name and are reminded of who you are.
But your real goal is to motivate fans to open your emails and further interact with you. So how do you do that?
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.
I live in my inbox. Don’t you?
It’s like this. I sit down at my computer, or I pick up my smartphone. First thing I do? I check my email. There I go. I just went into my inbox. I’m at home and I’m greeting people or sending them away.
I like to keep my inbox clean and tidy, just like my real home. Okay, there’s a bit of dust and some dirty socks kicking around. But generally, I keep the place in order because I live there.
I was thinking recently about what to write about next, and lo and behold, this beauty arrives in my inbox. I don’t know why I was on this email list, as I never signed up for anything of the sort. This alone annoyed me. Yet, in any case, the subject immediately caught my attention.
Your email list is one of the most powerful marketing tools that an artist or band (or a business or brand) can have. Recently some data courtesy of Dan Zarrella and Pure360 has shown that there is a definite science behind the timing of sending your emails, just as there is for posting on Facebook and Twitter. Here are some tips and tricks for getting your email timing just right.
Your new album has just been released, or maybe you’ve just booked a huge show. Time to email everybody you know! Before you add your entire address book to the “To:” field of a new email, consider a few points of email list etiquette. By respecting the recipients of your mass emails, you’ll have far better results from your efforts, build stronger relationships with your fans, and build a healthy email list.
I’ve been maintaining my own email list for about seven years, and along the way have found many ways to gain, and lose, subscribers. I’ve also been added to many email lists, sometimes willingly, often not,but always tried to learn from other artists’ email newsletters.
There are numerous services available to help you maintain your email list. Some are free, others cost money depending on the size of your list and the features you want to install. Look at the bottom of the emails you get from different bands and you’ll find links to some of these services. I highly recommend you find one that suits you to make this whole process easier.
I measure my success as a recording artist by the growth of my mailing list. The best way to get someone to subscribe is to offer something in return, and a great song is a powerful incentive. Here are ten techniques to negotiate that delicate exchange:
1. The classic squeeze page. You’ve probably stumbled onto one of these before: a fine-tuned infomercial-style pitch with a clear call to action and no exit links. The sole goal of the site, often just a single page, is to generate conversions. In our case, a conversion means “squeezing” an email address out of a potential fan. Seamus Anthony describes the method here and demonstrates it using his own music here. It may do the trick for first-time visitors, but returning fans have no clear path to explore the rest of your content.
Your fans are the lifeblood of your career. Without fans, you don’t have a music career, you only have a music hobby. Fans buy your products, listen to your music, give you feedback, share you with their friends, come to your shows, and wear your t-shirts. They are the people that enable you to become a full-time musician, and live the artist lifestyle. The most loyal of fans will stand by your side through thick and thin, buy all of your swag, and help you in many ways throughout your career.
It’s the end of the year, and showing some appreciation to your fans for all the support they’ve given you can go a long way. They deserve a bit more than music and t-shirts.
1. Don’t give your fans live music. Give them a live experience.
Your fans were awesome enough to pay money to see you perform, so the best way to give back in that regard is to put on an incredible show that fans cannot wait to talk about with their friends afterwards. Do something fun and unique that portrays your personality in a positive manner, and make it memorable. Whatever expectations that your fans held with them at the beginning of the gig should be shattered to pieces by the end. Blow your fans away, and give them more than what they believed they paid for.
The possibilities are really endless, but here are a few simple ideas that you can try out to give your fans a more memorable live experience:
Email is an essential part of the fan relationship equation for artists, labels, and managers. While it is difficult to say the exact value of collecting any individual email address for musicians, marketers from other industries peg the generic value of getting an email at about $1 each. But it’s all about what you do with it once you are given the great responsibility of owning it. We have seen Artists generate as much as $10 per email address on their list, when used properly.
Email has some interesting attributes going for it, like:
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(Updated January 13, 2016)