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Why All Independent Musicians Need A Mailing List

Mailing lists, one of the most under used tools of an independent musician. But why is this when major labels have been using it to good effect for so many years? It seems no one’s let the “little guy” know of the power of mailing lists, instead allowing them to carry on thinking social networking is the only way to effectively communicate with your fans online. However, this simply isn’t the case.


If you’re not sure why mailing lists are effective, here’s a quick summery:

  • Direct Access To Fans
    Sending your fans an email is the most direct way you can communicate with them online. Many people’s email addresses are central to their online activities, linking them to all manner of accounts and using them to communicate with friends and business colleagues. Because of this, people do generally check their email even if they don’t check their Facebook or any other site. There are still people that refuse to give into signing up to social networking sites, but have you ever met anyone without an email?

  • You’ll Always Have Your List
    People spent years building up their MySpace “Friends” and trying to form connections with fans. Then MySpace started to die out. How useful are those friends now? Do you think if you messaged them about an album launch you’d get any sales? I don’t think so…
    If however you had put all that effort into building your mailing list and building up a relationship with your subscribers, regardless of what website came or went, you’ll still have your fans.

  • People Are More Responsive To Emails
    I’ve had a lot of success with email marketing, and one thing I’ve noticed is if you want something done you often have to ask for it. It could be something small that a person won’t mind doing (E.g. re-tweeting one of your posts, or sharing your song with their friends) but if you don’t put the suggestion to them they’re a lot less likely to do it. So sending out a mass email to all of your subscribers can be a great way of making your music go viral (If you have enough subscribers of course) or at least getting a smaller list to spread your sound round a bit.

There are many other reasons why mailing list are important for independent musicians to have, we haven’t even touched on how they could be used to encourage sales or create a buzz around an album launch. Internet marketers have been using mailing lists successfully for years to build up and effectively sell to their customers, so why hasn’t this trend reached many independent musicians?


If you want to know more about why mailing lists are so effective and possibly even set one up, check out our post “How To Get Your First Profitable Mailing List Up And Running”. Alternatively, if you already have a mailing list but aren’t seeing the results you’d like, check our post “Advanced Strategies To Monetize Your Mailing List”.

Reader Comments (2)

While I agree with you about the point of making a mailing list, I have to disagree with you a bit on the point of losing contact because of the death of MySpace. Why do I disagree? Because maybe half of my mailing list went bad when everyone switched over to Gmail from AOL & Yahoo, so it can happen to email addresses as well.

Hi Brian, that is a valid point. I feel you'll have a much better rate of retention with a mailing list however, as the people who are dedicated to receiving your regular updates (The 20% who'll make you 80% of the money) will make sure they update their details with you if they switch email providers. Most people who don't update with you probably weren't making you that much money anyway (Unless you [Not you personally] don't send updates to your subscribers often, then it's easy to forget about updating their subscription).
Of course this'll lose you some traffic to your website, it's recoverable from. When MySpace went down there wasn't much you could salvage from your page.

July 28 | Registered CommenterShaun Letang

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