A Simple Email Marketing Guide for Musicians
A Guest Post by Crowd Audio
Email is dead. Just like rock is dead right?
Email is the #1 way you can reach your fans as a musician. Even if you have a kick-ass website, a behind the scenes Youtube page and a hyperactive Twitter account, your fans probably won’t check those every day.
But do you know what they actually check every single day?
That’s why email isn’t dead. It’s as relevant as ever for telling your fans about new tour dates, videos, songs and anything you think your fans would like.
Sure, it might be old fashioned. But it’s the same type of old-fashioned as classic rock is. Teenagers still listen to Zeppelin, just like you should still reach your fans using email.
How to Set Up an Email Account
You’ll need a 3rd party service like Mailchimp or Aweber. You don’t want to email from your personal account because mass emailing through Gmail simply doesn’t work for a lot of technical and logical reasons that we don’t need to get into here.
Aweber has a really great guide on email marketing for musicians, but their service costs so just go grab the free guide and then sign up for Mailchimp.
Mailchimp is free for the first 2,0000 subscribers so you’ll have plenty of time before you need to shell out some money for maintaining your list of fans. By then, 2,000 subscribers should be able to net you some extra cash via album sales, merchandise or from just coming to your show.
There are other services, but none as easy and fun to use as Mailchimp. I personally use Aweber because of a lot of statistical tools and nerdy stuff like that but you don’t need all that crap for talking to your fans.
How to Get Fans to Sign Up
Even a well known band can get frustrated with a lack of signups. It’s not really about the quality of your music, it’s about the noticeability of your signup box.
We’ve been over the importance of calls to action in recent posts, but I’ll explain it a little more.
If you’re going to focus on email signups, your website has to reflect that. Don’t put your signup box somewhere on the bottom or buried in a bunch of other stuff.
Put it right there in front of your fans’ eyes. Put it above the fold, which means on the part of the website that’s visible immediately before you have to scroll down. It should definitely blend into the design, but it still needs to grab the visitor’s attention.
Focus On Email Addresses
You can design your signup boxes so that your fans need to put in their name and location along with their email. This is great if you want to know more details about them and where they live. It’s always good to know where most of your fans are located since you can structure your tour dates around those locations.
However, the more fields a person has to fill out on a signup boxes, the less likely they are to sign up. So if you’re going for volume I would recommend using just the “email” field. That way you get more people signed up on your list, and if they want to start a dialog with you they will inevitably respond to your emails and start a conversation.
It might look less personal upfront, but it’s better in the long run.
Give a Gift
A popular way of getting people to sign up to email lists has been to offer a free eBook or report on a topic that the reader is interested in.
Marketing blogs give special reports on marketing advice. Photography blogs give photography tips etc.
Your band is definitely different than these blog sites but you can still give your fans an incentive to sign up.
- Free Single – You can give away a free unreleased single that they can’t get anywhere else.
- Free Video – You can give them access to a music video or a live performance.
- Free EP – If you aren’t too worried about selling your music you can give away some of your music. An EP might be a great choice because you’ll give your fans a taste of the EP, giving yourself an opportunity to sell them your album later down the line.
Those are just some examples. You could even give them access to your “private EPK” for signing up that has a little bit of everything: music, videos, bios and pictures.
Asking people to sign up is a tricky thing because many people are overrun with emails from a hundred different websites. But if you offer them something in return, they’re more likely to sign up.
The Importance of Autoresponders
Autoresponders are the emails that you can set up to go out automatically. These are golden in the marketing world, but you can also use them to your advantage while not pissing off your audience.
Use autoresponders to tell your story. If you have a funny story from the studio or a cool way you wrote your hit single then write it down and put it in an email.
Say you set your funny studio story to go out after 3 days and then your songwriting story goes out 3 days after that. Then everyone on your email list gets the same experience, whether they signed up today or two weeks from now. They still get to hear both of those stories because they get the same emails through your autoresponder.
How to Use Broadcasts
Broadcasts are the opposite of autoresponders. They’re emails that you send out manually on a specific day and they go out to everyone who is on the list at that time.
Look at them as being more time sensitive, as opposed to the evergreen content of your autoresponder emails.
Use the for:
- New tour dates
- New shows in town
- New members of the band
- New album being recorded or coming out.
Basically, broadcasts are news about your band. Whenever you have something to say about stuff that’s happening right now and won’t be happening at all times, that’s when you use broadcasts.
How Often Should You Email?
If you set up your autoresponders so that they go out every now and then, your fans will remember you.
Couple that with the occasional broadcasts when you have some extra news and you’ll start developing a following of fans that like your stories and listen to your music.
A monthly broadcast of everything that’s gone on in the last month is also a good idea if you don’t have a ton of great stories to put in your autoresponder series.
Well there are a ton of resources out there about email marketing that you can check out.
Make no mistake, email marketing is one of the more powerful promotional tools you can have as a musician.
Don’t hesitate to use it. It might just explode your fanbase.
In conclusion, I’ll leave you with the #1 email tip you should follow when emailing your fans:
Featured Image By: Sean MacEntee
Crowd Audio helps you take your music to the next level. They connect independent bands and musicians with excited audio engineers eager to help them with their music.
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