Email Marketing For Musicians
Email Marketing For Musicians
What is Email Marketing?
In general terms Email marketing consists in targeting an audience via email to cause impact in a special offer, event, or product.
Today we will talk how you, as a musician can benefit from this! And the profits of it if you successfully build a strong and well structured Mailing List.
Why Independent Musicians Need A Mailing List
Mailing lists are underrated and taken lightly, many musicians do not realize the impact they have, many of your favorite artists (if not all of them) have a mailing list where they announce their new album, tour dates, share updates on what they are doing and things that could be of interest to their fanbase even upcoming album updates or holding a Question and Answer for fun and making your fans feel closer to the band.
This all helps to keep your fanbase updated and engaged in what you are doing,over time fans will eventually share the news and spread the word even more. .
Let’s talk a little about the overall benefits before going too much into technical detail, and why I strongly suggest a mailing list as a great system for any musician out there:
Benefits Of A Successful Mailing List
- Direct Access to fans:
Today almost everyone has an Email address and let’s be honest, we check it very frequently, whether it is to check a news update about a current event in the world, contacting family and friends or receiving offers on a product or store we like.
Remember it is also the most direct form of online communication these days, and by direct I also mean there are no visual distractions like it would happen on social Networks where you have floating ads or photos everywhere, which brings me to my second point..
- People are more responsive to Emails:
I’ve had my share of success in email marketing, and it isn’t just me, you can do it too, when you want exposure for your new song or album sometimes or most times you have to ask for it, asking a small favor or task (share a link with your new track or news about your upcoming album and ask them to share it to friends or people who could be interested) it’s a small petition and key element to spread yourself and go viral.
- It Prevails Longer Than Any Social Network:
Let me make a hypothesis, you are a Twitter star or a Tumblr star (this means you have tons of followers for some reason) and you are distributing your work via your social network of choice and you are doing great! It took you 3 years to build a trustworthy fan base, and the next morning you wake up to find out there is a new trendy social network that’s dragging people’s attention away from the one you use or the one you use just crashed or the developers decided to take it down.
And there is where a Mailing list comes in handy, as it is an extremely rare scenario that a mailing system stops working or just disappears from one day to another as many people in the world rely on it for communication.
- Announcing Tours or gigs
This is a very good point, once yo have a fanbase you can send them updates about many many things, but if you decide to tour or play a gig anytime soon you can redirect them with a link to where they can buy the tickets and give them all the information about it (the place, the time, if you will be selling shirts or hats or giving away something, etc..)
This are just a few of the reasons why building a good mailing and marketing system can give you an edge in your artistic career and your exposure options.
How To Get Started
First of all, you have to remember that patience and perseverance are of up most importance in this matter as it can take quite some time to develop a good mailing list.
That said I’m going to help you with some tips and ways to structure a well-made mailing system and things you should always consider.
Setup & Platforms
The best place to start our mailing system is in an Email Marketing Platform, This is going to be the backbone and starting point of our system, the reason we are using an Email Marketing Platform it is so if we send a large number of emails avoid getting banned for sending too many at the same time, or end up in the junk or spam folder, now here is a great question you may ask yourself! Which one is the best Email Marketing Platform out there? We all want the most affordable one, Let’s take a quick look to the ones that are considered the best.
GetResponse: GetResponse Is super simple to use, it has an amazing presentation for the newsletters And it is my overall favorite! Also it has a huge variation of options, for example; you can test two different emails to your fans or a group of people and see which one had the best reaction and engaged them the most, another great feature is ‘Time Travel’ it works by delivering the mail to your fans all around the world at the same local time, if you decide your fans in China and your fans in Canada are going to receive your email at 8am, they will! That simple and super useful! As it raises the possibility of everyone reading your email, and this are just some of the amazing features it has.
GetResponse has a Free trial and after that it is just $15 USD per month, I’d say that for all the features and modifications it allows you to do it could not get better!
Aweber: My second favorite and a super reliable choice as it is the longest established marketing email providers, it may not look as flashy as our previous mention but the platform is also super easy to use and reliable
It’s a little bit more expensive than Get Response at $19 per month, but the benefit here is that it is free up to 500 subscribers. That said, by the time you have 500 subscribers you will probably be noticing an increase in revenue to comfortably support the cost of the platform, if you’re using email effectively.
Aweber has an easy-to-use email creator and they have some handy tools to help you find what does and doesn’t work, which is fundamental if you want your email marketing to get better over time.
If you are not sure of the coices or want to check out more you can check a recent article I wrote making a comparison with other Marketing Software providers out there comparing email marketing software providers, in part it is also a matter of preference and what you like and how you want to reach your audience!
How To Get Your First Subscribers
Now that we have our account setup we have to put a sign up form, a good place would be on the right corner of your website, and give your fans a good reason or incentive for them to sign up for example (ype in your Email and we will send you a copy of our new single) or something along those lines that would generate interest in people.
Another thing you could consider is setting up a “squeeze page” for your newsletter. A squeeze page basically just has some information about your band, and a signup form. Squeeze pages typically don’t have links to anywhere else so all attention is brought to the signup form.
There are many many ways to increase your followers amount and not only via online let me give you a few examples of simple, useful methods:
- Buy Ads in different social networks with an atrractive catch phrase
- pass around a sign up sheet at your gigs, concerts, social meetings or any social event you take part in.
- Advertise in a music magazine, a newspaper article or a small internet article.
- add a “lightbox” pop over that tells potential fans that they can get a free download
- put your songs up on YouTube and link to your squeeze page in the description (or in annotations)
- If you have a few fanbase in a social network make a tempting invitation to them or tag them in a photo that describes what you offer if they sign up to your newsletter and good reasons why they should check oftem for your updates via email.
And well, these are just some of the many many many ways you can attract people to subscribe (We will have amore detailed conversation ahead on how to make it also very accesible to your budget) , get creative and find even a unique, original or surprising way to get their attention, for example if you are selling hats as a merch item in your gigs. Put your email with the “free new single” catch phrase in a sticker.
Once you’ve got the subscribers, you’re going to want to engage with them.
Sending Out Emails
If you get a subscriber and do not reach him or her( by reach we mean having a response from them or a show of interest) in the time span of a year, that email is basically a dead fan, they have forgotten about you and they won’t open your emails ever again, we want to avoid that happening.
One of the reasons this sometimes happens is an excessive amount of email sent from you, example “3-4 emails a day”. You have to remember an email is very different from a facebook post and that you want to include the most important bits in a mail with a compelling or funny message that brings your audience a smile and a reason to buy your new album or stay intrigued in what you do.
A good time-span for emails is two or three a month and keeping it very simple but informative, that way your fanbase feels like they are in contact with you and you maintain their interest.
It can be a very arduous task once you have a good number of mails because your’e going to write a lot and have to send your mails to a specific schedule, you can setup an autorresponder to send the mails for you, that way you safe time.
What is an Autorresponder? With an autoresponder, you can make sure that every new sign up automatically gets an email sent to them. You can even send a sequence of mails, and set the date and time with the prior mentioned Mailing Systems.
Once someone is on your list, they are going to get a “confirmation” email automatically. I’m sure you’ve seen these before, where you have to “click on a link” to confirm your subscription.
After your potential fans confirm their subscription, they’re taken to a “thank you” page. This is the page where they’ll get their free download.
Now that they’ve confirmed, they’re officially a part of your list. Congratulations! You’ll want to follow up with them rather quickly.
You can do this by sending out email personally to every subscriber that signs up. Maintain your list and make sure you’re checking every few hours! I’m just kidding of course. It would be wildly ineffective to check your mailing list every day to see who had subscribed.
That’s where an autoresponder comes in handy!
Set up your autoresponder to send out 3-4 emails out in the first 3-4 weeks. You want your new subscribers to remember who you are!
What should you send them? Something that they’ll love! A really easy idea is to just send them a few more downloads. Every week, send them another download of your next best single.
Because you only have to set up the autoresponder once, it makes total sense to put your best foot forward. After all, thousands of new subscribers will eventually receive these few key emails.
Know Your Audience
Now this is one of the most important aspects and things you have to consider, as it is a personal situation you and your fans share, who they are, what they want to see from you, how they react to certain things and what they expect. With this information you can write emails that easily hooks their interest and keeps them checking their mail frequently.
One of the reasons we often send an offer or so to the trash folder or the span folder is because we find it boring or annoying or just isn’t convincing at all with a bunch of elements that make us feel more like a money giving machine rather than a loyal fan, you want to evade this situation as much as possible.
Now how can you avoid this situations? Here is a great method!
Follow along with these ACTION instructions:
Stop reading right now, and set a timer for 5 minutes.
After that, get out a pen & paper.
Spend at least 5 minutes thinking about what your fans love. Every time you think of an idea, write it down. Don’t worry if the ideas are stupid, just get them down. Get your brain working, and make an effort to actually consider your audience.
What do they like? What websites do they read? Do they actively find new music, or are they just radio listeners?
Just keep those ideas on your paper, and leave them there. You don’t have to pull any marketing miracles here – I just want you to push yourself a little bit, and then I’ll hold your hand the rest of the way.
Once you’ve got a few ideas down, let them swirl around in your brain. They’ll continue to stir around over the months, and it will make a difference in the future as you continue to market yourself.
Now you have the basics, your setup , your autorresponder and a pretty good overall idea of how your Mailing system should work to benefit you, there is a last aspect you should keep in mind and that is…
This is a rule of thumb and a basic when it comes down to socializing with your fans, and it is very useful, no one likes complex words or overall huge texts in their mail and let’s be honest here.. no one has the time nor the patience to read super long mails these days, we like things to be simple and we should always keep it that way,
The most important rule when it comes down to making something simple is being direct with your message and avoid spinning around the subject but be careful also not to lose your friendly attitude, another great reason simplicity helps it is so you won’t need to be to detailed or specific ordedicate too much of your time in the writing process and save yourself the time.
Now you have all your basics! Let’s get more into detail with how to engage our fans…
Emails That Engage & How to Keep Your Fans
Let’s tackle the elephant in the room; we’re not doing email marketing for fun. It’s an investment of time, energy, and money, that we want to see a positive return from.
As an artist, it’s likely that most of your income will come in spikes; the day you release a new album, the day you sign a sponsorship deal, or the day you’re paid from a tour. As such, the investment in building your email list may not pay itself back until you reach that next spike.
In my experience, having a good list of loyal fans makes those peaks higher.
Having control over your fans can also pay itself back in better deals. If you’re negotiating terms with a label or a potential sponsor you’re more likely to get a more favorable deal if you can say that you have a list of 100,000 fans that you can message at any time.
Let’s get into detail here and work on the To Do’s & How’s for keeping your fan base updated, there are quite a few steps but it is very simple and it can be also fun! Let’s start with how to write an attractive looking mail.
Set yourself the days you will send emails and the content you will write in each of them, it’s good to have the content of the email planned out a few days before so you just sit down with very good idea of what you are gonna send, For example you can pick every two Saturdays in the morning between 9-10 am, this way your fanbase or mailing list knowswhen to expect an email from you.
A Compelling Email
Great email marketing is about offering consistent value to your mailing list in a way that makes them glad to see your emails arrive in their inbox. Fundamentally, that’s what it all boils down to.
Here are a few good tips and aspects to ensure that you’re writing great emails:
- Friendly Attitude
this is very important, as I mentioned before you have to be careful on how you approach your fans and the best way is checking your grammar, check how many times you mention words like (I, me, we, and us) no one likes a person who speaks too much about themselves, have a greeting message and always leave a “have a nice day” or “good morning we hope you are well” message that makes them feel a friendly vibe from you.
- Writing Amazing Subject Lines
Advertising legend David Ogilvy said that “When you write your headline you’ve spent 80 cents out of your dollar”. This is because 80% of people will only ever read your headline. Unfortunately, this is also true with email marketing, which is why you need to learn to write great subject lines.
A good or great example of this would be “New album release date! Sign up for a new exclusive T-shirt with exclusive artwork” the whole point is finding8 to 16 words that immediately generate the need for checking it out. Have you ever seen those internet posts where they engage you with a “you won’t believe what happened next” or a very intriguing “What happened after that was amazing…” and you just out of curiosity have to look into it? That is the effect we are looking for my friend!
- Getting Your Email Frequency Right
Email frequency is a term used for how often you should send a mail to your fans, it is a very random subject as many people differ in opinion, some will say that sending a mail every 2 days is a great idea and others will tell you that that amount of mail would be bothersome, so to avoid getting you confused, your best option is to test it out for yourself and find the sweet spot into it.
I’d recommend starting out by sending one email every two weeks and testing different frequencies to gauge which frequency works best for you, as for this case you are a musician and you are not going to share every single thing you do with your fans, just the important stuff and what they are interested in hearing from you.
- Make your call-to-action clear
When you ask your fanbase to download a free tease or check out a link, make sure the process is super simple, fast and functional (By functional I mean making sure the file or link doesn’t have Ads involved or it stops working suddenly)so that everyone can do it, whether it is from their phone, tablet, pc, smart TV, etc… you have to keep it simple and even if it is, give them a brief explanation of how to do it so that they feel engaged, and feel a friendly “invitation” to trying it out.
Also, consider asking for their opinion or what they liked the most or if the disliked something in particular.
Now you learned how to write a compelling email and the elements it should have to be engaging, prominent and attractive. Let’s now talk a little about some ways you can build your fan base without having to pay lots of money in Advertisement or too much of your time.
Building Your List Of Fans Without Spending Lots Of Money
We have already given you a few small tips on how to get some followers and susbscribers but here are some worth mentioning and more detailed explanations, mostly because this are pretty much inexpensive and we are looking into it with a “within a budget range” perspective.
I have researched and organized some of the most useful tactics on how to attract fans to giveyou their email address, let’s check them out and talk a little about them:
- Give something in exchange for an email address — Most email marketing programs, such as ListBaby, will allow you to offer your fans a free download after they sign up to your list. So give away an MP3 of your best song, or perhaps a PDF with sheet music, or an eBook of your tour and recording diaries, fans always appreciate this stuff, all the way from the ones who have listened to your work for decades to the new ones who are starting to follow you.
- Put an email signup box on your website — Place the signup box in a prominent place on your website so all your visitors will see it, for example in a small floating add when they check your website or in a corner with a very attractive visual asset orcatch phrase, Example (Sign Up for a free song download and much more) you have to make it as attractive as possible so their attention does not divert from it and they end up ignoring it.
- Offline — Usually when you see a person face to face it says a lot more than online,if you play in a small gig or in a small place, a good way to get their email address is to handle a sheet of paper with a sing-up form and ask them to write their email down for more updates if they liked your performance.
- Use social media to get your followers onto your email list — I know we said social media is untrustworthybut that does not mean you should completely ignore it as you will need to have other forms of communication online as your fanbase grows or to attract them to your mailing list.
- A Raffle— Yes, you read well, a Raffle, believe it or not it is a very good tactic when it comes to musicians as it cannot be legally penalized in any form, as long as it’s free and you just talkto your fans for a free of charge giveaway.
- Create great content — This one in my opinion is one of the most important or maybe overall the most important advice I can handle you when it comes down to email interaction, not only to attract and engage fans but also to keep them entertained.
- Use your blog to get more email subscribers — If you have a blog with already a small fan base remember to add a small Sign up box for Mailing list, they are people who are already engaged and interested in what you do and will most probably subscribe to your mailing list without thinking it twice!
- Trade emails with another artist or band — If you know any other artists that actively manage their fan lists, do a trade with them. You email your list on their behalf with an incentive to sign up to their list — and vice-versa. Everybody wins, especially if your style or music is similar it is very likely they will sign up to you and gain a good number of fresh new faces in a few days.
- Get your fans to contribute —The best way to get direct attention from your fanbase via online is as simple as it sounds, interaction and featuring your fans in some way, some good ideas are making a small contest with a “10 new album giveaways!” headline and make them take a photo with your merch, with your previous album release or to tell a funny story or joke that involves music, and when there is a winner (or winners if you are giving more than one prize) feature them, fans always appreciate this kind and friendly displays from you because it is a very exciting event for them that allows them to feel closer to the band or artist and for you it is a way to get to know them little by little, after all the best pay for a musician is people enjoying what we do.
Use a catch phrase like “you can download some of the songs you listened today for free if you sign up” or “Sign up for more updates” as we mentioned before you have to give something to get something in return.
Another great tactic is giving something for free right there, like a guitar pick or a small sticker or two with a cool design as that also shows dedication and encourages people to take you more seriously.
Encourage your social media followers (those that can still see your posts, of course) to sign up for your newsletter, tell them what they’ll get in return and engage them with an attractive offer, and link them to your signup form.
Ask them to sign up their mail to participate and promise them you won’t use it for any sinister or abusive advertising “spammy” mails and this could turn out very efficient for you! This is a great method that can be applied to all social networks or even in one of your gigs or small concerts, just announce it and as we mentioned before handle them a paper or somewhere to write their mails and thank them for participating.
Creating great content can lead you to a very good attention response from your fans, you always see a funny mail and resend it to your co-worker or your closest friends for a good laugh or maybe some great tips or advice in a subject your interested, little by little this is going to help to keep your fanbase still and happy to have you in their mailing list! And avoid them to hit that horrible “unsubscribe” button.
Always remember that you have to keep the value coming, be consistent with it and make sure it doesn’t loose quality over time, always be very dedicated with what you deliver as this is also part of your social image and professional attitude.
Another great edge about it is that they are active and they check frequently what you do so they will also share and recommend others to check your stuff out.
As for fan contribution it is a very vast world of possibilites to make them feel familiar and friendly with you not only through giveaways but as we mentioned, a small petition, even things like donating $1 dollar or a few for asticker or a small batch of merch in exchange for supporting the band or artist upcoming album for a better recording studio or recording gear (that often these days musicians record themselves and gear is expensive!) as for this is a “milking money” method, many musicians use it in a emergency and contribute with a huge reward to their fans afterwards as long as you make sure to pay your fans back in some way there is nothing wrong about it, the opposite we all like seeing our favorite artist step up as fans are the main pillar and drive.
Another huge way to make an aproach to your fans is by simply asking them for opinions, sometimes fans have great ideas and want to share them with you and you have to be available to listen to them from time to time, whether it is a group conversation or a Q&A or just simply asking them to send you a mail with a question or two within the next 48 hours it’s a great way! It shows your interest for them… and any fan is going to feel good about been heard.
Share Videos & Monetization
Let’s approach another reason why having a big fanbase via email is a great deal for you! And that is video sharing and video monetization.
What is monetization? Monetizing is a simple thing, generate money for letting an affiliate program set an Ad in your media or website, for example a small Ad at the top of your website or on the side that for every 100 views you earn 1 USD, there are many ways and forms of monetization but one that has proven most efficient for musicians is through videosand in some cases our blogs (depending on how interesting and engaging your content is for the blog) so let’s stick with the videos for now.
(Remember you must be 18+ years old to get paid and have a PayPal or Bank Account)
First let’s show you how to share your videos when doing a massive mailing. There is a small technical issue and a very frequent question asked about video sharing or embed it, but it is very easy to fix it and super fast.
Video technologies are generally blocked by ISPs (Internet service provider) and email clients, so videos that are embedded directly into an email may not be playable when your fans open them.
As a result, it is not advisable to embed a video directly within an email message.
You can however include something in your email that looks like a playable video, but leads the subscriber to a page containing the actual playable video.
The first step to tackle this is to load up your video and get a good attractive shot for our screenshot, preferably take it in full screen and at it’s highest resolution so the photo is very clear andd professional looking (A screenshot is simply a freeze-frame of whatever is on your screen at the point where you hit specified keys on your keyboard)
Here are the commands to how to take a screenshot. If you are using Windows hit the “Print Screen” button, If this does not work you have a “Snipping tool” look for it in the “search programs and files” tab at the “Start” button
If you are using a Mac hold the “Command” and “Shift” buttons and hit “3”
Crop the screenshot with a photo editing software so it looks as good as possible.
After taking your screenshot, open a new file in your preferred image editing program. If you do not have image editing software on your computer, you can also make use of a free image editing website as there are plenty that will allow you to do minor modifications free of charge and no registration required.
Once you’ve opened the site and the application has loaded, click Upload a Photo. Choose your screenshot to start editing it.
Once it appears, click the Crop button and select the video:
Hit Ok when you’ve selected it – your image should now consist of just a capture of the video itself:
Under the “Save and Share” tab, click Save Photo. Save the file somewhere on your hard drive you’ll be able to find easily in just a few minutes.
Upload the Image to Your Website and Add to Email
As you would add any image you’d like to include in your email messages, upload the image file somewhere on your website or image hosting service and get it’s URL address.
Turn the Image into a Link
The last thing you need to do is transform the image so that when it is clicked on, subscribers are sent to the page containing the video.
Use the link tool to accomplish this. In the “Title” box enter some text like “Click to Play the Video” so that subscribers with images turned off by default still see an option to play the video.
Good! We are all setup and ready to go, now let’s go back to the monetization part and give you some tips and more info on how it works and how you can benefit from this particular system through sharing videos to your mailing list with the procedure we explained a moment ago.
Many video sharing websites have a Partner Program which enables you to make money when people watch your videos… and how does that work? They display a small Advertisement whether it is on a corner of your browser or in the video as a floating banner with a small “x” so you can close it anytime or even a small commercial, there are different ways the video service displays the Ad.
(remember you must be 18+ years old to get paid and have a PayPal or Bank Account)
Today the most used website is Youtube as it holds a huge amount of 1 billion users a month, and with all honesty, we have all seen funny videos, tutorials or/and music videos from different decades that people transformed to a modern video format and uploaded it.
How does the Youtube Partner Program work?
Via Advertisement and commercials.
It is a super easy to setup system, you just need a Google Email Account to link it to your Youtube and click the “Upload” button at the top-right corner.
Youclick the big grey arrow at the center of the screen to search for your video and upload it (Youtube also has it’s own video editor and Photo Slideshow in case you need to do a very simple presentation)
Once you have uploaded a video or two, google the next sentence “Set up your channel and videos for monetization” and an official Youtube link should appear in the first or secondlink under the same name, it will be a very simple form of steps on how to set up your channel, how to verify your videos are monetized, and setting up your PayPal or Bank account.
After you have done the procedure and verified it’s all setup follow the step sequence for screenshot and embed I mentioned and explained before and send that video out to your mailing list.
Interacting With Fans
Not to be confused with getting your fans to contribute as for interaction we are explicitly referring to talking, sharing with your fanbase, interacting with them and getting to know them little by little is the next task, but I promise you it is very rewarding and fun to get to know the people who support you.
Some examples on how to interact with fans are listed below:
Send Exclusive Emails
A very important thing you have to be certain when you have a large fan base is to always make sure they receive the fresh news first and exclusive offers in merchandise, album purchase, or any sort of offer you have.
Testimonials also add tremendous value; when someone sees firsthand what a great time your attendees had at your last concert, they certainly won’t want to miss out.
They can alleviate tension during the sign up process and can potentially increase album and ticket sales once subscribers are on your email list. But how do you collect worthwhile feedback when you have none to begin with? What Are People Saying About You?
Without even picking up the phone or sending an email, you have an incredible arsenal of research tools available to you via the internet, here is where social networks become a very handy tool.
The first place to start digging? Your inbox. Chances are that you’ve received a few emails from adoring fans. If you haven’t deleted them, they’re still frozen in time in your inbox.
Hunt through old messages and look for any positive feedback you can find. If you come across a nugget of praise, send a quick email back to the sender asking if they would mind if you used their comment in your marketing materials. Since the feedback is good they shouldn’t mind, but it’s always best to ask.
Next, head over to Twitter Search to find out if fans are tweeting about your band. Search for your band name, albums, songs and any other terms relevant to your business.
If the search produces results, send users a quick private message to ask if they mind if you use their tweets. You should also mark favorable comments about your band as favorites so that you don’t lose any of them. This way you can always access your favorites page from your home page, and other users can view your favorites page to see which tweets you like best.
Do you have a blog? Even if it’s your personal blog or your band’s it is very probable you have plenty of feedback from fans there. Read older blog comments – there are bound to be testimonials you can use in your marketing materials on how you have improved over time.
Check with the person who so kindly gave you praise via email to make sure that it’s ok for you to republish their comment.
Take a look at what people are saying about your band on your Facebook fan page. You might find the best testimonials without even having to ask for them.
Just make sure to send a quick Facebook Message or email to the user to give them a heads up that you would like to use their testimonial.
Make Your Email List Your Official Fan Club
One of the great benefits about having a large and successful mailing list with supportive or just active fans is you can also send them content they will enjoy seeing, videos of your band recording in the studio, funny bits and bloopers, exclusive material or ask them opinions for your new T-shirt designs.
Let’s take Pearl Jam’s official fan group, Ten Club for example ( a paid-for membership club), itrewards their fans with ticket upgrades, member giveaways and a community forum. To top things off, they send members a vinyl single of a live or unreleased track every spring.
Imagine how amazing is that? You see, having a mailing list is not only for an economical reason or to reach more people out there, yes indeed that is it’s main function but it has a lot of other pros and very little cons and one of the greatest pro’s there is to it is the fact you build your real fanbase via online and can keep in constant contact with them.
Any fan enjoys seeing a great photo of your guitar player shredding his best solo or the good looking vocalist giving his best at last night’s concert.
You have to share as often as possible with your fans your greatest moments, after all it’s what you do and they helped you achieve it, you have to be transparent with them, always.
As we have mentioned, video sharing is also a great option, not only because of the monetization system but it’s something more visual and interactive than just a bunch of photos. We have all seen videos of musicians in the recording studio showing how they do their magic, or just laughing and cracking jokes.
A great band project for example is making a video tour diary, that way fans can see everyday what you are doing and how you are giving it your best out there every day.
Another great thing to share is Merchandise ideas, make a poll on which designs they like the most, the t-shirt or hat colors, if they want a small gift with the purchase like a sticker, band wrist or guitar pick, that way when you put the product out there you already have a basic idea of how many of your fans actually like it and that can raise sales.
Connect Using Social Media
Sharing content with your fans through social media. Use social media networks to spread the word about your concerts, and link to a hosted web form so that interested parties can add themselves to your email list.
Due that social networks are very vast and people tend to see the same content in large groups a great idea is to solicit Feedback
It’s always helpful to know what fans are saying about you.
You could even solicit feedback using a rating scale – a few links inserted in a logical order in your message that allow your readers to rate their experience at your show.
Rating scales are also helpful for bands in the studio. If you release a sneak-peek of new music to your email list, ask readers to tell you how they like the music by rating the song 1-10.
Feedback is one of the most intricate things fans can give you, in the long run there is always a couple of fans that have been with you from the beginning and have seen you grow little by little and become what you are or you will be in the future. Even the most recent fans are listening to your first tracks or your first ideas and start grabbing a good concept of what you do and how you do it.
There is where feedback plays an important part, and you should ask for it too, as it is helpful when you experiment and see how people react to something new, it also gives you a constructive critique from a different perspective and can even help you challenge yourself.
How to ask for feedback?
Ask for feedback when you have a doubt on a very specific thing, or maybe just for fun or curiosity to find out if fans like something or not.
The best way is through social networks, ask for an honest and transparent opinion in a comments section in a photo with a link in the description box, or upload the video directly to the social network of your choice with the purpose of only receiving feedback.
The good side of using a social network is that you do not have to open individual mails, you just have to scroll through! Talk about advantage.
A good feedback is one where they do not insult you (Duh!) but they say with honesty what they think and not just praise your work, if you upload a semi-finished mixed song you want to look for comments like “the guitar is too loud, it distracts you from hearing the rest of the band” or “the vocalist sounds far.. maybe a bit more volume” or maybe “too much reverb I cant distinguish this bit or that bit” this is very useful if you are an independent musician who is starting to record yourself or your band in your new studio-like treated room and want to know what kind of sound you should look for.
Before A Show, Sell, Sell, Sell
Here is another fun bit and a time saving situation when you have a mailing list with a good number of fans:
Are you charging for tickets?
You’ll want to include ticket prices in your email, what the concert entails and a link to a website or venue where those who are interested can buy tickets. Once tickets are purchased, you can have guests added to a different list within an AWeber account account via email parser.
If Your Concert is Free
You’ll want to share all pertinent information about the show, and a link to a hosted web form where they can reply if they are assisting or not to the event so that they are added to a separate list within your account.
When the date of the big day draws closer, send concert-goers a message that addresses frequently asked questions and include directions to the venue. Even though the different venues that you play may be in charge of security and other concerns, nothing shows that you are more accommodating than including maps and parking information.
The more informed your fans are, the more willing they will be to come to another show in the future.
Going To Tour?
Send your fans with a month of anticipation a list or the flyer with the dates and places you will be playing at, with a link that directs them to a website where they can purchase tickets or make a pre-reservation for the event closest to them.
Meet & Greet
A very fun event where fans can feel the most close to you and chit-chat with you is in a meet and greet. Here you sign their albums or merch and take a few photos with them, it is always good to do this before a show as you can set a booth with tickets for your upcoming show.
When you set up a meet & greet whether it’s in a mall or in a music store, notify your fans via email, the hour, how long you will stay and what they can do (take a photo, a short video, talk with you for 10 minutes) you get to pick what you want them to do, just remember to make it short so everyone haves a chance to talk and share with you.
After the Show: Follow Up
After the show you want to keep contact with your fans or the new faces who came to see you, now it is a great moment to talk to them and ask them for an honest opinion or just crack a couple of jokes to befriend them a bit, also you can ask them to sign up to yourmailing list with the previous tips we gave you.
Some ideas of the feedback you can ask for after a show are:
How they heard about the event: From a friend, maybe they saw a flyer in the street that called thir attention and decided to go check it out or in a website for local events where you announced when you would play.
Which songs they liked the most: how they make them feel and what they liked the most about it, maybe the lyrics or the great guitar solo or the piano chords, or just the overall outstanding performance.
Where they would like to see you play soon: Maybe they are visiting town or a friend and they went to see you for fun! It’s always great whe na fan recommends a new place to play!
It’s not easy to get your foot in the door in the music industry, but email can certainly help. If we do say so ourselves, we know a thing or two about email marketing, and there is no harm in trying it out, who knows, as we said in the beginning It takes time and a lot of patience but it can pay off big time!
Email marketing’s not easy, and you won’t get it right first-time, but it’s worth sticking at. The quickest way to get better at email marketing – or anything – is to measure what matters to you and focus all of your energy on improving it.
I hope this guide’s been handy and if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below and i’ll do my best to answer them.