Social media continues to dominate the focus of online marketing discussions. However, there is no question that email marketing for musicians has, is, and will continue to be a critical key to success. With a strong email list and a proper email marketing strategy, you can continue to build and reach out to your fan base.
Why is email marketing for musicians so important?
Let’s look at the basics. You own your email list. This gives you direct permission to reach your fans to connect, stay in touch, and sell music, merchandise, tickets and more. Email marketing has even been shown to be as much as 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined.
This article is designed to be a quick guide covering what you will need to know to get started with building and succeeding with your own email marketing strategy.
Choosing Your Email Marketing Platform
Forget about emailing out from your gmail account, trying to BCC hundreds or even thousands of fans. What you need is an established company that provides email marketing services such as the ability to create html messages, schedule broadcasts in advance, track and review your analytics, and more.
TrafficWave allows all of this and more for about 60 cents a day.
Set Up Your Web Site For List Building
You will want to add a form to your band web site inviting visitors and fans to subscribe to your list. Sheri Lavo, a jazz and blues singer in Houston, has a link on her web site that allows her visitors and fans to join her list so they can see where and when she is performing next. Fans will often thank her for sending out her gig announcement emails so they know where to find her. The clubs she sings at appreciate that she always brings fans which translates to new customers for them.
Email marketing for musicians works.
Once you have your form on your web site, you can share that form or the link to your subscription form on your favorite social media sites.
Building Your Mailing List
Bear in mind that we are talking about permission based email marketing. This means that your fans give you their permission to email them. You will want to start by reaching out to your existing fan base to let them know you have a list available for them to join. Send them a link so they can get on your list.
You may want to incentivize them with a download of your latest or upcoming recording.
During live performances, let fans know they can join your list. Have them fill out a form at your merch table, drop a card in your tip jar, etc..
Frequency of Newsletters / Emails
Once you have subscribers showing up in your database, it is time to start sending your newsletters! A big question we get is “How often should you be sending newsletters to my fans?“
Your first goal should be consistency. In other words, how often do you feel you can send your newsletter? Once a month? Once every two weeks? Your schedule will be affected by your actual gig announcements, event announcements, tour dates, merchandise availability, etc… You will want to strike that balance between keeping your fans informed and being “too visible”. Start slow and build up. The feedback you get from your fanbase will help you fine tune the schedule.
Some bands we know have a regular weekly mailing schedule to promote upcoming dates. Exceptions are made for big events our announcements.
Test it out the pace with your own fan base, understand what works and what doesn’t, and make tweaks from there.
What Should Your Newsletter Say?
Your first message should be an autoresponder that welcomes your new subscribers and let’s them know what to expect from you.
Maybe you can send out links to youtube videos or promo spots you’ve done.
Are you selling tickets to an upcoming show?
Have you added a new location for your band and want to invite your fans to come out and hear you?
Are you adding a new band member or making a change?
The answer to these questions will help you to determine the type of content you should include in your newsletter.
Don’t Forget The Call To Action
Your call-to-action could be a button or a hyperlink, driving fans to whatever it is that will help you achieve your goal.
Selling albums? Include a ‘buy the new album’ button. Increasing awareness for your new music video? Include a ‘watch the new video now’ button.
Use Killer Subject Lines
Personalize the subject line by starting with the name of your reader. This will give you a definite advantage in getting your message opened. Keep the subject line short but attention grabbing. Make them want to open your email to read more.
Analyzing Your Data
Your list is started and growing. Your newsletters are going out. Is it working? How can you really tell? Sure, seeing more fans show up at gigs, selling more merchandise, getting more media and press coverage are all great indicators. But do you know what is working and what isn’t? Do you know what to change in your emails?
The thing to do now is to analyze your email marketing data. You can then let it inform how to improve the next time around.
You may find after a few months of sending your emails that you average a 20% open rate and a 5% click thru rate. Maybe you noticed that the one time you included a personal note as the introduction to your newsletter, you saw the click thru rate jump to 10%. This is the sort of information that can help you find out how to create more relevant content moving forward.
Maybe one week you decided to use a question as the subject line and you saw that average 20% open rate jump to 40%. The data is telling you something! Use this to develop winning strategies that will help you to achieve your goals with your email marketing.
To get started using email marketing for musicians, click this link to check out our 30 Day Free Trial.
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