Artist Promotion

Use Email to Boost Your Music Marketing Reach

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Building and maintaining an email mailing list is an important, yet often overlooked, step for budding career musicians. That list enables you to reach your growing fanbase consistently and, most importantly, predictably — helping you to successfully fill venues and sell merchandise.

For a brief time, it seemed that social media would become the most effective marketing tool available, but studies have shown otherwise. In 2014, email marketing was found to be four times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined, and over the last few years not much has changed.

Experts also believe that emails are likely to stay around even if social media, as we know it, were to disappear.

Interesting fact
On average, only 57% of people use Facebook daily while more than nine in ten (91%) check their email every day.

Email compared to Facebook — Daily use: Email 91% Facebook 57%

As an aspiring musician, you simply cannot ignore the opportunities that email marketing has to offer, so read on to learn how to get started.

Direct marketing for singers and musicians?

Direct marketing is a targeted form of advertising which utilises a variety of media, such as text messaging, email, websites, online adverts, social media, magazines etc.

Whatever channels you choose, it’s important to build your brand and remain consistent across all platforms while connecting with your audience.

Direct marketing allows you to directly select those who have already shown interest in your music. As, they’ve heard you before, they’re much more likely to pay attention to news and offers than a random person. This reduces marketing costs dramatically.

Caution: Shameless plug ahead! Continue reading below.

Who should be on your email list?

Once you’ve collected all the email addresses from your friends and extended family, you might wonder ‘what’s next?’.

At this early stage, it’s important to realise that you need more than one email mailing list. A good way to start is to divide your contacts in to fans and industry professionals. With time, your lists will become more specific.

For example, fans can be divided into those who already bought something from you, and those who only went for the free stuff — while pros will include separate lists for fellow musicians, producers, DJs, journalists, etc.

Every one of these groups will have to receive different emails. However, the good news is that there are programs built especially to make this process easy.

MailChimp is a good choice for beginners as, aside from being the most popular platform of it’s kind, it’s free for under 2000 contacts — but there are many others to choose from.

Smart ways for musicians to grow their mailing lists

Whenever you meet somebody who is interested in your music, simply ask if you could take their email address and send them a sample. In that email, ask if they are happy to be signed up to your newsletter.

Properly collecting consent from your contacts is very important. You also have to protect their data from misuse and never share it with third parties (unless they explicitly request that you do so).

The new regulation on personal data (GDPR) is fairly strict, although many email marketing platforms offer guidelines and solutions to help.

Doing it the old school way

When you’re playing a free gig, ask a friend to walk around with a board and collect emails (later to be added to a spreadsheet) including name, address and date. Sounds boring?.. It doesn’t have to be!

Imagine a conversation that goes something like this:

“Hey, how are you? Have you heard ‘XYZ’ play before? They have a few gigs coming up — I’ll send you the schedule. What is your email address?”

Caution: Shameless plug ahead! Continue reading below.

Collecting emails via your website

Creating a signup form for your website is the first thing to do. If you don’t have a website, set up a simple landing page requesting that visitors submit their email address if they want to hear about your next release or performance.

A freebie is the most powerful way to attract new contacts. Think of what you can give away: a free song, discount for tickets and merchandise, stickers, or maybe the details of a secret gig?

Whatever it is, your fans will only be able to access it once they fill in a sign up form.

Pop up boxes are a good way of promoting your freebies.

Work your social media

Share links to your freebies on Facebook, and if you have a YouTube channel (you should) tell your subscribers about your newsletter and how they can join.

Never spam your contacts

Once you have collected your email addresses, you can start thinking of sending your first newsletter.

Think about how often you have something fresh to share with your contacts and plan your newsletter regularly so that people are used to seeing it in their mailbox every Tuesday or every first Friday of the month. Consistency is key.

Apart from the regular send-out, you can plan campaigns (a series of emails triggered by a particular occurrence — here’s how to prepare them in MailChimp) and special offers.

There are many strategies and ideas that are worth exploring, but the most important thing is to avoid spamming your contacts — unless you plan to lose them!

Keep your emails short and sweet, design them to reflect your musical style and, most of all, make sure they contain something that’s valuable to the reader like a link to your new song or information about the next gig.

Have you used email to market yourself or promote gigs/merchandise? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.