An email list isn’t worth much if you never use it. In fact, an email list isn’t worth much if you only use it every now and then. It is perhaps the best platform for both developing a relationship with your fans and driving sales, but many artists aren’t using it to it’s full potential.
Guest Post by Dave Kusek, founder and CEO of the New Artist Model
For the most part, we’ll send emails to our list when we have something going on - be it a new album, a PledgeMusic campaign, or a gig or tour - and then we go dark until something else awesome comes along. This works, but if you really want to make the most of your email list you want to think of it like a relationship.
Let’s look at an example. If you just go up to a random person on the street and ask them to buy your new album, they probably won’t take you up on it. If, however, you start a conversation with that person and talk with them a few times, they are much more likely to actually support your music. That’s because you’ve taken the time to develop a relationship with that person. It’s the same with your email subscribers.
To start developing a relationship with your email subscribers and making the most of your email list, follow these four tips. This list is really just scratching the surface, but if you really want to understand awesome email strategies, check out this social media and online music promotion training program.
1. Send Immediately
If you let your new email subscribers pile up before you send them anything, you’re missing a big opportunity to make a connection. People who actually take the jump and sign up for your emails are really valuable to you - more so than even your social media followers. Think about it this way: we are all very wary about giving out our email address, so for that reason only a small percentage of people who hit your website or squeeze page will sign up. Those who do are extremely interested in your music.
You need to take advantage of that interest and use the momentum to set the foundation for a deeper relationship. By signing up for your list, your fans are starting a conversation and now it’s up to you to respond. Set up an auto responder to fire as soon as someone signs up for your list. Send them some free music, thank them for being awesome and share something about yourself. If you’d like to learn more about this strategy, check this out.
2. Relate to Your Fans
The key to successful emails is to sound like a real person. Your fans aren’t looking for yet another promotional email - we all spend so much time clearing out our inbox and getting rid of all that. They signed up to get really cool information about an artist they are interested in.
With that in mind, start writing emails in your own voice. Share stories, experiences, photos and thoughts, and let your personality and humor shine through. Remember, we’re trying to build a relationship, and relationships aren’t built on promotional and marketing messaging. They are built on stories, conversation, and connection. Essentially, you want your fans to be able to relate to you, and you do that by being real. If you want more ideas of what you can send to your list, check this out.
3. Send Often
There’s a blurry line between sending too many emails and not sending enough. Too many and you can drive unsubscribes, too few and people forget about you. The truth is, the amount of email you can send will vary depending on you, what you’re sending, and your fanbase.
Any relationship requires frequent communication to develop, and it’s no different for your email list. Of course, like we talked about earlier, sending frequent promotional emails can come across as spammy, so make sure you’re being relatable and conversational. Try sending once a week and see how your fans respond. Depending on your fanbase, you may want to send more or less often. Use the analytics to see what works. If you’d like to learn more about how often you should be sending to your list, check this out.
4. Tie it Back to a Product
At this point you’ve got the foundation for an email strategy that will build a relationship with your fans, but as a professional musician, you need to make money too. If you have a new album out or a tour coming up, you should definitely send some promo to your list, but in between those big events, you can also be weaving in some calls to action in your emails.
Let’s say you’re sharing a story about something funny that went down during band practice. Share the story and at the end of the email give your fans a link to buy the album with the song from the story. As you can see, you’re still promoting your music, but it’s done in a much more tasteful way while still building a relationship with your audience. To learn more cools ways to use your emails to drive sales, check this out.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to sending email than you might have thought. It’s about using the momentum of the signup to start developing a relationship. In the New Artist Model online music business program we go more in depth into email strategy and turning your art into a career. You can get even more tips and strategies that could help you take your music career to the next level, check out these free social media training videos.