Marketing

8 Common Mistakes Musicians Make When Sending Emails

As an artist, being able to launch an effective email marketing campaign is essential to promoting your music. Unfortunately, composing an email which anyone will actually open, much less respond to, is an extremely challenging endeavor, fraught with countless pitfalls. Here we look at how to avoid some of the most common errors musicians encounter when sending emails.

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Guest post by Andrew Zapisotskyi

There it is. You’ve done very long research on potential leads. You have a long list of folks who can help promote your music. They’re literally desperate to find a band like yours.
You take a look at your own email checklist, prepare an email campaign and send it all at once, without a second thought. You wait for a bit, go for a walk, practice a bit and open a laptop to have a look at the first replies. Yet, there’s nothing. 

You take a look at your own email checklist, prepare an email campaign and send it all at once, without a second thought. You wait for a bit, go for a walk, practice a bit and open a laptop to have a look at the first replies. Yet, there’s nothing. 

A day has passed, a few out-of-office automates only popped up. After a few days, someone finally responds but not really with an offer you had in mind. Days go on and what looked like a very promising campaign turns into a nightmare.

Top 8 of the most common email mistakes

What could have gone wrong? Likely you’ve made one of the many mistakes some musicians make when sending emails. Let’s go through the most common ones.

Vague subject line

We’re all to blame here – we often focus so much on the actual content of a message that we keep a topic as an afterthought. And it’s as important as the body itself. 

Recipients often decide whether they should open an email solely based on a subject line. If it’s too generic and doesn’t appeal to them in any way, they’re likely to move on to the next ones without an afterthought.

Focus on writing engaging subject lines. Include there a glimpse of what a reader will find inside an email. Even if you send emails to hundreds or thousands of recipients, think if a subject you picked will be relevant to each. Maybe you should split the list into several groups and send different subject lines to each?

Not personalizing messages

Many musicians send identical emails to all their recipients. This significantly cuts the time needed to compose them but does it always work in their favor? Rarely.

The more effort you put into personalizing your messages, likely the higher your chance of getting the desired action recipients.

Start off with a proper salutation. Mention a person’s name if only you can find it (and in most cases you do). Don’t use “to whom it may concern”, ever. 

Insert some other personal details into the body. It can be a person’s company or a position. Mention why you’re reaching out or what grabbed your attention. 

You don’t need to insert these details for each recipient separately. Use any Mail Merge tools such as GMass or YAMM to insert personal details into emails directly from a spreadsheet. Most if not all platforms for sending mass emails will also have similar capabilities.

Writing too long emails

Some people receive hundreds of emails every day. They can’t afford to read each, otherwise, they would be nothing but that. They will often scan through their inbox and read only the most promising ones. Even if you picked a great subject line but to read a message they need to spend another 5 minutes to get its point, they’re unlikely to even get started.

Many humans have a natural tendency for storytelling – we write long paragraphs, explain every tiny detail. And only in the 8th or 12th chapter we get to the actual action we need from a reader.

Don’t go this way. Keep each sentence short and to the point. Cut the unnecessary part, keep the whole body concise. 

Use formatting to strengthen your call to action – bold the most important phrases, utilize bullet lists whenever possible. 

Before you send an important campaign, scan through it several times and cut whatever is not necessary. Repeat this process several times. You’ll be surprised by how little you actually need to include.

Being too informal or too formal

Adjust your tone of voice to the person you’re writing to. Likely you’ve never met the person you’re writing to. In such a case, err on the safe side and be more professional than you would normally be with your friends. 

Replace “Hey there” with “Hello” or “Hi” and add a person’s name. Pass on “Cheers” in the end and use a safer “Best” or “Regards”. Once you get a better feel of a person, adjust your language accordingly. Some companies or industries are by definition very informal while others communicate solely in a professional manner.

Don’t be too formal too, unless you’re reaching out to an academic professor with four PhDs. Leave “Dear Mr. Smith” and “Yours Sincerely” for written letters and rather aim somewhere in the middle.

Sending before proofreading

We make typos over and over again and they’re not always so easy to catch, even with sophisticated software. Use a spell checker in the first place but don’t rely solely on it. 

Triple check each piece of content before it’s sent. It’s better to spend an extra 10 minutes on it than realize something went wrong when an email has already been delivered (potentially, to hundreds of recipients).

If possible, delegate this to someone outside – be it a coworker or professional proofreaders. They may be able to spot something you won’t notice even on the 5th check.

Not ending emails properly

Don’t forget to end your email in style. Most recipients will expect some kind of sign off at the end of an email. Just like you sign paper letters, the same etiquette applies to emails.

If you expect a reader to take some action, expressing some gratitude with even “Thanks” or “Thanks in advance” goes a long way. As a matter of fact, according to Boomerang’s study, these endings result in an even 38% increase in the response rate.

To make your emails look more professional, consider also adding a signature. This should include your name, position, contact details, and a company logo. A picture can also help sometimes but is by no means obligatory.

Misspelling names

If you’re personalizing (and you should), check if the names are spelled correctly. None of what you’ve written will matter if you misspell someone’s name in the very first line.

If you’re copy/pasting personalized messages, pay special attention to inserting the right details for each recipient. No one likes being referred to as “John” when in fact they’re Mary.

Check also any other names included in the next. This goes especially to those written in a language different than yours. While typos are easy to miss, recipients will spot any errors immediately.

Sending at the wrong time

Last but not least – don’t just send out a campaign the moment you finished it. Instead, schedule it to be sent at the most optimal time.

Monday mornings are usually a bad idea. This is when most folks come to an office only to see their inbox flooded with emails after a weekend. Your message needs to really stand out to be noticed.

The same goes for overnight campaigns. By the time a recipient opens a mailbox, there’s already a bunch of other emails lining up, craving for their attention. Keep in mind that if you’re emailing overseas contacts, a perfect time in your timezone may be late at night in theirs. Optimize for it if possible.

The good time for sending is usually between Tuesday and Thursday, during a working day. The time between 9 am and 11 am is often quoted as the most promising one. This is when many of your contacts are already at the office, maybe sipping morning coffee while scanning their inbox. A new email with a good subject line is likely to catch their attention.

Wrapping up

That’s all, folks. Implement these tips and you’ll see effects very quickly, pinky promise. 

Until the next time!

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