A musician’s guide to creating merch bundles that fans will love
Regardless of where you’re at in the album release/touring cycle, merch bundles can be a great way to get your fans to spend that extra dollar. Here, we look at how to create the perfect bundle that your fans will love!
Guest post by Hailey McCarthy of the Bandzoogle Blog
Whether you’re getting ready for your next album release and upcoming tour, or you want to create an immersive experience for your fans, creating music and merch bundles is a great way to make money as a musician and reward your followers.
Product bundling enhances the direct-to-fan connection by offering merchandise experiences that are catered to your fans, and can be done directly from your music website. Bundling limited edition items with a new album or pairing items that offer the fan a unique experience is a great way to show that you value the connection you’ve built on stage and through your music.
Creative merch ideas
Exercise your creativity by pairing unconventional products with tried-and-true items like a classic band t-shirt. Some cool things to incorporate in your merch can include song lyrics, silhouettes of your band members, your unique band logo, or alternate album artwork.
You can also up the ante with useful items like bottle openers, blankets and playing cards. Try mixing and matching classic items with featured items, and of course, your music.
Thinking about selling more merch by creating bundles for your music fans? Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
The experience bundle
Interaction between artist and fan doesn’t need to be limited to live shows and social media. Product bundles can improve the musician-to-fan connection if artists are thoughtful and creative with their offerings. Curating an experience with your bundles is a nice way to strengthen your bond with your devotees.
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If your latest album is best suited for cozy days, create a bundle that features a coffee mug, a warm sweater, and a digital version of your record. This is also a great option if you want to be a bit more hands-off, because you can create the products directly with Printful, so you don’t need to manage inventory or shipping yourself. Simply create your items in Printful, set up the digital album on your site, and bundle it all together to give your listeners a gateway to your frame of mind when you made such sweet jams.
Emily Kinney has some great examples of experience-based bundles, featuring coffee mugs paired with vinyl to encourage fans to sit back with their favourite beverage and listen to the record.
Artist: Emily Kinney
Limited edition bundles
If you want to promote a new single or tour, try creating a limited edition bundle in anticipation of the event. You can combine the music or tickets with a merchandise staple (like a band t-shirt), but add one special item to sweeten the deal for your fans. This could be a personalized photo or a limited run of signed album artwork to incentivize fans to be a part of your music history.
If you want to experiment with merch ideas, but aren’t sure how your fans will react, try creating a limited edition bundle with your experimental product and classic merch items. You can set the inventory for this bundle in your music store and see how quickly it takes to reach the limit, which can indicate if the experimental item should become a staple.
As a touring musician, you might have merch left over from previous tours that have time stamps on it, like ‘USA Tour 2018.’ It’s difficult to offload these items once the tour is over, but selling band merch online makes it easy to combine these items with a limited edition print of your latest album artwork, or signed band photos!
You can price this type of bundle just above the regular price of the artwork so you can break even on the merch you had printed and move the products quickly.
The retro bundle
You might remember the days when you’d buy a physical copy of an album and it would be accompanied by a lyric booklet with interesting artwork, never before seen photos, or hand-written annotations from the artist.
Now that fans can purchase music online and carry it wherever they go, gone are the days when you’d sit in your room poring over the lyrics as you listened along. If you’re an artist who wants to emphasize your lyrical output, create a bundle for fellow wordsmiths.
You can write out your lyrics manually and scan them or make something in Photoshop if you want to get fancy. You can then print your lyrics booklets at your local printers or compile them digitally. Start with the lyric booklet for your item, then bundle it with your digital album to allow for an intimate experience. This can be especially cool if you have an album of unreleased demos!
To make this bundle even cooler, add on a tote bag so fans can carry the booklet with them to their local park, watch clouds, and refer to the lyric sheets or artwork while they’re listening along.
Artists Wolf & Moon lean into this retro feel by bundling a vinyl, tote bag, and a magazine for their latest release.
Artist: Wolf & Moon
There are a few things to consider when it comes to setting up music bundles. Music that is bundled with other items (like tickets, t-shirts, or even other albums) can’t be reported to SoundScan, so keep this in mind if you are wanting to chart music sales with a new single or album release.
With that being said, if you have a catalogue that dates back a few years that you’re no longer reporting, you can sell music bundles that include all of your back catalogue for your lifelong fans.
Another ingenious way to sell music bundles is to compile each record’s demos or stems. Often, artists will also create acoustic versions of their albums that can be bundled as ‘B-Sides’ offerings, with printed items featuring alternate album artwork. This type of bundle can also be limited edition, for your ultimate fans.
Marketing your bundles
Now that you’ve made awesome bundles your fans will love, think about innovative ways to let your fans know they’re available. Marketing your band merch bundles can be as easy as providing a link to your online music store, plus here is a list of original ways to promote your awesome bundles:
- Create a hidden page on your website featuring only your bundles, then hide the link in some text or an image on your main site. You can send a newsletter to fans encouraging them to look for the ‘easter egg’ for exclusive merch.
- Put together bundles that are season specific – think beer koozies and beach towels for the summer, or blankets and sweaters for the fall.
- Create an epic bundle that includes all of the merch you’ve made for one specific album release prior to the release date.
- Market your limited edition bundles by adding large text at the top of your bundles page, highlighting the inventory cap for these items.
Consider selling bundles as part of your next album launch or tour to drum up excitement and give your followers something to listen and hold on to. In addition to making you some extra money, there’s so much potential for fan engagement with the unique product experiences you can create.