What mistake is this?
Are you collecting email addresses at shows and from your website?
If you said yes, you can go about your day 😉 If you said no, keep reading.
Why do I need a mailing list?
You can go look through as many statistics, case studies, and research reports you want, but the bottom line is e-mail marketing wins out over social media and paid advertising…every time.
At least when it comes to fan engagement, building community, and selling things (music, merch, etc).
- Do you have a “join my mailing list” form, button, or widget on your band’s website?
- Do you know your e-mail open rate? Your click through rate?
- Are you sending out newsletters once a month to update fans with news and music?
- Are you using your e-mail list to build a tight knit community around your craft?
Your answer to these questions needs to be yes.
You need to treat social media, blog promotion, press, events, and advertising as channels to funnel traffic to your website.
Once you have traffic on your website, you need to be leading people to join your mailing list.
How do I do that?
Give them an incentive, such as:
- a free download of an unreleased song…or even a released song you have for sale.
- access to a private area on your website where you share demo recordings or unfinished masters of your new album as well as older material you never put out.
- host a monthly Hangout on Air via Google+ and only invite fans from your list.
Your mailing list is your VIP club.
These people are your most loyal fans.
They are ones who have bought or will buy your music and they are the people you see at your shows when you gig or go on tour.
Collect e-mails at shows
Any time you perform you need a clipboard, a pen, and a friend or fan walking around during the show asking people for their e-mails.
You need a sign up sheet at your merch table.
Do it the right way
You will have to join a service such as Mailchimp, Mad Mimi, or FanBridge in order to do this the right way.
Simply collecting e-mail addresses and then blasting messages from your Gmail account turns you into a spammer. There are also several ethical/legal issues involved in CCing and BCCing large groups of people from a standard e-mail account.
This is why a specialized service is imperative. Many of the services offer a free plan (which limits the number of subscribers you can send e-mails to).
Using ReverbNation’s FanReach system is a bad idea because [in my experience] the only people that join your ReverbNation mailing list are other bands shamelessly promoting themselves.
These people are NOT loyal fans; they are [essentially] spammers.
The details of successful list building and e-mail marketing are for future articles, but your one takeaway from this is…
Make sure you are doing everything possible to drive fans to join your mailing list.
Oh…you don’t have one you say? Get started…now!
This will be your ultimate selling machine when it comes to releasing music and selling merchandise.
This will also help you recognize your most loyal fans and then treat them as such.