One of the most difficult things about promoting your work is knowing where to start and how to channel your energy. However, one of the top priorities of any musician should be creating an email list. This is very important because the email inboxes of people are precious real estate.
They have possibly done their best to curate and prune what comes to their eyes and what goes down to their spam folder. Subscribing to your email updates or to receiving your newsletter is a great show of intent and interest to support you through the purchase of an album, buying merch, tickets to shows, and more.
Email is not as inconsistent as social media. Twitter and Instagram are always modifying and altering their algorithms. Whereas, TikTok and Snapchat are mainly suited for engaging with fans and not for promoting art. However, some people still use them to promote art, but they are not as effective as the aforementioned social media platforms. With email, you have better control of your information. It also gives you the assurance that people who are interested in your content will receive whatever information you send to them.
TIPS TO SETTING UP YOUR NEWSLETTER PROGRAM
As a musician, planning your email strategy is very important. You need to set up your newsletter program before you dive into growing your email list, and here is how to do that:
Choose a Service Provider
The first thing you need to do is to decide which newsletter service provider you want to work with. Some factors such as your budget, style, and goals will determine the newsletter software you choose. Some common options you have include TinyLetter, MailChimp, FanBridge, and Constant Contact. You should read the reviews of these platforms and check out the list of services they provide as well as their pricing. You should also consider:
- The number of subscribers you will have
- How often you will send emails
- The level of customization you will like
- The best templates for the kind of service you want
- Ease of use
- How their emails are rendered on mobile devices.
When drafting an estimate of the number of subscribers you will have, you should consider the number of followers you have on social media platforms, show attendees, subscribers on different streaming platforms, album purchases, and more.
Create Your Tone and Voice
As a musician, chances are you have already created a pattern of talking and engaging with your fans in the press, on stage, and social media platforms. You should move to your email with this voice. Your listeners should feel like you are talking to them personally when they read your notes.
If someone else is in charge of your email campaigns, you want to make sure they know and understand your tone and voice. You should also review every email before it is sent.
Create an Editorial Calendar and Rough Schedule
There are very few groups of people that can send emails somewhat intermittently and still have a running and effective mail program, and musicians are one of them. Sending a newsletter every week, two weeks or monthly is less important than sending an email when you need the support of your fans the most.
Another vital thing to consider is the content you choose to share. You need to be intentional when it comes to sharing content. Look at your touring, release, and marketing calendars to see your imminent big announcements and plan your email based on that. Here are some of the things you can share in your email:
- Album or single release
- Announcing release dates
- Sharing tour dairy
- Announcing tour dates
- Notable placements of your songs
- Sharing new merch
- Crowdfunding campaigns
- Crowd-sourcing venues
- Sharing opportunities and exclusive access
TIPS FOR GROWING YOUR EMAIL LIST
Add a Subscription Link to Your Streaming Platforms and Social Media
You should use a ling aggregator for your bio link on social media, such as Ink.bio or Linktree. With these, you can link to various places from your Twitter or Instagram bio. Add a subscription link to your newsletter at the top of your link list. If you want, you can also let your fans know about your new newsletter through a story or post.
Those who have the “Swipe and read” feature on Facebook and Instagram can also leverage it and add a link to their subscription form.
USE BANDCAMP FOLLOWS OR DOWNLOADS TO COLLECT EMAIL ADDRESSES
For artists that distribute their songs on Bandcamp, when fans follow or purchase something from them, they are given the option to add the email of the fan to their email list. If you distribute your song on that platform, this is a great win for you.
The email addresses you collect will be added to a spreadsheet and you can use the sheet as a mailing list. This is a great way of engaging with people that already support you. It also helps to make the subscription process very easy and stress-free.
Giveaways are a very old way of developing a list, but they are very much effective until this day. People love free things and this approach can get expensive quickly if you are not careful. Hence, you have to be strategic and thoughtful. You should consider giving out tickets, as they are a low-risk giveaway, which means it will not cost you anything to give a pair away. Nevertheless, physical media or merch can be very expensive to give away.
GIVE YOUR SUBSCRIBERS EARLY-ACCESS AND EXCLUSIVE OFFERS
Another highly effective way of growing your newsletter list is by offering your subscribers something that they cannot get elsewhere: something unique. You should consider announcing new albums, singles, tours, special appearances, intimate, merch, and in-store to your subscribers before others.
If you are printing a limited-run shirt or pressing a limited-edition vinyl, your newsletter subscribers should be the first to get the offer.
While running an email campaign or newsletter as an artist may not look fancy, it is very important to your career and it will help you achieve great success. All you have to do is to make sure you approach it the right way.