Email Marketing

Use email marketing to increase your sales and fan engagement.

How to Automatically Send Your Fans an MP3 Download

Every music marketing guru will tell you to offer your fans a free download of a song in exchange for their email address.

email an mp3 downloadBut how do get your song from your computer to theirs?

It may sound simple –just add the mp3 as an attachment to your email. Not so fast!

If you’re using an email service provider, then that’s not an option.

Email Service Providers, such as MailChimp, aWeber, Sendpepper and our own Music Fan Attractor, won’t allow you to attach a large file to an email.

Attachments from an email service look spammy to email filters. Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo all are on the lookout for spam and do their best to keep it out of your inbox. Because of virus threats, files are a major red flag to the spam filters.

Your email service provider knows this. They want your email to get delivered, so they protect you from yourself by not allowing you to attach a file.

Some services will allow you to attach a small file – usually less than 1MB. Others will only let you attach a PDF or JPEG. So what’s a musician to do? Here a few options…

email an mp3Send an email out manually

If someone signs up for your email list you could send them a manual email from your regular old email account with the song attached. If you only get a few email signups a month this might be practical. However, it doesn’t make for a very good experience for you or your new fan.

You’ll need to constantly be on the lookout for new signups. You’ll also need to find time to send each of them an email.

Your new subscriber won’t get their download instantly. Nowadays, folks are very impatient. If you wait more than an hour or two to send them their song they may forget they even requested it. You’ve lost the momentum and the excitement.

Generally, sending emails manually is a bad plan. Besides, there are much better ways to handle it.

Send them a link to Dropbox or Google Drive

Dropbox is a great way to get around using attachments. Simply upload your song to your Dropbox and email the new subscriber a link to the file.

If you don’t have Dropbox, you can do the same thing with Google Drive.

Dropbox and Google are better options than uploading the file to your website. You won’t be using up your hosts bandwidth and the files aren’t crawlable by Google. You’d hate for someone to be able to download your song without signing up on your list first!

Also, your hosting provider will likely frown on hosting your media files for you. Most of them explicitly prohibit hosting media files if you read their fine print. Download speeds are not always the faster either from your own website. Especially if you’re on a shared hosting plan.

That’s why Dropbox and Google Drive are better options.

Use Bandcamp or Bandzoogle

Both Bandcamp and Bandzoogle will send your new fan a download in exchange for their email address. As far as the delivery of your song goes it’s a pretty painless system.

Both systems have an option to select a song to give new subscribers of your list.

However, Bandcamp doesn’t have an email service. They stop at the delivery of the song. From there you’ll need to download the database of new subscribers and add them to your list. Not automatic.

Bandzoogle has an email service but without autoresponders built in. If you’re using email as a sales system for your music you absolutely need autoresponders. If you’re just doing monthly newsletters, then this may be an option for you.

email for musicUse an email service that hosts your mp3 files for you

A few email service providers will host your file for you and make it available for download from their servers. Our own Music Fan Attractor is one of those systems.

Music Fan Attractor hosts your song file (up to 10MB) on our super-fast Amazon S3 server. Your fans will get instant access to their requested song and it will download fast. Automatically!

And because we offer full-service setup of your autoresponder system, you don’t need to know anything about hosting files, or even setting up an email sequence. We’ll do it all for you!

That’s got to be the easiest way to get your songs to your fan yet!

 

 

 

Don’t be the Enhancement Drug of Music

Liner Notes April 15, 2014

Adding people to your email list without permission is not a good idea. Not only will it not help you find more fans, it might also directly hurt your efforts to reach your existing fans.

How do you add fans to your email list? Do you ever blindly email someone? Chime in below…

Artists Grab a Piece of the Cyber Monday Pie

Sell Music For ChristmasOn Black Friday over 45 million people went shopping in the United States. Over 45 MILLION! They spent an average of $407 each. Wow!

As an indie artist did you grab a piece of that pie?

If you didn’t – it’s not too late. Today is Cyber-Monday and millions more people are hitting the web to spend-spend-spend.

I opened my email inbox today to dozens of ads from Amazon, Calumet Photo, Cannon, WaterFilters.net, Dave Ramsey, Quill and many more. All of these corporations know that I’m in a buying mode today. They know that my credit card is ready, willing and able to purchase. (in Dave Ramsey’s case he wants my debit card 😉 ) So they are lining up to make sure their company is in my thoughts as I start my Christmas shopping.

Why shouldn’t your music be in that list? People are always looking for great gift ideas that are tangible and wrappable. Yes, wrappable is a word now!

Seriously, CDs make awesome Christmas gifts. Remind your fans that a wrapped CD of your music is a great gift idea. It’s affordable, easy to mail and unique.

Start today by sending out an email letting your fans know you have a great Christmas special running. You could go with the old 20% off idea. But here are some better ideas for a special:

  • You will sign their CDs
  • Buy a CD and get a Tweet
  • You will custom sign their CDs for the recipient
  • Every order gets a used guitar string ornament
  • Buy X number of CDs and get 1 free
  • Every order comes with home made Christmas cookies
  • Include copies of song lyrics they can use as wrapping paper

Be creative!

Once you have a special, make sure you give it a deadline. They’ll need their order in time for Christmas so try December 9th as your deadline. This will give you a reason to follow up with them multiple times and remind them your special is ending soon and they must act fast.

Speaking of, send out your offer at least three times. Like I said earlier, their is a ton of email hitting everyone’s inbox this time of year. By sending your offer multiple times you’ll ensure it gets seen. Also, I bet you get a better response from the third email than from the first two. People tend to procrastinate. That’s another good reason to remind them multiple times.

Make sure your share your special on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you’re really adventurous you could even run a Facebook ad that targets friends of people who like your fan page. Whoa! Now that’s some high-tech cyber stalking. But it is possible and fairly easy.

After you run your holiday special drop me a note and let me know how it did.

 

How to Turn a Curious Listener into a Raving Fan

If you’re using the system Jennine and I advise, you’re offering a free download of a song or two (or three) to entice people to join your email list. But contrary to popular opinion, listening to your song(s) won’t turn them into a raving fan.

You see, it’s not always about the music. (What???)

In today’s world the music is no longer the product. It’s not even the sole connecting point. The music gets people to stop and be interested in you. It gets them to pause and focus on you for a moment. But with the thousands of choices people have for new music they are looking for more than just a good riff to become a ‘fan.’

So, how do you turn a curious listener into a raving fan?

Music Fan

Answer:  Think Like a Fan!

What do you want to know about new bands/artists you discover?

Start by introducing yourself. They received your free download and maybe they’ve listened to the song, but they still have questions. They want to know :

  • What are these guys all about?
  • Do I have a connection with them?
  • Are they all vegetarians and I’m not?
  • Are they into four-wheel-drive trucks?
  • Do we share a value system?

So it’s your job in the first few emails to prove to your new potential fan ( they’re not a fan yet – they’re just dipping their toe in the water) that it’s worth their time to stick around and be a part of your community. That they belong here.

Obviously the very first email needs to include a download of the song(s) you promised them for signing up. Nothing will kill your new relationship faster than a broken promise.

After that, use an Auto Responder to send out a short series of emails (5-10) that give some insight into you and your music. Think of it as a really extended bio. Make each email short and to the point – no more than 300 words each.

Unlike most bios found online, it must be interesting. Include some fun facts about yourself.  Here’s a list of questions you could answer to get you started:

  • What’s something you’re really good at that has nothing to do with music?
  • What’s the biggest highlight from your music career?
  • What’s the first song you can remember hearing?
  • Who is your musical idol and why?
  • When did you know you were going to pursue music?
  • What’s one embarrassing secret you’ve only shared with friends?

Use these suggestions as a guide to create your own questions to answer. Be you; show your real personality and your true fans will follow!

Musicians: Delete Your Email List – no independent artist needs one

Musician email listHopefully you didn’t just delete your email service provider account after reading the headline. Because there’s an ‘if’ statement that follows…Musicians, delete your email list. No independent artist needs one if they don’t use it properly.

Unfortunately, this statement applies to many independent artists. They’re missing a HUGE opportunity with email.

If you’ve read articles like this one or this one, then you know all the great reasons you need an email list. The problem is no one told you what to do after you got people on your list. And there’s no sense having a list if you don’t follow through.

Here are two things most independent musicians get wrong:

Send out a dang email once-in-a-while!

Can you tell this one gets me fired up?

I’m on a lot of independent artist’s email lists. But one look at my inbox and you might not know it. As many lists as I’m on, I should be getting a few emails a day. But I’m not.

In fact, I only get an average of five per week from independent artists. And it’s always the same acts. They get it. They know the power of an email list is not in it’s potential. It’s in actually using the list.

Here’s how most of the lists I’m on work…

RE: Thanks for signing up on our list

Hey potential fan! Thanks for signing up for our email list! Here’s the free download of our song Really Awesome Song. We hope you love it. Make sure you follow us on Facebook.

Five or six months later…

RE: Really Awesome Album now available on iTunes.

Hey fan. (which I’m not because I never heard from you again and I don’t know a single thing about you) We’re so proud to tell you our new album, Really Awesome Album, is finished and now available on iTunes. We hope you buy it and tell all your friends.

or

RE: We need your help

Hey fan. (Again, not a fan. Just a guy on your list because you’ve done nothing to make me a fan) We’re so excited to let everyone know we’re launching a Kickstarter campaign for our new tour this fall. We can’t wait to come to your town, so head on over and choose from one of our great premiums. Tell all your friends.

The only time I ever receive an email is when they need something from me. In the meantime, they’ve done nothing to make me care. Do you see how crazy that is?

I’m not saying you need to send out an epic masterpiece of an email each week, but you need to keep in touch.

The public spends money on bands they know and like. You’ve got to build a relationship with your list so they’re looking forward to your next email. Not scratching their head and wondering “Who is that? I don’t remember signing up for this.”

Which leads to…

Use the power of auto-responders

email automation for bandsAuto-responders are awesome. They let you send emails and build a fan base while you’re sleeping, or performing on stage. In fact, we use auto-responders to send out The 5 Steps To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing.

For those that aren’t aware, auto-responders are timed emails sent out by your email service provider based on a time-frame you dictate.

A great way for independent artists to use auto-responders is to send out a series of emails over the course of a week or two right after a potential fan signs up for your list. Introduce yourself and start building a relationship on auto-pilot.

Use auto-responders to give them the backstory of your band.

Where did you meet? Who are your influences? How long have you been together? Where are you based? How many albums have you released?

You can also work in the values of the band.

Give the new fan something to connect with. Are you political? Do you support a homeless shelter? Are all your songs about soccer? Do you only eat vegan?

The more people know about you the more likely they are to find something to connect with. It’s that connection that makes them a real fan.

When selecting an email service be picky. Not all ESPs offer auto-responders. It’s the downfall of free email services like MailChimp. (Though their upgraded service does) That’s why we recommend a paid service like Active Campaign.

If you aren’t going to use it – lose it.

Be cool. Don’t make your potential fans jump through hoops to get free downloads or badger them to sign up on your list at live shows, if you have no intention of ever contacting them again.

It’s a giant waste of energy for you and unfair to them.

 

This article was originally posted at onlySKYartist.com by Neil

 

Email Services For Musicians

Over the years I’ve used several email marketing services. In this article I show you what I think are the best options for email services for musicians.

In the interest of full disclosure, some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you use one of these links to buy services we might get a small commission from the sale. It won’t cost you anything extra and it helps us continue to provide great free content for you. – N&J 🙂

Mail email service for musiciansMail Chimp

I know many people who use MailChimp for their email service. I personally have never had a MailChimp account, but I’ve helped people use MailChimp and set up campaigns.

PROS

  • The biggest draw to MailChimp is it’s FREE. Yes, you can use MailChimp for no cost. Making it the most affordable email service on the market. Now there is no excuse for continuing to curate your own email list in Outlook or Gmail.
  • MailChimp is fairly simple and intuitive to use. If you have any experience setting up a social media profile or website you can figure out MailChimp.
  • MailChimp allows you to manually add subscribers to your list. This is great if you’re circulating a signup sheet at your shows. You can later type in your fans’ info and they are automatically on the list.
  • Tracks open rates of emails, letting you see how many people opened your email as well as click on any links within the email.
  • Built in A/B split testing. Send two different emails to different segments of your list to see which email gets a better response. Try different subject lines or messages.
  • Great online training resources if you’re new to email marketing.
  • Great email templates for musicians built right into the platform. You won’t need to start from scratch creating a ‘look’ for your emails.

CONS

  • Free has it’s limitations. Only allowed up to 2000 subscribers for a FREE account. Also limited to 12,000 individual emails sent per month.
  • Pretty basic signup form templates. You won’t be able to do anything too fancy without some effort on your part.
  • FREE account is limited to email support only. If you have an issue it’s going to take some time and back-and-forth emails to get it resolved.
  • No auto-responders. This one is a deal breaker for me. Auto-responders are the beauty to having an email service. They allow you to be in 14 places at once and systemize your emails. They are available on paid MailChimp accounts only.

MailChimp Conclusions

MailChimp is a great service if you are new to email marketing. It has a very ‘hand-holding’ approach. Walking you through each step and showing you how to get the most out of your email campaigns. If you have experience with email marketing this can quickly get old. As all the ‘helpful tips’ slow you down and get in your way.

The one fatal flaw with MailChimp’s free service is the omission of auto-responders. If you are serious about putting email to work for you then auto-responders are something you will definitely want to use.

If you are just looking to get your feet wet with email then MailChimp is a good place to start. Hopefully you will outgrow their free account quickly. 🙂

 AWeber email service for musiciansAWeber

I’ve had several Aweber accounts over the years and have been VERY happy with their service.

PROS

  • Excellent deliverability rates. AWeber prides itself on being able to deliver over 99% of your messages to your subscribers. Very important if you want all your effort to be seen by all your fans.
  • Phone support. Have a problem or don’t understand how to create a signup form? Pick up the phone and dial AWeber customer support. Always there and short wait times. As a matter of fact, I can’t recall ever waiting for help when I’ve called AWeber.
  • A variety of modifiable sign-up form templates.
  • Facebook and Twitter integration. Link your emails to post on your Facebook and Twitter feeds. No need to duplicate your efforts.

CONS

  • AWeber will not allow you to manually add subscribers. Well, let me clarify. You can add a subscriber but your fan will then need to confirm they want to be on your list. It’s one of the ways AWeber keeps their deliverability rates so high. But it can be frustrating to collect emails only to have your fans not follow-through and confirm later.
  • Not completely intuitive. It will take you some time to learn the ins and outs of the AWeber platform. But with their awesome customer service it shouldn’t be too bad.
  • Email templates feel a little dated. AWeber has many templates to choose from, but many of them are stale in their design. They don’t have a lot of ready to go designs for musicians.

AWeber Conclusions

I’ve been an AWeber customer for years mainly due to their awesome customer service and reasonable pricing. AWeber is the choice of most professional internet marketers. With testimonials like that you know they’re doing something right!

If you are serious about using email marketing to promote your music then AWeber is a good choice. It has some extremely powerful features.

Sendpepper email service for musiciansSendPepper

If you’ve signed up for The 5 Steps To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing then you may have noticed we use ONTRAPORT to deliver our email. ONTRAPORT is the big brother of SendPepper. SendPepper (and ONTRAPORT) are WAY powerful. It’s built to handle not only email but an entire suite of services for customer data management. Including shopping carts, membership sites and affiliate programs. If you’re new to email marketing it’s probably not where you want to start. I would recommend getting started with a simpler service unless you want to add an integrated shopping cart or fan club very soon.

emailMore Choices

There are far too many options for email providers for me to review here. I’ve only included the services I have first-hand experience with. I don’t believe in recommending things I haven’t tried myself, but if you want more options here is a site that has more reviews of email marketing services.