How to Automatically Send Your Fans an MP3 Download

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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!

 

 

 

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6 comments
G.E. Grant
G.E. Grant

Good article.  I use Bandcamp and never thought of the free song idea. 

James Divine
James Divine

I use Hostbaby for my website hosting. One of the features is to create a page but leave it unpublished. The only way people can access that page is if they enter it exactly OR I send them a link. M email sign up form automatically sends them a link. Seems to work pretty well.

Jason Didner
Jason Didner

This service would be a great fit for me if you'd allow downloads around 35-40 MB. I know, you're looking at me like I have 3 heads now! That's because I took David Hooper's advice and have been offering audio recordings of entire concerts (iPod, lo-fi) in return for email sign-ups. I'm currently using my web hosting service for this, and usually get about 2-3 clicks on one of these per new batch of sign-ups. What do you think of increasing the storage limit for this purpose, Neil?

Neil
Neil

Thanks for sharing, James. That reminds me of another option... You can do the same thing in WordPress for those that are on there. Create a Page with no navigation pointing to it and mark it as no-index so Google won't show it in search results.

Neil
Neil

Wow. That's a lot of bandwidth! Have you considered making these video and hosting them on YouTube as private? You could email the private link to new fans and they wouldn't be indexed on YouTube. If this is something artists need, I may increase the storage limits in Music Fan Attractor 2.0. Thanks for the input, Jason.

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