Hopefully 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.
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
Auto-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.