The Third Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing

What’s the biggest crowd you’ve ever played for? 30 people? 500 people? 10,000 people? Have you ever played for more people than that? You rock!

What does it feel like to stand on stage and connect with that many people? I bet it makes you feel alive. The adrenalin is flowing and your heart is pounding.

While you’re on stage you can say anything to the audience and get instant feedback. You can tell them how much the song you wrote means to you – and why. You can tell them about your new release coming out soon. You can even tell them to buy your new t-shirts. But what happens when the show is over?

Don’t you wish you could take tonight’s crowd home with you? And the crowd tomorrow night? And the night after that? If you could you would soon amass a crowd of tens of thousands of people! And you could talk with them anytime you wanted. Instead of asking 100 people at a time to buy your album you could ask 53,752 people. That would be awesome!

That’s why the Third Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing is…

 

Turn On Images To See Fun Stuff!BUILD A FAN DATABASE

A database, or list as I like to call it, is the great equalizer. If you’re marketing your music on a limited budget – and who isn’t? – then a fan list gives you the power to reach fans far more effectively than any newspaper ad or radio spot ever could.

When you’re an independent artist you need to be conscious of every penny you spend. You need to make every dollar work for you. And having a list is one of the most cost effective ways of reaching your fans. And one of the best lists you can have is a list of your fans’ email addresses.

But, Jennine, email is so old school! Everybody’s on Facebook now.

And Twitter.

And Instagram.

And..and..and

And there is the problem with social media. In today’s world we’re flooded with options for sending and receiving messages.

FanHere are some of the options available for you to communicate with fans…

Facebook – Do you look at EVERY Facebook post? I know I don’t. Did you know Facebook doesn’t even show your posts to all of your fans? Facebook only shows your posts to about 16% of your fans! If you want your post to show up in every fan’s news feed you have to pay! And even if it showed up in their stream most people do not use Facebook on a daily basis.


Twitter – I currently “follow” 768 people on Twitter. Wow! Even with my semi-reasonable number of follows my stream is completely overwhelming. If I wanted to look at each tweet it would take HOURS out of my day. Even your most devoted fans aren’t going to spend that kind of time on you.

MySpace – What? Is anybody on MySpace anymore? I know there’s a lot of hype since JT bought into the company, but I’m not sure it’s going anywhere soon. But my real point is MySpace used to be the King of social media. If you had relied on MySpace to be your primary communication system then you were in real trouble when everyone went away.

Phone Call – Your fans would probably answer the phone if you called them. You might need to leave a message, but I’m sure they would call you back. But you just don’t have the hours in your life to call each fan individually to tell them about the show you’re playing this week. You need a system that’s one (you) to many (your fans).

Snail Mail – Who doesn’t LOVE getting real mail? By real I mean something that’s not a bill. smileyIf you have the budget, snail mail is an awesome way to reach people. But most musicians I know don’t have the marketing budget to mail a letter, or even a postcard, to all of their fans. Not only is postage constantly increasing but there’s also the cost of printing and paper.

That brings me back around to email. Email combines some of the best features from all of the other messaging systems.

Here are the biggest benefits to email:

  • It’s cheap – Most mass emailing services only cost about $20/month. If you’re on an even tighter budget there are free options like MailChimp or even Outlook (though I wouldn’t recommend using your own system).
  • People open email – If someone gives you their email address there’s a good chance they’re interested in hearing what you have to say. I know I don’t give out my email to just anybody! At the very least, every one of your email messages will be scanned. Most people look at every FROM and SUBJECT line.
  • People check email – Statistically speaking most people check there email daily. The same can’t be said for Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site.
  • People have email accounts – Not everyone is on Facebook. Even less people are on Twitter. By only having a Facebook page you’re missing out on a large part of the population.
  • You control the list – If for some reason your email service went out of business you could take your list of names to another service and never miss a beat. Not the same for Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. If Facebook goes away, you’re done.
  • One complaint won’t shut down your account – Did you know Facebook can shut down your account? Ouch! It happens every day. Accounts are shut down many times for reasons not under the user’s control. Someone can file a complaint about you and then YOU must do the defending. Not a good place to be. With email if one person complains about you then they are removed from your list but the remaining fans will still get your messages.

These are just some of the reasons Neil & I think building an email database is the best thing you can do for your music career.

Email is essential to building a grass-roots movement around your music. It’s really the cornerstone of the new music marketing economy.


 

Get movingTAKE ACTION

If you don’t have an email list already, spend some time today looking at the different email service options. Here is a review Neil wrote about some email services to help you get started.

Tomorrow I’ll share with you some things you can do with your fans once you have an email database.

Until then,

Peace, Love, Happiness, Always

~ Jennine

JFK

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.