Hello, kids! Today's lesson is going to be short and sweet:
HAVE AN OFFICIAL EMAIL LIST
WAIT. What? People hate emails, right? Well, yes, technically they do, but in general, we've found that if you don't spam your fans and only email when there are legitimate reasons to email, then they kinda don't hate you so much. They actually even spring into action. While we try our best to stay ahead of the curve in terms of social media and streaming platforms, we also know that at any moment any of those sites could explode. Then where are your fans? You have to go out and find them again. The best way to make sure you can maintain contact is by getting them to sign up for your email list. THEN DON'T SPAM THEM. Give them free stuff and tell them things before you put it on social media!
Here are the best email list we've found -
- MailChimp (what we use for all artists and our label) - Very easy to customize and you get great reporting. Plus, we love the sign up interface on the iPad to get fans to sign up at shows! PLUS, there is a lot you can do with the free platform (before you hit 2K subscribers).
- Emma - Great solution, but a bit pricier than MailChimp
- FanBridge - Tons of artists use this platform. It's probably the cheapest.
Quick tips to not burn out your email base:
- Don't send too often. New artists should do no more than a few times a year; growing artists can aim for once every 3 months, and established artists can usually get away with once a month during a busy tour or release season but then should taper off to every other month (as long as there is still something to say).
- ... But actually send some emails! They sign up because they want to know what you have going on.
- Offer something free or exclusive in each email. This can be early tour dates, pre-order codes, merch discounts, a free download... anything really! Just have an easy "buy in" for the casual opener who may not want to follow 100 links.
- Keep it short and sweet. The occasional "pour your heart out" email to fans is ok... especially if that's your thing & they expect that of you, but normally just make it easy for them to get tickets, listen to your new music, or buy some crap from your website.
- Remind them to sign up and have incentives. Once we gave away a free song to everyone on the email list and did a hard cut off date. It was a huuuuuuge success.
- ALWAYS HAVE A WAY TO SIGN UP AT SHOWS. These are people that are ACTIVELY pursuing you! You want to be able to reach them directly!
- Don't overload with photos, videos, or links. That might go straight to spam, but it's even more likely that a lot of the image links will break ... and then you get an unsubscribe. Boo.
Honestly - I feel like I could go on and on with tips, so feel free to comment if you want more! But for now, you get the point.
Go email your little email heart out!
REASON TO IGNORE THIS ADVICE: You can telepathically send messages to your fans and they are cool with it.
What am I reading? Advice by the Slice is a weekly blog giving independent/growing artists small pieces of advice throughout the year. Through growing Ron Pope’s career from baby-sized part time gig to (what most consider) a successful independent full-time thing with millions of streams, sold out tours, and living as a mostly full grown adult, we get questions all the time about how to “make it.” Full disclosure: We are not experts and there is no formula. However, these are things we’ve tried along the way and have proven to be positive for an artist. Why one piece weekly? Well, we often feel like throwing a whole lot of advice/opinions at someone makes them want to crawl in a hole and say goodbye to the music industry forever, so this feels a little more manageable. Also, by the slice pizza joints are the best spots on earth, so this is also our tribute to those guys. So, here’s to a year’s worth of tricks to try and slices of pie. Cheers!
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