Many people put up a website and wonder why they only got 3 album sales that year. Below is the secret to separating yourself from the other 95% of musicians who don’t get it. Seriously, this is how to utilize one of the oldest and best forms of marketing.
What is email marketing?
I will first describe what it is not. First, it is not a bunch of coupons that get sent out to emails that never get opened. It is also not a way to make people buy your stuff. What it is however is the one place online that you are guaranteed for someone to see your message.
So… how do you make this silver bullet work for you?
Below is one of many strategies and I will go over all the philosophy followed by an exact blueprint of how to make this work.
Email is the best place to create an authentic message and conversation with your fans. You want to write emails that tell stories and somehow help people to see that you care about them. You build a relationship by creating a conversation with them. You engage with them by replying personally to their emails. Once you have a relationship you ask for people to purchase tickets, albums, and merchandise. Finally, you over deliver. You give them more than what they asked for and keep building the relationship. This is what it is all about. It is the way to foster a community of raving fans.
Let’s go over the exact blueprint of email marketing.
Collect An Email Address
The first thing is that you want to collect an email address.
An “opt-in” form. When you have people land on your homepage, you want to offer them a free three song download. All they do is submit their email address. You can also offer them this with a pop up opt-in form. I know pop ups are really annoying but, it really does work. You just need to make the offer sound too good to pass on. You should also put a smaller version of the opt-in form in the middle and bottom of you blog posts that you are driving traffic too. Making the offer relevant to the blog post is a must for having this be the most successful.
- Telling them you won’t spam them.
- Saying you will keep them up to date on your shows and even presale discounts.
- Good post for super detailed opt-in pages.
Yay… You got an email! So now what?
So, let’s say you make an offer for a free music download for an email address. There is software that will automatically email them the music download once someone submits their email address. There are also a bunch of really cool features like auto sending emails at predetermined intervals to help you build a relationship on autopilot.
So, what kind of emails should I write write?
You will write emails to build a relationship. The first email will have your music download confirmation. The person will need to confirm that they signed up with you before they get the music download. This is standard to make sure that future emails don’t end up in the spam folder. Once they click confirm your auto responder (this is the thing that sends the automatic email) will send the music download. Since this is a download explain what the item is and how to download it. Thank them for being interested and make them feel included in your fan group. Here’s an example below.
Hey [They’re Name],
You did it! You’re an exclusive member and here is your personal copy of our songs. Just click the zip and download it. Open the folder in your computer and extract the files. Then listen till your heart’s content.
The first is [name] did the percussion and it is up tempo and awesome! The second is [blank] was made when I was feeling down, so it really is my soul on a plate. The third is [blank] is about how excited the band was after touring for a month and excited to get home.
We sometimes send out email updates on tours, other music, and sometimes crazy things. So, keep posted on other emails.
Glad you are now in the club; thanks.
P.S. This might seem weird, but could you do me a huge favor…? Email me back and let me know what you think. You Rock!
Remember to just be yourself. Let them know you appreciate them. Get them excited and don’t forget to ask them to respond. This opens the conversation. Whether they email you back with good or bad comments, thank them for letting you know and respond to their email. It will also make them feel special that you personally sent them a message.
Send an email two days later. In the email send them to a blog post. This will help you to build a relationship with your audience even further.
Hey [Their Name],
I hope you have been enjoying the music you got. Remember when I said I would email you crazy things sometimes. Well this is one of those times. As I sit here in my purple chair watching “Sanford and Sons” reruns I couldn’t help but think it hasn’t been all cupcakes and cheetos! Check out this post I wrote and think you would really enjoy [link].
P.S. Some big things are in the works so stay tuned, our fanbase has grown and we’ve noticed!
This email starts by reminding them of your relationship by recalling something you said in the first email. Second it gets specific about what I am doing. The little details make you seem more real. Then it sends them to a link. The article should be about a struggle you have had in your life. This makes someone feel connected to you by reading an emotional story that they can connect to. The connection, everyone has struggled at one time or another. Next in the blog describe how you overcame those obstacles. Then summarize the article with how important your fans are to you. Describe how when you struggle even now, your fans help you through these struggles.
The Next Email
Now send a third email three days from the one you just sent. This email should direct someone to another blog post that either you, another band member or even a fan wrote. The blog post should be about community. How your fan community stands by each other and how exciting that is. The idea is to get someone involved in the excitement of being involved in something bigger than they are.
Hey [Their Name],
OMG, have you met Janice? Seriously though if there was ever there was a more heart warming event read [link]. She’s one of our supporters and was hiking down a road in the middle of December, in the Cold!!!! I can’t even finish cause I’m too excited. But honestly go check out the article its that good.
I almost forgot, your are special. No, I mean Really Special:-) Thats just my opinion.
Keep On Rocking,
P.S. Good things still percolating, stay tuned!
You can probably imagine the blog post that this email sends you to. The point is to confirm there is a community of people that follow your band and stick up for eachother. You might have to search for some of these stories but by asking around you should find some good ones. Also this email is very persuasive in getting someone excited about the blog post. It also cheers them up by letting them know what you think. It might seem cheesy but you have to be super obvious when you write otherwise readers can jump to their own conclusions. Sometimes these conclusions are good but other times they can damage your relationship.
Wow! Lots of work and still not a single dime… right?
Wrong… You are getting paid in social currency. Honestly better than real dollars. Most people want the check and then move on to the next adventure. But, the really successful individuals build social currency into reoccurring revenue. While others want the paycheck and then wonder why nobody knows who they are two years later. You are building a group that will keep giving you money every show, album, and merchandising event. Woohoo!
So how do you ask for the money?
After you have sent four or five emails (including the one that has the download). It is time to send a sales email.
l’ll lay out an email that gets high responses every time.
Sales Email Example:
Subject: You Rock, Seriously… Okay Check This Out
Hey [Their Name],
Since we have gotten to know each other I feel like we are family. That’s why I felt compelled to give you this; our newest record at 25% off (use code club25 at checkout). This will only be until (specific date five days from now), so… “get it while its hot”, as they say. Plus, a free download of any other album. Thats a huge discount! Keep on rockin’.
P.S. This offer is only valid for people that I deem worthy and yes, you are worthy.
A killer subject line that will get opened. I don’t know about you but if the one above is in my inbox, I’ve got to check it out. Second keep is short and sweet. Get to the point and don’t over do it. Give a specific time that the deal ends. Lastly give an offer they cannot refuse, you don’t need to give away all your music, but showing you appreciate them and giving a great deal usual compels even the people who are on the fence.
That’s it, you’ve done it – Great job. “So, what did you just do”, you might be wondering. Well, let’s break it down. The first email is giving something away to a prospect for their email. The key is to remember some people will stay on your mailing list while others will unsubscribe right away. Don’t let this shake you it’s perfectly normal. Then you got a prospective fans email and you started to quickly build a relationship. As the relationship was built, they felt more connected to you, the musician. Finally, you asked for the sale. This can be a tough thing to do, especially if you have never been in sales, but here are some tips that will help you.
- Always be yourself. Follow the formula as it is laid down but don’t sound fake. Be authentic.
- This style of selling is called direct sales based off earlier forms of mail order sales. There is a right and a cheesy way. Above, I have laid out the right way.
- This formula can be used for selling shows, selling merchandise, or selling other things. For example, I had a client take customers through the process above, but then ask for reviews in iTunes. This worked and helped them rank well in the iTunes store.
- Be creative. Above is a guide for starting out, but the more creative you can be the better for you and your audience.
Now you’re equipped to go out and make some sales. You can start to get profits and repeat as often as necessary. Next we are going to move into a profitable EPK or electronic press kit. I’ll lay down what works, what doesn’t, and how to succeed best. Go check out the next chapter!