I tell every musician I work with to start a mailing list.
You own this information!It is an incredibly powerful tool to have for your career. Social media platforms are great, however, you don’t own the information. If your Facebook Page was disabled tomorrow you’d have no way to contact all of those fans you’ve collected. You’d have to start from scratch! What a nightmare!!!
Having your own mailing list means you have direct contact with your fans via their inbox – which is something most people check daily!
I’m going to show you how to get started!
CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORM
Perhaps you’ve used your own person Gmail email to send out bulk emails in the past, but here’s why that’s not a great idea:
1. The newsletters you send out can be seen as spam and not be delivered
2. It’s painful to managed unsubscriptions
3. You have no idea who’s opened emails or if they’ve clicked on any of the links
4. It’ll look average – there’s no real way to spunk it up
Hopefully, this all makes sense to you and you’re thinking “right, so what are these platforms you speak of”.
I’m glad you asked!
An email marketing platform (aka where you keep your mailing list) has some pretty flash features. They include:
– Automatically manage your subscribers and unsubscribers
– Give you a report on each newsletter/campaign (open rates)
– Easy creation of signup forms for your website
– Automation of signup responses (cheers for signing up – here’s what you can expect)
There are some great free and low-cost options for email marketing platforms. They have great tutorials and if all else fails there’s always someone on Youtube that can tell you how to do something. Below is a list of popular platforms:
Personally, I use MailChimp as it’s extremely user-friendly with great tutorials if you get lost!
MAKE SUBSCRIBING EASY
By using Mailchimp it makes it super easy for people to “opt in” to your newsletters. On every newsletter, there will be a little unsubscribe button at the bottom – because you don’t really want people on the list that don’t want to hear from you!
Don’t send spammy emails and try not to oversell!
To start building your mailing list, embed a signup form on your website, your Facebook page and you can also download the Mailchimp app so you can collect emails at a gig or just do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper and manually add them yourself. By talking to the crowd after the gig you can easily say “if you’d like to know when I’m playing next sign up to my newsletter. They don’t often say no!!
WELCOME EMAIL – HELLO!
Mailchimp allows you to send a welcome email once someone has subscribed. Say hello, welcome them to your newsletter and let them know what you’ll be sending them and how frequently they can expect to hear from you.
If you’re trying to entice people to your mailing list the welcome email can be where you place a free download or a discount code to your online store (Bandcamp).
Map out what you plan to include in your newsletters and choose how often you plan on contacting your fans. You are able to schedule content ahead of time and it can be a really good habit to get into by preparing newsletters in advance.
I’d start with once a month at the very least. If you have a tour or a release coming up you can beef it up to once a fortnight! People also like consistency – try always sending on a particular day of the week.
– Get to the point – nobody really has time to read an essay.
– Have clear titles if you’re including a couple of different things.
– Always include a call to action “check out my new video”, “share my new track”
– Try to include other interesting content you think your fans will appreciate
– Include links to your social media and store!
The next question you may have is “how do I grow my mailing list”?