Why Email Marketing?
Social media platforms are a great way to communicate with fans. While it’s still very important to keep your channels flowing with great quality content; email marketing is the most effective way to get fans to make an action.
Now that the social media giants are monetizing the platforms, it has become much harder to get visibility, unless you’re prepared to pay money. By enticing followers over to email subscriptions, you’re making it easier to make it into their inboxes without having to pay for visibility.
Your email subscription list will always belong to you. Unlike the ever changing landscape of algorithm updates and platform redesigns in the world of social media. No matter what happens, you’re always in control of your email list.
How To Use Email Marketing
1. Have A Purpose & A Goal
This goes for any channel you’re using – create a specific goal and have a purpose with what you’re looking to achieve. Think of your newsletter as a special members club where fans will have direct access to you and your content.
Social media is where your casual fans hang out, while email lists are where the more hardcore fans reside. These hardcore guys need to be fed personalised, exclusive content to make them feel valued. Afterall, they’ve decided to make the effort to move from your social media to signing up for emails. You need to make it worth their time.
With your goal in mind, it’s time to determine what type of content you’ll provide in these emails and how often you’ll do so. I send out 1-2 emails per week that focus on giving value to subscribers. Every 7th email or so is where I’ll drive sales.
Giving value before trying to push for sales is very important for longevity in keeping fans subscribed. Too many salesy communications is the number one reason for unsubscribing.
2. Sign Up To An Email Marketing Service
There’s plenty of options out there for email marketing services. It’s best to start small and take advantage of the free services available. A great tool that’s free until you hit 2,000 subscribers is MailChimp. It has lots of nice functionalities and is relatively easy to use. You can integrate with SquareSpace and other website builders – this means you can install sign up forms on your website in a few clicks.
Email services I recommend are:
3. Create Forms
You have the service setup and now you need to get people to subscribe. Giving an easy entrance into your database is key to attracting fans in. Forms are boxes that appear on websites, social media pages and anywhere else there’s traffic flowing. They’re where users input their email address, name, etc. and become part of your email list.
Email services have easy to use options of displaying form boxes across your channels and sites. They also offer simple ‘landing page’ templates where you direct audiences with a link to the page where the form sits.
When creating forms it is usually best to ask for as little information as possible. The more fields users are asking to fill out, the more likely it is they’ll give up and drop off. Requesting their email and first name is good enough and takes the least effort from a user’s perspective.
Because of data protection laws, commonly known as GDPR, a small checkbox needs to be included which says the user has signed up and wants to receive updates from you. Most of the email services will have these automatically included in their templates.
These form templates also allow you to change colours to match your branding and edit the text to communicate in your tone. Keep your branding consistent across everywhere you communicate so you’re easily identifiable at all times.
You need to put your forms (entrances) where your casual fans are already hanging out. This can be a pop up bar on your website. See where I have one on my site to promote my webinars:
The cool part of using pop ups is that you’re able to set a timer so they automatically appear after X seconds on your page or after a user has scrolled past a certain point. Another popular use of pop up is just as visitors click out of your website, the box appears before they can leave. Pretty cool, right?
It’s also good practice to feature a sign up form at the bottom of your website which displays on all pages:
Landing pages are good to use if you’re trying to get sign ups from social media. By creating a landing page you can direct people from social media to the external landing page. Because it’s not possible to use a sign up form directly on social media posts, this is the best option to get sign ups on Facebook posts, etc.
When I use a landing page, I tend to have one goal and purpose with that page… That is to get users to register:
4. Use Lead Magnets
To entice somebody in to sign up it’s advisable to give an incentive. These are called lead magnets. Give them a reason to make the effort of inputting their information. We’re greedy natured creatures and love to get something out of everything we do. What can you give in exchange for their email?
My approach to this is to give out freebies in the form of educational PDFs, step by step tutorials and other useful things that an artist needs to know. A musician could offer a special invite to be part of a Zoom call during a studio session or exclusive free music. Think creatively and test out different incentives.
5. Experiment With Lists
Every email service has the function of splitting subscribers into different lists. By creating these groups of subscribers it’s easy to select that list and send an email that will only be received by them.
For example, you can create lists by location. So, if fans have previously been to a show and signed up for the mailing list; you can create a specific list for that location. When you’re touring that location again, you’re able to tailor the content to be more specific and aimed at that demographic. This avoids subscribers receiving news and information that isn’t relevant to them – another reason why they might unsubscribe.
Of course this is a little more advanced than just keeping everybody in one list and mailing out to all. All new technologies/services take a little practise and dedication to master. Start small and gradually begin experimenting with different lists to achieve the best results. Continue trialling different types of content, tone of voice and length of emails.
Each individual list has its own set of metrics which allows you to make decisions on what is working and what isn’t. You can see how many opened the email, clicked a link in the email and how many unsubscribed.
6. Use Automated Emails
When a user has subscribed to your mailing list, a welcome email should land in their inbox to introduce yourself and give a little insight into what to expect. This can be set up when you create your forms/lists within an email service.
Include a call to action which links to your music and make the experience personal. You’ve intrigued them this far, it’s time to show them what you’re made of. Make the first email count as it’s your first impression
The welcome email is the first step in marketing automation. Look a little deeper into the email services and you’ll unearth more automations. Creating a set of automated emails is a smart move. By automating the first 7 emails that go out to new subscribers, with content you know is good, you’re making the process easier to keep them locked in
You could even go as deep as sending out automated emails on subscribers’ birthdays (if you have that data) which offers a free gift. This is obviously much more advanced but it’s good to know the potential of these services so you can work towards getting better at email campaigns.
7. What Do You Actually Share?
So the 80/20 rule applies within email value too. Not just social media channels. You must give 80% value where you’re not trying be achieve an action from the reader. Whereas the the other 20% of your emails can be trying to promote a track, album, etc.
The non-sales part of your emails could be as simple as a personal weekly or monthly note. It could be producer tips, a conversation piece on current affairs or a weekly roundup of what got you inspired. Give readers entertainment and value; a reason to click the link to your video/streaming site. I sent out an email weekly that looks like this:
See, I am not selling anything and this is just a small update from me.
Think of this as an exclusive entrance into your world. Keep them short and concise. The key to good email marketing for musicians is to be as personal as possible, writing almost as if you were having a conversation with the reader.
If writing is your format, create a personal letter where you talk through your thoughts on a subject matter and attach some information about your projects too. Weave it into the conversation without shouting about it too much.
With the subject line, you want to summarize the whole email into a brief, catchy, non-spammy one liner. Add an emoji to the end of it for some personality too.
If you have an idea and would like some feedback on it, you can use an email to present your idea to fans/followers. This creates that exclusive emotion to the reader and involves them in your process. This creates a great amount of trust and loyalty. Something that a superfan will wildly love.
After experimenting with ideas and getting used to the more advanced techniques with email marketing there are so many tricks to optimize your content strategy and structure. I thoroughly recommend taking the time to get to know both your audience and how to be good with email marketing, it’s a perfect synergy that will yield great results if done correctly and consistently.