Grow and Use Your Email List

A good quality email list is an excellent tool to use to market your music career. The big questions are, how do you build that list and how do you use it effectively? Here are some good ideas I’ve used.  Please share your ideas in the comments!

Grow Your List

  • Offer a signup sheet at your live shows. I’ve made you a basic blank one you can print out and use. You could also open the .doc version in Word and add in your band name and any other info you’d like to collect. (Email list signup sheet: .doc or .pdf)  Bring it to the show on a clipboard ($1.89 at Office Depot!) and tie a pen to it so that folks don’t have to go digging for one. Mention it during your set, ask folks to stop by your table and put their name on the list. Promise that you won’t spam them, and tell them it’ll make them one of the cool kids if they sign up. You could even offer some incentive if they sign up, such as a free song download or a drawing for comps to your next show.
  • Have a “join the email list” signup box on every page of your website, so it’s easy to find. On the site, you can give an incentive to sign up for the list too. Again, a free download is ideal, you could also run a monthly contest of some sort, drawing for a free t-shirt, comp tickets to your show, a free CD–whatever you have available to build some excitement about being on the list. Here is a tutorial on how to give a free download if you are using our Listbaby.
  • Use other social networks to promote list signups. Mention it on your Myspace/Facebook/Twitter feed. You can have a link straight to the list signup from your page. Most folks can just link to (replacing with *your actual domain name*. Here is a tutorial on how to link it from your Myspace page. Feel free to email us if you need help with this!

What To Do

  • Send emails to your list regularly, but not too often; only send a message when you actually have important things to say. No one wants to know that you had toast for breakfast, but everyone wants to hear about upcoming shows, CD releases, any other newsy info you have to share.
  • Keep the email short, paragraphs should be about 5-10 lines. People are often in a hurry and they scan through email messages, so make sure your email has the most important point in the first sentence of each paragraph.
  • You need an exciting subject line! You want your email to be opened and read. Don’t make it sound like hype.  Simply state a benefit the reader will get for reading your message.
  • Let your personality show in the email. People don’t want a sales pitch, they want to know the inside scoop about you or your band or your music. Try to make the reader feel like they are an ‘insider’ with special knowledge of your music because they are on your list.

What Not To Do

  • Do not buy/rent/borrow lists from others. Even if it’s being sold as “100% safe opt-in list” – it’s not; it’s spamming. Folks on your list need to have asked to be on *your specific list*, either by signing up at your site, or on the aforementioned signup sheets at shows.
  • Be cautious about mailing to your list if the topic isn’t you or your music. Topics like politics, religion, get-rich-quick schemes, etc. are probably not good topics for your messages unless your music is specifically about one of those subjects. Definitely don’t forward chain emails, jokes, etc.  Instead, stick to the purpose of the list – you and your music!
  • Don’t send messages with spelling or grammar errors! Use spell check and grammar check or have a brainy friend read it over for you before you send it out.

What techniques have you used to grow your email list and to use it for effective marketing?