This week we’re going to be touching on something that will be central to your strategy: Building a mailing list & email marketing. Mailing lists are one of the most important tools any musician has available to them, but one that many independent musicians don’t even know about. The major labels know about using mailing lists however, and for good reason. With them, you can hold on to potential fans for much longer, and turn many more into real fans! You can also promote new releases with ease, increase fan interactivity, and make more money from your music. Sound good? Then read below for how to build a mailing list and set up an effective email marketing campaign.
Please Note: For anyone who hasn’t set up a mailing list before, this lesson may look a bit daunting. Once you get things going however, you should soon be able to pick up how to use the software and create a mailing list that will benefit your music carer greatly.
What Is A Mailing List
For those that haven’t heard of a mailing list before, let’s look at what one is. According to Ultimate Mailing List:
“A mailing list is a list of people’s contact details, which is used by others to market to”
In other words, when we are building a mailing list, our aim it to collect people’s email addresses. We then use these email addresses to contact these people, mailing them information we feel they will find useful.
We collect people’s email addresses by putting an ‘opt-in form’ on our website, and giving people a good reason to sign up. We will be getting this opt in form from Aweber. Aweber is one of the top rated email marketing providers around.
While we are building up our mailing list, we will market to any subscribers via email marketing.
What Is Email Marketing
Email marketing is the process of marketing to the people on your mailing list. You send them messages, containing useful information, offers, and goodies. We will look a bit later at what things you should be sending to people who subscribe to your mailing list in the ‘What Your Should Include In Your Newsletter’ section.
The Benefits Of Having A Mailing List & Email Marketing
So what are the benefits of building a list and marketing to your subscribers? We look at that answer below. Remember, all of the below mentioned points will do a few things: Increase the amount of fans you have, help build a stronger relationship with existing fans, and essentially earn you more money from your music career.
Please Note: If the below list sounds familiar, that’s because it’s taken from a topic on the Independent Music Advice website (I won’t link to the topic as the rest of it isn’t relevant to the strategy in this course). The rest of the information in this week’s lesson is fully unique though, and offers valuable information not touched on anywhere else on the site.
- It Builds Up A Strong Relationship With Fans & Increases Interactivity.
When people first come across your website, they don’t know much about you or how trust worthy you are. They may download your free EP in exchange for their email address, but not really look to take that relationship any further. If you start sending them good content and freebies directly to their email address though, they may start paying more attention to you and gain trust in what you have to say and do. That makes it easier to convert subscribers into real fans, and have your fans promote you when something big is going on (E.G an album release).
- It’s A Good Direct Marketing Tool.
As mailing lists give you direct interaction with your fans, it’s an ideal way to promote your latest release or show. Most people check their emails daily, as all their accounts goes through there. It connects to their Facebook, Twitter, PayPal, their blog, and much more. Therefore, if you send someone an email, there is a good chance they will see it.
If you’ve build up a good relationship with your mailing list subscribers, they’ll be more likely to listen to your suggestions or buy your products. Let’s say for example you’ve got a new gig coming up. You can always advertise your gig on your website, but not everyone will visit your website every day. If however your send out an email campaign, all your fans get word direct via email regardless of if they’ve checked your site in the last month or not. This of course increases the likely hood of ticket sales an in turn means more money.
- You’ll Always Have Access To Your Fans.
Mailing lists are one of the best way to keep in contact with your fans. While Facebook friends and twitter followers are useful now, what if one day everyone stops using these sites? You’ll have to start up all over again on the next big social networking site, which is a lot of time and effort. This is what happened with MySpace, many people have ended up with pages of thousands of ‘Friends’ which has no use to anyone. If you had a mailing list however, you could simply send a email out to all of your subscribers letting know how they carry on interacting with you. So no matter what site goes down, you’ve still got your list.
- It Acts As A Reminder.
Some people will really like your music, visit your website a couple of times and then forget about you. It’s not that they don’t like you any more, it’s just that there’s so many things to do on the internet it’s harder to keep people’s attention then ever before. If however you have a mailing list, you could email your list say once a week (Or whenever something big happens) and remind them that you’re still around. This will cause people to revisit your site and make sure you stay on their mind.
Setting Up A Mailing List
So now you know why we need to set up a mailing list, how do we go about doing that? Well, first of all we need to sign up for an account at Aweber.com. Aweber will provide us with all the tools we need to collect people’s contact details, store these details, and message them when we want. While I won’t be giving you a step by step guide to using all the features of Aweber (They have their own documentation on how to use all the features) I will give you a general guide to get you started. Here are some steps you need to take:
To Be Continued.
There are another 5642 words in this lesson still to be read. To read the rest of this article, please sign up to the Academy.