Email Mailing Lists for Musicians
By: Jerry A. Greene
Question: What is the best way to keep a mailing list for my band?
Answer: I am glad you asked about keeping a mailing list! This is one of the most important things, if not the most important thing you can do to assure success in your music career. Targeted email lists allow you to communicate for next to nothing. If you collect home addresses, you can send postcards to market directly to your fans.
Mailing List Software
The best way to get a mailing list together is to sign up with one of the mailing list services online. There are a few really good ones out there that provide very easy mailing list management, allowing people to subscribe to your mailing list on their own, as well as remove themselves from your mailing list without you needed to do anything.
Collecting Emails for your Mailing List
You need to put the script (codes from the mailing list provider that you work with) on your website (preferably on every page). You also need to make sure that you collect emails from your fans at your gigs. The best way to do this is to set up a sign-up sheet in the back of the room and encouraging people to sign up for your free newsletter, or e-zine. Offer them a free mp3 download of your music for doing so. Then, once you send them the download, take the chance to ask them to purchase your CD, or mp3 files.
Marketing to Your Email List
The fact that email costs nothing to send out (not counting the cost for the email list service), marketing to your list is very low cost and something you'll want to do at least once a month. Make sure that you include in your email a note saying that they can unsubscribe at anytime and provide them the link to do so. This can be done automatically by most email list services and software. Don't worry about a few fans leaving your list from time-to-time. Don't take it personally and just concentrate on building a relationship with your fans through email.
Personalize Your Emails
Most email list service providers allow you to customize the emails that go out. Make sure you don't overlook this feature. Even though you will be sending out bulk emails, always send them out with your fans names' in the beginning and it will appear as if you sent it to them directly.
Respond to Your Emails
Autoresponders are sometimes included with mailing list software. Use them to let your fans know that you received their message and will get back to them shortly.then follow up! Also, include at least one sales message in each message you send out, if not in the body the letter.the very bottom.
Opt-in Mailing Lists
Make sure that you do not put people that did not request your newsletter in your mailing list. Always use the opt-in features provided by most services for your website. This requires that people respond to a confirmation email before being sent any further messages. If you collect emails at gigs, which again you should do all the time, you may even want them to go through the opt-in process before sending them the free mp3 download. This makes sure that they gave you permission and makes it less likely that you will be called a spammer.
Don't send your email list a newsletter more than once a week. I'm sure you know how it feels to receive plenty of spam emails everyday. You don't want your fans to feel the same way about your newsletter!
Make sure that your fans know the email address that you'll be mailing to them from and ask them to add the address to their "whitelist" or "safelist", or to set a rule in their email program to ensure that your email gets through without being sent to the junk box.
Mailing List Database Backup Utilities
Make sure that the mailing lists service that you sign up with has a way of backing up your database, even if you have to do it. You definitely don't want to lose your list. It is one of the biggest assets you'll own, other than your house! Just think about it.any time you have a new product to sell (your CD's, MP3's, t-shirts and other merchandise) you'll have a very cheap way to market them immediately. With this list, you have a way of making money as soon as your products are released. The bigger the list you have the bigger your profits will be!
Always include a message that says "Send this to a friend". Email marketing works best when you use it to grow your mailing list. It can all be done on autopilot. Just make sure you have a way for people to send your message to their friends. Include a message for the friend "download are free mp3 just for signing up for our free newsletter/e-zine".