Email is a big topic (which is why we dedicated an entire module to it in the Music Power Tools course), and it’s something that a lot of musicians put off. But I’m here to tell you that email doesn’t have to be scary, time-consuming, or intimidating.
Instead of thinking big picture, narrow it down to a few easy steps you can take right now to get emails flowing in.
Choose an Email Promotion Provider
Before you do anything with email promotion, you need to choose an email provider – Gmail or Yahoo isn’t going to cut it here, you need something professional and legit with the ability to group and segment your list.
There are a lot of options, but let’s run through two big ones quickly so you can start deciding which may be best for you.
- Very easy to use, even if you’ve never used email services before
- You can start with a free plan – which will give you up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month
- Affordable pricing for paid plans starts at $10 for 500 users/unlimited sends (see more here)
- Good templates are available, you can create your own templates, and the editor is very easy to use
- There is awesome RSS feed support
- You can track where signups come from and automatically add to group statuses with hidden form fields
- Easy to understand reports
- Customize signup forms for mobile devices
- Easy to import and customize your lists
- Easily share songs from iTunes or YouTube
- Segmented email campaigns, such as by location (great for tour alerts)
- Mobile apps available
- Lots of integrations with website providers
- Many advanced features require a Pro plan, which starts at $199/month
- Some segmentation features require a paid plan
- Awesome drag-and-drop editor which allows you to easily format text, add hyperlinks, and insert images
- You can schedule emails by time-zone
- There are 700+ email templates to choose from
- The interface is clean and easy to use
- They take spam very seriously
- Split A/B test your emails
- Mobile Apps are available
- The shopping cart integrates with PayPal, Shopify, and Google Checkout
- You can add attachments to emails
- There is extensive tracking and reporting of email campaigns
- Lacks Google Analytics integration
- No social media tracking or reporting
- You can’t build your own email template.
- You can only import xls, xlsx, tsv, csv, txt files
Need some ideas on what to send to your email list? Download these 10 email templates – Attention-Getting Email Templates for Musicians
Don’t Ask for Too Much
Once you have your email provider, your next step in your email promotion plan is to start creating opt-in forms where fans can signup to receive emails.
As you’re doing this, remember that it’s important to only ask for what you need. People are wary of giving out too much personal information, and too many form fields can lead to people dropping off before they submit their email.
You need to decide what information you absolutely need (and what you can live without).
Keep in mind that you can create multiple different forms that collect different information depending on where they’re located on your site. So for example, an opt-in form on your homepage may just ask for email and first name (so you can personalize the emails you send). An opt-in form on your tour page may include email, first name, and zip code so you can notify them when you’re playing in their area.
Add Opt-In Forms to Your Website
Where you place your email opt-in forms will have just as big an effect on how well they perform and how many fans signup.
To start, make sure you have an opt-in form towards the top of your website’s homepage (it should be visible without scrolling down). Tell them what they’ll get for signing up right on the form.
If you have an active blog page, include another opt-in form towards the top or in the sidebar allowing fans to sign up for blog updates or weekly blog roundup emails.
Another option is to add an opt-in form to your merch page giving your fans the chance to sign up for emails to receive a discount code.
Pop-ups and welcome mats can be used, but be sure to adjust the settings so they’re not popping up all the time and getting annoying. Sumo.com is a great one to try, but there are plenty of other plugins for WordPress and other sites that will do similar things.
Let Fans Subscribe at Checkout
Another easy way to get more people signing up for your emails is to add an opt-in checkbox to your store’s checkout page. Don’t assume that everyone who buys from you is on your list. Plus, for the most part, fans who actually purchase from you are probably your most loyal fans, so you want to be able to contact them again!
Add a Call-to-Action to Your Facebook Page
Adding a button to your Facebook page to get mailing list subscribers can help create a mailing list from your Facebook following.
Here’s how to do it: Click the “Create Call to Action” button on your cover photo, select “Sign Up” from the button options dropdown, then enter the URL to your mailing list and click “Create.”
It’s a pretty easy step, but it’s yet another way to funnel fans into your email list.
Collect Emails at Your Merch Table
Your merch table is another place where email signup forms can easily be added into the mix. It can be as simple as having a clipboard on the table, or you can tie it to some kind of a contest to really make it worth their while. Tell your fans that anyone who signs up for emails will be entered to win a merch bundle at the end of your set.
If you want to go further with email marketing and learn more about what to send and when to send, consider signing up for the Musician Power Tools Promote Your Music Crash course. There’s an entire module dedicated to email promotion, and 5 other modules covering social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as your website so you can get everything working together to promote your music.
Written by Nicholas Rubright of Dozmia, Chelsea Ira