The #1 most important thing you can do to market your music

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email marketing for musiciansEmail is still the most effective form of online marketing

When you want to encourage fans to purchase your music, or leave a review, or tag you in photos that they took at your show, or watch your newest YouTube video, EMAIL is the best way to get someone to take action.

According to many studies on internet habits, you’re far more likely to see results from a well-written email newsletter than from a series of tweets or Facebook posts. Plus, when you collect a fan’s email address, you have the opportunity to market to them again and again. THAT’s why building your email list should be your top priority when it comes to marketing your music. 

But there’s another important reason why you should be focusing most of your marketing efforts on building your email list: you need to OWN your fan relationships.

When you build a following on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, those companies are in control of not only HOW you communicate with fans, but also WHO gets to see your content. Plus,… remember MySpace? You don’t want to spend years collecting likes on Facebook only to lose those fan connections to changes in social media trends or functionality. Your email list is forever!

How to grow your email list

1. Place an email collection widget on your website

2. Give away a free MP3 download or offer some other incentive on your website in exchange for an email address

3. Give your email newsletter subscribers access to exclusive content

4. Put clear calls-to-action on your website (for example, “sign up for my monthly newsletter” or “get email updates about our music”)

5. Prominently feature your email signup list at your merch booth

6. Give something away for free at shows in exchange for email addresses (guitar picks, posters, stickers, etc.)

For some more tips on how to build your list of email newsletter subscribers, check out:

Five tips to grow your email list on your website

Five ways to build your email list without giving away free music

Grow Your Email List and Keep Your Subscribers

OK. Great. So you’ve built your email list. Now what?

How to effectively market your music to the fans on your email list

You want your email newsletters to connect on an emotional level with your fans, provide some insight into your creative process, and show your appreciation for their support. But you also want to your emails to drive music and concert ticket sales too. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

How to use email to drive traffic to your website

How to add video to your email newsletter

Writing a newsletter article that succeeds — 3 quick tips

Are your marketing emails too long?

How often should I email my mailing list?

Are you making THIS mistake with your email newsletter?

Five things to remember before hitting ‘send’

Tips for sending music marketing emails around the holidays

What have you done with your email marketing to better engage your fans? Got any advice for bands just starting to build their email list? What mistakes have you made along the way? Let us know in the comments section below.

Marketing your music 101: 
essential tips for getting your music out there

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  • Jungle Gym Jam

    I’ve seen solid improvements with my relationship with fans over email in the last 2 months since I launched “eGoodie Bag.” After the party everyone wants a goodie bag, not a sales pitch! So I make free YouTube videos of song performances (taped in professional quality with fun backdrops) uploaded to unpublished URLs. My emails every week offer some free, exclusive content first, followed by a few giveaway announcements, etc. Gig announcements are last, in a P.S. I rarely post links to stuff for sale, but that would also go in the P.S. after people have seen the free stuff in their goodie bag.
    My emailings are not intended to shove stuff down my subscribers’ throats, just intended to keep them engaged. For a little background, I do kids’ music. Parents are the gatekeepers who decide what shows the family attends and what content the family buys, so my content has to appeal to parents and kids alike.
    Click rates and open rates are way up. I’m getting the occasional online sign-up when I used to get none. The sign-ups at live shows keep on coming. Unsubscribe rates are way down.
    To see how I go about marketing my music with e-mail visit – you can sign up if you want examples of how I use free content to build interest in my music for kids.

  • StevenCravisMusic

    I agree, Christopher Robley.

  • Some Guy

    Couldn’t agree more! This is something EVERY musician should embrace… I see a lot of folks focusing on Facebook and Soundcloud to promote and while those can need a direct line to fans..

  • MC Till

    One tip I’d like to offer that has helped me go from getting 1 or 2 e-mails at a show to getting just about everyone’s e-mail at the show. I put the sign-up sheet on a clipboard and from the stage I talk about how I want to continue a relationship with the people who came to the show and I ask if they will jot down their e-mail so that I we can stay connected. Then, from the stage I hand out the clipboard w/ a pen to someone nearby and ask them to sign and pass it around. It always, always works!!! Learned this from the great Joy Ike:)

  • That’s a great tip. Thanks for sharing.


  • Teresa McNeil MacLean

    How do you avoid your own and your recipients spam filters? Constant Contact or?

    • Firstly, it’s about providing great stuff in your newsletter so no one is tempted to hit the “spam/junk” button. You don’t want to get flagged as spam. Then, make sure to use a service like ListBaby or MailChimp that makes it easy for recipients to unsubscribe. Lastly, avoid spammy words in the subject lines (and in the body of the email too, if you can help it).


      • Teresa McNeil MacLean

        Sounds like good advice. I’d looked into Mail Chimp & Constant Contact (I’d not heard of ListBaby) because both of my email programs have sending limits (can’t send out to my whole list at once) and I’d been noticing recipients’ email programs were rejecting as spam anything sent to more than 10 people at a time…