20% of industry-wide music sales take place in the last six weeks of the year — and 30% of all sales on CD Baby happen during that same period.
It’s a frenzy! And people are searching for all kinds of music during the holidays, so you don’t need to have a brand new release or a Christmas-themed album in order to take advantage of the yuletide boom.
Want to earn more money from your music during the holidays?
Try a few (or all) of the suggestions below:
1. Email your fans — Social media is fine, but it’s no substitute for an email newsletter delivered straight to the inboxes of your most loyal fans. Gently remind them that your music is available for purchase, that it makes a great gift, and that you’ll make the most money if they buy from CD Baby. You can always include this reminder as part of a larger email with other news items if you’re worried about seeming too “sales-y.”
To learn how to create an email newsletter that will drive more engagement and boost sales this Holiday Season, check out “5 tips for sending better holiday emails.”
2. Run a limited-time Christmas sale
Tell your fans that during the holidays you’ll be selling your CDs, downloads, and vinyl on CD Baby at a reduced cost. Then just go back into your account and raise the price after the holidays.
3. Put a music store on your website
If you’re not giving your fans a way to hear and purchase your music from your website, you’re definitely missing out on sales. Before the holidays arrive, embed one of CD Baby’s new Music Players on your site.
4. Change out those tired old links
Maybe it’s time to retire your old buy-links and spruce up your website with a new graphic hyperlink, or enlist your design-oriented friends to help you make some holiday-themed images for your links. Also, make sure that all of the links you’ve got out there on the Internet are still active.
5. Stock up so your customers don’t have their holiday gifts waiting on backorder
Make sure you have enough stock of CDs and vinyl to meet demand. Don’t be scrambling last minute to fill orders that people are going to want in-hand before Christmas arrives.
Just need a few CDs printed up? Check out CD Baby’s short run duplication service and order as many or few discs as you like.
6. Order download cards for stocking stuffers
Download cards make great gifts; they’re small, light, and come customized with your album art. Plus, you can use them to promote your music well beyond the holidays.
7. Offer a “buy one, get one free” deal
Use CD Baby’s quantity discount feature to encourage fans to buy two discs for the price of one. Then they’ll have a gift for someone on their list, too. If they’re remotely interested in purchasing your music in the first place, this bargain could close the deal.
8. Reach new fans by recording a holiday single
One way to attract new fans is to release a holiday song that people will already be searching for online. Choose a Christmas classic, record it quickly, and make the process FUN (in other words, don’t stress too much about the production value). Then you can upload it for FREE and start selling/streaming it on CDBaby.com and through our Music Player and MusicStore for Facebook.
Not sure which Christmas tunes you can cover without paying a royalty? Download our free guide listing popular holiday songs that are in the Public Domain (and those that aren’t).
9. Put ALL your music on YouTube
YouTube is now an integral part of this holiday music-buying frenzy. Before people purchase music (for themselves or for others), they’re apt to check it out on YouTube. CD Baby now pays hundreds of thousands of dollars in YouTube ad revenue to independent artists EVERY MONTH — and you should be earning your share, too. Be sure to create album-art videos for all your songs, upload them to YouTube, and tap into this exciting new music revenue source.
10. Create a holiday video for YouTube
You don’t have to be Bing Crosby or Aimee Mann to make compelling holiday videos. With the camera on your smartphone you can easily create a video for your holiday song or film a quick Christmas greeting. Use the YouTube video description to link viewers directly to your music on CD Baby.
11. Book your holiday shows early
It’s not just about making money from your recorded music. There are plenty of high-paying holiday events that need live music too. Do some investigating to see if any holiday parties, tree lighting ceremonies, church services, or library events in your town need music. If not, book your own holiday show.
12. Earn royalties for radio plays, streams, and international downloads
If you have music (especially original holiday music) that is getting a boost in international download sales, streams, and radio plays during the Christmas season, you’re generating publishing royalties. With CD Baby Pro, we’ll help you collect those royalties worldwide.
13. Analyze your traffic on CD Baby
Who’s checking out your music on CDBaby.com? Where did they visit from? From your account page (under “web hits”) you can easily view this info, making it easy to gauge the effectiveness of your promotional campaigns and make adjustments based on real-time data. Maybe there’s a blog out there sending a ton of traffic to your music on CD Baby. If so, you’ll see it in the hits tracker and be able to establish an online strategy to engage those fans directly.
14. Offer a Free Track
Allow fans and prospective fans the chance to download a song on CDBaby.com for free as an enticement to purchase the whole album. If they like what they hear, they’ll come back for more.
15. Update your album description
Before a CD Baby customer hears your music, they see the description of your music. Is it fresh and captivating? If not, log into your account and revise that thang!
I know things can get crazy around the holidays, so don’t feel like you need to do everything on this list. Addressing even a few of these items should help you increase your music sales towards the end of 2014.
If you have ideas to add to the list, let me know your music promotion tips in the comments below.
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[Santa image from Shutterstock.]