Compiling and maintaining an email list is a great way to engage your fans, and a surefire way to directly reach people who might not visit your home page or social media sites. Plus, emails can be easily forwarded, connecting you to potential fans with the click of a button. However, if all you do is copy and paste the date and time of your next gig and shoot off an email, you’re probably not going to garner much excitement. Check out these 5 easy tips to improve the effectiveness of your emails by focusing your email strategy.

1. Don’t spam – Fans want to know what you’re up to, especially when you have new songs and shows to announce.  But they don’t need an email from you every time you blow your nose, or every time you’re struck by the beauty of your scrambled eggs. That’s what things like Twitter and Google Buzz are for.

2. Give them something – Don’t just send them a bunch of words on a page. Give your fans a picture, a YouTube video, a link to download a live song, b-side, or demo. Heck, even a picture that relates to your topics or catches their attention is better than nothing.

3. Keep it simple – While you might want to share every detail of the exciting possibilities that are opening up for your musical career, most fans don’t have the time or patience to sit through a 2000-word epic. Keep your information clear & informative, and let your fans know why you’re writing. If you must include tons of info, include a mini “Table of Contents” at the top, so they’ll know what to scroll down to.

4. Use a service – There are lots of companies out there who make it easy to manage your email list – some are free, some aren’t. Do your research and find one that works best to fit your needs. Some of them have some very cool templates that make it easy to just input your info, and presto – you’ve got a great looking email, made in almost no time.

5. Subject matters – Think twice when deciding what the subject of your email should be, because every word is important. If the subject is something really engaging, like “Free Live Songs!” – your fans will be more inclined to open the email and devote some time to you.  Also, some email providers will automatically filter out emails that have certain “flagged” words in the subject line. There are the basic “dirty” ones you might expect, but some emails with references to medical supplies or drugs get automatically marked as spam.