Your Artist Mailing List: Part 1
This is the first part of a series of blogs pertaining to email marketing for musicians. Today’s topic is basic. It’s WHY you need an email list. You either already know this, or, need to be convinced of the importance of the email list... either way... read on!
Speaking from my own experiences as a touring musician, our email list is our direct lifeline to our fans. Of course, we’re on all the social networking sites as well. And while social networking is a great addition to your marketing plan, it should never replace your email list entirely.
Let's take Facebook for example. Facebook's algorithm intentionally blocks promotional content. This means that any time you post about your shows, where people can buy your music, or how they should back your crowdfunding project, a very small percentage of the people who actually like your page will ever see it. Just google "Facebook algorithm" if you need more information on this topic...more than you could ever want. Or, you can take my word for it. They're blocking your promotional content. It's a privately owned platform and they can do what they want... all the collective whining in the world about how it's not fair won't change a thing.
Let’s take a closer look... I’m going to use our own page as an example. (Danika Holmes & Jeb Hart) in these examples. At the time of this blog posting, we have about 14,100 “likes” on this page.
We recently made an announcement about our upcoming Fall Tour schedule (see image below). Of the 14K plus people who like our page, only 2,704 even saw it! (Look at the bottom of the image to see the number of "people reached.") If we want people to show up to our concerts they need to KNOW about our concerts and FB isn't doing the job!
Here's another example. I posted the photo below on FB as a way to promote our best selling merch item at our live shows. I tried not make it obviously promotional, yet, that's what this was... a promotional post to get fans to visit the link and buy the CD bundle. As you can see, only 2,127 people who like the page saw this! That is only 15% of the people who have actually liked our page!
Now, when exciting things happen, FB is a little more tolerant of our posts... take for example the first time I heard our song on the radio (see below)... about 35% of those who like our page saw this. It's getting better at least!
Lastly, take a look at this post (below). On a day off from touring, I got to spend some time with my grandma... I wanted to share this moment with our fans, so I made this post. Of the 14K plus people who like our page, 7,378 saw the photo I posted. This is over 52% of our total FB fanbase. That's a BIG difference compared to the measly 15% who saw our tour schedule announcement!
Now, I could go through and show you similar examples using Twitter and Instagram as well. However, by now, you should get the idea. Social networking sites are not so great for getting very important information to your fans. Your NEED your fans to know when and where you are playing and how they can find and buy your music, tickets, merch, etc.
Social networking sites do an excellent job of allowing you to create relationships with your fans. You're able to allow them into your life by sharing important moments, funny pics and silly stories from your time in the recording studio. The concerts we played in the weeks after I posted that photo of me and my 97 year old grandma... I had a ton of people come up to me after the shows saying how they loved seeing that I got some quality family time in despite our crazy schedule. It showed them I'm human. I love my grandma the same way they love theirs, and it created a connection. But, in order to be successful, your fans will need to see more than your family pics, the bacon you ate for breakfast, or your drummer's gnarly morning hair.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, has an email address. Even if your emails are not getting opened by 100% of your list, everyone on your list will see your name pop up in their inbox. You’ll be in their head, even if for just a moment. Your fans sign up for your email list because they WANT to know when and where you're playing and all about your new recording project! Let them have that information! The same day I posted the "Fall Tour Announcement" on FB, I also sent out the same information via email. We saw a spike in ticket sales that day and could directly link it to the email being sent out.
If you want a direct lifeline to your fans, you need an email list. If you already have one, great. If not, it's time to get started. As I mentioned, this is Part 1 of a series of blogs relating to email marketing. As we move forward, it's important for you to know WHY what we're talking about is so important to your success. Stay tuned for Part 2 and let us know if you have any questions or comments!