Wednesday, February 16, 2011

8 Best Email Practices

I've advocated email lists here many times before for marketing so there's no need to belabor that (you can subscribe to mine here, if you're interested). Jed Carlson, who's a co-founder and COO of Reverbnation, posted a great article on Email 101 For Artists on Music Think Tank that's essential for every artist with a mailing list to read.

Below is an excerpt, but there's a lot more, so be sure to check out the entire article.

Specifically, here are some ‘best practice’ tenants to consider when it comes to email marketing to a fan base:
  1. Always respect a person’s desire to unsubscribe to your list. IMMEDIATELY UNSUBSCRIBE THEM IF YOUR EMAIL SERVICE DOESN’T DO IT FOR YOU.
  2. Always give before you get.  Give the fans something special before you ask them to do something like vote for you in a contest.
  3. Always talk to them without swearing.  It may be part of your ‘persona’ as a band, but some people don’t like that language.  The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Yahoo mail, hotmail, AOL, etc don’t like it either, and your message will go directly to the junk box.  You wouldn’t talk to your grandma that way, would you?
  4. Always avoid ‘scam’ words in the subject line.  Words like ‘Free’ and ‘Help’ will land your message in the junk box 100% of the time. 
  5. Always message them no more than 4 times per month.  Ideally it would be less than 3 times.  Fans want to be kept up to date, but they don’t want to feel like they are your only fan.  Messaging them all the time gives the impression that you don’t have anything more important to do.
  6. Always target them with messages that are RELEVANT to them.  If you have a show in Seattle, don’t message your fans in Miami.  Keep your powder dry for a message to them later about something else.
  7. Always give them the basics about the information you are conveying.  Reporters call this the ‘who, what, why, when, where, how’ model.  If you have a show coming up, do your fans (and yourself) the service of providing dates, times, locations, ticket links, and lineup of the show.  Over 75% of Artists miss this essential piece when they email.  If you want someone to respond and come to your show, for goodness sake, go so far as to give them driving directions if you can.  Each ticket sold is money in your pocket.
  8. Always link them to some place to find out more info about the band.  This could be ReverbNation or MySpace or a homepage or blog.  But ALWAYS give them a way to find out more.
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