Email Marketing for Musicians — The Beginner’s Guide

Email Marketing for Musicians — The Beginner’s Guide

Marketing

Did you know that email marketing is 40x more effective than social media?

And that the return-on-investment of an email subscriber is significantly higher than that of a social media follower?

That’s why email marketing is still a crucial component of the music marketing mix.

In this guide, we discuss the importance of email marketing and how to get started building a list of superfans.

Table of Contents

Why Email Marketing?

Email marketing is direct marketing.

When you send an email to your list, it goes straight to the inbox of the recipient. There are no platforms or algorithms between you and your fans.

This is why email marketing is 40x more effective than social media.

When people use social media, they are just doom-scrolling, which makes it hard to get them to take any meaningful action.

Email is inherently transactional, which is why the recipient is more likely to click through to stream your song or buy your merch.

Higher ROI

The return on investment of an email subscriber is significantly higher than that of a social media follower.

Plus, when you build a database of names and email addresses, that’s your asset. It’s an owned channel of communication between you and your fans.

Examples of Artists using Email Marketing

Below are screenshots from email newsletters from Metallica, Vulfpeck, and Placebo. Notice the rich fomratting of these messages.

Metallica’s Black Box is a gateway to all things Metallica
Vulfpeck promoting video content and a pre-order
Placebo promoting an album pre-order

Email Marketing Platforms

There are plenty of email marketing platforms out there. We use Mailchimp, but you should certainly do your homework and find one that fits.

Here’s a shortlist of some of the more popular email marketing services:

Creating Newsletters

This is the creative part. My advice to artists is to imagine they are writing a letter to their biggest fan (or Stan).

That’s how you should approach this. Keep it authentic and personal. And above all, keep it concise.

You might find it useful to use email newsletter templates.

The Call-To-Acton

Your emails should have a strong call-to-action. This should be easy to measure especially if the CTA is to click on a link. So whether you are promoting your latest release, telling a story, or inviting your fans to a live stream, make sure the call-to-action is clear and measurable.

If you’re building your email list from zero, there are a handful of ways you can start getting subscribers.

You can begin by asking the 10-20 people around you if they would like to join. Simply ask them. As long as you have their consent to receive marketing messages from you, you can add them to your mailing list manually.

You can also set up a sign-up form or landing page where they can opt-in to your mailing list. You can add a link to this form on your website and social media channels.

Welcome Message

Email marketing best practice is to create an automated welcome email that goes out to each subscriber as soon as they join your list. Here you can welcome them into your world, feature your social media and music links, and give them an idea of what to expect.

Subject Lines

When you are crafting your messages, remember that the first impression is that of the subject field of the email.

Bear in mind that your message will likely be amongst others. So keep the subject concise and to the point. If it’s a new release, keep it as simple as ‘Out Now – Song Name’. If you’re telling a story, create a subject that encapsulates it. If it’s a new merch item you’ve listed, simply say so.

As long as you continue to nurture your audience and that most of your messages aren’t promotional or sales-driven, they will be more ready to stream your song or buy your merch when you do promote those things.

Getting Started

First, decide on which platform best suits you. Then make sure you get to grips with it and set up the welcome email. Then start asking around for people who would like to be the first to join, then start promoting your sign-up page with a call-to-action like

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