If used properly, a performing songwriter's most valuable marketing asset can be his individual email list . A lot of songwriters put all of their promotional efforts into the latest social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Reverb Nation without individual email list the benefits of having an email newsletter. The main advantage of an individual email list , is it's a direct way of communicating with your fans, by sending them a message to their inbox. That's more than you can say for the social networking sites, which come off more as blasts to whoever happens to be viewing your feed at that moment. The other main advantage of an individual email list over social networking sites is social media sites come and go (along with the fans attached to those pages), while email isn't going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Think about everyone who had 10,000 fans on their MySpace pages. What good are those fans now?
That's not to say you shouldn't have both an individual email list and a social media presence, because have both is ideal. But you also need to realize that having a Twitter or Facebook page isn't necessarily a replacement for an email newsletter. Having said that, let's look at some dos and don'ts to get you started with your email Newsletter. DO Offer a cool incentive for people to join your email list. This could be something along the lines of offering your latest music for free. Make sure it's something of value to your fans. Put yourself in their shoes. What would get you to sign up for an artist's email list, if you were them? DO give value in your emails. You want people to want to open up and read emails from you, so give them stuff they'll care about. Maybe you can share an embarrassing moment that happened to you onstage, if you're a good storyteller. Or maybe, you'll share articles you found online that you think would be beneficial to your readers. Only you can know what's best for your fans. Get creative and make it about them as much as you can.
DO have a "call to action" in your emails. That means specifically tell your fans what you want them to do. That can mean telling them to come to a show, buy a CD, or vote for your song somewhere online. Don't be afraid to ask. DO use an email auto responded service so people can unsubscribe from your individual email list , if they decide they no longer want to receive it. I'll talk more about that in a minute. DO give it a cool name. Maybe instead of just calling it an email newsletter, you can call it your Backstage Pass Club, or something like that. Kick around some ideas that would work well for your genre and your fans. DON'Ts DON'T spam. That means don't put people on your list who didn't request to be there.Had those fans been email addresses, not only would they still be valid, but they'd be able to get direct emails, as opposed to just status updates.
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