[Editors Note: This blog post was written by Michelle Aguilar, a writer and digital artist based in Los Angeles.]
It’s been 45 years since the invention of the email (thank you Ray Tomlinson). Fast-forward 6 years later, the first “mass-email” was sent. The sender? His name is Gary Thuerk, and he was the Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corp. His email strategy resulted in $13 million worth of sales for DEC machines. Email has since then been a fantastic and major go-to for direct marketing. It’s been a popular tool used by a wide range of businesses including Uber, Songkick, Yelp, Netflix, DropBox, and much more! Just check your email.
I mentioned businesses, but as an artist like yourself, you’ve probably already figured out that you pretty much are your own business. You’re in the creative industry. You’re an entrepreneur and although you love what you do, there will also be the question of advertising your music and of course, selling. Before we begin to go over the different ways email marketing can boost your promotional strategy, let’s go over some key data to back the productivity of email marketing. It’s extremely critical to be well-informed on the digital platforms that are available for you today.
“War is ninety percent information.”
–Napoleon Bonaparte, French Military and Political Leader
So Napoleon had a point here. The more information we have, the better we can access our current strategies and/or calculate our future moves. What I’m about to mention may not be a shocker since many of us have probably experienced the shameless deed of waking up and checking our emails first thing in the morning. Well guess what? If people living within this routine happen to be your audience, you’re already a huge step ahead by reaching them during times that are convenient for them. They may not be aware of your email in the morning if they’re not morning checkers, but they will be sometime during the day or night. People are using their emails more and more today and the outlook is looking up!
- 91% of consumers use email at least once a day. (Exact Target, 2014)
- 42% of Americans check their email in the bathroom. (TechCrunch, 2015)
- 58% of adults check their email first thing in the morning. (Customer Intelligence, 2016)
- Email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020. (The Radicati Group, 2016)
- The open rate for emails sent in North America is 34.1%. (DMR Stats, 2017)
“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”
–Sydney J. Harris, American Journalist for the Chicago Daily News
The great news is that people that may already know about you as an artist, or have just recently discovered you, actually want to hear from you. I myself have several subscriptions to a few of my favorite artists to stay in the loop. It’s incredibly helpful for me since I don’t usually have the time to keep up with them independently.
- 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista, 2015)
- 43% of consumers in the U.S between the ages of 18-64 prefer weekly email communication. (Blue Hornet, 2015)
- 78% of consumers in the U.S between the ages of 18-64 have surveyed make a purchase at least once a month as a result of an email campaign. (Blue Hornet, 2015)
- 44% of consumers in the U.S between the ages of 18-64 say email campaigns remind them to shop which leads to more frequent purchases. (Blue Hornet, 2015)
Keep in mind that although these insights talk about companies or purchases, you can relate them to yourself because as mentioned previously, you are your own company, and the purchases equaling to sells of your music, through Bandcamp, for example.
What we’re discovering here is that email marketing allows people to be ‘in the loop’ of things and most likely, these are people who want to get more involved and are willing to make purchases. Why else would they sign up for your email list?
Now that we’ve got some important key data insights out of the way, let’s go over some email marketing tips that can amplify your message to your fans, whether that’s announcing an upcoming tour, a new release or a change in your band.
Redirect Your Website Visitors
A great way to provide people and potential fans the opportunity to sign up to your mailing list is to add that option on your website. One tip to do this would be to add the form in your “contact” page or even create a whole page dedicated and name it “mailing list”. You can do the same thing on your blog. The next thing you might want to do is to promote your website on all of your social media accounts. You can also promote the mailing list itself on social media. Let’s just say that the destination to your mailing list requires both a stop to your social media account or website. It can happen either way, just make sure to have that mailing list page!
Also, don’t forget to mention your mailing list after you perform, can’t forget good ol’ fashion marketing.
Email to Inform
People tend to get caught up in their lives and work, so we can really imagine how relieving it is for your fans to be updated continuously on important events that they may otherwise miss out on. As you generate an email list, it’s important to consider that there is a mutual newness to your relationship. Emails at this stage should be used to inform them about yourself as an artist and in any news that’s going on regarding your music. Email to inform, not to sell. This is a good way of enforcing your value and relationship to your audience.
Email to Show Appreciation
While I’ve mentioned that it’s important to email only to inform, there are times when it is appropriate to use email to upsell. It is always a good time to show appreciation so you may want to have a system set up where a “thank you” email is sent once somebody signs up or when they’ve made a transaction. You can use these emails to thank the purchaser and to offer other products that they may also be interested in. This calls for executing a different type of email, also known as email marketing segmentation in the marketing world. Independent email marketing consultant Jordie van Rijn defines it as “the art of splitting your list into different groups. These groups – or segments – consist of people with similar characteristics.” You can look into how to do this through Mailchimp or do some investigation through your current email marketing platform.
Email Free Giveaways
I don’t think I need to do much explaining here because really, who doesn’t like free stuff? If you’re on a specific budget you can limit free giveaways accordingly. You may only do free giveaways per each new sign up or you can do giveaways randomly to surprise your fans. Free giveaways are always an excellent idea to attract more audiences (and retain current ones). It’s even better when you choose a prize that will be appreciated, just think of your favorite merchandise.
Email marketing is not going anywhere. It’s been used for many years to help entrepreneurs and businesses build loyalty, trust and brand awareness. In a way, you’re serving as a handy reminder to those interested in your music, and when done effectively, the return you get is very well worth it. Make it less about promoting and more about informing and revealing the many things in store for those that are putting in an effort in learning more about you. This is your chance to truly customize your message.
Do you have a mailing list? If so, what has worked for you and what hasn’t? What do you think about the effectiveness of email marketing both as an artist and as a consumer? Is there anything you’d like to learn more about regarding email marketing?
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