[Editors Note: This article was written by Hugh McIntyre.]
For many years, newsletters were the best way to reach a large group of people, as social media hadn’t exploded and taken over the planet yet. That is no longer the case, as now everybody seems to spend incredible amounts of time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms every single day. Because of this, I’ve seen many artists give up on their newsletters, and many new acts don’t even bother creating one in the first place.
I understand the thinking when it comes to this decision, but I have to disagree with it. There are plenty of reasons to either keep an email newsletter going or to start one from scratch—hear me out!
1. Give Your Diehards Everything!
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to continue to distribute a newsletter is because there are probably still people who want it. That might sound a bit silly, but if your fans want something, and you can give it to them relatively easily, you should do it. Your more casual listeners might not be intrigued when you enter their inbox, but those who love you and what you do want to hear from you!
They want to know what’s going on, what’s coming up, and they don’t mind receiving your marketing materials, so why would you miss out on an opportunity to speak to them in a way that can only benefit you?
2. Make Sure Your News Is Seen
As a musician, you’re sure to have a lot of news you want to spread around. Between new singles and albums, merchandise lines being released, and, of course, concerts all the time in every city around the world (maybe one day!), there’s a lot you need to communicate to your fans. But sadly, they’re going to miss many of those announcements. Social media channels become more and more clogged every day, and like it or not, your missives about your new video and when you take the stage will likely get pushed down in favor of bigger names.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t continue to make social media a priority, but at the same time, don’t rely on it only. Any bit of news should be shared across all social platforms, posted on your website, and included in a newsletter.
3. Lengthy Content Lives Here
As I just stated, social media is where you’re going to focus most of your energy when it comes to news and announcements, as well as promoting pretty much anything. That makes sense, since everybody is on at least one social platform, and if you are smart and you have a strategy in place for all of them, you’re going to find at least some success.
Having said that, social media wasn’t made for long-form writing, and it really doesn’t do well on Twitter, Facebook, and certainly not Instagram. You may have a blog or a spot on your website where you can post lengthier messages—letters to fans, details about purchasing tickets or merch, etc.—but even those who love you the most might miss those placements.
Newsletters can be fantastic if you have something you need to share that’s longer than any social channel allows. Such instances might not come around often, but you’ll be happy you kept your email messages going when they do.
4. Older Fans Love You, Too!
When it comes to music, everybody seems to only be concerned with younger listeners. Sure, they may be the tastemakers and the ones typically attending concerts and festivals, but they’re not the only people out there, and they aren’t always the ones with the most disposable income. To ignore those slightly older fans, or potential fans, is to shut out potential revenue streams, and no artist should ever do that!
Those audiences may be interested in listening to your tunes, buying your album, and maybe even coming to a concert, but they may not be present on social media. Reaching these listeners is imperative, so you need to go where they are. You probably don’t want to invest in advertising via traditional methods (TV, radio, and so on), so why don’t you email them?
5. Put Everything In One Place…Or, Several Places
The message with this point is simple: the more places you put your news, the better. Copy and pasting news across social platforms and on your website is great, but why not also add your newsletter into the mix? You can use your website as a place to house literally everything people could ever want to know about you and everything you’ve ever released, and your newsletter can act in much the same way, only in a smaller, more up-to-date capacity.
Your newsletter can serve as a roundup of the news you’ve been announcing on social media outlets over several days or weeks, and and once all that news is gone, keep it archived on your site. Also, feel free to include sales, links to merch, music, and buying tickets…but it should focus on everything current. The same things can be on your actual website, and then some.
Hugh McIntyre writes about music and the music industry and regularly contributes to Forbes, Sonicbids, and more.