[Editors Note: This is the sixth and final volume in a multi-part series by Cheryl B. Engelhardt, singer/songwriter, composer, and the owner of the music career consultation site In The Key of Success. In this series, Cheryl breaks down the key S.T.A.G.E.S. of email marketing for independent artists – we invite you to follow along and catch up, as we’re sure you’ll be walking away with some hugely helpful tips for your email marketing strategy! Be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.]
S is for Monetize
In the S.T.A.G.E.S. of email, the last S stands for Monetize. I mean, it actually stands for “Sell” but monetize is a better word, and encompasses more of what we are actually doing with our lists. (S.T.A.G.E.M. wasn’t as cool.)
Monetizing your email list isn’t just about selling a few more CD’s every month. Though more sales is certainly a welcomed addition to getting your email list in order! This is about taking your subscriber on a journey from fan to customer to repeat customer to advocate. It’s our job to give our subscribers opportunities to purchase from us, allowing us to monetize both on a small level ($.99 for download on Bandcamp or iTunes) and a large one ($2,000 for singing background vocals on a new song, a fan-funding reward).
Here’s the biggest mistake I see musicians make: they get it all out at once. “Here are all the things I’m offering, no pressure, pick whatever feels best for you. Bye.”
In the previous article in this series, I spoke about different email “series” – campaigns containing about four emails that are centered around a single theme, promotion, or story.
You can create a separate “Rise” series (rising from fan to customer) for each item you have to sell. In fact, you can have a different series for each ‘Thing’ you want to promote. So, you can send a series of emails about joining the $1 level on your Patreon page, another one for joining the $25 level. You can have a separate series for following you on Spotify, and another one about creating stations of your music on Pandora.
Here’s how I structure a “Rise” series:
- Email #1 describes the Thing. Tell them about what you’re offering, or what you want to do. Make it personal. How does it help you if they follow you on Spotify? How does it work? People like to be heroes. Give them the opportunity to do it. What are all the perks of joining your $25 level on Patreon? How is it WAY better than the $1 level?
- Email #2 is a direct ask with spelled-out directions on what happens next. You ask them if they would do/purchase the thing. Directly. You don’t mince words. You remind them of why this is a great thing for them, and why it is a great thing for you. Then you tell them exactly HOW to do the thing. (I even make videos and screen shots for my followers on how to sign up for Spotify, where the “follow” button is, or how to pre-save a song.)
- Email #3 handles objections. Why might people not buy or do the thing? Not enough money? Time? Not using the platform? Don’t want to pay over the internet? Take a guess, and write out a list of things that might be stopping them. I like to start by saying something like “I see you haven’t purchased my bundle of CDs yet. My biggest fear is that the link didn’t work… can you let me if that was the case (and if not, I’d love to know why!) so I can make sure everything is working?” And then I get into the reasons.
- Email #4 adds a sense of urgency and a sense of reminder. It definitely helps if you’re able to put a time limit on your offer. You could remove an extra perk, for example: “If you sign up for my $25 level on Patreon before the end of the week, I’ll through in this digital printout.”
I like to send out my Rise series with more frequency than I do my Nurture series. Think of it as a Black Friday sale. People are expecting you to follow up, especially if the offer was important to you. You could send one email a day for four days, or one every other day.
To make sure that people aren’t getting multiple emails in a day, I like to make sure that the Rise series happen in between Nurture or other series. My automation is linear. A welcome series leads to Nurture, leads to a Rise series (where we monetize), back to another Nurture, etc., I dig into this both conceptually and in practice in Rock Your Email List.
If you’re not using a platform that can automate, no problem, just write out your Rise series in an word doc and save it for a great time to send.
Ultimately, you can always be selling, especially if you have an automated series set up.
However you decide to structure your selling series, the key is to make them focused, authentic, and direct. Be clear on what you want people to do, and have only one call to action. This will keep the focus on the product or promotion you’re offering, increasing your chances for a win-win.
Win-win is the name of the email list game. It’s a win for them because they’re getting your great content, and it’s a win for you because you’re building your music career, fan base, and your bank account.
I hope you enjoyed this article series. Make sure you download your free copy of my Mastering Email workbook, if you haven’t yet. AND… If you want to go through the entire process of developing your own personal email list strategy, setting up the technology, and banging out your content plan, then it’s highly likely that the video course Rock Your Email List will be just for you. Click here to find out more and start rocking your email list.