[Editors Note: This is the fifth 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. Cheryl will be breaking down the key S.T.A.G.E.S. of email marketing for independent artists – we invite you to follow along over the next few weeks, 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 and Part 4.]
Email List Engagement: How Content Is Queen
Your email list is not about selling stuff, it’s about engagement. I hope you’re figured that out in the past few articles in this series. And engagement truly means developing a meaningful, long-term relationship with your fans.
When you’re engaging with your fans, you aren’t just sending them a newsletter saying, “Here’s my life right now.” That’s a billboard. No, when you send your fans an engaging email, you are opening up the lines for discussion, inviting them in to your world.
You can get going with a content plan by reading another article I’ve written called Set Up Your Email List For a Year.
But first, I’d like to give you a different context for writing emails:
Take your subscribers on a journey from being subscribers to becoming superfans through your content.
Here’s what that means:
- Your welcome series needs to have some awesome stuff in it to set your reader up for what’s to come. [Read this article on Welcome Series]
- You aren’t wonky about offering them things you have for sale, like merch and vinyl editions.
- Fans get the chance to get to know you, and you are actively trying to get to know them.
- You create series of emails that will nurture your fans. These can include stories behind the songs, major transitions in your life, and band member highlights. You aren’t writing essays here, just a few paragraphs to let them in.
- You create series of emails that highlight a single certain service or product, and you are clear about what you want them to do. This could be any of the following: to follow you on Spotify, subscribe to your YouTube channel, pre-order your new album on iTunes, pre-save your new single on Spotify, or purchase the newest addition to your merch store
In each email that you craft, you are developing familiarity. With familiarity comes engagement, and with engagement comes repeat customers.
Series of Engagement Emails
- Welcome Series. Four emails to deliver any free thing you may have promised them (a bundle of songs, a handwritten lyric pdf, an exclusive welcome video) and to give them a taste of what’s to come. Highlight your most popular music videos and blog posts, almost like you’re syaing “here’s what you missed”.
- Nurture Series. This is where you tell your story. I like to break up the 30 emails I write (10 of my story, 10 about songs, 10 changing up who I’m shining a light on) into groups of 4 emails to send once a week for a month. This way, I can interchange a Rise series with a Nurture series and people don’t get bored.
- Rise Series. This is a series of 4 emails where you tell them about a thing you’d like them to do or buy. In this series, you also show them how to do or buy that thing. Lastly, you’ll celebrate when they do or buy the thing. Each rise series focuses on only ONE task.
- Re-engagement Series. This is a great series to wake up some of your sleepy subscribers- those who haven’t opened or clicked in an email in the past few months. The key here is great subject lines that invoke curiosity, FOMO, or social proof.
- Launch or Holiday Series. This is a condensed series of 4-5 emails that are sent over a shorter amount of time, usually around a specific launch or holiday. Utilize EVERY major sales holiday. Here’s why: people are expecting to be sold to, and often times wait for these periods to open up their purses. Your email asking them to purchase your newest merch store addition will not be an interuption, but rather an expectation!
These are the main series I like to focus on. There are, of course, others, and I dig in to what those are, plus what really is needed for each series in my course Rock Your Email List. If you’re still reading, my guess is this puppy will be a welcomed investment into your career.
The subscribers who get on your list are the people who turn into your super fans and advocates. However, only become advocates when you give them an opportunity to consume your content and engage with you.