Internet Guide To Making Money For Musicians – Part Three – Email Marketing

If you have ever thought email was a waste of time and only saw spam, it’s time to give up making music and get a job in the civil service. Email marketing is key to building your fan base and you already know building your fan base is the key to everything right? Once you realize you need your own email marketing solution, consider better MailChimp alternative software.

That said, 9 out of 10 emails we receive will have us scanning the subject line and 2 lines of content before a decision is made to junk them. Why? Why are all these emails wasted? Because they don’t engage the recipient. Before you send your next email, put yourself in the shoes of your intended recipient. Be objective!

Today I got an unsolicited email from an artist asking to check them out. The subject line was the name of the artist. Great i’ve never heard of you. Why should i open that? Why not something like [Artist Name] – check out our latest video, it’s worth it!
[Artist Name] – would you mind letting us know what you think of our new single?

Both of the latter have already started to (slightly) engage me, but i’m still undecided as to whether i’ll read the rest.

*Note – You should always ask permission before you send anyone an email. Either collect emails via a sign up form on your site or Facebook page or as a last resort send a very brief email asking your intended recipient for permission to include them on your list. You should also use a double opt-in. i.e the intended recipient needs to confirm that they want to receive these mails.

Anyway, back to the original unsolicited email. In spite of the tedious subject line i still opened the email. The first line of the email was [Artist Name] Bio.

Great, now i’m even more disengaged than i was before. There followed a dozen lines of bio material that could have been interchanged with 10,000 other artists. Finally at the bottom was a link to some music.

This kind of email will always fail. It’s boring, stereotypical and as uninspiring as a photo of your band stood in front of a wall covered in graffiti. it doesn’t stand out and even though your music may be great, you are not going to get anybody listening to it.

Contrast that style of email with another one I got the same day from the band The Joy Formidable. The subject line was Watch the Video for ‘Little Blimp’ Now

So i’m interested enough to open it. Then we have a simple graphical link to the video with a short paragraph explaining that an innovative camera technique with all footage shot from the neck of Ritzy’s guitar has been used to make the video.


This is a clean email with a simple call to action and an innovative interesting story.

Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools you can have to engage with your fans. Build up a database. Start with family and friends, collect emails at gigs in exchange for a demo disk or badge, put a fan collecter on your facebook page and website and ask your twitter followers for permission to send them important updates.

It’s also inexpensive. Mailchimp and others offer great packages that are very versatile and come packed with features and analytics. As you get more and more people on your list you’ll be able to use tracking code and google analytics to track your fans preferences and behaviour but we’ll come to that in another article.


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