What’s The Deal With Newsletters?

Posted on February 20, 2011

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You’ve collected a gazillion email addresses at shows and from people visiting your website, but for what? Please don’t tell me it’s so you can mass email hundreds of people around the world to invite them to your show in downtown Detroit?

I delete those emails as fast as they come because most of the time they are sent the day before the show and there was NO marketing over the month leading up to the performance that would make me be remotely interested in joining the audience for that performance.

With the power of the Internet, and even some of those programs that do the mailing for you, the opportunity to develop a loyal following that attends your shows is magnanimous. You NEED to take advantage of that. These people offered you a personal contact for something personal – they want to know you as well as your music. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have given you the email in the first place. Use it to your advantage.

A simple electronic newsletter, sent by email (hence.. electronic), is the best way to keep people up on what you are doing, where you are playing and of course – what you are selling. The elements you include in that email are going to build a relationship with your fan base that makes them feel as if they know you as a friend, not just a band that they saw once or twice. Friends tell other fir4ends about their other friends, so you will spread like wildfire among the masses if you do it properly.

People don’t like to wait for things to download. Keep your letters to being just that – letters. If you have music you want to share, offer it in a link form so they simply have to click to get there on the Internet. Don’t try to email a song to 500 people. Do you really have that kind of time? Some spam filters won’t let a file like that through, and some people may have given you an email that they check at work during the week. Don’t hassle them with big files – just send a newsletter – one page, ready to read.

Now, the meat and potatoes. The purpose of a well-crafted newsletter is to make people aware of what you are up to.  Your newsletter should offer a “news” flash, featuring the latest details of your band’s existence, especially if it’s newsworthy. Lead off the letter with a brief hello and get right into the news. This is now and this is why we sent it – read it and learn! Fans want to know.

Follow the immediate “call to action” of reading with maybe a picture or two, and a link to music. If they read through the news, why wouldn’t they listen to a song? It’s nice to offer a song they haven’t heard, or something acoustic, live or rare they don’t already own. Giving them a link to download something new for free is a timeless way to get a fan for life. If it’s free – it’s for me.

Here are some other ideas of items to include in the letter.

– Road stories. People love to hear the excitement of a lifestyle they can’t live. They can live it vicariously through your words and stories.

– Show them some of the fan emails that have been sent to you. Depersonalize them, or if you have a regular crowd that knows each other, mention one of them to the group. They’ll love you for the 15 minutes of fame.

– Give them copies of the recent press clipping that include your band. If it’s in a magazine they don’t read, they might have missed it. Mention any radio spins, on air performances or recent shows you’ve played. Essentially – bring up the good points of the past.

– Mention any upcoming ticket sales or performances you want them to attend. Include the “how and where” that they need to know for getting tickets and getting in the door.

– Mention a monthly give-away. A T-shirt you make and drop ship on Zazzle. A free CD or a pair of tickets to an upcoming performance. It makes the email interactive as they will be responding to it directly back to you. This also lets you know who actually read the newsletter.

What ever you chose to send, be sure to close it with a friendly reminder of the key elements like: your website, where the CD can be purchased and be sure to give it a personal ender like “can’t wait to see you a the next show.”

Done properly, you’ve got the best marketing resource in the world with people giving you access to their email. Use it for the power of good and reap the benefit of a well-crafted newsletter.

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Posted in: Music PR