The #1 goal for any business, especially for musicians, should be to collect email addresses from their target market.
The bigger your email list, the more chances you’ll have to make money from your audience in the future. Especially if any of those people on your email list have purchased from you before.
It does not matter if they bought your EP online, or paid for a shirt at your merch booth, these people have already supported you one time, getting them to do it again is a lot easier.
Consider an email address your currency, and collect as many as you can.
How do I collect emails?
There are many services available now to manage your email list, but I recommend using Mail Chimp.
They offer a free account to help you get started, and have all the bells and whistles you could ever need for email marketing.
To boot, their customer service is fantastic, and the ‘demo’ on their home page even shows a musician setting up their email campaign. It was meant to be.
In the future, I will try to put together a Mail Chimp 101 to help you get started, but for now their online support and FAQ will have to do(it’s actually really good).
Other music industry specific email management tools include Topspin, and even Bandcamp.
Topspin goes above and beyond, allowing you to also manage your merchandise, digital downloads, etc from one account.
Bandcamp only lets you collect emails, then export to another service like Mail Chimp or Topspin in order to send messages to those email addresses.
How can I get more emails from my website?
Once you have an account at Mail Chimp, you can embed a simple ‘Sign up’ form on to your website.
The easiest way is to copy and paste the Super Simple code to a Text Widget on your WordPress website. Done and Done.
That being said, Mail Chimp also offers tons of flexibility to customize the look and feel of your email signup forms. You can change the look, add or remove fields, etc.
Once the form is on your website, offering some kind of incentive to your audience is a great way to get them to hand over the email address.
Take for example how Bandcamp works for Free downloads. You are offering up a FREE download of your music in exchange for the users email address. If this person likes your music, and you don’t spam them to death with tons of crap, and instead contact them whenever you release new music, merchandise, etc, there is a good chance they’ll take action.
Topspin has a similar function that they call ‘Email for Media’. This allows you to set up any digital item that you have hosted at Topspin, in exchange for a users email. A new single, a mixtap, a live recording, digital artwork, a PDF, anything that might be interesting to your audience is a good thing to offer.
Other ways to collect email addresses
There are many different ways to collect email addresses from your audience other than just your website.
- Old school pen and paper
- Mobile Phone
- iPad, Kindle, tablets
A super easy one is just having a piece of paper and pen at your merch table, make a row for Name, and a row for Email. Ask people to sign up.
Another example, on the home screen of their mobile phone, each member of my band has a bookmark that is linked to a Mail Chimp signup form.
This way, no matter where we are at, if someone is interested in our band, we can just hand them the phone, they will type their own information in(this keeps me from screwing it up), and they are immediately added to the list.
We use the same idea on a Kindle(you can use any tablet, I recommend using a cheap used one) a at our merch table. Everyone in the band knows how to use it and we all work together to collect as many addresses from the audience after we play.
In our first year, with 36 shows, we collected over 450 email addresses of targeted people who were interested in us and our music. Not too bad considering the sizes of the venues and audiences.
Should I ask for other information?
Absolutely! While the most important piece of information you want to get is the email address, I recommend you also try to get a Name and a Zip Code.
Many email management services will let you use a code that will add the users name dynamically to your message, so it appears that you are addressing them directly, even though its a mass email.
I personally do not do that often, but it is an option.
Zip Code is much more important. If you collect Zip Code from all of your users, when you come back to their area to play a show, you can ‘sort’ your mailing list by zip code, and email only those people in that area.
Pretty easy right?
Now that you know why you need to collect email address, read this article:
Getting Practical…A Step By Step Guide to Building an Online Marketing Plan That Works
Get started on this as soon as possible. You do not HAVE to have a website before you start collecting emails.
Mail Chimp makes it easy to add a signup form to your Facebook page, they also give you a custom URL to use that will display only your sign up form.
Stop missing out on future opportunities to sell to your audience and start collecting their contact info.
Thanks for reading!