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When Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms became all the rage a few years ago, indie artists and major labels alike thought they had found a way to communicate direct with fans that was unsurpassable. Newsletters soon began to look out of date and besides, we all know that fans often give an email address for an account they never look at when collecting that free download, right? So how do you get fans to sign-up and give you the email address that they look at every single day – often within 8 minutes of waking up no less!
Sign-Up Tip No 1 – Single Track for Email Address is Dead
Offering just a single track in exchange for the fan’s current and actual email address just does not offer enough value for fans now. With all the ways there are for fans to get access to and listen to a single track, they are just not motivated to give you access to their real email address. In all the campaigns we run, we see that offering a multi-track bundle beats single track offers for sign-ups. But this is not a slippery slope to just giving more of your music away for free. The multi track bundle should include, the single you are promoting, a remix of the same track and perhaps an older track so that new fans have more of a chance to get to know your style and your music. No convinced? See Sign-Up Tip No 2!
Sign-Up Tip No 2 – Ask for more than just an email in exchange for what you’re offering.
You’ve all heard about Big Data and how it’s changing the music business. Well let me introduce you to the concept of Little Data. Little chunks of data (Information) that you can use by itself, like where do your fans live. For growing indie artists Little Data like this can be really valuable as it allows you to personalise and segment the mails you send out. If you’re going to offer your fans more than just a single track in exchange for an email then you should get more than just an email address in return. You should be asking for a First Name, City, and Country at the very least and of course the fans email address. You can make First Name and City optional if you want, that is they don’t have to give it. However make Country something that they must fill in.
Huge Additional Tip – Use an email sign-up service that offers the Country Field as a Drop Down on the form! This will make handing over this info easier and it will all be formatted the same across your email list. Now, how do your get that elusive real email address? Read on!
Sign-Up Tip No 3 – Make Them Wait!
When you have to wait for something, when you have to earn it, you value what you are getting just that little bit more. Your music is something valuable, so it’s worth waiting for. Don’t give your new fans the music at the time they sign-up. Make them feel special and tie an offer like this into your next music marketing campaign or the release of your next ep or album. Tell the fans that you’ll be sending them their Special Edition – Fan Only download just before the music is released to the public. You need to make this aspect of the offer clear during the sign-up process so that as much as possible you get the fans actual and everyday email address. I know you are thinking, what’s the point of releasing music on iTunes if I’m giving it away. It’s really only the most dedicated of fans that are going to sign-up to your list regardless of what you offer. These are the people you want to have a direct relationship with and they want a relationship with you too. Casual fans won’t bother, and that’s ok because it’s the dedicated and hard core fans that you should be treating. In return, these special fans will stick with you through thick and thin.
Mark digs into the details of budget conscious marketing for artists, small indie labels and music businesses alike as part of his Music Business School Guest Presentation along with a wide range of other Music Business executives and experts.