Want to know one of the best ways to communicate with your fans? Probably the best way to get them listening to your new songs and even buying your gig tickets when they come available? I'll share it with you:
Building a email mailing list who you can send your newsletters to!
Ok, that possibly doesn't sound very exciting. But if you knew how much of a big part newsletters (aka ‘mailing lists') play for some of the world's biggest musicians, you might possibly change the way you think about them. Coldplay, Beyoncé, Britney Spears and more all have mailing lists, so if you haven't got one yet, there's one simple reason why you should start one asap:
Musicians, the money is in the list! Start building yours today! – Tweet This
This is the saying that internet marketers have used for years, simply because whenever they release a product, they can email it to the subscribers they've built up over time and make a large chunk of instant sales. The same could also work for you.
If you have a email capture form on your website and get people's contact details, every time you have a new song out or a video for them to watch, you can email it to your list and get instant views / sales if the song's good. While the same could be said about messaging on social sites, the impact is usually a lot smaller for a few reasons:
- Not everyone will see your updates. Facebook make it so only around 5% of your fans will see an update if you don't pay to boost it. People only see Twitter updates if they're online at the time, meaning most of your fans will miss your promotion. If you send it directly to fan's email inbox however, it will stay there until they see it.
- People are in a different mentality when on social sites. Usually they're in find ‘free entertainment' mode. They want things fast to keep them entertained, and pulling out their credit card isn't as likely. When they're sorting out their email however, people become more receptive to spend time on things which gives you more of a chance to convince them they'll enjoy what you're offering. Whether that's your new release, or coming to your gig.
I'm getting a bit off topic here, but I hope you see why building your mailing list is so important. If you haven't got one up and running yet, you can see how to build your list here. I strongly urge you to follow that guide, get your mailing list set up asap (today) then come back here once done.
If you've done that (or already have list capture set up), let's look at some ways you can increase the amount of people you get signing up to your email newsletter. After all, the more people you get to sign up, the more people you can share important updates about your music with.
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
Free eBook: Discover how real independent musicians like you are making $4,077 - $22,573+ monthly via Youtube, let me know where to send the details:
6 Ways To Get More Newsletter Subscribers
So now you know why building a list is so important and have hopefully set up your first newsletter, let's look at how you can go about getting more subscribers. The following 6 steps should all have a positive impact on how many people sign up.
1. Make The Benefits Of Your Newsletter Clear
One of the biggest mistakes I see musicians do is simply putting up their optin form with nothing more than the words ‘get my newsletter' or ‘sign up today'. The problem with this is that unless the visitor is one of your die hard fans, this isn't going to convince them to part with their email address.
Instead, let them know how it'll benefit them to sign up. Do you send exclusive tunes? Do they get info first? Can they see behind the scenes videos? Make it clear to increase sign up numbers.
2. Offer Something In Return For Subscribing
Another thing you'll want to do it offer people something in return for signing up to your newsletter. While you can give something like a song or wallpaper, I find that making a 4 track EP then giving it away works well. Not only are they more likely to sign up to get it, but if they listen to it, they're also be more likely to get a good feel for what you do. This will mean more opens of future emails from you.
3. Use A Lightbox
Lightboxes are one of the best tools you can use to increase the amount of subscribers you get. The amount of daily subscribers I get when I add a lightbox usually grows between 200-500%, and that's no exaggeration. Let me tell you how this works.
These are the much less spammy cousins of the pop up box. They appear to your reader while they're browsing the website and ask for their email address in exchange for something of yours (e.g. the 4 track ep).
I personally set my lightbox to go off once a week (you can change the frequency to suit your needs). So if they don't subscribe when they first see it, they won't see it again for another week. This is so it doesn't get annoying popping up after every page load.
The lightbox plugin I use on Music Industry How To and on sites of musicians I've worked with is Hybrid Connect. I've tried a lot of different options, and this one's the best.
4. Don't Ask For Too Many Details
When you're still a relatively new act, it's harder to get people to sign up to your mailing list. It's because of this that you want to make it as easy for people as possible so they take the time to add their details.
I suggest you only initially have two fields in your sign up forms:
- Email address.
Sure, when you get bigger and people will sign up regardless, you can start asking them more things as they'll be more willing to stick around and answer. But start out with less.
Aweber, one of the best mailing list services, automatically detects where your subscribers live (in terms of country and sometimes city). So you don't need to ask them for that info to be able to email people in a specific place. For now, only collect the essentials.
5. Split Test Different Sign Up Forms
Split testing is the practice of testing one design against another to see which one does better. For all you know, your original sign up form is making people not want to subscribe to you. When you test another version alongside it, you may find that you get double the amount of people signing up! If you would have got 600 people a year signing up with your old design, your new design would get 1200 people a year! That's double the subscribers and potentially double the money.
You can split test for free using Google Analytics.
6. Give People Multiple Opportunities To Sign Up
The last tips I have for you is to give people multiple options to subscribe to your newsletter. Don't just have an opt-in form in your sidebar (although this is a good place to put it), also potentially put one at the bottom of all your posts, have a dedicate squeeze page, put one on Facebook page and other relevant places. The more opportunities you give people to sign up, the more likely you'll get subscribers. Just make sure you don't over do it and make your website look spammy.
Having a email newsletter is one of the most effective ways of building relationship with fans and making money from your communications with them. If you haven't yet got a mailing list up and running, I urge you to get one up asap using this guide. If you've got one up, be sure to use the above tips to increase the amount of list subscribers you receive.
So what other list building tips do you have? Do you have any questions? If so please ask in the comments below.