How Are You Talking to Your Fanbase?

If you don’t have an E-mail list yet, stop reading this, go out and set up the service, then come back and read this.

As an artist, you NEED to have an E-mail list that your fans can sign-up for.  However, I see a problem with the way many artists are using their E-mail list. Nobody is building genuine connections with their list of people. Very few are trying to tell their story.

I’m not going to get into telling your story because everyone talks about having a story (an integral part of being an artist).  But I want to discuss getting that story to your fans.

The majority of the E-mails from lists I receive from artists have the following in common:

  • I never signed up for them
  • Every E-mail they are trying to hard sell me on something
  • There is no strategy behind when they are sent (sometimes I don’t get an Email for a month)
  • The subjects are typical
  • There is no creativity
  • No Reward

Let’s break these down a little.

I never signed up for the list:

I understand the need to reach as many people as possible, but you definitely should not just add people who’s Email’s you see.  When you do this, a lot of times, your message is going unnoticed entirely.  So, how would you go about adding people to your list if they are someone you met and they gave you their Email address?  Shoot them a personal Email along the lines of “Hey, we talked at ______.  I’d love it if you checked out my website, also when you sign up for my Email list you’ll get a free mixtape that we did”  I’ve gotten a few Emails like this, and while I didn’t sign up for every list, I signed up for a few of them.

Having genuine subscribers also boosts your credibility, I’d rather work with an  artist who has a loyal Email list of 500 than an artist who has a list of 1000 that deletes their Emails or moves them to spam.

Every Email Someone is Trying to Hard Sell Me:

If I begin receiving Emails and I notice a pattern of someone trying to sell me the same stuff everytime.  I’m going to get in the habit of deleting those Emails before I even receive them.  Soft selling is much better if your working the same products.  Try, at the bottom, something like “Oh, by the way, be sure to check out my latest CD here: URL”.

But what should you put for the body of your Email, then?  This is where you tell your stories, people/fans, love stories.  You can discuss the process behind writing one of your songs, something funny that happened while recording, you can take a video of a recording session and hit up your Email list telling them its been posted while giving a little background to the video.

Creating a personal touch to your Emails is SO important to creating fans that convert.  I guarantee the artist who connects with their fans will sell more than the artist who never gets personal.

Subjects Are Typical:

I receive a lot of Emails per day.  If the subject doesn’t catch my attention, I probably miss it. Especially with Artists lists! I can’t even tell you how many Emails I receive that say “NEW SONG CHECK IT OUT NOW!” Be creative with your Subjects, play off of your song name.  If your song name is something like “Never lasts forever” make your subject something like “I knew it wouldn’t last…” you’re going to get people curious to find out WHAT wouldn’t last. That’s your key to a creative subject line.  Getting the fans to be curious enough to open your Email.

No Strategy:

If you’re going to build an Email list, be consistent.  Consistency will ensure that you or your band’s name is fresh in your fanbases mind.  This doesn’t mean send a bunch of Emails a week, it just means find a formula and create a strategy around your Emails.  There is no need to go into anything blind.

No Creativity:

As with any music marketing, promotion, or networking campaign, you NEED to be creative with your approach.  The creative artists are the ones who are breaking molds and building loyal fans.  Why send a message to your fans if you aren’t going to be at least a little creative?

No Reward:

Why would I sign up for an Email list, just to be on an Email list?  Make sure you’re offering people free music, videos, etc.  I also like the approach of occasionally throwing free music exclusively to the Email list to keep giving them reasons (besides your personal, creative, strategic Emails 😉 ) to stay on your list and not click that “unsubscribe” button.


Musicians and Artists need to look at their fans as people, people who want value behind the things they are involved in.  Give them a reason that you’re different from the rest of the artists and musicians out there.



Are you selling smart?

When you walk into a retail store and buy a product, I guarantee the sales people don’t just say “thanks” and let you go on your way.

No, generally they are going to make sure that you have all of the accessories you need, that you have any services they offer, and that any possible item that goes with the core product you are purchasing is indeed offered.

After all, what right do they have to determine what you have the ability to purchase?  It’s only right that they make sure you are aware of any products that may benefit you.

A lot of times, when selling music, we forget to offer all of our products.  Artists need to pay attention to their backend!  You may have just sold me your CD, but when is your next show? Do you have any merchandise? Any DVD’s? Do you do anything else in the industry (i.e. master, design, etc)?

These are all important services and products that any potential fans deserve to know about!  Simply saying “yeah, check my myspace, I post on there” is not going to help you reach your goals.  Build a connection with your potential fans, show them all of the quality entertainment you offer as an artist.

I’m currently working on a report that I will release exclusively to my Newsletter Subscribers (for free) on ways to sell backend products to people buying your CDs.

So be sure to go to the upper right hand corner and subscribe to my newsletter.  It’s free! Plus you get my Report on the Top Ten Mistakes New Artists Make.

If you want to ask a question, simply hit up the “contact” section.  I usually reply within an hour of receiving the Email. Plus, if I feel the question will benefit a lot of people, I may post about it.

-Eric Phillipson