Indie Artists Using Email
If you want to cover this topic in detail, it requires thousands of words; I don't, and won't bother. Email is too deep a system, with twists and turns not only from a technical perspective but also etiquette.
"Email is effective when used with the recipient's experience in mind."
Let's put spam aside with this one note: Email should never be used to contact a person about what you are doing without the recipient requesting it. It may be used for initial contact, though, if the message is one sentence asking for permission to contact in the future and plainly states, "Unless your response is 'yes' I won't contact you again."
Putting out an email blast to names that you've gathered from a variety of sources is SPAM. You don't like getting unsolicited emails anymore than the person who gets one about your music or gig dates.
Email, when used only to contact people who have given permission to be contacted (or who you have had business with in the past), is an effective communications tool. Response rates are far higher via email than through any other source of communications, which brings up my final point #2: How do you collect NEW email addresses?
How do you collect email addresses that can be used to send a short message (with a song link) to someone who cares about your music? The simplest, most effective, way is to have a laptop setup at any gig you do.
Ask the audience to fill in their email address so you can send them updates on new songs and where you're playing. Will everyone in the room comply? Of course not. You will, however, receive a few addresses each night and, in time, this action will grow a list of names.
Email is effective when used with the recipient's experience in mind. Treat your email list of persons with respect; you'll find the list will deliver audience to your gigs and sell songs when you have that need.
Here's your caveat: Don't believe email is the end-all marketing campaign. Email needs to be used concurrently with other aspects of marketing which have been in the indie artist's bag of tricks for years. The reason is that even with an email list, comprised of opt-in names from people who have expressed a desire to hear from you, the average "open rate" will hover around 25%.
Indie artists using email remains just one way to make contact - when and if it's used with respect to the recipient's experience.
Always ask yourself, "Would I like getting this if I didn't know the sender?" If the answer isn't "yes," don't send it.
Today's indie introduction is to...
When an artist has the power to please they should be given a chance to be heard.
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