The first rule of email marketing and social media is not to actively sell all the time. Instead it should be considered as any other email – a way to keep in touch and share your world. My mantra for all marketing is to use “The Four C’s”: Connect, Communicate, Curate and Create. Use “Connect” to keep in touch with your fans. Sending regular emails is a great way to say hi. “Communicate” is about letting people into your world – and letting them into yours. Use your emails and social media to ask people what they like and what they think. Create polls and invite them to leave messages on your website. “Curating” is really cool. Point people to cool music, articles, movies, whatever you’ve enjoyed, but is not made by you. And finally let people know of your own “Creations” – upcoming gigs, new releases or merchandise. Don’t be shy, but don’t make selling your stuff the main focus of your email and social media. The more you communicate, the more likely people will connect with you. And when they do, they are more likely to ultimately buy from you.
Joy Ike is a full-time singer-songwriter whose music earned her a spot on last year’s Lilith Fair tour. She is also the founder of Grassrootsy, a music marketing blog for independent artists. She believes the greatest tragedy in the world is having a talent and keeping it to yourself.
Don’t change your “voice” when you’re selling your music. Artists have a habit of sounding “normal” when they’re talking about every-day things on twitter or Facebook – like what they had for breakfast, or a movie they’ve just seen. But as soon as they start talking about their product, they start sounding like a telemarketer…like the Sham-Wow guy. That’s annoying. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being manipulated or persuaded to purchase something. In most cases, even if the product is good, they’ll have less of a tendency to buy it. So, just be normal. People want a product when they trust the producer.
The main thing I can suggest is that you think about your email list like a bank account, so the more you invest the more “interest” you receive. You make a deposit each time you contact your fans and give them something cool without asking for anything in return. Try and be like Santa!
The mindset you want to create is “My God, if this is the quality of the free stuff , thenI bet the paid fan club totally rocks!”.
Test out the 80/20 method. This means that 80% of the time you post amazing freebies and the rest of the time you let people know about your paid options. You can make a sales email less pushy by placing some news or a freebie first in the campaign.
If you stay consistent and speak to your people on a regular basis then they will eventually come across your offer and you will shift more units if you work on the idea of adding 2X the value compared with the price. You could also try a limited bonus of a free t-shirt for the first 10 people who jump in (if the numbers work).
I call this “The Godfather Method” because you’re making an offer they can’t refuse.
When you post a link to your paid offering frame it like a friend giving a heads-up about something cool.
I’ve also used free trials with some success saying something like “You can listen to the album for 30 days for FREE, and then pay me if you like it” this works in getting rid of all the perceived risk for your fans. Also, offering a lifetime “love my music money-back guarantee” works in the same way.