• Phil McDonald

Why you need a mailing list

In these uncertain times, engaging your fans is everything. Pretty much everything in the music industry has been flipped on it's head because of the Pandemic and careers have been slowed and in some cases stopped altogether. So what's the best way of maintaining awareness of you as a brand, as an artist? Social Media right? Nope.

Social Media is great and is a very powerful tool but as a musician using it to publicise yourself and to get the message out there, there's one big drawback. Namely you don't have any control over it. Social Media has been evolving over the last decade and recent changes mean that now more than ever that it's harder to reach your maximum audience. Facebook in particular only shows your posts to about 13% of your friends and followers. The days of everyone seeing your announcement of a new single for example are long gone. Unless you pay to "boost" the post. Nothing wrong with this of course if you don't mind spending the money and have the budget to do so. But there is a better to way to reach your audience and that's building and growing a mailing list.

The key point about a mailing list is that you own it. There are no algorithms dictating who will see the emails you send. If you send a promotional email to everyone on your list, it will go to everyone on your list. Ok, not everyone might open it and read it but it will get sent to them which is more than you can say for Facebook. There won't be any changes to the rules of email meaning your messages won't get sent or you'll have to pay to reach everyone. No, good old fashioned email in a winner when it comes to getting the message out. So how do you start a mailing list?

The easiest thing to do is to use a mail service provider such as Mailchimp or Convertkit. The former is free for your first 2000 subscribers, can be fully automated, gives you accurate stats and is very easy to use. It's also fully compliant with data privacy laws (which is why it's better not to go down the DIY path using your regular email) Once you have an account set up it's easy to maintain and grow and will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. But getting people to sign is difficult isn't it?

Not if you use a lead magnet. If you put a sign up form on your website, people will sign up to receive your updates and promotional stuff. But not everyone. However, if you offer something in return, a free unreleased song download or some video content people are far more likely to sign up. With Mailchimp it's easy to set this up so that a visitor to your site signs up, gets redirected to a download link and gets whatever it is you're offering. This is a very effective way of growing your mailing list which in turn is a great way of promoting yourself.

I talk about this in more detail on this week's podcast which is available here. Do you have a mailing list? If not are you going to start one?

Thanks for reading


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