Why Every Indie Artist Should Have A Physical Mailing List And Newsletter.

© 2011 Vinny Ribas
Having a physical email list and sending out timely newsletters can transform your career! Here are some of the important reasons why![private_member]

  • When you post things on Facebook, ReverbNation and other social networks, you are basically throwing it against the wall to see what sticks. It takes a lot of effort to reach enough people to make that effective. However, when someone signs up for your mailing list, you are now communicating with people who honestly want to hear from you.
  • As your mailing list grows, you will be able to monetarily capitalize on it. For instance, your newsletter is a great place to sell advertising space.
  • A large mailing list also helps when you pursue sponsors. This is especially true if you know the demographics of your readers (age, gender, geographic location etc.). If you can help a sponsor reach their target demographic, they will jump on board in a heartbeat.
  • One way to sell more music and to get more people to your shows is to create anticipation for them. Your newsletter is a great way to tease them with samples of your music, acoustic versions of songs you’re going to record, live video of your shows etc. Get them excited about these, and you will increase your income dramatically!
  • Knowing who your fans really are is vital to your success. It helps you decide what to charge for your music and your shows, where to play, what kinds of merchandise you should be selling and much more. You can use your newsletter to conduct surveys to learn this important information about your fans.
  • It’s always good to get feedback from your fans regarding the songs you plan to record. You can introduce your new music or try out new songs in your newsletter. This makes your readers feel ‘special’, and they will love you for it. . You can also get opinions on new merchandise ideas you might have. This way you’re only recording and selling what your fans want!
  • Your newsletter is a marketing tool to be used in several ways. First, you can drive your fans to your website where they can get further engaged by listening to music, reading your bio, watching videos etc. Second, you can place a song in your newsletter and then direct the listeners right to your iTunes page so they can buy it on the spot. Lastly, you can channel them towards your YouTube page where they can discover more about you and your music. You are in control.
  • Your fans don’t want to be bombarded with emails that are not relevant to them. If you have collected email addresses and zip codes, you can market your shows directly to fans in the specific geographic regions you’ll be performing in. That way the rest of your fan base doesn’t get tired of hearing from you.
  • Monthly or bi-monthly newsletters keep your music and your shows in the forefront of your fans’ minds. This is important because they have a lot of choices and can easily be distracted by other artists. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.
  • No artist can do everything that needs to be done to market his shows and his music effectively. It takes a team, both at home and on the road. You can use your newsletter to attract and mobilize an effective street team. They can help promote your shows, request your songs on the radio, bring their friends to shows, recommend good places to stay and eat and so much more!
  • Your fans want to know about your personally. They want to know what you stand for, what you like and don’t like, what you believe etc. With a newsletter you can share your personal stories, anecdotes, challenges etc. only with people who really want to know more about you. There may be some things you don’t necessarily want the whole world to know.
  • As I’ve mentioned, your fans want to get to know you. One advantage of a newsletter over a social network like Facebook is that you can really demonstrate your personality! The colors you pick, the images you post and the blogs you write etc. all help to convey who you are.
  • You can track how many people are opening and reading your newsletters. Many email programs also let you see who those readers are. This gives you an accurate picture of the size of your fan base. There is no way to know how many people actually read your Facebook posts.
  • You can separate your master list into smaller groups, or have your fans choose which mailing list to belong to. For example, you could have them opt in to a list that is just for your hardcore fans who will get a weekly email instead of monthly. You create the groups in a a way that best suits your marketing needs and style.
  • You can make special announcements, or last minute announcements, and know that your fan base will see them. For example, you may have just added a new show for later this week, or the time you were scheduled to perform is changed.  Whether or not your fans see your announcements would be hit and miss on social networks.
  • You can take pre-orders for your CDs or merchandise. YThis can give you the money to buy the CDs or merch so you are not taking more money out of your pocket.
  • You can also get RSVPs or pre-sell tickets to your shows. This is very helpful in negotiating or setting your price for a gig. If you know 30 of your fans will show up, you may be able to ask for money than if you are just hoping they will.

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.