Once you understand the importance of email marketing for musicians and how to build your mailing list, the next stage is writing and sending out emails to your fans. Yay!
But what types of emails should you actually send out to music fans? Well we’ve compiled a handy list for you plus some email writing tips and tricks, to make sure your email marketing strategy is where it needs to be!
What types of emails musicians send to fans?
When it comes to emailing your fans, it’s no one-size-fits all process. Every artist is different and so is every fanbase, meaning you’ll probably have to play around a bit to see what your fans love.
But there are arguably 3 main types of emails you should be sending your fans to get started:
<p style="width: 350px; padding: 20px; color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; border: 5px solid #000000; text-align: left;"><a href="#welcomeemail">1. Welcome email</a><br /><br /><a href="#newsletters">2. Newsletters</a><br /><br /><a href="#announcements">3. Announcements</a></p>
But what are each and what should they include? Fear not friends, we're here with a run-down of all the need-to-knows.
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1. Welcome email
Basically what it says on the tin – an email welcoming your fan to your mailing list!
Think about any times you’ve subscribed to a newsletter - you immediately expect to receive an automated welcome email in your inbox. This lets the subscriber know they’ve successfully subscribed and been added to the mailing list.
<span style="font-size: 22px;">Here are a few examples of welcome emails in action:</span>
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<span style="font-size: 16px;">Hit the icon in bottom left to go fullscreen.</span>
Like the ones above, a welcome email should include an expression of genuine thanks to your fan for subscribing and information telling them what they can expect to see from your emails in future – be that content, the regularity of your emails etc.
A welcome email might also include some of the following:
- Encouragement to follow you on socials
- Links to your latest release or merch
- The option for them to unsubscribe if they want to
- A personal message to connect with fans
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Newsletters are probably the most important type of email you’ll send to your fans. Why? They’re a mode of regular, consistent contact between you and your subscribers, and a way of keeping fans up-to-date with news and about you and your music!
How regular you send out newsletters is on an artist to artist basis. However, a general rule of thumb is once a month, but if you can commit to it more regularly and have enough consistent content to write about, then go for it!
What you include is also a tailor-made approach. But it’s good to feature a diverse mix of image and video - even an interactive poll could be fun.
<span style="font-size: 22px;">Check out these examples of newsletter artists have sent to their fans and take inspiration for your own:</span>
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<span style="font-size: 16px;">Hit the icon in bottom left to go fullscreen.</span>
As you can see, the news and updates content dominates much of these newsletters, with opportunities for fans to go and find out more information via links elsewhere!
Check out this list of some more content ideas to feature in your newsletter:
- Playlists of what you’re currently listening to
- Stories from the road
- Snaps of your rehearsal room
- New merchandise now on sale
- Vocal or instrumental techniques you’re working on
- Behind the scenes recording footage
- Videos of your pets
- Drafts of album artwork designs
The more creative and personal, the better!
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Announcement emails should include information about big news that you’re dropping. Meaning the Call To Action (CTA) of your email should be directly related to the announcement.
Maybe you’re heading on tour? Releasing a new single or album? Utilise your mailing list before any big news drop or announcement.
If you’re announcing a gig or tour, include details about:
- Date(s) and time(s) of show(s)
- Other acts on the line-up
- Tickets and pricing (with links)
When announcing a gig, make sure your CTA button links directly to where people can buy tickets.
<p style="padding: 20px; color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; border: 5px solid #000000; text-align: left;">Top Tip: One way of incentivising pre-release tickets is to price them lower than the on-the-door charge, or bundle them in a deal with merch for example!</p>
If you’re announcing a new single or album release, include details about:
- Release/Pre-release date
- Where you can stream/download it (with links)
This time your CTA should be a link to where people can stream or buy your music.
<span style="font-size: 22px;">Here are a some examples of announcement emails for tours, new singles and merch from Sam Fender, Adele and Ed Sheeran:
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<p style="padding: 20px; color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; border: 5px solid #000000; text-align: left;">Top Tip: For album releases you could include a free track download, exclusive video access or a picture of the cover artwork.</p>
NOTE: Don’t discount the importance of pre-release buzz! Use the period before a launch to build hype around your release, which means emailing your fans throughout the process – maybe with rough demos, recording studio footage, artwork drafts etc.
<span style="font-size: 22px;">On top of the examples above, you could also email your fans with:</span>
Leading on from announcement emails, reminders are sent out in the day or days prior to your big news drop. Just make sure these are worthy of a reminder i.e. remind fans about the beginning of your tour, don’t remind fans you’ve released a new merch design.
Merch Specials & Purchase Confirmations
These kinds of emails are only applicable if you have an official ecommerce website. Merch Specials will include info about promotions or bundles deals you’re holding at the moment, whilst Purchase Confirmations are automated emails to confirm an order and thank fans for making a purchase from your site.
Tips for writing emails to your fans
The following tips can be used across all the types of emails we just mentioned - making them a useful point of reference when approaching the actual writing part of your emails!
Make it rewarding and valuable.
If your fans have gone to the bother of signing up to your emails, chances are they’re expecting to get a little back in return.
So make it worth their while.
The content of your emails should be of high value to your subscribers. This doesn’t necessarily mean freebies or the likes, but a high value offering in terms of what your subscribers wanna gain from reading your emails. For example, a pre-save album link, downloadable sheet music lyric or a link to a private live stream.
These all create a more authentic relationship between you and your fans and they’ll learn that with every new email, comes rewarding content with it.
Use actionable language & CTAs.
Don’t beat around the bush with what you want your subscribers to do. Obviously this is dependent on the type of email, each which presents their own goals and purpose.
But the rule still applies - be direct.
If the CTA is to get people to listen to your latest single, tell them rather than ask them to go and have a listen. You can do this in a non-pushy way by using command words like “Listen”, “Watch”, “Buy” etc.
For example, you might say..
“I’m so excited I can now share my newest single with you! Click here to listen now.”
Know your audience.
The key to email marketing is relating to your audience.
Now if they’re your fans, you know that they’re probably all here for the same interest or reason – to hear all about you and your music.
But, if you have a particularly bigger mailing list, you can use some nifty data analysis and tracking to target your emails towards specific fans.
This could be done on the basis of location, engagement rate, demographics – it’s up to you. Or you could even look into what artists with a similar fan-base to yours are including in their emails.
All of this knowledge will be super helpful in making your emails a more relevant read for individual subscribers!
Entice fans with your subject line.
An eye-catching subject line is click thru rate gold. As long as it aligns with the relevance of the email – meaning you should never use click bait to boost open rate. It’ll not only tarnish the trust, but fans will associate your emails with spam (and most likely unsubscribe) – which is not where you wanna be my friend!
Also - keep it short. The majority of email readers will cut off the subject line when it’s exceeded a set number of characters. There’s no set rule, but according to email giant MailChimp, anything > 60 is dangerous territory…
“It’s nothing personal.”
Most email platforms, including MailChimp offer a personalization features that allows you to add a personal greeting at the beginning of an email. This is most often on a name-by-name basis.
For example, if your fan’s name is Max, the email would start with “Hey Max!”, rather than something generic like “Hey guys!” – but keep in mind this personalised info can only be used if your fans have agreed to opt in to it i.e. in this case, provided their name when they subscribed to your mailing list.
Sticking with the theme of making it personal – write in your own voice.
Having a conversational tone of voice makes your writing way more intimate and it’ll feel more like a one-on-one conversation between you and your fan. Refer to your fans as “you” or and to yourself as “I”.
Keep it brief. Keep it relevant. Keep copy to a minimum. And leave them wanting more...
(see what I did there, ay?)