If you ever wonder about what one of the most important parts of a developing music career is, you might not ever think of your email list and newsletter as being near the top of that list. Having a big email list and delivering an effective newsletter is one of the most important things a musician can focus on at all times during their career.
However, it should be no surprise that most musicians make a ton of mistakes when it comes to their mailing lists and newsletters. In my experience, here are 4 of the most common mistakes I’ve seen musicians make and also a few tips on how to avoid them.
1. Not Using a Proper Mailing List Contact Manager and Newsletter Service
If you’re still using a regular email account (Gmail or Yahoo) to manage your mailing list and send out newsletters, you can basically compare that to playing a $40 guitar over a nice Strat. Sure they both make noise, but one clearly makes the music sound better. The newsletter service Music Clout uses is Mailchimp.com - If your mailing list is under 2,000 contacts, Mailchimp is completely free. You can also send out up to 12k emails per month with the free account, so it should cover most independent musicians’ needs.
2. Carbon Copying All of Their Mailing Contacts in a Newsletter
If you’re still using a personal email account to manage your mailing contacts and newsletters, then running into this problem can happen at anytime if you’re not careful. For example, we receive newsletters all the time from musicians that paste their entire contact database in these emails. If you CC your contact list to other musicians, it’s very likely that they would find your email contacts relevant to their promotional needs, and could possibly use all of your contacts and hard work with just copying and pasting your contact list onto theirs. Sucks I know, but that’s usually what happens. That brings us back to the point, that you would never run into this problem if you are using a professional newsletter manager like Mailchimp.
3. Making the Newsletter Way Too Long
Just think about your own experience when reading emails that you get. You most likely rush through them as quickly as possible to see if there is anything that stands out and catches your eye as being interesting. With that said, one of the simplest mistakes most musicians make is making the information too long. When crafting your newsletters, think skimming. The info should be in small chunks that are easily digested by the eyes. Also, using images within the newsletter is a very good idea to keep the newsletter from looking boring.
4. Using a Boring or Bad Subject Line
If there’s one area that is considered to be the most vital part of a newsletter, it would have to be the subject line. A great subject line can be the make it or break it factor when it comes to your newsletter open rate. Newsletter open rates are low to begin with. On average, if you send out 100 emails, only 14 will get open, and that being with a great subject line. So you could imagine just how low the open rate would be with a boring subject line. If you’re having trouble thinking of great ideas for an effective subject line, just google something like “great subject lines” and you should come up with thousands of references.