If used properly, a performing songwriter’s most valuable marketing asset can be his email list. A lot of songwriters put all of their promotional efforts into the latest social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and ReverbNation without considering the benefits of having an email newsletter.
The main advantage of an email Email1and1 list, is it’s a direct way of communicating with your fans, by sending them a message to their inbox. That’s more than you can say for the social networking sites, which come off more as blasts to whoever happens to be viewing your feed at that moment.
The other main advantage of an email list over social networking sites is social media sites come and go (along with the fans attached to those pages), while email isn’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Think about everyone who had 10,000 fans on their MySpace pages. What good are those fans now? Had those fans been email addresses, not only would they still be valid, but they’d be able to get direct emails, as opposed to just status updates.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t have both an email list and a social media presence, because have both is ideal. But you also need to realize that having a Twitter or Facebook page isn’t necessarily a replacement for an email newsletter.
If you’re unsure about what an email autoresponder is, it’s basically online software that lets you send out emails to whoever you have on your email list. The advantages it has over traditional email, is you can track the performance of each message you send. That includes knowing how many people are opening your emails and clicking on links in your messages. This way, you know how well your messages are performing. From there, if you’re getting low open rates, you can change your approach to increase your readership. An autoresponder also gives people the chance to unsubscribe from you list in every email you send, so they’re not trapped into receiving your email if they no longer want to.
If you’re a songwriter new to having an email list, the best place to start, in my opinion, is ReverbNation. If you don’t already know, ReverbNation is a social media site specifically designed for music acts. You can attract music fans, post your music, and network with other artists on the site. But the best part is, they have an email autoresponder built into their site. It’s Called FanReach. And aside from it being integrated with your ReverbNation music page, it’s free (if you’re email list is less than five hundred people). So, it’s a great place to start. Since its integrated with ReverbNation’s social networking music site, you can easily add your music, show dates, and other cool stuff into the emails you send out. And if you decide to stick with them past 500 email subscribers, their monthly rates are lower than a lot of the other email autoresponders out there. You can check out FanReach here: