Email is quite possibly the most important digital tool for bands and artists to keep in touch with your fan base. You can reach out to EVERY fan on your list in seconds, sharing merch, tour or new album info to 100% of your email list whereas social posts only reach a % of your fans that follow you. In this day and age, everyone has an email but not everyone has a social account. You may think all of your fans have a Facebook or Instagram account but I wouldn’t bet on that.
If you only use Facebook and Instagram to find and keep up with your fans then you are missing out. You CANNOT rely on just social media in any industry, let alone music.
Let’s look at why and for that you need to understand how social media posts work and how your posts reach your fans.
When you post on Facebook or any social media platform really, there’s an algorithm in place so your post sort of reaches your fan base but based on a lot of moving parts. Let’s say you have 1000 fans and you make a post at 3pm EST. Now you will read that the average reach (what we call the amount of people that see a post on their wall or feed) of your post on Facebook is roughly 3-4% meaning 30-40 people will see your post.\
This isn’t 100% correct.
The algorithm actually takes into account when a user is on at the time of the post. Posts have a reach usually more so within 2-4 hours of the post. Maybe you have 400 fans on at 3pm EST then your post might actually reach more in the range of 300ish fans, so that’s 30%! But it’s still not good. What about the other 700? We are creatures of habit and you might see if you start tracking it you probably post at similar times (when you are free to post). Not only are you missing out on the other 700 fans, you are probably doing so every time.
You can change up the times of your posts, but all you’re doing is ignoring the other fans. You don’t want to post the same post throughout the day either. All you will do is end up annoying and losing fans.
Now we are only discussing free posts. Sure you can “boost” your post and pay to hit every fan but… you don’t want to pay each time you post right?
There are also very cheap if not free solutions depending on your email list (fan base) size that I will discuss later in this post.
We will get into uses and how to craft emails in later blog posts, this is really just give you an overview of your options, and with any of these posts. Don’t get over consumed with all the bells and whistles these packages offer. For email you really want to look at the basics. You want to be able to send as many emails as you can (although you only want to do 1-2 a week tops). One email a week is really good outside of any special mailing you might have like Issues with your current tour, discounted whatever sale etc…
Mailchimp is the email service we use and one of the most popular (take a look at the emails you get in and check the bottom).
This is also a great place to start. The intro package is free and it allows up to 2000 contacts/10,000 monthly emails. That’s 5 a month. Easily what you need starting out.
Once you start growing though, the next two packages are pretty cheap for the amounts of contacts and monthly mailings. Honestly you will probably never need to go above the standard package, 100,000 contacts and that’s only $14.99 a month, or about 4 album sales? With a possible 100,000 contacts your emailing, it should pay for itself several times over.
Mailchimp also offers lots of little tools, such as an email fill out form for signups (to go on websites), a link to an email fill out form you can share on social media, as well as a few other tools to start building your email lists and the ability to set up auto emails for your fans that might have added merch to a cart, depending on the platform you use to sell, and didn’t buy so they get reminders and nudges to finish up a purchase. This alone could help you capture over 20% of possible sales you are missing out on.
Sendgrid is another option that a lot of us in the marketing industry use. They also have a free or starter plan and a cheap upgrade when you need to grow.
Their free package is 40,000 emails for 30 days then reverts to 100 emails daily. Once you grow your list, the next package up is comparable to Mailchimp in both the amount of contact, emails and pricing.