It's hard to keep in touch with your fans via social media. Half the time, the algorithm doesn’t even show your post to your fans… Or when it does, your fans are scrolling through their feed at lightspeed and don’t even notice your post.
Without a way to contact your fans directly, you're at risk of losing them forever. Social media platforms can be shut down (goodbye, Vine) or remove your account without warning. But don’t lose hope: your email list is always yours.
Listen now to learn how to start building your band’s email list and what tools you need to succeed!
What you’ll learn:
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It is time for the episode of the Bandhive podcast. My name is James Cross, and I'm here with another solo episode this week, and we are going to jump right into it because this week we're talking about email marketing. And before you tune out and say, no, I don't want to do email marketing. Just hear me out.
This is going to be like 15 minutes, maybe 20 minutes of your life. And it is going to be a game changer either. If you aren't already using email marketing, or if you have email marketing for your band, but you're not using it properly. So please hear me out on this because I really think it's going to change your mind.
And if it. You know what, that's fine. At least you've listened to this. And know, maybe you'll think about some reasons that you shouldn't rely on social media as much as you do, because I know you all rely on social media, just as much as I do to promote your music. All that said, even in 2022, email marketing is one of the most powerful tools [00:01:00] available to bands. It doesn't matter . How many thousands of followers you have on Instagram TikTok, Facebook or whatever social media platform you use. It's great. If you have a massive following there, don't get me wrong.
By all means, use those tools that are available to you and use social. But your followers could be taken from you at any time, social media has been known to ban accounts without reason or warning, or even if not ban them, restrict them in some way, shadow ban them, wipe out tons of followers, all kinds of stuff.
And especially TikTok is really strict with their policies and essentially censorship. So you want to be sure that you're not going to lose all the fans you have because a platform wipes out your account or, you know, maybe the entire platform gets shut down. Like Vine.
There were so . Many Vine stars back in the day. If even remember what vine was from like a decade ago and they lost their whole following when vine shut down, if they didn't migrate [00:02:00] it to something else beforehand, and it's incredibly tough to migrate. Who are following you because those platforms don't allow you to migrate contacts.
You can't save them and download them. That's not a thing. There's other reasons though, that you could lose your account. There's scammers who steal accounts and then use them to further scam other people and ransom your account to you while you're trying to get it back. And I've seen this happen a lot recently, one of the best ways to avoid that is to use two factor authentication on all your log-ins, especially your email and your social media, because.
your username is public. People can see that. So they already have half of it, figured it out. Same thing for email, with something like, you know, bank account information. You obviously want to be really safe with that, but you're not going to be giving out your username.
So they are, don't use your username that you would for social media and, you know, use a really good password. Use two factor authentication. What people don't realize is that with a public facing username, like your email address or your social media handle, you're literally giving people half [00:03:00] of the information they need to get into your account.
If you don't have two factor authentication on that. if you do have two factor authentication, you're doing really well. I use an app called one password and it's compatible with Google authenticator codes. So I have all my two FFA in one password, as well as on Google authenticator on multiple devices.
So I will never get locked out, but people cannot get into my account unless they are in my one password, which is not possible, or they have my device. In which case, if they have my device, I have other issues there as well. no matter how you lose your account, whether you get banned or the platform shuts down, or you get hacked losing your entire fan base is not what you want to happen.
And that is what will happen if you lose your account. So it is up to you to not let that. Additionally, social media only shows a small percentage of your followers, the content that you post. This is part of the algorithm. Uh, You know, Facebook introduced this years ago, then Instagram started doing it.
Twitter, who for the longest time are the holdouts and said, we're not going to [00:04:00] use an algorithm. And they started using it. And of course, Tik TOK. Entirely based on the algorithm. Most of the stuff people see on Tik TOK, isn't from their friends or the people they follow it's from people that the algorithm selects that is the reality.
It's going to become more and more like that. Social media followers are going to matter less and less, and it's just going to be what the algorithm thinks people want to see. So you cannot rely on social media to show people who follow you, the content that you're actually posting. Each platform also has its own algorithm.
So you might have a viral hit on TikTok and it flops on Instagram reels or vice versa. You cannot rely on any hacks from one platform to the other and making unique content for each of those platforms is incredibly difficult and time consuming. And the last thing that any band should be doing. You want to be out there growing your community and growing comradery in your fan base. So they have an emotional connection to your band, to your music and want to come back and support you and listen to you time. And again, because they have friends that they've made in [00:05:00] the incredible community that you're fostering.
now going beyond all these. Algorithm differences between the platforms, unless you have a really dedicated audience. If you post something, that's not like a skit or entertaining. So let's say you post about a release or a show or a tour or something else that you have coming up, the people who follow you for the entertainment, aren't going to interact with it.
They're not going to engage with it. So then your post isn't going to be as popular and to only shown to even fewer people. This means that the actual important stuff on your social media, where you're trying to promote your music is the stuff that's getting seen by the fewest people.
So that just exacerbates the problem of being on social media and people not seeing the content that you want them to see. It really makes it tough to get your message out there. You're rewarded for sharing content. That's just fluff. It's not actually about your band.
It's just entertaining, skits and stuff. And that's great if you can be successful with that, but that shouldn't be the only thing that people are engaging with, because if it is, then you're not a musician, you're an influencer.
And [00:06:00] that's not to say that all of your followers are there just for that content, but many of them are the solution is to get those fans, those few fans, the select chosen ones who actually care about your. And get them onto an email list. So you can reach out to them directly and be sure that at the very least they will see your message, even if you don't open it.
And that is something that you cannot guarantee on any social media platform, but you can guarantee in emails with the exception of a spam filter. Now I can still hear people saying in the back that they don't want an email list, and there's definitely a lot of what ifs with an email. You know, like what, what I send anything that's relevant, you know, you don't want to spam people, but if people sign up to your email list, that means they want to hear about your band.
They were literally saying, yeah, please. I want to hear from you send me some emails. once or twice a month, give them a heads up. What's going on. Obviously you're going to announce all your stuff like [00:07:00] albums, singles shows, and you'll announce those. And then also on the day of release and not another.
So if you announce a single and then the next week you released that, single, there you go. There's two emails. You have one for the announcement and one for the release. And when you're building up to a release or a tour or something, you can email a little more frequently, but let's say between cycles, you're not touring and you're not actively recording an album or at least that your fans know maybe you're recording, but you haven't broken the news yet.
You don't just send updates once in a while. tell your fans what you're doing. Highlight some fans. If you have a fan club and you see some fans doing great stuff, they're either being exemplary members of the community, or they're doing charity work or something. Send an email out saying like, Hey, we want to just give props to our fan.
So-and-so don't even make it about your music. Just make it about that specific member of your community and do that once a week. People will be really happy. One that they're being highlighted to, that their friends are being highlighted and three, that you're sharing content that matters to your fans, even if it's not directly [00:08:00] about you.
That's one thing I see way too often is bands who just email, Hey, look, we have new merchants on sale now. It's like, okay, cool. Like I get it. And we sign up for this. That's fine. But if you really want to add value with your email list, make it so it's more than just a sales letter. Make sure that everything you do on your email list actively involves your community and your fans and gets them to want to stay on your email.
So again, keep your content fresh. Don't do the same thing over and over again. Don't just sell. You'd want to have other content and you really do want to be emailing at least once or twice per month to stay top of mind for your fans. You don't want to be that pan who emails once a year, whenever they drop a new merge bundle or a new album or something.
And you can tell if the band just didn't put any effort into it, you want to be consistent and send emails on a regular basis to your fans. Now next up. What if people think we're spammers, they [00:09:00] won't, they signed up because they want to hear about your band. They said, yes. Please email us. Like I was just saying a minute ago, worst case scenario, they can unsubscribe.
And you know what? Don't take that personally, if they do people unsubscribed from the band type email list and it doesn't bother me. I've had friends unsubscribe. Because they listened to the podcast and they're like, well, we, we listened to the podcasts. That's fine. We don't need the emails.
Cool. That's fine. Like, it's not ideal, but it doesn't really bother me. It happens because I know that they still enjoy my content because they tell me that.
And I'm happy about that. Again, though, you want to send emails regularly. This is one thing that makes people think you are a spammer. If all you do is send an email when you want something from them, they're going to thank you. This is just more ads, whatever, and they're not going to open the next email because they have that preconceived expectation that is just going to try to sell them something.
Whereas going back to the previous point where if you're highlighting fans and talking about the.[00:10:00] Then they're going to open those emails because they think they're going to get something out of it. Maybe it's a sales email. Maybe it's not, but either way, they're going to keep opening those. If you regularly keep them in the habit of, Hey, here's a little something for you once to twice per month, just do it next up.
this is a big one. I don't want to keep up with another plan. Yeah, neither do I, but I do it because it's necessary in running your own business. And trust me, email is by far one of the easiest platforms that you can have. It does take a little bit of work. I'm not going to lie about that, but it's not nearly as exhausting as creating original content for social media.
And it'll only take you an hour or two per month. Once the initial setup is complete realistically an hour or two per month, that's going to include like replying to people who did apply to your emails. That's not just sending it out. That's saying, okay, we sent the email, we get some replies, we answered questions, that kind of stuff.
It really does not take that much time. And it is 100% [00:11:00] worth it. Another big one that I hear is email is expensive. And I mean, yeah, it can be, if you have a giant list and you pick a really expensive platform to use, then yeah, it's going to be expensive. But personally I recommend MailerLite, which is free for the first 1000 subscribers and has way more automation than MailChimp, which I absolutely do not recommend.
I've used them both. I now use ActiveCampaign, but that's more expensive and more powerful than what most bands are going to need. Of the other two that I've used MailerLite and MailChimp. I absolutely prefer MailerLite. So if you're going to look for a free option, MailerLite is absolutely the way to go.
and even once you surpass that 1000 subscribers. It's not a bad deal at all. less expensive than MailChimp. And like I said, it has more features and it really is a good platform for any small business to use. So that's why I recommend MailerLite, even though I don't personally use it anymore.
It's just something that ActiveCampaign does more for me [00:12:00] and bands really don't need the features that I'm using an ActiveCampaign. you want to find out what those features are, though, feel free to let me know, [email protected]. I'm happy to talk about it. One-on-one I'm not going to dedicate a whole section of this podcast to it because it's really just something that most artists don't need.
And of course last but not least, but, but, but I don't want an email list because something. Well, you know what? Join our Facebook group. Just go to Bandhive.rocks/group. That'll send you directly to our Facebook group and we can discuss about it. Like there's a lot of stuff that people can object to with email lists.
But when I look at it, every single reason I've seen an artist say that they don't want an email list is not a good reason. And they would be better off having an email list to communicate with their core fan base. Now, just one more thing I want to say before we get to the next section is you don't ever want to do. BCC people, which is blind carbon copy. That is a very sloppy way to email [00:13:00] people. And it's not legally compliant. This is why you need to use a platform like MailerLite to run your email list. If you use BCC. You are most likely breaking multiple laws and it's not going to go well for you. It's going to be difficult to maintain and above all. It's just annoying and it looks unprofessional. So don't do that. Use a platform like MailerLite both to avoid being flagged as spam by accident because then your individual email gets flagged as spam. And also because it's really the easiest way to do it is just to use MailerLite as your contact management system. because it takes all the headache out for you.
It has automatic sign up forms. You can send welcome sequences when somebody joins to give them free stuff, all kinds of stuff. It's really great. Now here's why an email list is absolutely important. You are in control of your email. You can back up all of your data. I do this with Bandhives data on a monthly basis.
I go in to my mailing lists service [00:14:00] and I download all of the contact information for my contacts that is up to date. And that way, if ActiveCampaign shuts down or gets hacked or whatever, I have that information and I can move to a different mailing list provider. Without too much trouble. It's still going to be a headache.
Trust me, but it's not going to be nearly as much of a headache as trying to get everyone from one social media platform to another and start building up my following. It's much easier with email because you can migrate from one platform to another. That is data that you own rather than having Facebook or Instagram, which is part of Facebook or TikTok own that data of who's following you.
And you can't reach out to those people in any way. Aside, from through that social media platform, like I mentioned earlier, your emails get to almost everyone on your list. That's not the case with social media. In emails, whether they open it or not, they'll at least see that they got an email from you.
And they'll see that subject line and the little preview text[00:15:00] again, that can't be said for social media people don't see your posts on social media. They don't see your posts on social media. It's not nearly as reliable for contacting your fans. and then last but not least on this list of why an email list is important email lists allow you to directly reach out to your core fan base. You are most dedicated fans and keep in mind that there are many other reasons to get an email list and you use it. But these are just the top three really important ones to grow your email list.
So now you're convinced, right? I really hope you are. There's just a few steps to get going. If you don't already have a mailing list set up, the first thing is sign up for MailerLite.
You can find a link in the show notes at dot Rox slash 116. That's the number is 1, 1 6. Second, create a welcome sequence of two to three emails for your fans that Contains first and foremost of bonus for your fans, whether it's a free download of an unreleased song that you can only get by joining the mailing list or some kind of discount code for your merch store or something else that you think your fans would like when [00:16:00] they sign up that it's a nice little gift for them.
You can use it as what's called a lead magnet, basically saying, Hey, sign up for our list. You get this. And that way it's a two-way street. You're giving them something in return for signing up for your email list. And then of course also in those next couple emails, give them a little more than what they were promised.
So they start to realize, Hey, like, this is cool. They give us more than what we bargained for. So that's cool. I'll make sure to open these emails and then last but not least, you want to set that expectation of how often you'll be emailing them. So they know exactly what they're getting. Step three is setting up a page on your website or using MailerLite's signup page builder, and just using their builder and have a form on there where fans can opt into your list.
Then step four is send your dedicated fans to that page, with the promise of whatever you're offering from the email sequence in steps. push this sign up to your fans on social media every single week mixed in with regular content. And [00:17:00] you will see your list start to grow and you will have your own little core fan base.
And from there, that is how you can start building your. I'm really hope this helps, but if you have any questions, please head on over to our Facebook group at dot rocks slash group and during the discussion there, and we can find out what the best options are for you. So you can grow your list and have a happy, healthy core fan base for your.
That does it for this episode of the Bandhive podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in listening. I really appreciate it. And I really hope that this episode has been helpful for you to see how a mailing list is vital to any modern band. Even in 2022. There's no excuse not to have one. So please. If you have any questions, like I said, hop on over to the Facebook group at Bandhive dot Rox slash group, or you can just search for Bandhive directly on Facebook and ask any questions you might have there.
And of course go over to Bandhive dot Rox slash 1, 1 6 to get [00:18:00] a link to Miller light, and all the other platforms that were mentioned. Before I go, please remember to subscribe in your favorite podcast app. And if you're in apple podcasts, go ahead and leave a rating and review for us as well. I would really appreciate that. And then we'll be back next Tuesday. It's 6:00 AM Eastern right here in your favorite podcast app until then I hope you have a great week stay safe.
And of course, as always keep rock.
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