Transform Your Rough Recordings Into Released Records, Even If You Only Have a Home Studio

The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Musicians and Producers


Is email marketing for musicians still a viable strategy for growing your music career?

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: read this Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Musicians and Producers.

Death to Email Marketing?

Whenever a new digital marketing strategy rolls around, somebody inevitably pronounces that “email marketing is dead!”

But email marketing is like the villain in a comic book that always comes back from the dead. Its death has been greatly exaggerated, but its effectiveness has never declined.

Simply put, it’s infinitely more challenging to run any brand if you don’t focus on email marketing.

It’s still one of the most effective marketing channels online and one of the leading marketing channels you should use if you want to monetize your career as a musician, music producer, or artist.

Email Marketing VS Social Media

I’ve used email marketing as my primary online marketing strategy for 10+ years, and I’ve sent millions of emails to my subscribers in that time.

Social media is a crucial part of your marketing mix, but it’s not as effective at generating income as email.

I look at social media as the spokes on a wheel, but the hub is your email marketing engine that drives revenue.

Your social media game should be good, but its goal should be to convert passive social media followers into loyal email subscribers. The benefits of email marketing are too great to ignore this opportunity.

10 Reasons Why Musicians and Producers Need Email Marketing

If you’re struggling to decide between the social media marketing strategy du jour and email marketing, let me tell you why email will always be your best choice.

  1. Email is direct — People scroll social media mindlessly. They browse websites and scan your posts when they remember you exist. But they check their email. This is huge because it gives you direct access to talk to your customers and fans. I love knowing that an email I’m writing will go out to thousands of people who open and read it. It’s much more rewarding than hoping Facebook will show my followers my latest status update.
  2. Email is personal — And because I know people are reading my emails, I feel like I can be more personal. More me. Not a business entity that needs to be cold and corporate. Just exactly who I like to be.
  3. Email doesn’t have to be perfect — When you write as many emails as I do, you’re bound to make mistakes — and that’s fine. I’ve overlooked grammatical errors. I’ve sent out broken links. I’ve forgotten to edit the subject lines. And the typos? Oh, so many typos. But I’m fine with it. Nobody’s perfect.
  4. Email helps you become a better writer — However, the more you write, the better your writing becomes. English isn’t even my first language, but I think I’ve got the hang of it so far. The reason for that is that I picked up a writing habit and the necessity of email marketing to run my business made me a better writer.
  5. Email helps you understand how to use your words more effectively — The more sales emails you write, the more attention you pay to persuasive language and copywriting. When one sales email flops but another one brings in a bunch of cash, it makes you sit down and analyze your words.
  6. Email has a HUGE ROI — You have to be a special type of influencer to effectively sell products on social media. But with email, you can take your time and deepen the relationship with your readers so that they care more about what they’re buying from you. Email marketing helps you develop true fans and customers, not just whimsical buyers on Instagram.
  7. Email is quick — When you write emails to your friends, you don’t spend hours on it. Conversely, you shouldn’t stress about your email marketing that much, either. It should be quick, to the point, and fun to write. You might be overwhelmed now, but with practice, it becomes easy.
  8. Email is great to fall back on — An email list is an asset. If I pay $2 per lead on a paid advertising campaign, that means that an email list of 30,000 people is worth $60,000. Obviously, a business can’t just break even so you have to figure out how to make a return on your investment or effort. But that’s also why email is so great to fall back on. If you know your audience and understand what they want, you’ll know what to offer them to make that return.
  9. Email is entertaining — I HATE corporate emails from brands that just want to send you the newest coupon to get a quick sale. It probably totally works, but it’s super boring. There’s no personality and it’s just a drag to delete from your inbox (never opening it in the first place because they trained you to think their emails were boring).
  10. Email is multi-media — You don’t need to be an academically strong writer to be good at email. You don’t even have to use that many words if you’d rather make a video, use infographics or add any other multimedia. I use a combination of writing, gifs, videos, and cartoons in my emails and it’s great mixing it all up.

Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to use email marketing to grow your audio brand or music career let’s dive deep into how to use it to increase your fan base if you’re a musician or start monetizing your career as a music producer.

Benefits of Email Marketing for Musicians

  • You convert passive listeners and traffic into active and engaged fans
  • You control the storytelling because you have direct access to your fans
  • You create a deeper relationship with your fans because you can directly engage with them

But the #1 benefit of email marketing for musicians is that it gives you top-of-mind access to your most loyal fans.

  • People scroll social media.
  • They might remember to read your website.

But everyone still checks their email, so it’s still the best channel to keep in touch with your fans and subscribers.

So in this Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Musicians, you’ll discover:

  1. How to find and get subscribers onto your email list, and what to offer them
  2. Different styles of email marketing, how to get ideas for content, and building the confidence to write them
  3. The various funnels and systems you should use when thinking through your email marketing sequences
  4. Optimizing your copywriting to further increase your conversion rates from your landing pages and ads

What is Your Marketing Goal?

Before you start building your email marketing sequences and setting up your digital systems, you need to figure out what you want to achieve with your email marketing.

Are you looking to:

  • Sell music?
  • License tracks?
  • Offer services?
  • Sell products?

Depending on your goals, your email marketing strategy will differ.

However, regardless of your goal, your email marketing strategy needs one thing to survive:

Subscribers.

How To Find Where Your Subscribers Are Hiding

First off, let’s talk about where to find your subscribers, what value you are offering them, and why they would care to subscribe to your list.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this section:

  • Knowing where your subscribers hang out online
  • Defining your ideal subscriber and finding out what value you can offer them
  • Packaging that value into something that your subscribers will want to know more about (and subscribe to your list for)
  • The importance of the email software system and why you 100% absolutely cannot use your Gmail for this stuff! (I cannot stress this enough. If you’re BCC’ing people instead of using a software program, then you MUST STOP before Google flags you as spam and eliminates your email address).

You’re Not For Everyone

One of my favorite books is “I’m Not for Everyone. Neither Are You” by David Leddick.

The book’s title alone is enough of a lesson for today…but I’ll elaborate since you insist.

When you’re trying to build a list of email subscribers, you don’t just want everyone on your list. If your underlying business is offering a specific product or service, then you want email subscribers interested in that specific product or service.

Similarly, if you’re a rockabilly metal band, you probably only want subscribers who love listening to distorted Bo Diddley rhythms.

If you’re for everyone, you’re for nobody. You’re taking a scattershot shotgun approach to marketing, and as everybody knows….there’s no need for guns in marketing.

Makes sense, right?

Where Does Your Ideal Subscriber Hang Out?

For instance, my business is in the audio production niche.

Knowing the niche that I’m operating in makes it easy for me to eliminate almost everything else.

I help musicians transform their rough recordings into finished records they can be proud to release so that they can grow their music careers. They’re interested in audio production and making music. Ergo, I’ll go looking for them wherever there’s audio production “stuff” going on.

That means:

  • No mommy blogs
  • No amateur chef sites
  • Not even the forums about plumbing

Unless the plumbers are forming a 50’s rockabilly band called the Rockin’ Roto-Rooters and they need to produce their own demo. Then maybe I could help them out.

(Note to self: Stop making dad jokes in public and publishing them online….)

(Also, why are you so obsessed with rockabilly?)

Find Relevant Online Hangouts

If you’re a music producer selling a service, these niche communities might be easier to find because you’re looking for musicians.

There are plenty of niche-specific spots where you can find musicians:

  • Facebook groups
  • Reddit forums
  • Other websites and blogs in the industry, including gear manufacturers and equipment sites
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Hashtags on Instagram
  • Channels on Youtube

It’s a little trickier when you’re trying to find fans for your music, but the same concepts apply.

You want to look for all the places that contain people who listen to the type of music you make.

Think about who your ideal subscriber/fan is, and then go find where they hang out online.

Research the Landscape

The best part about understanding the online spaces where your subscribers hang out is that you get direct access to what they want and like.

It’ll help you understand your subscribers better so you can talk to them more effectively.

Also, subscribe to more prominent bands in your niche or other competitors. It’s useful to keep tabs on what people are up to.

I’m on several audio production email lists, and I follow a lot of online marketing blogs. Continuous education doesn’t stop just because you graduated from college five years ago. If you want to stay competitive, keep tabs on the industry you’re in.

Don’t Be a Hawk

At conferences, you can always smell the sleazeballs on the sidelines that wait to pounce on you with their services.

Don’t be that douchebag.

If you can help, by all means, insert yourself into the conversation if you can.

Start bringing value to the table and offer your expertise before you start promoting yourself.

Be the person who likes having genuine conversations with people and sincerely tries to help. Don’t immediately jump into a Facebook group and start hawking your high-priced services or pamming people with your Spotify link.

That’s a one-way ticket to Pariah Status.

You’re Not For Everyone (And That’s Fine)

I tend to be unabashed myself, and I’m very unapologetic about it.

I think you should too. If you are at your most authentic, you’ll stick out faster than if you’re trying to race to the middle of the road and be all vanilla.

Being very specific about who you are and who you serve doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily serving fewer people. It just means that people know exactly who you are and what you’re offering.

For instance, there’s this kick-ass girl called Ash who runs The Middle Finger Project. I LOVE her style and her writing. She’s a bad-ass. However, I am NOT her target market, and that’s fine.

I still enjoy her writing because she’s so authentically catering to her primary demographic (rockstar ladies mostly) and I can learn a lot from her because she’s not afraid to be herself.

Your Turn

Homework?!? FTW?!

Knowledge is useless without application so I urge you to put these lessons into practice.

So here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it:

Find three places online where you can observe your audience in their natural habitat. Imagine you’re Jane Goodall in the internet jungle, observing your audience.

How To Deliver Remarkable Value to Your Subscribers

If you’ve followed this Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Musicians so far, then you may have discovered some useful things to keep in mind moving forward.

Namely:

  • What questions are people asking about popular music?
  • Is your ideal subscriber a certain demographic?
  • If you’re a service provider of some sort, what are they struggling with that you know you can solve for them?

This last thing is crucial because it’ll guide you in creating valuable resources that your audience will sign up for.

Why People Don’t Sign Up for Your Newsletter

Do you know the worst way to get people to sign up for your newsletter?

It’s by asking them to “Sign Up to the Newsletter!”

Do you think people wake up in the morning and go,

“Oh geez, I wish I could find more newsletters to sign up to…”

NO!

You have to give them a better reason than that.

Give People Something Valuable in Exchange for Subscribing

What’s the incentive for people to subscribe to your email list? Why should they care?

What’s In It For Them?

If you’re starting a music business, solve a micro problem that you know your audience has. It doesn’t have to be a comprehensive solution.

Give them one solution to a small but annoying problem you know they have.

If you’ve done the research recommended at the beginning of the article, then you should have a good idea of the type of problem your subscribers have.

And if you know your market well enough, you probably have some ideas in mind.

For instance:

  • If you’re a knifemaker like my friend Don Nguyen who has a people waiting years to buy his $4,000 knives, you can create a “Knife Sharpening Masterclass” or a video on knife skills that people get when signing up
  • If you’re a trained pianist, you can do an “Improvisational Chord Cheatsheet” for people who want to learn to solo
  • If you work in finance, you can do a Financial Health Checklist
  • If you’re a Cubase ninja, like my friend Chris Selim, then you can create a Mix Template

Those are just a few suggestions based on my subscribers.

So, if you come across a problem your ideal subscriber has that you can solve with a quick one-page PDF or a 15-minute audio recording, then you may have a good idea for a lead magnet.

How to Create Awesome Lead Magnets You KNOW People Will Subscribe For

Wait. Hold up. What’s a Lead Magnet?

Your Subscriber Gift

A lead magnet is something super valuable a subscriber gets in exchange for an email address. That’s the first piece of value you create for your subscribers, so it’s worth doing the necessary research so that you create something people actually want.

For instance, on Audio Issues, I’ve created a lot of different lead magnets over the years:

  • The Mix Translation Cheatsheet – A PDF for home studio musicians struggling to get their songs to sound the same on every speaker system.
  • The Quick Mixing Checklist – A collection of 110 questions to ask yourself when you’re mixing so you can mix better songs.
  • Crush It With EQ Course – A 5-day course on using EQ to manipulate your instruments to make your songs better.

Notice a trend there? It’s all designed to help them solve a small, specific problem. You’ve probably seen (and signed up for) a lot of different lead magnets over the years:

  • Free eBooks
  • Cheatsheets
  • Checklists
  • Webinars
  • eCourses

What kind of lead magnet will you create? Here are three questions to help you decide:

  1. What’s something you think is easy but your ideal subscriber struggles with?
  2. What trend pops up in your research?
  3. What do people always ask you about?

Lead Magnet Ideas for Musicians

Now, the aforementioned ideas might be better suited for musicians who are trying to start a service-based business. For instance, if you are trying to be a music producer for hire or an online session musician, those ideas might be a better fit.

However, don’t underestimate the power of a free gift if you’re trying to build a list of fans who love your music. You can offer them a lot of cool stuff, such as:

  • Secret song
  • Behind-the-scenes VIP content
  • Exclusive discount on merch
  • Exclusive music video
  • Pre-Releases
  • Pre-Sales
  • Exclusive Playlists

Create What’s Comfortable For You

Your lead magnet does not have to be an in-depth eBook, especially if you hate writing.

It could be:

  • A quick video if you’re comfortable on camera
  • An infographic you make with Canva
  • A simple one-page PDF document with questions
  • An audio recording of an interview with an expert

Make your lead magnet whatever feels comfortable for you to create. Something you know is valuable that you can make quickly.

Don’t stress too much about making it perfect. Done is better than perfect.

How to Get More Email Subscribers With This One Small Change

You’d be surprised just how many more subscribers you’ll get when you swap out the “Subscribe to the Newsletter” with something like “Get the Jazz-Chord Cheatsheet” or “Improve Your Songwriting With this Songstructure Checklist.”

When you offer something valuable in return for subscribing, that’s not just another generic newsletter nobody cares about; you’re guaranteed to get more email subscribers.

Not only does the value of your lead magnet increase your subscription rate, but using great copy will help as well, something we’ll talk about later on in this article.

Add Your Lead Magnet to Your Welcome Email

Now all you have to do is add your lead magnet to the Welcome Email of your email software, change the opt-in forms on your website to say what you’re offering when people sign up, and then you’re bound to get more subscribers.

We’ll be discussing the Welcome Email, the Welcome Sequence, and how to optimize your opt-in boxes on your website further on in this article, but in the meantime, get busy making your lead magnet.

Why Email Software Keeps You From Being a Spammer

The #1 mistake I see people making when they say they’re doing email marketing is not using email marketing software.

They’ll say,

“I just add all my contacts in the BCC field in my Gmail and send my newsletter that way.”

When I hear that, I just want to flip the table over!

Sometimes I feel like this Panda:

Image

Don’t you know how dangerous that is? Do you want your Gmail to get flagged as spam?

Didn’t think so.

That’s why you MUST use email marketing software if you’re sending out emails to large groups of people.

One caveat: this does not count if you’re sending emails to:

  • Invite a group of friends to a party
  • Create a group email for a small class
  • Any other tiny little communication between people who know each other

But for every “mass communication” you’re doing via email to your subscribers, you’ll need email software to handle it for you.

Which Email Software Should I Use?

Most email software is pretty robust. They all have more or less the same features.

They do the same thing. So which one should you use?

It doesn’t matter. Just pick one you like and go with it. Take a few of them for a test drive and see which interface feels most comfortable.

Here are some quality options:

Personally, I use Aweber, but I’m not sure I would recommend it for new users.

Their technology hasn’t advanced as fast as their competitors, but I’m locked into their software because of all of the various email systems I already have in place. It would take me too long to switch over, so I make the most of it.

If I were to switch, I’d probably switch over to Active Campaign due to their robust funnel automation systems.

But if you’re starting out, I always recommend Mailchimp because it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. I started with Mailchimp way back in the day (2010, I think), and they’ve only gotten better since then.

What Does Your Email Software Need to Do?

Regardless of what email software you decide on, here’s what you need it to do:

  • You need to be able to create multiple lists
  • You need to be able to set up automatic emails so that you can create a welcome sequence
  • You need the ability to create opt-in forms, or it needs to integrate with your landing page software
  • You need detailed analytics on your open and click-through rates
  • You need automation that moves your subscribers to different lists or sequences depending on their actions

Everything else is just icing on the cake. Advanced features, fancy designs, etc. As long as it does the above things, you should be good.

Need Help?

Hopefully, this is all making sense to you, and you’re diligently working your way through this article. But if you want hands-on help setting up your digital marketing strategy, I can coach you through all of this. Just click this link to get in touch.

The Friendly Neighborhood Email Writer

Let’s imagine you moved to the other side of the world and started this super exotic and cool job.

This company has a brand new way of doing things that are super #innovative. They’re offering crazy value to their customers by helping them solve challenging problems.

You literally can’t wait to get started, but it’s kind of lonely on the other side of the world.

So you keep in touch with your friends from back home. You write them letters about the new company you’re working for. You tell them how excited you are to work for them and how awesome their products are.

You write these letters conversationally because you’re just chatting with your friends.

Although they know you’re a serious person, they’ve never thought you to be a corporate stiff. So you crack the occasional joke while you share your personal story.

Then you finally get situated and start your job.

It’s even better than you imagined. So you keep sending your friends the occasional letter, and this time you mention some of the products you sell. Because your friends feel how passionate, knowledgeable, and excited you’ve been about these products, some of them check them out.

Turns out, it’s exactly what your friend Denise needed!

She sends you an email back thanking you profusely for the recommendation. And you didn’t even realize you were trying to sell something because you were just chatting with your friends.

That’s how you should view email marketing.

Think of your subscribers as your friends. You’re just sending them letters about the cool stuff that’s going on in your business.

You’re just trying to keep in touch. If you’re friendly and unapologetically yourself, then they’ll be more likely to try out your product if they have a problem your business can solve.

If you’re passionate about your topics, writing emails is easy.

Here’s what you should do next:

  • Write five emails like you’re just emailing a friend.
  • Be yourself and talk about your business and how it solves your customer’s problems.
  • Then add a call to action to the bottom of whatever product you’re selling.

Voilá! You have five emails to send to your email list.

It’s as simple as that.

What on Earth Should You Write About When You’re Stuck?

Creating consistent content for your brand or business can be difficult.

I’ve written over 1,000+ articles on music production throughout the years. I’ve published most of them on Audio Issues, but some as guest posts on other publications, such as the DIY Musician blog, MusicTech Magazine, The Pro Audio Files, Recording Revolution, and Audiotuts+, to name a few.

Throughout these 1,000+ pieces of content, I’ve tried to keep it fresh by tackling my audience’s problems in various ways.

If you’re struggling to find something to write about, here are ten things you can always fall back on.

1. How-To articles

If you’re a natural teacher, the how-to article is a great way to get started. Teach people how to do something, and they will remember you for it. They will also remember you down the line when they need your services.

You can even make this into a regular series if you can structure these articles as a 101 class, with each lesson delivered weekly. Say you create a 5,000-word 101 class and break it down into ten different lessons; you’ve got enough content to last for ten weeks!

(Disclaimer: This Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Musicians was once a month-long series on email marketing so it works the other way too).

2. Interviews

A great way to gain expertise by association is to interview someone more successful than you. Interview someone more knowledgeable than you about a certain subject, and you’ll not only learn more about it yourself, but your audience will also thank you for it.

Reach out to other bloggers or experts, record the interview, and then transcribe it. That way you’ll not only have the audio recording, but the text will help you rank higher on Google because of the SEO juice it provides.

3. Case Studies

Showcase somebody’s success story and their transformation from using your product, and you not only get a great piece of content but also a killer testimonial.

Here’s a great 3-part questionnaire to ask for case studies and testimonials:

  1. What exactly made you want to buy [Product]?
  2. Was there a specific problem [Product] helped you solve?
  3. What has  [Product] made possible that wasn’t possible before?

From there, you can structure a strong case study and customer story to which other potential customers can relate.

4. Product Reviews

I don’t do many product reviews, but maybe that’s a perfect piece of content for you. I don’t want to be in a situation where I’ve created a nice relationship with a brand, and then they come out with a product I don’t like. I’d rather work intimately with brands I believe in.

However, product reviews are valuable from an SEO standpoint because people search for reviews when they’re making up their minds about a purchase. If they find your website you might get a dedicated follower out of it.

5. Video Posts

If you like being on camera, then doing these same types of posts via video is a great way to put yourself out there. YouTube is a massive search engine for content and is blowing up all over the social media spectrum.

6. Challenges

If you have an established audience, you can create a challenge for them. For instance, I had a mixing challenge over at my Audio Issues site that challenged them to mix a particular song before a specific date to be entered to win some prizes.

  • A writing blog can do a writing challenge.
  • A recipe/cooking blog can do a cooking challenge.
  • If you’re a fitness instructor, you can go nuts with all the different types of fitness challenges you can implement to help your audience.
  • The list goes on.
  • You get the picture.

These can be very engaging to your audience.

7. Stories

Telling stories is one of the fundamental things that make us humans relate to one another. Use funny anecdotes and humorous stories from your own life to talk about your brand, service or product.

I do this all the time, and I highly recommend weaving in your personal life throughout your emails.

If you can find how something that happened to you this week is “sort of like” something valuable to your audience, you’ve got a great story to tell.

8. Podcasts

If you don’t like the written word but love to talk, then podcasting is the way to go. You can do how-to podcasts, interview podcasts, or news podcasts as content for your music brand.

It’s easy to talk about something you’re passionate about, so grab a mic, hit record, and create a podcast episode. It doesn’t have to be syndicated to iTunes to become a piece of content. You can start small with an audio episode on your site to test the waters before you launch a serious podcast.

9. Curated Compilation

Creating a compilation of other people’s content is a great way to curate something you think your audience will like without needing to create all the content yourself.

Of course, don’t pass it off as your own, and make sure you credit the original content creators. It’s also a great way to reach out to those content creators to create a relationship.

Email them and tell them how you featured them. Maybe they’ll link back to it or send their audience your way.

10. Giveaways

People love free stuff. Giving something away as an audience engagement tool works well. It builds goodwill and trust.

What Content Do You Create?

Those are just ten ideas off the top of my head to help you get started.

Which of these ten pieces of content sounds the best to you? If you need help figuring out the best way to create content, get in touch and I can help you out.

How The #1 Rule of Improv Comedy Helps You Write More Emails

Improv is kind of like the jazz of comedy. It’s completely made up on the spot, and because of this, you’ll never see the same improv scene twice.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules.

Just like jazz, you need to know the rules so you can bend them to your will.

In Improv, the cardinal rule is,

“Yes, and.”

Sounds so simple, yet so powerful.

“Yes” means that you agree with whatever your partner is saying. They could make up the most absurd statement, like,

“Man, I wish I hadn’t eaten all those dragons…”

…and you have to agree on its reality. In this two-person scene that’s happening on stage at that very moment, dragons are very real, and she ate way too much of them.

AND…

Because we’ve agreed that this reality is true (dragons are real and somehow a delicacy you can order too much of), it is now my turn to add to this reality and make it even more real (as absurd as it may be).

Yes, you ate way too many of these dragons. And, I’m glad we got such a good table at this dragon restaurant. We’ve been on the waiting list for months and I was beginning to worry we’d never get to try it before they went extinct.”

To help you think faster on your feet, there are three categories you can lean on to make your “Yes, and” scene easier.

  • Details
  • Emotions
  • Consequences

Whenever somebody starts a scene, you can decide whether you want to add details, show emotion, or describe the consequences of what’s happening.

In the example above, I added all three because this is a blog post, and writing gives me more time to think than spontaneously reacting to statements on stage:

  • Details: We’re at a restaurant
  • Emotions: I’m worried about getting a table
  • Consequences: Dragons are going extinct, and this restaurant has a limited supply (“so we better eat up!”)

Although an improv scene looks chaotic and spontaneous, it’s actually founded on some solid structure and rules to keep the game going.

Use Yes, And to Improve Your Writing

Keeping this rule in mind while you’re writing can skyrocket your writing speed.

Throw your editing hat out of the room and put your Improv hat on.

Start with a sentence and then just agree on its reality and continue building on it.

Even if everything you do feels like garbage, it does not matter. You’re training yourself to be present and in the moment, without consciously self-editing yourself the entire time.

Email Writing Exercise

Time goes by slower than you think, especially if you’re allowing yourself to slow down and think.

So, here’s an exercise I want you to do:

  • Set a Timer: Tell Alexa to set a timer for five minutes (or use your phone or some other antiquated technology like an old-timey stopwatch).
  • Write With Yes, And in Mind: Just start with your first sentence. Agree on it and build on it.
  • Don’t Think, Improvise: Then just keep building, as bad as it feels, as absurd as it may become. It’ll all be over in five minutes.

The trick is to get started. You can always edit later.

8 Email Marketing Prompts for Musicians

If you’re having trouble figuring out what to write emails about, here are some topics to start with:

  1. Tell a story about how you solved a problem for a previous customer OR how you came up with the idea for your latest song
  2. Tell a story about a recent show you performed
  3. Tell a story about the favorite instrument you’ve ever owned
  4. Answer a question people ask you all the time
  5. Find the most bizarre thing you think is weird in your industry
  6. Write an inspiring letter to yourself
  7. Be confrontational and argumentative. Challenge your market’s long-held beliefs
  8. If your favorite movie character had the same problem as your customer, how would you help them?

Those are eight prompts. If you do all of them in five minutes each, you’ll have plenty of material to email your list after only 40 minutes!

Walk away from the reading for a while, and when you’re back, pick up your editor hat and finish them off.

Your Turn for 40 Minutes

Now you know how to start writing emails, and you don’t even need the confidence to do it. You just have to agree and continue. Then you edit later.

Words on the page, as bad as they look, are much better than ideas in your head.

Tick, tock. Forty minutes is all you need.

A Word of Warning for Time-Wasters

I can almost guarantee that some of you will think, “Oh, not right now. I don’t have 30 minutes. I don’t have time blablabla [insert lame excuse here].”

If that’s you, convince me. Take five minutes to write an email showing me how you don’t have time, and I’ll show you the email you wrote you can probably turn into a piece of marketing to your list. If you don’t have 40 minutes to spend on the cheapest and most cost-effective way to grow your brand, maybe you don’t deserve to have a career in music.

Opportunity and success come to those who take action, not those who wait.

The Continuous Content Loop

I was on the phone with one of my clients recently, and he couldn’t help himself. He asked, flabbergasted,

“How do you write so much?”

Simple, I have a system that makes sure I never run out of ideas.

We already talked about my process for writing over 1,000 articles, but coming up with ideas to share with my audience goes a bit further.

The way I create content to get more subscribers is a tightly tweaked system I like to call the Continuous Content Loop.

The Continuous Content Loop helps me understand and engage with my audience in the best way possible.

It’s comprised of:

  • The Welcome Email – Where I ask the reader to respond to a survey so I can know how to help them better, whether that’s through more free articles or premium training.
  • The Problem Survey – The survey collects data so I can notice trends and see what the hot-button issues are. For instance, “mixing, EQ, and compression” always pops up on Audio Issues so it’s no wonder this site is filled with articles on mixing music.
  • The Zapier Reply System – I’ve set up advanced Zapier automation so that every time somebody responds to my survey, I get notified, and Zapier creates a draft email in my inbox so I can respond to everyone personally in a short period of time. This is the least scalable part of the Continuous Content Loop. Still, it’s also the most enjoyable because I get to know people a little bit better and send them articles that are directly related to their problems (as opposed to them just getting the next random email I send out in the series).

These three things work in a continuous feedback loop, so I never run out of ideas and am always on top of what my audience cares about.

Setting Up Your Autopilot Email Marketing System

Now that you have some ideas on WHAT to write about let’s talk about the specifics of your email system so that you can make the most of those emails.

  • Your goals behind the all-important welcome email
  • How to structure welcome sequences to create a relationship and build trust
  • How to optimize subject lines to increase open rates
  • What calls to action should you have in your emails to get your subscribers to engage with your content
  • How to use storytelling and cliffhangers to increase email engagement and open rates throughout the sequence

The Most Important Email You’ll Ever Write

You most read, most opened, and most engaging email you will ever write to your subscribers is your “Welcome Email.”

Your welcome email is the first email in your autoresponder series, and it is incredibly important because it sets the stage for the relationship you will have with your subscribers.

Screw it up, and you miss a huge opportunity to deliver value.

Do it well, and they will know, like, and trust you, with some of them becoming your customers.

Your Most Opened Email

Your welcome email is when your subscriber is most engaged with you and most likely to open your email.

For instance, here are welcome emails from three different sequences I run, and the open rates range from 77% – 91% which is pretty good.

The welcome email is the most important email in your email sequence

How to get 80% open rates in your email marketing

There are three simple parts to a good welcome email.

  1. Delivering value with your lead magnet – You should have a good idea of what lead magnet you want to create after reading this ultimate guide.
  2. Introducing yourself and relating to your subscribers – This will always be slightly different based on your brand, industry, and personality.
  3. A call to action to further the relationship – I tend to ask my subscribers questions to get to know them better, but your situation may be different. The question you should ask yourself is “What do you want your subscribers to do that can help both of you the best.” I run an information business, so asking my subscribers to fill out a survey so I can create better content for them makes sense to me.

Welcome Email Script

Here’s a script you can use if you’re having trouble coming up with something to write.

Subject: Welcome to [Whatever your newsletter name is]/[Or the headline that is on your lead magnet page for consistency]

“Hi [Name] and welcome!

Thanks for signing up to [Newsletter name]

As promised, here is [Whatever you promised them when they signed up]

Link to download lead magnet

[One sentence about your brand/business/vision/mission/music]

[What can the subscriber expect from being on this list? What kind of emails will they be getting?]

We’d/I’d [depending on how you want to convey your brand] love to know more about you and how we can help you. Are you able to do us a quick favor before you leave?

If you could take 30 seconds to tell us a bit about yourself,  please answer our survey so we can better serve you.

Here’s the link: URL [Or just ask them one important question if you don’t want to go through the process of creating a survey yet]

Looking forward to getting to know you better!

[Regards/Talk soon/Cheers/Cordially Yours/Live Long and Prosper/etc],

[Name of person in charge of email]”

In this case, the CTA is a survey, but it could be a call to action to schedule a call, a link to your most popular content or a product. Remember that pushing too hard on the sale in your first email isn’t always applicable.

If you’re a musician, your Welcome Email will be slightly different and tailored to your music.

Your Easy Welcome Sequence You Can Use Right Away

Now that you have your Welcome Email done, let’s talk about the rest of the “Welcome Sequence.” Here’s the structure of a welcome sequence you can use right away to deliver value, start a relationship, and build trust.

  1. Introduction and lead magnet
  2. Ask your subscribers a question
  3. Give away valuable content
  4. Share your story
  5. Tie your story into brand, business, or music
  6. Show social proof, credibility, or testimonials

Example of welcome sequence for musicians using email marketing

  • Email #1 – Lead Magnet: If you don’t have this done yet, go back to the beginning of this article and start there.
  • Email #2 – Add Value: I recommend adding value with more solutions to your subscriber’s problems. In this email you can add massive value and build credibility by solving a burning problem for your customer you know he has. If you’re a musician promoting your music, an email is always an opportunity to share your songs and the stories behind them.
  • Email #3 – Personal Story: Here, you can introduce yourself more, talk about your brand, and tell your subscriber how you’ve helped other customers like them. Talk about your fans, shows you’ve played, or anecdotes that add interest to your music.
  • Email #4 – Value-Sell: If there’s a specific product or program that’s more popular for your ideal customer, you can talk about their problem in a value-driven way, sprinkling in good content along the way. Then, at the end, you introduce the product as the solution. Bonus points if you can add an element of scarcity to make them act now. If you’re a musician, this is an opportunity to ask your subscribers to stream your song, buy your merch, or follow you on social media.
  • Email #5 – Reminder to Purchase: You shouldn’t feel bad about hard-selling to your list at least once. You are running a business, after all. You can also use this email as an opportunity to answer frequently asked questions, share case studies, or remind them of your element of scarcity (such as a discount or free bonuses).

That’s the bare-bones structure of your first funnel.

How To Write Subject Lines That Get Opened

If your emails don’t get opened, it doesn’t matter how good they are.

Having written thousands of emails over the years, here are some guidelines for writing subject lines that get opened.

Types of Subject Lines

Here are a few different kinds of subject lines you should keep in your back pocket:

  • Intrigue: These subject lines usually involve a question of some sort. If the question is relevant enough to your subscribers, they’ll be more inclined to open the email because they have to know the answer.
  • Mystery: I use mystery subject lines when I’m making a weird analogy. For instance, if you compare two entirely unrelated things, like cooking and playing guitar, and you’re sharing the lessons you learned from one thing and how they apply to the other, you can write a subject line like: “How Does Cooking Help You Become a Better Guitar Player?”
  • Straight-Up How-Tos: You can always fall back on the good ol’ how-to subject line. If you know your audience, you know what they want to learn more about. So you write an email that teaches them one of those things.
  • Lists: Lists are always popular, easy to write, and a great way to crank out content fast.
  • Personalization: If you collect a subscriber’s first name when they sign up to your list, you can use your email software’s personalization feature and use their name in the subject line. I rarely collect first names, so I don’t use this that often, but it has its place and can be very powerful. People react to their name, and when they see it in a subject line, it will immediately grab their attention.
  • Emoji: Emojis in subject lines are very popular, especially with large corporations with low open rates that haven’t bothered to create a relationship with their subscriber from the start. If you’ve created a relationship with your readers so that they look forward to your email, they’re not only looking for the fancy glitter in the subject line, they’re also looking for the From Address.  By sprinkling in a bit of color here and there in the subject line, it stands out in the inbox. If you’re known to deliver value of some sort (education or entertainment), your emails will get opened, regardless of whether you use an emoji or not.

Use the Headline Analyzer

“Subject Line Writing” is no different than “Headline Writing.”

That said, you can be a little more flexible with your subject lines because you’ve already built up a relationship with the subscriber. Headline writing needs to be a lot more powerful because you’re trying to capture the attention of a random reader on the internet, not somebody who’s already on your list.

A great tool I highly recommend using is the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. It gives you a lot of great, actionable advice to strengthen your headlines.

Although it only likes a few styles of headlines (how-to, question, list), it can still help you analyze what kind of words you should consider using (power words, emotional words) to make your headline/subject line writing even stronger.

Remember that it’s still a robot, so it’s far from perfect when analyzing the actual content of your headline. So it’s on you to make your headlines human.

How To Get More Email Subscribers

But what about getting more subscribers to your list? How do you do that?

Simple: Create a landing page that convinces your website reader to take the next step and sign up to your list.

Here’s an example:

Opt-in Page Example to increase email subscribers to your email list

Placeholder landing page. One of the Thrive Architect designs.

Best Practices

Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Having a logo, or other credibility indicators, will make your landing page more legit.
  • You need a benefit-driven headline that tells them what it’s in it for them for signing up (what do they get?)
  • No navigation. This is crucial because you don’t want to give people any options. They either sign up or leave.
  • Always use a clear call to action. The screenshot above says “Sign Me Up!” which is fine, but it could be linked to what you’re giving them (so it would read “Get eBook/Training/Checklist/etc” instead of just “Sign Up for (another…) Newsletter.”
  • If you have testimonials from subscribers/customers, it’s great to add those to your opt-in page. It’s a form of social proof that can be very valuable. People landing on the page will see that others have signed up, so they might as well.

Reverse-Engineer These Pages

All of the following landing pages convert at over 50%:

That means that out of 100 people who land on the EQ Cheatsheet page, for example, 60 people will become subscribers. Knowing this number means that your email subscription rate becomes a simple math equation:

Traffic * Conversion Rate = Subscribers

If the conversion rate stays the same, all you need to do is increase the amount of traffic to your site.

But how do you get people to your landing page?

Ten Places To Double Your Email Subscribers

Here are ten places you should add a call to action to that sends your reader to your email opt-in page.

1. Home Page

If you’re trying to collect signups, the first place you put your opt-in form is on your home page. That’s where most people go after finding yousite, so it’s a natural call to action.

2. About Page

If you’re a business, your about page isn’t really about you. It’s about what you can give to them. If you provide them with something valuable for signing up, it should be front and center on your About page.

3. Sidebar

Have a call to action in your sidebar if you have a blog that has one. If you can make them look good, it’s worth the effort, but other signup strategies usually outperform my sidebar forms.

4. Landing pages

If you run ads, you should have a dedicated landing page for those ads that collect emails. If you’re running an ad that goes straight to a home page with no obvious call to action, you’re going to lose a lot of subscribers who otherwise would’ve signed up to your email list – not to mention waste a ton of money on ineffective ad spend.

5. Blog page

Some website themes allow you to create a dedicated opt-in area above your posts on the blog page. It’s a good place to have an opt-in if you’re a blogger because your reader is likely to click through to your blog if they’re interested in what you have to say.

6. Below posts

If you create a killer article that everyone loves, you should give them a reason to subscribe to your email list at the end of it. If you gave them some incredible information, they’d give you their email address in a heartbeat.

7. In a smart bar “above” your website

I like the smart bar that hovers on the top of some websites. Sometimes it’s challenging to write concise enough copy to entice the reader to subscribe, but that alone is a valuable exercise in copywriting.

8. Popups

Probably the most controversial method of collecting signups. Are they annoying? Yeah, maybe. Do they work? Absolutely. If you’re not using popups to collect email subscribers, you’re leaving money on the table. Simple as that.

9. Social Media page

If you run social media ads, then it’s likely that people will click through to your page to check you out. Use the real estate in your profile to promote your lead magnet.

10. Welcome mat

I really like the Welcome Mat from SumoMe. SumoMe offers a ton of helpful email and content marketing tools, and the Welcome Mat is one of my favorites. It’s kind of like a friendlier version of a pop-up.

Double Your Subscribers

I can almost guarantee that your subscriber count will go up overnight if you start implementing these practices. A few select opt-in forms that draw attention to themselves will immediately make your list grow.

Increase Your Success With Email Marketing

Now, you should have all the ingredients to put together a simple yet robust email marketing machine.

  • You know who your subscribers are and what you can offer them.
  • You know what kind of emails to write because you’ll have a buffer of ideas in the bank.
  • You’ve put it all together inside the email software that runs without you.

And you’ve optimized both your social media sites and website channels to get more subscribers and grow your audience.

This has been a massively giant post worthy of the title of Ultimate Guide, so I hope you’ve found it helpful.

If you need any help with any of this, don’t hesitate to get in touch and I’ll help you set up your email marketing systems so that you can get more fans, grow your audience, and increase your income online.

If you liked this post, share the love:


Transform Your Rough Recordings Into Released Records, Even If You Only Have a Home Studio

*Spam sucks and I will not share your email with anyone.

About me

About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

We help musicians transform their recordings into radio-ready and release-worthy records they’re proud to release.

We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use immediately to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

Björgvin’s step-by-step mixing process has helped thousands of musicians confidently mix their music from their home studios. If you’d like to join them, check out the best-selling book Step By Step Mixing: How To Create Great Mixes Using Only 5 Plug-ins right here.

LEAVE A COMMENT