eMail Marketing Bullshit Systems

Two out of three music marketing courses you find on the internet will sell you an eMail marketing course all the way based on annoying autoresponder messages that contain fake special offers. These courses are missing one key feature of music promotion and while they prove to be working they are rather ineffective compared to other, more serious music marketing methods. 

Let me put this right at the beginning. I have tested it myself. Simultaneously with my regular music promotion campaign I used an automated eMail marketing system, strictly following the instructions given in the course. The result? At the moment when I had sold 100 CDs a total of 12 people had signed up for my new mailing list and haven’t bought anything to this day. So to me it is clear which way to go.

Fitnessworkouts and Investment advice vs. Music
eMail Marketing actually works well with high-priced information products all the way from body shaping to investing and getting rich from home. Such products put results in the foreground while the personal relationship with the one who provides these cproducts is secondary at best. In other words, you don’t really care about your investment consultant’s face, clothes or views.

With music, however, things are different. Music is an emotional product where personal identification with its creators really takes into account. Especially the connection between unsigned musicians and underground fans has become even more internsive over the years.

A matter of credibilty
Once a musician starts bombarding his new mailing list subscribers with daily automated eMails which include alledged special offers (“50% off, act before midnight”) he or she will soon fall into disgrace: too pushy, too greasy, too demanding and the extreme discount looks like a sell-out at first glance. The band doesn’t seem to be doing that well, huh? The special offer is said to be gone tomorrow, but the link stays valid – do they think we’re stupid?

Promotion is missing
What such eMail marketing courses for musicians barely touch is the subject of promotion. Even if you put your faith in an automated eMail system you will have to find and attract fans somehow – or better somewhere – so they can sign up. This “finding your fans” however, is thee key element of promotion and marketing. Without a promotional campaign you will hardly reach anyone, left along get someone to provide his eMail address for your mailing list.

Once your fan is on the hook…
Let’s Stepp into the real world for a while. Imagine we own a grocery store in town. We have advertised our store and now, early Monday morning, potential customers are lining up outside waiting for our store to open. What are we going to do? Ask for everybody’s eMail address and send them home again? We better not. Instead we ask thenm to come in and make a purchase.

Once we have found and convinced our new fan, won his trust and got him to take action exactly this question comes up: will we just get the fan’s eMail address and start convincing him from scratch again – or will we show him the music and take his money?

There is no doubt such eMail marketing systems work. Even a single sale is proof enough. However, there are other ways to promote your music which prove far more effective – in my case ten times more.

Better use for a mailing list
Don’t get me wrong, I maintain a mailing list myself through which I stay in touch with my fans on a bi-weekly basis. However, these fans have only subscribed after(!) they had bought my music and decided to stay up to date with me. Once I announce a new album through my mailing list, about 30% of my readers make a purchase within two days directly through my website.

In comparison the turnaround rate of automated eMail marketing systems is said to be about 3%. In plain English this means that only three out of one hundred subscribers will actually buy from you. Now imagine how much time and hard work it takes to get 100 subscribers.

Promises of automated income sound nice, but all so old fashioned promotional methods generate far, far more turnaround. As an alternative to buying an eMail marketing course for musicians I suggest spending the $97.00 (the usual price) on envelopes and stamps and sample as many niche websites, blogs, magazines and radio shows as possible – like I said, it proved ten times more efficient for me. Then, afterwards, point towards your “stay-in-touch-with-me newsletter” at the end of the sales process as well as in your CD booklet – and then offer great entertainment instead of pushy buy-now-or-be-a-loser messages.

By the way, do a little research on the guys who sell eMail marketing systems for musicians. Most of them cannot even provide music of their own and still a large number of them also sell self-help and nutrition courses. Credibility?

To your genuine success – Julian Angel

P.S.: German spoken musicians are invited to join this year’s MusicBiz Madness Conference in Frankfurt, Germany on Oct. 11, 2015. Click here for information.


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About MusicBizMadness

Julian Angel is a chart-noted songwriter and film musician with Hollywood credits. He has successfully released six (physical) records by himself. MusicBiz Madness started as a business conference in Germany and keeps sharing hands-on advice for musicians and people in the music industry.
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