How To Get More Mailing List Subscribers

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Drop Your Ego And Book A House Concert Tour

Why I Will Never Return To Best Buy

Tour Booking Will Never Be The Same After This

How To Write a Press Release (And Get Press)

10 Social Media Mistakes Bands Make

9 Reasons Your Band Isn't Getting Press

Get Ari's Take On Your Album At The Next Meetup

Top Music YouTubers Reveal Their Secrets At VidCon

How To Get Your Band Info Synched Everywhere At Once

7 Ways To Crack The Musical Gatekeepers

6 Types Of Emails You Should Never Send

How To Make Money From Your Music On An Ongoing Basis

How To Get Songs Placed On TV And In Movies

How To Hire Freelance Musicians

Why Music Managers Just Don't Cut It (The NEW Team)

How To Be A Classy Self-Promoter

When Paying For Music Works

Why Are People (Not) Coming To Your Shows?

What Musicians Can Learn From The Olympics

Network Like A Music Pro At The First Ari's Take Meetup

What I Learned From My $12 Cup Of Coffee

How To Submit To Pandora (Without a CD)

Why I Hate Downloading Music

Don’t Be Late. Ever.

How To Copyright All of Your Songs For $35

How To Act Completely Unprofessionally

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8 Ways To Get The Best Deal For The Gig

How To Make A Killer Promo Video

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10 Steps To Sell Out Your Show

Your Gear Will Get Stolen

Why Retweeting Compliments Is Not Bragging

Yes, You Need T-Shirts

How To Record Your Album

How To Network Like A (Music) Pro

My Response To An LA Pay-To-Play Promoter

Should You Pay To Play

Why You Have No Twitter Followers

You Don't Find A Manager, A Manager Finds You

CD Baby Pro vs. TuneCore Publishing (The Full Report)

Don't Try Out For A Singing Show...

This Is How I Got A Licensing Deal

The One Thing Musicians Should Never Admit

How To Kill a 30 Year Career in 5 Minutes

The Art of Asking

Skip The Party Tonight, Become a Rockstar Tomorrow

How To Pimp Out Your CD Release Show

You Should Try Out for American Idol (The Relatives)

Free Bird! (Covers vs. Originals)

What's a Publicist and Should I Get One?

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How To Setup A Headlining Show

What Every Musician Needs To Know About The Sound Guy

Interview with founder of Indie On The Move

Your Music Doesn't Matter

Booking Your Own Tour: A How-To Guide

Fuck Facebook... In the Face

Technical Difficulties ARE Your Fault

50 Is The Magic Number (Book a Headlining Tour)

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How I Made $13,544 In A Month (on Kickstarter)

Smash Your Shitty Guitar

Are You In The Right City For Your Music

The Hardest Part About Being Your Own Manager

Buy My Music Dammit (Spotify vs iTunes)

How To Be A Great Opening Act

Rockstars Are People Too

What Do You Mean We Don't Get Paid? (The Confirmation Email)

How To Be A Better Performer

It Doesn't Take a Web Genius

How I Got To Play The World's Largest Music Festival

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Don't Be Afraid Of The Phone

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Don't Be A Dick

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Beauty School Drop Out (The Backup Plan)

Shows Sell, Events Sell Out

I'm A Tool and I Have Accepted That

Allocating the Duties

Friend Fatigue

Gatekeepers
Ari's Take

How To Get More Mailing List Subscribers

12


Last night I had an incredible show at one of my favorite places to play in the country, The Hotel Cafe. I got to meet many awesome Ari's Take readers. At the end of the night, after I finished chatting with everyone by the merch booth, I glanced at my mailing list clipboard and noticed only 3 signups! Gah! What happened? For shows with the crowd I had last night, the signup sheet is good for at least 20. Especially when I'm standing there encouraging people to signup (which I admit, I slacked on last night - for shame!) I then noticed the culprit. Someone stole my pen!

+Get tickets to my next Hotel Cafe show on Nov 22nd

I learned early on that people like to steal pens. I doubt it's malicious, probably just habitual. Whenever their hand finishes using a pen they place it into their coat pocket or purse. So I always put a big piece of masking tape around the butt of the pen so the signer knows that this is, in fact, not their pen. Most of the time it has deterred the thiefs.

I guess not last night!

So new rule, always tie your pen to the clipboard!

And, this should go without saying, but you MUST provide a pen for the mailing list clipboard. If there is no pen, no one will go out of their way to track a pen down to sign your list.

Some of the most resourceful (and tech savvy) bands out there have actually setup computer monitors locked on a mailing list signup screen with an attached keyboard. This is ideal if you can swing this. No need to worry about attempting to decipher drunken handwriting.

Always announce from the stage (during your merch pitch) that people should sign the mailing list. And if you can, get the signup form on your (fully responsive/ mobile) website and tell people from the stage to get on their phones right now, go to mybandwebsite.com and signup. Make sure you're giving at least a song away and you can mention from the stage that "you will get this next song for free in your inbox by the time we finish playing it."


Yeah, I hate people on their phones at my concert as much as you do, but maybe give them a pass for this one instance.

At every intimate show you play, pass the clipboard around. Make sure everyone signs up. Especially at house concerts! People are very willing to signup on your list during house concert experiences. And you absolutely want everyone's email at these shows so you can hit them up for you club appearance when you return to town.


You can affix your stickers to the clipboard (in an attached bag or clamped in) and give everyone who signs up a free sticker. But I've found that most people will signup if handed the mailing list clipboard - with or without an incentive.

The mailing list remains to be THE BEST way to communicate with fans. All the contacts on your email list YOU OWN. All the Likes on Facebook, Followers on Twitter or Instagram you rent. Any third party can change their terms and overnight you could lose access to your all your hard earned fans (like Facebook does all the time).



Make sure on your website your email signup is prominent and there is an incentive (get a free song when you sign up). Signing up on the website from home is very different from signing up at a concert. There isn't the buzzing energy (or a band member's personal encouragement to do so), so incentives help.

Make sure building your email list is first priority. Email isn't going away anytime soon and remains to be the only constant in an ever changing digital world. Building a grass roots music career is about gaining fans, one at a time, and keeping them engaged and respected.

As far as who is the best mailing list provider? Well, I haven't found the best yet. I've used a few different services and many of them have pros and cons. Things to look out for though:
  • No double opt in! Meaning, if they signup on your clipboard you should be able to import the name to your list online WITHOUT them having to CONFIRM it.
  • A customizable auto-response. Most mailing list providers have this. This means, when someone signs up, they immediately get a welcome email in their inbox (that you customize) containing a link to download a song (or 3).
  • Analytics. You should be able to see how many opened the email, who clicked on each included link and from which location.
  • Location sorting. Make sure you can add emails by postal (zip) code. And some mailing list providers will grab the zip code automatically when fans signup online - extra bonus! Having the ability to sort by location is especially important when you're touring so you can send out targeted emails to the cities you are visiting with specific details (and reminders) about their show.
  • Reuse Past Campaigns. Considering the template for most email blasts will be very similar, you should only have to design it once, and then be able to reuse it (changing out the body info).
  • Not Using Your Mailing Address. In America, the law requires any email list provider to display a physical mailing address at the bottom of the email. Some providers require you to put your own, personal address, and others will put their company's address. It's nice if you don't have to give all of your subscribers your home, (stalker-friendly) address.
  • Groups. You should be able to filter your subscribers by location, open history, click-history (for album purchases) and then add them to groups to email directly. You should even be able to create a Street Team group and other filtered groups to mail separately for things that may not concert the entire list.
  • Zip Code. Some providers will even allow you to send emails to people within a radius of a selected zip code without you having to manually create each group for each city/state/province/country. Clutch.
  • Customer Service. This is key. The best services will provide you with a phone number or online chat. It's also good to test customer service email turnaround time. Things come up. Glitches occur. Being able to contact a human is a must.

Buying Likes or Followers might look impressive to people checking you out and make you feel better temporarily, but it will not help build your fan base, make you money, build your career or open that many doors. Industry people are very aware of these tactics and can sniff out fake numbers quite easily. If you don't have the show attendance or YouTube/Spotify plays to back them up, they'll see right through the smoke and mirrors.

Oh, and signup for Ari's Take email list! Duh...

Like these tips? Become a patron of Ari's Take.

Need more help? Signup for a consulting session with me.

I'm playing a show at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood on Saturday, Nov 22nd. Get tickets.

Listen to my new album, Brave Enough, on Spotify or download on BandCamp

 

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