Don't Make This Mistake With Your Email List

How To Make A Music Video On A Tiny Budget

How To Make The Most Amount Of Tips At The Gig

9 Essential Things Every Musician Must Have In 2016

What Is SoundExchange, ASCAP, BMI, PROs, HFA And How To Get All Your Royalties

9 Things You Didn't Know About The College Music Market

Is Your Facebook Musician Page Doing More Hurt Than Help?

Why Exactly Is Spotify Being Sued And What Does This Mean?

When Greeting Fans, Never Say 'Nice to Meet You'

5 Incentives To Get Fans To Sign Your Email List Online

This Band Lost $3,000 At Their Record Release Show In LA

What To Do When Everything At The Show Goes To Shit

To Own Your City You Need To Find Your Jam

How To Turn Your Fans Into Paying Subscribers

How To Get Music In Podcasts (And Make Money...Legally)

This Artist Lost 2,000 Potential Fans In Two Hours Because Of This

8 Reasons Why Singer/Songwriter Shows Are Boring

12 Ways To Get More Facebook Likes (And Engagement) For Your Musician Page

10 Reasons Why You're Failing At Instagram

How To Guarantee Your Music Is Heard By A Film/TV Supervisor

What Bands Who Broke Up Made Me Realize

11 Mistakes Every Young Band Makes

How To Objectively Pick Your Best Songs (Or Find Out If You Suck)

The Reason You Never Get An Email Response

How To Legally Release Cover Songs

How To Get Your Music On NPR

How Much You Should Be Charging For Merch

Why You Shouldn't Promote Your Music On iTunes

9 Things To Consider When Choosing A Music Venue

11 Reasons Why You're Failing At Open Mics

How My (Mini) Tour Taught Me To Love Performing Again

The Biggest Mistake Bands Make With Lyrics

Don't Play To The Assholes

Hey Midwest! Join Me At The Music Biz Meetups

You Can Pay Important People To Listen To Your Music

Phish At The Forum: A Teachable Moment For Every Band

How To See Your Listener Data On Pandora

No Deal Is What It Is

This Company Will Print, Label And Ship Tour Posters

How To Get More Mailing List Subscribers

8 Things You're Forgetting To Do On Show Day

How To Easily Rent Gear On The Road

Drop Your Ego And Book A House Concert Tour

Tour Booking Will Never Be The Same After This

10 Social Media Mistakes Bands Make

How To Write a Press Release (And Get Press)

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 $55

How To Act Completely Unprofessionally

CD Baby, Tunecore, DistroKid, Ditto, Mondotunes, ReverbNation, Symphonic or...

8 Ways To Get The Best Deal For The Gig

How To Make A Killer Promo Video

Carry Your Instrument On The Plane - It's The LAW

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

9 Reasons 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?

Copyright Your Song or GLEE Will Steal It

How To Setup A Headlining Show

9 Things Every Musician Needs To Know About The Sound Guy

Interview with founder of Indie On The Move

Why No One Cares About Your Music

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)

Always Do This When Giving Your CD To Someone Important

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

It Doesn't Take a Web Genius

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

How To Be A Better Performer

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

Does This Mustache Make My Ass Look Fat?

Our Tour Page Is Totally Full (of empty shows)

Don't Be Afraid Of The Phone

I Think You're An Asshole, So I'm Going To Tell You, Asshole

Don't Be A Dick

How I Got 250 To My Debut CD Release (Getting Started)

Can I Open For You? Maybe. But Probably Not

How I Reduced The Ari Herstand Hate Club By One

How To Double Your (Merch) Income... No Really

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

Don't Make This Mistake With Your Email List

6


I got a an email from one of my favorite singer/songwriters yesterday. I've been on his email list for a couple years now and I go to his shows whenever he plays in town - which is often because he lives here.

In this email he discussed that he had all the songs written for his new record and he shared a demo of one of them.

Stoked to hear it, I clicked the link on my iPhone to play in the car.

This is what I got.



Simple mistake right? Clearly, he copy and pasted the URL from the song window in HIS Dropbox. Problem was, that link didn't work for anyone not signed into his account. In Dropbox you have to click the Share button to actually share the public link.

Simple mistake, but came with deadly consequences.


It's hard enough to get people to open a mass email (Mailchimp's study revealed that average open rates for musician lists sit around 23%) and even harder to get them to click (average click through rates sit around 2.93% for musician lists). If your fans actually open the email and actually click the link and it takes them to a bum page they will be MUCH less likely to open/click your emails in the future.

He sent a follow up email the next day when he realized his error, but the damage had been done and those who hadn't yet opened the first email may have just thought he was cluttering up their inbox with 2 emails in less than a day and simply decided to unsubscribe altogether.

Your email list is your lifeline. It is the one solid line of communication that you have to your fans. It is the one constant that isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Social media sites come and go. Rise and fall. I once toured with a guy who had 60 million (I'm not exaggerating) plays on Myspace. But our tour was 2 years after Myspace died. So most shows were half empty because he had no way to let his fans know about the tour. He didn't have an email list, he had been solely relying on Myspace for all fan communication.

Remember when we were convinced by Facebook to build up our Likes and then they pulled the rug out from under us by reducing the "organic" reach of our posts to a fraction of what it used to be and made us PAY to reach OUR fans we had worked so hard to build up on THEIR platform?


Instagram is already starting to falter. Snapchat is now all the rage. YouTube is slipping in fan engagement.

But email, ahh email, has been there for us. Always. And forever. Yeah, Gmail now throws our messages into "Promotions" folder, but studies have shown that this move by Gmail hasn't actually affected open rates all that much (and some open rates have actually INCREASED!).

So even though email isn't as sexy as Snapchat or Instagram, it's there for us. It's reliable and constant. It's the SM58 of microphones. It's the Toyota of cars. It's the DMB of rock. Gets the job done, been around for awhile, isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but will never be the hottest thing of the moment ever again. (Under the Table and Dreaming was a once in a generation album)

What I'm trying to say here is take email seriously! (and Carter Beauford is a beast)

The Triple Check

When creating your emails, always check it over no less than three times. I know you probably always give your email a once over read before sending, but always, ALWAYS send yourself a test email and click every single link.

Incognito Window

But make sure when you're triple checking your links that you do this from Chrome, right click and select "Open Link in Incognito Window." What this means is, it will open an entirely new "session" in a new window. You won't be logged into any accounts in this "incognito" window. It's like opening a guest account in the same browser. This is how you check to make sure everything works.



I made this mistake when I copy/pasted the PayPal URL from the Buy Now page I used to sell my merch. That didn't work for anyone who wasn't logged into my personal PayPal account - so, it worked for exactly none of my fans. For PayPal buttons you must use the "Email" link in the button creation edit section. But I didn't realize this and sent an email out to thousands with the wrong Buy Now link. Whoops!

Always, triple check your links in an incognito window.


If you edit your campaign after sending yourself a test email, send another test! I can't tell you how many times I've copy/pasted a paragraph and shifted it in the body of the email blast only to find out that the internal link did not paste.

Triple check everything. The only time you should ever hit Send is when you read the test email (both on your desktop AND on your phone) and it's perfect. And you tested all links - BOTH on your desktop and your phone.

Mobile Friendly

Studies show that 65% of all emails are now opened on the phone. So your campaigns need to be mobile friendly. Don't make people read your email with two hands, zooming in and out. If they know that your emails never work on mobile they'll just stop opening them altogether.

How To Increase Your Click Through Rates (CTR)

Open rates are one thing, but if you're trying to get people to click through to something (like your song or a merch item), you want to make sure that a) the link obviously works and b) they don't miss it. Studies show (yes I read a lot of studies for this post!) that if you include the same link multiple times in an email (like beginning, middle and end) that people are more likely to click it than if you just include it once. So for a big release or launch, that's the time to include the most important link a few times. And the emails around a big launch, you should only include the most important link (multiple times). Don't clutter it up with links to your Facebook, Twitter, old YouTube videos, old albums, song demos. If you REALLY want people to click on ONE link, then just include that one link. If the email is just an update, sure, include a bunch of links and they can choose what they want to do.

Stay Consistent

I know emails take a lot more effort to put together than Facebook posts or tweets, but they're more important. So set a schedule for yourself. You should be sending emails AT LEAST once a month, but a better schedule is every two weeks. Or even once a week if you can swing it. You may think you're being annoying or bombarding your base, when in reality you're familiarizing yourself to your fans and getting them to know you a bit more. The more they know you the more they'll like you (hopefully). The more they like you the more wiling they will be to come to your show, back your crowdfunding project and buy your shit when the time comes.

Like these tips? Support my Patreon or give me a tip!

Ari Herstand (pronounced Ar*ee Her*stand) is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

blog comments powered by Disqus