Most of you reading this are familiar with what a mailing list is. You’re most likely subscribed to many of them. But, for those that don’t know what a “mailing list” is let me break it down for you… A mailing list is a list of people who are interested in you that have agreed to let you contact them (via email) about you and your business. Most people use their mailing list to send out a mass email to everyone on it for the purpose of building relationships, promoting content, or making their audience aware of something that is for sale.
Email marketing is one of the earliest methods of internet marketing. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of people in the music industry (those who probably haven’t been successful with email marketing) claim that this “old school” method is over and not effective.
That isn’t true.
Take it from me, someone who has built a profitable mailing list in less than 12 months.
So, what are the benefits of having your own mailing list with subscribers? There are a ton. But here are a few that come to mind…
- It helps you build stronger relationships. You’re communicating with a group of people who have put in extra effort to show that they are interested in you.
- You own it and it’s stable. Regardless of if your favorite social media platform shuts down… Your email list will remain.
- Starting a mailing list is cheap and doesn’t need a lot of expertise or tech.
- You can monetize it.
So all of this sounds great right? It is, but unfortunately most music producers don’t see big results with their mailing lists. Let’s take a look at why that is…
95% of people I see promote their mailing list as a “mailing list” or “newsletter” and only use it to promote themselves.
The problem is that no one cares now-a-days. Most people don’t want to be on your “mailing list” or get your “newsletter”.
This is because most people associate mailing lists with “SPAM”. They say “Oh great, now this person is just going to send me random emails trying to sell me crap all of the time”.
And they aren’t wrong. Again, most people run their mailing list the wrong way and that’s why they think they aren’t effective.
So what’s the solution? How do you build a successful mailing list that you can profit from?
Let me tell about the best way that I’ve found to build a mailing list…
You have to disguise it as something else. Something that gives value to people and gives them incentive to subscribe. Make it about them and not about you.
Don’t be one of those people who just says “Hey! Join my newsletter for updates!”. No one cares. That doesn’t add any benefit to their life.
Instead, create something that you know will help your audience and help them frequently. Something that they want and need.
For this example I’ll use one of my brands, MAKE POP MUSIC. In under 12 months we’ve attracted thousands of mailing list subscribers. This is how we did it…
Instead of promoting a “mailing list” we created a “Pop Box”. Since our target market is pop music creators… we created a digital subscription where we send out drum samples, educational articles, exclusive videos, etc all related to making better pop music.
In reality it’s just a mailing list, but signing up for a “Pop Box” sounds WAY cooler than “Join our newsletter for updates”.
It puts the focus and attention on the subscriber, not us. It benefits our audience FIRST before it benefits us.
So how do we monetize our list?
Well, it takes some effort. First off, we have to live up to what we have promised. We have to actually send them AWESOME stuff every month and keep their attention. I’ll admit… We haven’t been perfect with it. We do our best to stick to it as often as possible and if we miss a month or two then we make sure that we have a plan to make up for it. We’re only human (and busy with our own music production work). Just do your best to provide value.
In between free content we send out promotional emails to our list that promotes our products, services, etc.
This way our list doesn’t feel like we are always “selling to them”. By this point they feel like they have gotten so much free stuff from us that they feel guilty if they don’t engage with our promotion for paid services/products.
All of the hard work that goes into making the free “Pop Box” pays off. How? Well, because when we need to promote a product of service all we do is send an email and easily pull in thousands of dollars from people who want to support us. For example, on Black Friday weekend this past year (2017) we did about $3,000 in just a couple of days. Not too shabby.
And this works for EVERYONE. Maybe you’re a producer selling beats, or a songwriter providing custom songs, or a mixer running a special sale, or maybe you have a course or a digital product. Literally, this works for everyone.