Email Lists for Musicians – Where the HECK to Start!

Did you know that email marketing is the top way to get people to move from being fans to fans who buy your music?

It’s true!

Email marketing has come a long way since the early days of AOL and it is a perfect thing for musicians. Emails can help you build deep relationships between you and your fans. They can help you launch a new album with massive sales.

But what do you do if you’ve never thought about having one before?

Today, let’s chat about where to start with email marketing, how to gather emails, and what to send to your new fans.

Make signing up for your list something they want AKA, give them a free thing!

People love free shit. Blunt but so true! What we are offering to people is a clear and easy way for them to sign up for our lists by giving them something we know they want. For musicians, this is super easy. We give them a free song download!

This free song is called an opt-in.

The opt-in should be some of your best work. We want this to be a little taste of more of what you can offer them as future fans. Make sure that this song is current to what you are doing now musically. And make sure that there is a clear opt-in space on your website, social media profiles, and anywhere else you live online.

Choose your provider

Your emails need a home on the internet, someplace you can watch your list grow!

Mailchimp has a free plan up to 2,000 subscribers. They let you send out 12,000 emails a month and have no limit on their lists. What’s nice is they have email templates based not only around what style of email you’d like to send, but also what sort of campaign you’d like to run. Finally, it’s really simple to use. Currently, this is the provider that I’m using!

Constant Contact is one of the best known in the business. They have a free 60-day trial and don’t require a credit card to get started. After the free trial, it is $20 a month starting price. What is great about them are the user-friendly designs and formats, opt-in forms, and analytics.

Mad Mimi is one of the smaller companies who I never see written about, but I think that you are missing out if you don’t include them! After a trial, you can have up to 1,000 subscribers for as little as $12 a month. That is one of the best deals around! Mad Mimi focuses on clean and modern email designs, in depth analytics, and super user friendly.

What the heck to actually say

Okay, so we have our lists made and have people signing up. What should we send them? Here are some basic things to think about:

>> What kind of emails will you send?

>> How often will you send them?

>> What emotions do you want to evoke in your emails?

>> Will you send newsletters or single topic?

Protip! I really don’t like it when people send me blog email notifications. There are tools like Feedly and WordPress and others that let me keep track of when my fav writers update. I don’t think that we need to take up precious space in the inbox with just a quick “go read my blog!” email.

As to what to actually write about? Here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Behind the Scenes of your latest music video
  • The story behind writing song X
  • Your biggest mess up in music
  • Your favorite moments from a tour
  • Reaction to a fan moment
  • Sneak Peeks at your latest songs
  • Early access to music and videos from you

But wait! I only have 10 people on my list! Should I send them an email??


Those 10 people signed up for your list because they found value in what you had to say. They liked you enough to want a free download of a song to take with them everywhere. Fans don’t know and don’t care if they are 1 of 10 or 1 of 10,000.

Your fans only care about hearing from you, their new favorite musician.

Don’t leave your subscribers hanging.

Having your own email list is a big responsibility. A bit like having a blog or a puppy. It doesn’t matter if you have 2 or 20,000 on your list. They want to hear from you.

So don’t stick to sending out the typical newsletters and emails that just have tour dates.

Give your fans a reason to be excited when they open an email from you.

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