While the internet and new technologies propel the world into the future, I'm amazed by how many of us have the online etiquette of a caveperson. Seriously, I just got an anonymous link posted on my social networks with the blurb, "Yo, check my song out." Two seconds later, I got a friend request from someone with no profile picture other than that creepy default blank head. While the following tips aren't groundbreaking, they serve as reminders that just might help us all to be a little more mindful the next time we get online. And like your mom says, “Better behavior gets better results" – in this case, meaning more loyal fans, better gigs, and more placements. Enjoy!
1. Don't send out unsolicited email blasts
Only send emails to people who have requested your band's info (or have granted you permission).
2. Personalize your emails
Address the receiver by name, and don’t ask them to come to a gig in NYC if they live in LA.
3. Give an option to be removed from the list
Always offer an "unsubscribe" option at the bottom of your emails, and don’t get upset if someone sends an angry "remove from list" message. While they probably signed up for your list at your show and don’t remember, you might, if anything, send a polite reminder of who you are and how you know them, and then apologize for the inconvenience.
4. Use specific subject lines
Don’t use vague subject lines like, "Yo, Everyone." Instead, be specific and stress the benefits of whatever it is you’re selling. For instance, you might use the following subject: "Hey, Bobby / VIP Halloween Gig Oct. 30 / Free Afterparty With Lingerie Costume Contest / RSVP Today." In short, attract attention and engage the viewer to read on. But, of course, always tell the truth.
5. Keep your newsletters short and sweet
Don’t send newsletters that contain blocks of text. Instead, send short digestible intros with links to detailed information for those readers who want more. Also, avoid making your newsletter all about you. Provide your readers value by sending a list of the hottest open mics in your area, upcoming seminars, and cool links to articles, and then sneak in a little info about your band.
Bobby Borg is the author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician: Creating and Executing a Plan of Attack On A Limited Budget (September 2014). Find the book on Hal Leonard's website under "Trade Books" or on Amazon. Signed copies with a special offer are also available at bobbyborg.com.