You have started an artist or songwriter website and began the process of building an email list. Great! This is a strategic move in connecting with your fans and followers who might be interested in what you have to offer through your work as a music creator.
The next logical step is to indulge in email marketing, which will make your intentions possible. Sharing offers and exclusive content with your audience via a newsletter is a big part of any brand development strategy. Despite being around far longer than social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, email marketing is still one of the most important strategies to boost revenue across most industries, including music. Whether you want to sell your music or you also plan to offer clothing items, books, courses, and other merch, you need an ever-growing mailing list to improve your chances of success.
But as the people at MailChimp, HubSpot, and other email marketing sources will tell you, there is a constant challenge in getting people to open and read emails, let alone click on links. If you are sending out newsletters and hardly anybody on your mailing list is opening them or taking action, much of what you are offering will be in vain.
Below are a few things you can do to improve your music newsletter metrics.
1. Create valuable content
This should go without saying but many people get turned off from newsletters because sometimes they simply don’t contain any useful information the reader will be interested in. Most of us have received emails that seemed to be all about trying to sell a product instead of giving information you want to read. Of course, there is a place for purely sales emails but those should be sent separately from your newsletters.
Sending out newsletters that don’t offer any usable or engaging content will quickly result in a falloff in your open rate.
Creating and curating content your audience will want to read includes writing instructive and informative blog posts, choosing stories from relevant, authority publications within your industry, as well as sharing news items your readers will find fascinating, such as survey findings and reports.
2. Put some thought into your headlines
The subject line or headline of your newsletter is the first thing a reader sees when they receive your email. More often than not, this brief message will determine whether your newsletter gets opened or stays closed. That’s why you need to put a lot of thought into your email subject lines before hitting the send button. Here are a few things to bear in mind when crafting your email headlines:
- Keep headlines short and sweet. 50 characters or less is the recommend length.
- Include a number whenever possible, people are intrigued by numbers
- Add an appropriate symbol or emoji from time to time.💎
- Use personable words such as “you” and “your,” as well as terms relating to the lifestyle of readers. For examples, if most of the people in your target audience identify as singers, try to incorporate words such as “sing,” “singing,” “singers,” “vocalists,” etc. in your subject lines when possible.
- Mention big-name companies (YouTube, Spotify, ASCAP, Fender, etc.) within your industry whenever possible
- Split test subject lines to see which ones perform best.
3. Steer clear of spam filters
A high bounce rate can eat into the open rate and click through rate for your newsletters. Bounces happen for a variety of reasons, including mail servers interpreting your email as spam and diverting it to the spam folder instead of the receiver’s inbox. Alternately, a subscriber can manually flag your email as spam based on what the headline or another aspect of the email is saying. Whatever the case, there are a few ways you can reduce the chances of your newsletters winding up in the junk folder or being undelivered.
- Avoid using sales-y words and terms (“sale,” “discount,” and “save money” are some examples)
- Be sure to use a name and email address that users can associate with you or the company you represent
- Don’t use exclamation marks in subject lines
- Make your emails personal by addressing subscribers by name in your greetings
- Resist using all uppercase letters in headings
- Encourage subscribers to add your email address to their address book
- Avoid the use of red text color, which is commonly associated with spam emails
- Provide an option to unsubscribe in your email footer
- Don’t include attachments, media script or Flash files. If you have to share such content, insert external links
In addition to providing useful content, you also want readers to take some form of action at the end of the day. Maybe you are offering a free course or a discount on a book or something else you are selling. Or maybe you want to increase clicks to your blog. Whatever the case, you want to include strong calls to action that will get readers to click your links. How you design and word your CTAs is often just as important as the reason why you want them to click in the first place. Common tactics to increase the effectiveness of your CTAs include:
- Consider using button URLs for the most important CTAs
- Using colored text links, which sets them apart from the main text
- Using actionable CTAs. For example, writing “Sign up now to get full access…” instead of just writing “Sign up.”
- Linking to your social media pages. Directing readers to your Facebook, Twitter or other social pages is a great way to improve your click rate. Another plus of including social media CTAs is that they can boost page growth and engagement.
5. Pay attention to the data
Email campaign websites often have a bunch of data available based on your previous newsletters. It is pretty easy to find out things like how many people are actually opening your newsletter (open rate), the number of clicks, bounced emails (bounce rate), where your readers are from, the time of day most newsletter opens take place, and other info regarding the behavior of readers. This data is not just there for you to look at. You can also use it to improve your upcoming newsletters, which will possibly increase the open and click-through rates.
6. Time of day
As mentioned in the previous point, data provided by your email campaign platform includes the times of day when people open your newsletter. This data can help you know the optimal time to send your emails, which can also improve the open rate of your newsletter.
7. Do house cleaning
Another important reason to pay attention to the data in reports is for housecleaning purposes. Analyzing the data will let you know whether some of your subscribers are opening your emails any at all and decide if they should be removed from your list or if you should try a different strategy. Among the tactics you can try with unresponsive subscribers include:
- Sending “we miss you” emails with a special offer or incentive to open future newsletters
- A/B testing different headlines to see if they respond to a different type of messaging
If you tried reaching out to inactive users with the above steps and they are still unresponsive, it might be time to clean them from your list. Cleaning up your list every few months or so can help to improve your newsletter’s overall metrics by allowing you to remove people who are no longer interested in your content. Subscribers who haven’t opened three or more newsletters and who don’t respond to any of the personalized tactics mentioned above, will probably never open anymore of your future newsletters, regardless of the quality of your content. It would be, therefore, pointless to keep them on your mailing list. Conclusion
Hopefully you will find these tips useful in improving your music newsletter metrics. However, you should also try to be proactive in keeping up to date with new trends in the email marketing business. Also, do not be afraid to try new things with your content and mailing lists to see what brings the best results.