I first started publishing
my band newsletter during the Summer of '98. I tried the snail mail route.
It was exhausting.
Electronic newsletters (aka ezines) were the way to go. I must've tried
it all too. I promoted gigs, told of our latest accomplishments, gave
away a free mp3 every month. Some of it worked. Some didn't. Here are
some tips I've learned about running my band newsletter:
- Give away something
for free. It can be as simple as an MP3 download at MP3.com. Or a sticker.
A free CD once a month. Well worth the cost for their loyalty. And it
can be a great promo tool to draw people into signing up for your newsletter.
- Hype your band. Tell
your fans about all the band news. Who's reviewed your latest CD? Post
rave testimonies by your fans. Post them on your website too. Be positive
and let them know you are the best! In the two years I've managed my
fan newsletter, I've had scores of fans write, saying, "Wow! I'm glad
you're doing so well." We weren't. And I didn't lie. But our many small
successes sounded like big ones to our fans. That is what hype is all
- Keep it short. Write
as if you were writing for a newspaper. Compose brief paragraphs about
your greatness. Use headlines that make your fans want to read it. Provide
frequent links to your website where you can post articles or more "further
- Publish every 7-10 days.
This depends on how much info you get. But as long as the content is
short and informative, people won't mind. If you add a little drama,
like how you're doing on MP3.com, and how they can help, you'll keep
the fans reading. But if you're not gigging much, and don't have much
news. Don't publish. Give your fans what they deserve, the best.
- Don't get upset if people
unsubscribe. It happens. If you lose half your list, consider adjusting
your publishing schedule. But expect that some people can't deal with
a newsletter every 7-10 days. Perhaps every two weekes is better. I
was doing every two weeks until I realized how much more effective a
10 day schedule was for our fans. But less than two weeks, and you are
no longer on the fore front of your fans' minds. an
- Choose a great inspiring
name. Something that has meaning and is fairly informative. Certainly
you can can get by without one, but a good name could attract people
just out of curiousity.
- Make it visually appealing.
Keep lines short--60-65 characters followed by a hard return. Have a
decent amount of space between sections. Add a table of contents at
the beginning of the newsletter. Text newsletters work best, at present,
but if you decide on an HTML ezine. Make sure you test it out extensively
beforehand. Graphics need to be attached to your message. But keep it
visually interesting on all accounts.
- Content is King. You
hear it all over the internet marketing circles. Make sure the info
you provide is useful and relevant. My biggest problem is that my newsletter
has subscribers worldwide and until we got hooked up on MP3.com, it
was useless telling our fans about gigs in Austin. So have info that
is interesting for EVERYONE!
- Reward your fans. Give
discounts for their loyalty. Have your CD on sale to newsletter subscribers.
Marc Gunn, Bard of the Brobdingnagian
Bards has helped 1000's of musicians make money with their musical groups
through the BardsCrier.com and the Texas Musicians Network. Now you can
get personal advice by visiting http://bardscrier.com for FREE "how-to"
music marketing assistance. No time to visit the site? Subscribe to the
BardsCrier.com distributed weekly for Free. Just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org