In the world of twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, it may seem like email is old news akin to saving your work to a floppy disk (and if you don't know what that is then that only further proves my point). That assumption though is, frankly, wrong and if you're not taking advantage of email for marketing, you should reconsider. Email is a powerful, cost effective tool that gives you the power to reach your fans directly and easily.
Here's why you should be using email:
Do you recall when MySpace was the most popular social networking site? Countless brands and musicians dedicated all of their time to building a large following and some even chose to use MySpace as their actual website. So what happened when everyone left MySpace behind? Everyone lost the ability to contact the people they'd invested so much time in because they didn't own any of the data on MySpace. An email list is yours and you can control what you do with it without the risk of someone else taking away your access. Sure, people may unsubscribe or on a rare occasion change their email address, but you aren't very likely to lose your entire list just because an outside company controls your access to the information.
Regardless of technology changes email still has the highest rate of success. How high? Well a study in the beginning of the year found it to be 40 times more effective for customer acquisition than both Facebook and Twitter combined(1).
Even if you pay for an email management system, sending emails is still incredibly cheap. There is no better way to reach a large number of people for very low cost. If you follow the applicable laws of email marketing and have a list that's easy to manage without a customer management system, you might even be able to do it for free.
Test of Time
As online trends change and move from Xanga to MySpace to Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, and maybe Ello, email has remained a constant. In fact, you need an email address to even sign up for most social networks and apps. That means if your fans are on social media it's almost certain they have an email address they check regularly too. So why fight for attention alongside pictures of people's kids when you can go right to the source?
Regardless of country, region, internet provider, or familiarity with technology, nearly everyone has an email address. Your mom, aunt, little brother, probably even grandparents are all on email. That's simply not the case with social media which tends to be dominated by certain markets (for instance Pinterest is predominantly women). In fact, 91% of US consumers use email on a daily basis (1).
PS. Email is a great tool, however don't make the mistake of starting your list by assuming your friends and family want to be on it. Instead, make sure everyone on your list has agreed to be part of it and start by simply adding a sign up form to your website or taking a clip board to your gigs.