August 23, 2010

Rules for Email Marketing

The Approach
Essentially, an email list is about permission marketing, as in someone has agreed to let you send them promotional materials. That is important to keep in mind. It means that your mailing list is about trust and it is important that you keep it that way. There is no better way to alienate potential fans than by adding them to your email list without consent or exchanging lists with other bands.

The Info
Don't send out an email about every little thing you do (this applies to tweets, fb updates, etc.). No one particularly cares what you ate for breakfast. Unless maybe you're Justin Bieber. At the same time, don't just use it to sell records or tickets to shows, include a little personality (though again, not by sharing mundane details). It is extremely easy for people to hit the spam button the second your email list becomes impersonal (or too personal).

The Contacts
This brings me back to the first point, if email lists are about permission and trust, then don't just add your entire address book. Sure your friends probably support your efforts but casual aquaintances, colleagues, and other contacts likely aren't interested in checking out your band's new release now that it has shown up in their inbox randomly.

Using an email list is a great marketing tool, it lets you reach out to loyal fans, build a personal connection, and communicate with the people that are most likely to buy from you. The trouble is, it is far too easy to misuse that power. Instead keep that element of trust in mind and think about whether or not you'd actually want to read what you're about to send out.
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