Posted: Feb 25, 2019
**Guest post written by Nicholas Rubright, founder and editor at Dozmia, and lead guitarist for the band Days Gone By.
"Your email list is one of your most powerful assets as a musician. This is because with email marketing, you have direct contact to some of your most passionate fans.
Touring is already a stressful and expensive experience. While it can be a great way to gain exposure to a new audience, if you want to develop good relationships with the venues you're performing in, it’s also important that you get your existing fans to come out to the show.
With these things in mind, how do you leverage your email list to get people to come to your show?
Here are 5 things you or one of your band members can do.
If you’re playing shows in Florida, your fans up north don’t care. Knowing about these shows is of no value to them unless they happen to be taking a vacation. If your emails don’t provide value to your audience, they’ll view it as spam.
Because of this, you want to promote your show to fans that actually live in the area. To do that, you need to capture geographical data from your email subscribers.
Luckily, most email marketing providers do this automatically. With MailChimp, for example, this information is collected automatically every time a subscriber opens an email, and at signup if you use a hosted signup form.
The location data collected by email marketing providers is usually an estimate based on their IP address, which can be accurate enough for tour promotion emails. You can use this data to run targeted email marketing campaigns only to fans that live in the cities where you have tour dates booked.
A drip campaign is an automated sequence of emails that’s sent out on a schedule. This is something you can set up months in advance, then simply let it run on its own to promote your tour.
Here’s an example of an email sequence you could send out for your tour:
When sending out emails about your tour, increasing scarcity is a great way to get people to buy tickets.
If you sell out a show, leverage this to increase sales for your other tour dates. Send out an announcement to your email list about the sold-out show and talk about how fast tickets are going. You want to leverage this sold out show to make fans think that their date may sell out. Say something like “Get tickets before your show sells out!”
This creates what’s called FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Fans will buy tickets from these emails not only because they want to see you, but also because of the fear that they may not be able to see you if the show sells out.
When sending out emails, you want to make sure you get lots of opens and clicks. Most importantly, however, you want to write an email that generates sales.
Sure, you can try and write your subject lines and emails based on your own assumptions, but this can only take you so far.
A better option is to run A/B tests of your emails.
In email marketing, A/B testing is the process of comparing 2 versions of an email to see which one performs better.
For example, you might send email A to a small segment of your list, and email B to another segment. If email A generates $100 in sales, while email B generated $150, then (hopefully) you’ll send email B out to your entire email list.
Unfortunately, for this to work well, you need a pretty sizable email list. Sending emails to 5-10 people for the testing period won’t work – it needs to be a few hundred at least.
If your show is booked at a venue that’s working with a ticketing provider like Ticketmaster or Eventbrite, there isn’t an easy way to attribute ticket sales directly to an email marketing campaign, so best bet is to leverage this strategy to increase the number of people who click the links in your emails.
If you have a killer live performance, making a quick sample recording of a show early in your tour to send out to your email list can easily build excitement.
This doesn’t have to be a full song. It could simply be highlights of your performance.
If you’re on the road, it can be difficult to make this look and sound good, but if the quality is awesome, it will build excitement much more effectively.
Hire a local videographer to capture the video portion, and see if the venue will let you capture the audio portion of your performance. Send the audio portion off to an online mixing and mastering service to improve the sound quality of the recording, and have your videographer edit together a quick video for you.
Once it’s ready, send it out to your subscribers in the upcoming markets to build anticipation for your remaining tour dates.
Effective promotion of your tour is important in getting people to actually show up for your event, which can aid you in developing strong relationships with venues. Hopefully, these tips gave you some ideas on how you can run an email marketing campaign to effectively promote your tour."
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