Your mailing list

If you are a performing songwriter, you need an email fan list. You need to stay in touch with your fans, keeping them up-to-date on news about you and your music.

They want to know where you’re playing and when you have a new CD or mp3. They want details about your successes, such as radio airplay, songwriting awards, cuts, collaborations, what band you’re opening for and stories from the road, etc.

Don’t forget your family and friends, former music teachers and bandmates. These are your supporters and they will be the core of your fanbase.

Fans want to feel special. So offer your fans access to stuff that’s not available to anyone else, whether it’s a download of your latest song, a live recording of one of your concerts, a T-shirt with your album art on it, a chance to win a backstage pass to your next show or whatever you can think of.

It doesn’t have to be a product. It might simply be an inside look at the process you went through to write and record your latest CD. Write about it for your next fan email. Most people have never set foot in a recording studio, and most have never written a song, so share your inside knowledge of both. To your fans, you are the expert on these matters.

Whatever you offer, make it exclusive. It gives your fans another reason to look forward to your next email. If the word ‘fan’ is too strong for you, think of them as your supporters.

If you don’t have a mailing list, I suggest you start one. Don’t forget to include all your friends, family and co-workers, plus anyone who has ever expressed an interest in your music or sat still to listen to one of your songs. Include music teachers from the past, your favorite clerk at the local music store, your grandmother and her friends, etc. These are your supporters and they will be the core of your fanbase.

Send them an initial email telling them about your mailing list. Tell them about your career plans as a songwriter. Tell them what you love about being a songwriter and ask for their support. They can’t very well support you unless you ask for it. Let them know what you’ve done so far and what you plan to do next in pursuit of your dream.

Tell them how often you plan to send emails. Ask them if they want to continue to receive your periodic emails, so they can opt-out if they desire.

The use of mailing lists pre-dates email. Old-fashioned snail mail was primitive and expensive, but it worked. Using the post office might still be effective, if only because it’s unusual, it’s not the norm anymore. A postcard to your fans might not be forgotten as easily as an email. Remind them to put it on the refrigerator. A well-designed post card will be around a lot longer than an email message.


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