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Using e-mail effectively - By Tim Sweeney
In a recent meeting with a number of the attendees from the Music Strategies Conference, I heard the same comments as I hear from many press and music industry people regarding email. While we all get far too much spam, we are starting to look at emails we receive from various other artists as nothing more than a new version of spam.

With over 400 new emails a day from artists coming in, I try to spend 2-3 hours each day answering them. However, I too have noticed the increasing amount of ďjunkĒ that artists put into email. Not to forget the tone of it. If your email campaigns are going to warrant the kind of response that you want, lets review some key points when writing them.


1. Gig and show announcements seems to be the greatest source of frustration among other artists and industry folks on your mailing list. Most gig or show announcements donít provide an insight as to the purpose of the gig or why this one is more important than the last one or the next one. Is there a new CD, new songs, meet other fans of the band or are you just playing for fun?

When it comes to show announcements be sure to put in all the show information and where the club or venue is located along with their phone number (one they answer).

2. Following show announcements, weekly newsletters from groups come in second. Frequently, there is no relevant information in them except another plea to come to the next show or the desperate request to vote online for them in some kind of contest or meaningless award nomination. (That way that company can get your email address for future spamming!)

Newsletters can be a great source of keeping your fans and industry folks up to date as to whatís happening with you. However, they do need to contain some valuable information that you want to communicate. They can contain fun stuff like what happened to you on your last road trip but the newsletters need to be monthly, not weekly.

3. Tied for third are the general inquires artists send to see if someone can help them or the ďcheck out my web siteĒ requests. While it is true that a lot of companies web sites are nothing more than blah advertisements and donít contain useful information, usually they contain what services they offer or how they believe they can help you. Sending someone an email to ask if they can manage you when they donít even offer that service doesnít make a lot of sense. Nor does asking someone to review your site when it is missing key parts like insights to your songs and real audio samples. Not to forget the artists who donít have their own web site but a free page on another site.

Read what companies are offering then call or send them something to review. Know what they do before you contact them. Donít ask people to review your site or your page on another site until contains what its supposed to. Even then, if you want the person to review your CD and materials, mail it to them.

As a final note, when writing an email keep in mind how the person receiving it will read it. Is it a demand to action in a hostile manner or is it a wandering lost inquiry? Donít threaten people through email. Donít ďbombĒ them with the same requests every other day.

The best approach is to think of something creative to say. Keep it short and to the point. Let people know what you want in response to the email. For example, you hope they can come to your next show and buy a copy of your next CD. If they canít, tell them they can get it at your web site. Tell them which services you want that they are offering. Ask them what should you email them and where should your material be sent.

Creative emails and ones that have a point and meaning get a lot more responses than ones that donít seem to have a point.

Section II of The Complete Guide To Internet Promotion For Artists, Musicians & Songwriters has a wonderful section entitled, ďUsing Email Effectively.Ē It even talks about using BCC in your large emailngs. Something every artist should do.

Iím sure there are other emails that come to mind that I didnít bring up. Please email the people who send them to you and help them improve their email skills. It will benefit all of us!

If you are serious and want my personal help getting on the right path, email me through my website, http://www.tsamusic.com

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