Collecting Email Addresses
Email lists are insanely valuable for growing bands. You can use them to alert fans of new releases and press, share free content, announce upcoming shows, etc.
Before I get into methods for collecting email addresses, let’s talk about an easy way to get way more out of your email lists. This may sound pretty low-tech, but I think it’s important to sort and store email addresses by city. This way, you build a main list that you send general information out to, but can easily spare people in different cities invitations to shows that they definitely can’t attend. Nothing encourages unsubscribes quite like information that doesn’t apply to your readers.
Call To Action
On Facebook there’s a little button in the bottom right-hand corner of the banner area that says Add Call To Action. Click it and create yourself a call to action email list sign-up.
It’s pretty easy to get started with this.
First, create a sign-up sheet using Google Forms. Make sure to include fields for your fans to fill in their name, city, state, and email address. Also make sure you save and keep track of the spreadsheet that the form stores info onto and check it once a week or so for new sign-ups. It’s very important to make sure you set the form’s privacy settings to public so anyone can access it. This is your new fan sign-up list!
Next, you’ll need to direct the Call To Action button on your Facebook page to the form link and you’re good to go.
Here’s a sort of crappy video that explains how to make the form using Google Forms.
One nice thing to do is make the title of your form something like Sign Up For A Free Download (or some other kind of free content) and then send each person who signs up a download code to a song.
You can use Bandcamp to generate a certain amount of download codes for free. Be sure and check that out, since download codes are useful in plenty of situations.
Free Music at Shows
This is very simple and it can literally make the difference between building your audience and wasting time playing shows. Ready? Buy a spiral-bound notebook.
Every time you play a show, open to a fresh page. Make one column for people to write down their name and another for their email address. At the top, write Sign Up For Free Music! or something similar. Leave the notebook open – with a pen – at your merch table, near the front. While you’re on stage mention that you’ll send free music to whoever signs up.
As soon as your set is over, make sure someone in the band (preferably the singer, since they’re usually the most recognizable) heads over to man the merch table so they can encourage people to sign up and maybe even buy some merch. Between sets is the perfect time to engage with people since it’s not as loud and people tend to mill around, looking for stuff to do.
This all sounds easy enough, but what you do with those email addresses is obviously key.
Make sure to send anyone who signs up a simple thank you email – addressed to their actual name – with a download code, MP3, or whatever thank you gift you’ve decided on. Be sure to include your band’s social media links in the email so it’s easy for your new fans to follow you.
Of course, every now and again someone will sign up for your list in a city where they’re just visiting. For this reason, it might be a good idea to include at the bottom of your email somethings simple like “Did you wind up on our Seattle list by mistake? Shoot me an email with the town where you actually live and I’ll be sure to only email you about shows in your town!”