#3. Collect emails not $.99
Bob Lefsetz reminded me last month that you’re better to collect email addresses than $0.99 for your songs.
Trade free music downloads for your fans email address. Most people understand the trade-off and don’t mind.
Lefsetz said if you don’t have 2,500 rabid fans, give them your music in exchange for email addresses. Later you can mail them about the latest release.
A mailing list entry from a fan is worth more than $1000.
The concept is a customer has a lifetime value greater than their first purchase. For a musician, the value can be anything from zero to tens of thousands of dollars.
Think how hard it is to get fans and compare that to the little effort it takes to retain them.
If you create a fan because they like you they will likely want more music. Liking your music means they will buy more later, come to concerts and share your music with friends. That’s a pretty high lifetime value.
I knew who Daniel Lanois was (U2 and Bob Dylan producer) but didn’t care for him as a musican. My daughter gave me a bootleg CD to introduce me to Shine. Later we went to see Lanois at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. He was awesome.
Since then, I purchased every CD he made, saw him in Halifax and shared his music and exploits on Facebook, Twitter and this blog. That’s a decent return for Lanois on free music.
You want to collect those emails from your core fans since they are your evangelists, spreading the news about new releases, concerts, videos and artist stories. While Facebook, Reverbnation and other social media sites have fans, you don’t have their email address.
A note of caution on emails – don’t send your fans email unless you have something important to say and I mean with a strong WIIFM message.
News that you’re touring, back in the studio, on holidays or in rehab is about you not about fans. OK in rehab is interesting gossip, worth at least a Tweet.
Email is best when you’ve got an offer and nothing is better than free music.
Website Tip 1 Have a Compelling WIIFM message
Website Tip 2 Put the Music First
Tomorrow’s Tip – KISS
I learned the hard way in business that people chase the new customer and don’t appreciate the value of each customer that already likes them. Being a musician is just another business and fans are customers.