This guest post was written our very own Jon Ostrow, Cyber PR®’s publicity director, who can be reached by email or on Twitterpile of envelopes over red background

Email addresses collected from your fan base is an invaluable marketing tool. While social media’s real-time centricity remains it’s own beast of burden, email addresses allow you to target specific fans and then contact them directly, at any given time. A well-executed email marketing strategy can mean increased loyaltyincreased engagement and ultimately an increase in revenue made from your fans, be it through recordings, ticket sales, merch, or other wise.

So obviously, the act of collecting the email addresses from your fan base is vital to your success and therefore you need a strategy that maximizes the chance of your fans actually giving you their email address.

This is not something you want to leave up to chance.

Luck for you, the strategy is quite simple. All you need to do is create an offer that is instantly worth while for your fans to give up their email address.

The key is to make the offer that is high in:

  • Desirability

Don’t be afraid to ask fans what would make them excited and keep them interested. Using Poll DaddySurvey Monkey and/ or FB Questions is a simple and free way of doing so.

  • Exclusivity

When building and nurturing a fan base, your objective is always to strengthen loyalty, then size. Going way back to the ‘1000 true fans‘ theory, having 1000 super fans who buy everything from you and are in constant support of you is far more beneficial (and lucrative) than 10,000 casual fans. So, creating a strong sense of exclusivity is very important when offering something in exchange for an email address. You want your fans to feel as though giving their email address to you is meaningful, as if they were joining a club or community, ultimately strengthening their loyalty to you.

So with that said, the following is a list of 10 different give-aways you can offer to your fans in exchange for their email addresses. Remember that some of these options may take some time, effort and even money to produce, but as the old saying goes ‘you have to spend money to make money’. This process is an important investment in the growth and success of your career:


1. Private Video of an Unreleased Song


Set up a private video on Vimeo that requires a password and exchange the password for an email address. Make this video something special… like an acoustic version of a fan favorite, or a cool and unique cover of one of your favorite songs. This video could also be a ‘secret’ look into the recording process or behind the scenes look at a recent tour. The direction of this video truly depends on what your fans are looking for.


2. Exclusive Download of Remixed Fan Favorite


This is an easy win if you have the means of remixing a song. Choose a song that you know your fans already love and do something you unique with it. Maybe you include new instruments and electronic elements to an other wise bare song or maybe you include a feature from an artist in your scene that you know your fans will appreciate.


3. Exclusive Download of Unreleased Song


Do you have unreleased music that was left over from a previous project? If so, take a song, or even a few songs and put together a package of unreleased music that you can easily give away for free in exchange for an email address.


4. Voucher for Free Concert Ticket


If you and/ or your band is focused on perfuming live, give your fans a voucher for a free ticket to come see you live. Who knows… maybe you’ve got a lot of fans out there who enjoy your music but haven’t been convinced enough to pay to see you perform live. This is your chance to actually get them in the door and prove that your show is worth the money. Now, you not only have more fans who WANT to come see you live, but you have their email address so you can contact them directly when you are performing in their area! Win-Win!


5. Free, Exclusive Merch


Probably one of the more expensive options available, but if merch sales are a big revenue driver for you, why not create something unique for the mailing list subscribers that they can get for free when they join.  Word to the wise though, make sure this is something your fans will actually want, because like I said, it can be a big investment. If your fans don’t want it, you could be out quite a bit of money.


6. Add Fan Pictures To An Official Photo Album on FB


This is a simple and free option that is a great option for anyone who is nurturing a community of already highly dedicated fans. At a higher level of dedication, fans will simply want to be acknowledge and feel as though they are an insider; someone who belongs to the fan community. Always remember to think about the exclusivity of your offer. The idea here is that their email address is essentially granting them access to the community, of which you are publicly showing your appreciation for.


7. Access to Private Q&A / Song-Request Video Sessions


There are quite a few different streaming video services out there, such as UStream and StageIt; these services will allow you to give private access to mailing list subscribers. Depending on what your fans would like from you, you can do quite a few different things, either speaking with them or performing for them.


8. Give Away an Entire Previous Album


This is especially effective if you are releasing a new album. While promoting the upcoming release, offer your fans the opportunity to get a previous album or even the entire back catalog of music for free in exchange for an email address.

A great example of a band that recently did this was Dispatch, who had taken an indefinite hiatus for the last several years, but announced earlier this year that they were planning a reunion tour and the release of a brand new 6-song EP. In order to build up their mailing list of all of the new fans they had gained over the past several years while they had not been together, they offered to give away ALL of their previous albums in exchange for an email address. And clearly it worked, as they went on to sell out nearly every venue they performed at, including 3 nights at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Boston Garden, Madison Square Garden and the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey… did I mention they are a completely independent band?


9. Free Download of Live Music Compilation


Again, if live music is your focus and is truly where your band shine, use this free offer as an opportunity to not only gain an email address, but to increase the excitement and desire for fans to want to come out and see your shows.

A great example of this is Phish, a band known for their lengthy tours and unique live shows, recently introduced a free compilation series called ‘Live Bait’ which highlights live performances from previous tours.


10. Monthly Newsletter with Exclusive Music


More of a long-term commitment than any of the other options, the big benefit here is that it will expand the value of the offer far beyond the initial email exchange. In fact, if the music you are producing and giving out for free, exclusively through this newsletter is of a high enough caliber, this could be a great way to increase the dedication of your fans ultimately converting more of fans to becoming super fans.


What have YOU given away in exchange for an email address?


Help us to explore all of the best email address exchange strategy options available by leaving a comment below with some of the things you have tried or have seen in the past.


Looking for more info on email newsletters for musicians? Check out Part 8 of Cyber PR’s free course, Social Media House! Click the picture below to get started.
New Call-to-action

4 Responses to “Call to Action! 10 Ways To Grow One Gigantic Mailing List”

  1. Rigo

    This is Awesome!!!

  2. Nick Tann

    There are a few good ideas here but most of them are for people ALREADY signed up to ones mailing list.Yes they can be used as an incentive to attract more but I was hoping for a few more “ninja” type techniques

  3. Simone Alves

    They’re certainly some good ideas here I’m gonna try to use. Things that we’re sharing already but that we could do in exchange of an e-mail address. I’ll definitely try it.

  4. Al from Tempting Tone

    I gave away a free version of my debut album, but I’m setting it up to 3 of my best songs, which show what I do and still doesn’t look cheap.


Leave a Reply