Should you promote your social media outlets in your emails?

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Q. Should you tell people in your email newsletters to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, etc.?

A. I say “no.” Here’s why:

If a person has opened your email, you deserve a gold star. A medal. A plaque of radness.

To get anyone to do anything on the internet is a damn miracle.

And now you want to send them away with your brightly colored social media buttons? No!

Hand them over to a third party, board-member driven website? No! You have them there (like you, reading this)! They’re reading your words. They saw your email in their inbox, read your subject line, and decided, “I am going to read this.”

You’re a genius!

However, if you’re only giving “BUY / LISTEN / WATCH / ORDER / RSVP” – things that usually take place outside of the email – you’re hoping that the people reading want to “BUY / LISTEN / WATCH / ORDER / RSVP” at that moment.

Ponder for 0.232 seconds that not everyone who opens your email is in a position to do the thing you want.

This ain’t about you!

They’re in a meeting. Standing in line at the bank. Checking email quick before their boss catches them.

Yes, it’s tempting to shout with glee about your new song, your new video, your new product; some people just might not be ready to click buy.

Then might not want to click play because they might be listening to something else.

They don’t want to watch your video because they’re watching ‘The Daily Show.’

So don’t make your whole email an all or nothing proposition. Avoid “DO THIS THING I WANT” or “CLOSE THE EMAIL.”

For everyone not ready to click, what can you give them?

Promoting a song? A photo of the recording process, along with a paragraph of what the song is about. 

Got a new sale? Photo of a person with your product, and the story about where the design came from.

Big event coming up? Give a photo from the last time you did the event, and the story you always tell.

Tell stories, and don’t lead with offers. Radiohead giving away an album is a story, but you’re not Radiohead. And you’re not McDonalds giving away free coffee. 

Social media has its place, but in the very moment that someone opens your email, it’s not about Twitter or Pinterest. An opened email is a miracle in the 24/7, animated GIF, Top 35 listicle world we live in.

Don’t blow it.

This post was written by Seth Werkheiser, a seasoned music industry veteran with years of experience helping bands better understand the world of self-promotion. He founded Buzzgrinder in 2001, and Noise Creep for AOL music in 2009. Since 2011 I’ve been writing metal trivia and nightly newsletters for Skull Toaster. Follow him on Twitter.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.