5 Tips To Improve Mailing List Signups At Shows

We have made this point several times in the past, but in a time where everyone is constantly vying for attention on social networks there may be no better way to reach your fans than through maintaining an email newsletter. Some may think email is becoming antiquated these days, but that is in fact not the case. Email is the only way many brands and artists are able to reach their audience that allows for in-depth discussion on multiple topics, and though it may never make you a star maintaining such outreach can aide in developing a sustainable career in music. We have talked about how to make great newsletters in the past, and if I had to guess we will probably revisit that topic in the future, but today we are looking at how to increase signups for this outreach at your upcoming live events. The advice we have is not all that complex, but if you follow our guidance and apply the concepts to your audience you will see results.

Contests connected to signups.

One of the easiest ways to gain additional signups for your email newsletter at shows is to lure in curious music fans with the opportunity of a lifetime. Maybe you cannot offer a trip to Italy or a summer in Hawaii, but you could offer free tickets, free merchandise, or even a chance to contribute gang vocals to your next album. Find a prize that is feasible without breaking the bank and promote it at your merch table, requiring everyone who wants to participate to signup for your email newsletter. If longtime fans complain that they cannot enter, consider launching a digital counterpart that allows people to gain ‘entry’ in exchange for encouraging friends to signup.

Everyone loves a free download.

This one takes a little bit of extra computer work, but it’s worth the effort if you are willing to make time to do it right. Many people who signup for your email list at shows will have seen you for the first or second time that evening, which means there is a good chance they do not already own your music. One way to convince them your email list is worth their time is the promise of free music in the immediate future. Tell interested participants that everyone who signs up during the show will be given a free download following the night’s events, in addition to being added to your newsletter. This conveys to music fans that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get them interested in your music up front, and it also gives you an excuse to connect with them after the event as well. When sending out downloads you will have the opportunity to contact people individually, which could help develop a street team down the line.

There’s an app for this kind of thing. More than one, in fact.

For many years, the fastest way to collect emails for newsletters was to keep a pen and paper on your merch table, but in the digital age that format of record keepings is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Today, as long as you have an iPad or some type of tablet device you are able to collect information and store it in a fraction of the time the same activity required even five years ago. Apps like ProspectSnap, SignupAnywhere and Chimpadeedoo for instance, allow you to instantly add people to your email list. These programs are often used at conferences, but they work perfectly fine at concerts as well. You can even customize the signup form to reflect your band and image. The best part? You do not need a wi-fi connection for these apps to work. That said, you will want to keep someone at your table at all times to ensure the safety of your tech.

You have a voice – USE IT.

Might as well close with something a bit more obvious. No one can promote you and your music quite like you and the people who help create the sound you hope to make your career. That is a long way of saying you are the best advertisement for your efforts, and that goes as much for your new album as it does signing up for your email list. While on stage, mention the signup list. When your meeting fans by the merch table, mention the signup list. When you’re loading out and people want to hang and/or grab a bite to eat, make sure you mention the signup list. People will want to know what’s in it for them, and if you’ve applied any of the other tips in this piece to your efforts it should not take you long to formulate a fitting response. Sell yourself. If you cannot do that, how can you expect anyone else to?

…One last thing

Above all else – be human. Talk to people and let them know that you would like to stay in touch with them even when you do not have a show or album to promote. Newsletters are as much a place for promotion as they are a place to share where you have been and where you are headed. They bring together communities that would otherwise be unable to connect and strengthens them through meaningful messaging.

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.