This article is actually a lesson from Let Fans Pay You, a course that outlines essential automated marketing strategy for artists, entertainers and their management companies. Click here to get this 5-part course delivered to you free of charge.
In this lesson of Let Fans Pay You, I’m going to explain the awkward tension every artist feels when it comes to email marketing and the strategy for alleviating that tension altogether.
That tension? Selling to your email list.
Do you know why more fans on your email list aren’t paying you? Because it is very awkward for an artist to give fans buying opportunities without being “salesy.”
Nobody likes being salesy, especially not artists and entertainers — the very people we go to for refuge from that sort of environment. And yet, if you don’t have sales, you don’t have a business. Hence, the tension.
The reason you dislike selling to your email list is because you have integrity.
That “salesy” feeling comes from your knowledge that not everyone you’re emailing is a qualified buyer of what you’re selling. Maybe they’re interested, but maybe they’re not. Maybe they’ve been following you for years, or maybe they joined your email list 15 minutes ago.
And yet most artists email all of those different kinds of fans the same bulk messages. It feels lame at best and salesy at worst. Why? Because it is.
There’s a better way.
Modern email marketing tools can help you learn about your different fans and message them accordingly.
It’s screenshot time!
Screenshot 1: Create a basic segment.
In the last lesson, I showed you how you could grow your email list at live shows. But what should you do with those people after they join?
I recommend creating a segment that includes each of your different live show opt-in opportunities. The screenshot above is an example of a segment in ConvertKit, an email marketing software. (You can do this kind of segmentation with other tools, but if you’re a beginner at this stuff, nobody makes it easier than ConvertKit).
As you can see, I’ve grouped together the subscribers of both Live Show Opt-In forms into one segment that I can message specifically.
Screenshot 2: Create a customer segment
In this screenshot, I’ve combined the opt-in form for merch customers (which you should absolutely have at every live show), and a merch customer tag, which can be applied automatically to online buyers.
It blows my mind that most artists and entertainers have no idea who their merch customers are. Even though merch is probably not the cash cow of your business, knowing your merch customers is a huge deal. Because those people are your super fans — they literally paid money to walk around with your name on their chest.
So you should talk to these super fans differently. Don’t be afraid to “sell” to them, because they’ve already told you they highly value you and your products.
Screenshot 3: Broadcast specifically
So here’s another screenshot from ConvertKit. Only now I’m showing you what it looks like to send a one-off email to your fans.
As you can see, I’ve filtered this broadcast to include my live show attendees segment but exclude my merch customers. Here’s why that’s awesome…
By creating this filter, you have identified people who are interested in paying you (live show attendees) but were at the time unwilling to buy merch (excluding the Merch Customers segment). This is a very specific type of fan, and you can send them a specific message that meets them where they’re at. They want to pay you, but maybe the merch at the table was a little steep.
So here’s an email you could send to let them pay you accordingly:
Hey, I just wanted to give you a big thank-you for coming to my live show. Can’t say how honored I am that you would spend your hard-earned cash to see me perform. Thanks!
As a token of gratitude, I wanted to give you an exclusive discount to my online merch store this week. Use code: THANKS for the next 7 days to get 40% off whatever you want.
Hope to see you again soon!
– Your Name
Did that sound salesy? Nope.
When’s the last time an artist thanked you for coming to a live show? That pretty much never happens. Imagine how special your fans would feel if you did. You’re only going to get more loyalty (and money) from them in return.
That’s how you can tell smart, high-integrity email marketing from the salesy stuff: the good stuff builds trust.