This is the penultimate instalment in our email strategy series. Have you found it useful? We'd love to hear from you.
Today we're addressing the all-important topic of scheduling, as well as a brief look at the magic of automation.
How often should you email your list? Here's the thing. Email isn't for every day - and it isn't for every week. It isn't even for every announcement.
Instead, email should form a part of a varied marketing mix. How will you create this marketing mix? You'll research where your fans are and where you think they might be. Facebook? YouTube? Twitter? Blogs? Somewhere else?
As a part of this mix, think of email as your primary channel for the big announcements. When it counts, be sure that your fans hear first via email. Your fans sign up to your list because they want to hear your updates before anyone else. If they learn that you've been asked to headline Glastonbury from a retweet on Twitter - you're failing them!
Email your list first, and wait at least an hour or two before updating other channels.
Test your hypothesis
Isn't there just so much that could go wrong?The answer to this is to test and see what happens. It's much better to try out a few ideas than to neglect your fans.
Try an A/B split test. Vary your subject line, or your images, or your call-to-action, and see what works. These fans are qualified leads who have given their permission to receive your mailers. That's half your work done already.
Scale your scheduling
Depending on your upcoming activity, at the least, aim for one mailer per quarter. That's the least we recommend, to keep your list aware and engaged.
When you're in the midst of album launch or tour activity, this is likely to increase. Remember to always be careful of overwhelming your fans! Information fatigue can set in fast.
Cherry pick the best and most exclusive of your news updates to send to fans. Direct them to your website or social media for the rest. Use your common sense, and check your performance email stats. They'll tell you what's working and what isn't.
Your mailer schedule may be infrequent at the point when a fan joins your list. It's good practice to engage with new sign-ups without delay. You might like to set up a short series of emails to send out according to a preset schedule. These are sometimes called autoresponders, drip campaigns, or automated emails.
Day 1: fan signs up, triggering the automated series
Day 2: "thank you" to fan, with link to special audio or video message
Day 4: explain how often you will be in touch, and what kind of benefits the fan can expect
Day 6: send the fan a gift - perhaps a discount code for your store
This is a fantastic way to strengthen engagement at the start of the relationship. It's particularly helpful when you're not planning to send a mailer for a while. Get in touch to discuss how to make this work for you. Or to discuss any element of your email strategy!
Of all the ways your fans come to you, word of mouth is the most effective. So how does it happen? And how can we influence it? Check out Word Of Mouth Marketing, by Andy Sernovitz, for some answers.
The only topic remaining in Email Strategy 101 is measurement. Until next time!