How to Set Up Automated Emails for New Fans

Chances are when you think of an email marketing campaign, you’re thinking in terms of sending one email out to your list of fans. For this article, though, I am going to refer to a campaign as a series of emails. Specifically, I’ll talking about how to set up a series of automated emails for new fans that have just joined your email list.

I’m going to assume that you have a list of fans, even if it’s just 5, and that you are able to send your fans a series of emails using an automated service. If you don’t have the ability to do this, no worries. I’ll give you a resource for that at the end of this discussion.

Step 1: Define the Goal of your campaign

You’re going to be sending out several emails. However, there should be a common thread throughout all these emails. They should all serve your one overall objective. Your emails may have a few unrelated items, but they shouldn’t distract from your main goal. You want to make sure the overall objective is going to be something that is going to increase your bottom line.

So, for example, let’s say that you offered visitors to your website a free mp3 download as an incentive to join your email list. The goal of your campaign could then be to get your fans to buy the whole CD.

Step 2: Plan out the details

This is where you get to be creative and have fun. I like to use a relationship metaphor. Think of a couple getting engaged. Exciting! You want to start by addressing these topics:

  • Brainstorming – Start jotting down ideas of things you want to tell your new fans about. Introduce them to your band, or the family. If you’re trying to get them to buy your CD, go into detail about the CD.
  • Variety – Throw a few interesting unrelated items into the mix as well. This could be done as an aside in every email, or you could maybe break things up a bit by sending an email entirely devoted to something different. This is called pattern interrupt, and it keeps people…engaged. Think of it as a commercial or an intermission at one of your shows. Obviously you’re not abandoning your objective. Just let your fans know that you will continue on the theme of your main objective in the next email. For example, “Hey fans, we’ve been really excited to bring you stories of our debut CD, and we will continue to do so in our next email. However, today we wanted to give you an opportunity to tell us more about yourself. This is the kind of stuff we love knowing about our fans…” Then, give them a link to go to your website and tell you more about themselves. People love to talk about themselves, and it’s good for the relationship.
  • Frequency – Fans vary in their likes and dislikes when it comes to frequency of emails. Don’t worry about trying to please everyone. You don’t want to “wear out your welcome”. Conversely, don’t send emails spaced so far apart that they forget who you are! Once every few days is fine. Think of it as courting. Don’t come on too strong or overbearing…or needy. Similarly, don’t appear too aloof and distant. As relationships grow, frequency of interaction may increase. Perhaps initial emails are spaced farther apart – 3 to 4 days. As you draw nearer to the end of your email campaign, emails may get a bit more frequent – every day or every other day. At the end of your campaign you might send two to three emails in one day!
  • Duration – How long should you make your email campaign last? Again, this takes balance. You want to build a long-lasting relationship. There’s no need to rush things. On the other hand, don’t be afraid of commitment. Eventually you have to pop the question – “Will you buy my CD? Woo hoo! She said ‘Yes!'” An email campaign of about two weeks is a good place to start. In any marketing venture, it’s all about testing to see what works for you.
  • Pictures or No Pictures – If you’re thinking about including images in your email, now is the time to gather up those images. A picture can be worth a thousand words, but pictures can also make your emails seem somewhat less personal. For best practices on this you can check out my link at the end of this post.
  • Call to Action – Every single email you send out needs to have a call to action. In an email this would be a link that people will click on to take them to your website. You always want to be driving traffic to your website. You can also direct people to your social media sites, but these are secondary. The more you can get them to take action before you ask for the sale, the more likely you will be to get them to commit to the sale. Get them to visit your site to
    • Tell you more about themselves
    • Take a survey
    • Make a comment on your blog post
    • Check out a music video
    • Buy your CD and merchandise!

Step 3: Now it’s Time to Write

Once you have all of your ideas jotted down, it’s time to write them down as a cohesive whole. Give it your best shot. If you’re not confident about your writing ability, hire a copywriter – or at least get feedback from someone you trust will do a professional job. You want to make sure that it’s very reader friendly and represents you well.

Think of it as a performance. As a performer, I know mistakes happen, but I really hate it when they do. This is especially true if there’s something I could’ve done about it by just giving a bit more attention to detail.

I like to start by writing all the emails out in one document. Label each email with it’s corresponding number in the sequence. Write out the headline for each email. Then, write out the content for each email.

Step 4: Set it in motion!

Your automated email service will do the rest for you. This is the beauty of automated email services. Once you have your content written out, you just create your email series in your account and set it in motion, or set-it-and-forget-it, as I like to say. If you have the resources, you can have somebody do this for you while you go back and get ready to do what you do best…Rockin’ out!

Step 5: Measure Success

Remember all those calls to action we talked about in step 2? Well, now it’s time to find out how well they’re working. Your email service should provide you with reports on how many of your emails are being opened and which links your fans are taking action on.

With this kind of feedback you’ll be equipped to know how to better serve your fans and bring greater success to your email marketing efforts. Test and Adapt.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a couple of resources on technical set up of this process. First of all, if you haven’t already got your copy, please check out my ebook The Musician’s Guide to Email Marketing – How to Fill Shows and Sell Songs in 3 Clicks. It is also available as an audiobook.

Secondly, you can find out more about the email autoresponder I recommend by clicking this link.

Best of luck, and, most of all, have fun! Here’s to your success!