Believe it or not, email is STILL a very important component for audience interaction. When someone gives you their email, they are giving you permission to communicate with them. Opt-In email lists are a form of permission marketing and more specifically, explicit permission marketing. Those that opt-in to your list are likely to be the people that would want to know about your tours, album releases, press releases, news updates, new product offerings, specials, contests, and other forms of engagement. They are likely to be the ones touting your wares and relaying your messages. Brand Ambassadors, if you will.
So how do you find these people and how do you convince them to give you permission to contact them? Start by asking. You may find that your audience is already interested in hearing from you via email because it is more convenient to them than checking the website, Facebook or getting twitter updates that ultimately drive them to the un-truncated version of the message. Refer to your list as the “newsletter” or something along those lines so as to avoid any negative connotations that come with the phrase “email list.” You might also try notifying your audience of the possible inclusion of exclusive news, offerings and first crack at specials and such to create some sort of incentive for joining the list.
Once you’ve asked or “suggested” that people sign up for your newsletter, you might consider creating mini-campaigns to generate emails. Some people, regardless if they like you, will need some sort of incentive for giving you permission to email them. Creating contests that require an entry to win are very effective. You can also create exclusive content that requires “registration” before they can gain access.
Now that you’ve been given an email and permission to use it, don’t abuse it. It took a lot of effort for you to get that email and you need to remember that when you are sending out your information blasts. Try to target your email blasts whenever you are able. You want your email correspondence to translate into something other than complaints. The other thing for you to take into consideration is using email as a means to interact with your audience. Email exchanges can turn into valuable content for your greater audience and the potential for dialogue may be incentive enough for an onlooker to signup.