Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Soundcloud, e-mail, text,  letter? The choices of engagement are huge. But how you communicate with fans depends on many factors including the age of your fans and your technical ability.

We are very fortunate in the UK to have an abundance of music to listen to. The choice of music and the methods of listening are endless. For an artist this means that your communication has to be effective and appropriate.

e-mail is still the king; a free method of contacting your fans directly wherever they are in the world.

Facebook is a great too, but you are relying upon another company to provide your message to all your fans.

Billions of people, products and artists are on Facebook, it’s an important tool but it should not be your ONLY tool. Because Facebook is so successful, news feeds became clogged as users added friends, and liked lots of artists, products and events. To improve the experience for users Facebook changed what is shown in a user’s feed and limits content to what the user has recently engaged with.

So, if your fans have not communicated with your through likes or comments in previous weeks, Facebook thinks that this is not as important in your life! So it will not include your posts in their timeline (even if they do still love your music).

A new layer of advertising was introduced in the form of ‘promoted posts’ which allowed page owners (such as musicians) to pay to have their posts appear on everyone’s timeline. Clever eh!

So rather than relying on other companies who can put barriers in your way, the gathering of emails will allow you to manage this.

There are two places you need to gather data; at shows and online.

Giving out flyers at gigs with your social media links on and website is fine but you are then reliant upon that potential fan engaging with you to make that connection (liking your page / following you on twitter). By gathering e-mails at gigs after they have seen you perform will be enough influence for them to share their details with you. Then you are then in control of how and when you engage with your fans.

Collecting e-mail online require a form for new fans to fill in. But it also requires an incentive, such as a free track. Consider using tools such as bandcamp.com which allows you to give way tracks in return for people entering their e-mail address.

Collecting a name, e-mail and the town/city people are from will mean:

  • You can contact your fans direct and for free
  • You have a reasonable idea if they are Male/Female
  • You know where you fans are based – this will help you identify where you should/shouldn’t tour.

There are mailing list companies who will provide tools for you to get the most out of your e-mails you send to fans. For example they can provide templates and stats on who reads your e-mail and what links they click on.

The majority of these services do cost but if you are starting out and your database is under 2000 subscribers I find that MailChimp provide a good service. www.mailchimp.com

Providers (such as Mailchimp) also offer the opportunity for fans to unsubscribe. This does allow you to keep your list fresh and full of real fans.

I hope this post has been of use. If so please pass it on to a friend or visit my other Music Business resource: www.yourmusicbusiness.co.uk


Who am I?

My names Phil Pethybridge, aside from the gigs and festivals work (mentioned above) I run the resource www.YourMusicBusiness.co.uk which I created to help students studying music at school/College/Uni learn about the business side of this rather strange and exciting industry.  I do this through video/audio interviews of active music industry professionals (check the site and you will see)

I also lecture Music Business at Anglia Ruskin University and Ravensbourne, guest speak at various colleges and Uni’s across the country, tour manage and occasionally provide football commentary!