The 2020 pandemic brought many changes in how we conduct business, communicate, and work with each other. As much as the situation has been disruptive, it has been a force for change, causing marketers to optimize their existing data and marketing tools to reach their customers. In the case of email marketing, the pandemic proved that email is the cornerstone of fan-relationship management and that is now as relevant as ever as a marketing tool.

In an era of social media, streaming, e-commerce, and multimedia entertainment, Email Marketing continues to be the preferred, reliable, and timely way to engage fans and build lasting relationships. With the increase in e-commerce, remote work, and digital streaming entertainment, having a robust email marketing strategy and strong email platform became a must for bands, labels, venues, music retailers. Email is an efficient, effective way to reach an audience and secure a robust direct-to-fan communication channel being not tied to search or social media algorithms. 

In a multimedia, multi-platform world, relationships are still crucial to communicate and engage with fans in the music business. Email has proven to be a reliable and valuable way to build those relationships over time. Emails can be tailored, automated, and personalized to be relevant and keep fans engage and up-to-date with content. 

Despite being considered a legacy digital tool, email is still a vital component of the music business, complementing or supporting new social media and digital technologies, and will for years to come. For reference, roughly 80% of marketers have reported increased email engagement over the past 12 months. (HubSpot, 2020). Email marketing has a clear and valuable role in an artist and label’s audience engagement strategy and will continue to be at the forefront of enhancing fan’s experiences. 

For the year ahead, we see the following email marketing trends as they drive the future of direct-to-fan communications: 

Email design is KING.

Email platforms have become design powerhouses. There’s no excuse for boring, text-only emails. The design possibilities are almost endless with vibrant, interactive emails and animation, all of which is an extension of an artist’s creative work. With the right tools and support team, artists and labels can deliver information and establish an emotional connection with expert-level designed emails.

One basic design must is making sure emails are Dark Mode friendly. Dark Mode is now a standard feature in today’s mobile and desktop devices. It has brought a new design language to email marketing. Music industry marketers need to be aware that their email content must be compatible and adjusted to dark mode to deliver a consistent and visually compelling email experience.

Focus on interactions, not just opens.

Email content that provides relevant messages promotes fans’ interaction with other digital assets like merchandise store links, streaming platforms, social media channels, campaigns, and charity-supported initiatives. A practical and well-designed email strategy will give fans an enjoyable and valuable experience, making each interaction and future email more likely to retain fans over time.

Privacy concerns also mean emails need to be targeted and relevant to avoid the possibility of being labeled as spam. To have fans provide you with their email address is a privilege as they want to be rewarded with exciting and engaging content to nurture the fan-performer relationship. It’s a one-on-one conversation between fan and performer.

ALWAYS send a confirmation email.

Today’s consumer expects a formal confirmation, an email, to confirm that a transaction occurred. When they opt-in to a newsletter, buy tickets to a live stream event, purchase merchandise, or get the most direct artist updates, email is the expected and trusted form of communication between artists, labels, and fans. Always take the opportunity to say thank you and suggest additional content or merchandise. Without a confirmation,  the consumer is left in the dark as to whether or not the transaction is complete. 

Make it theirs with personalization.

Email platforms can provide endless possibilities for personalization. When signing up for a newsletter, fans want to engage with relevant content. We see labels taking advantage of fans’ preferences, and the analytics generated by these interactions can help drive content development by understanding what drives fans to click-though emails. Proper data segmentation can help labels and musicians better understand fan behavior and help develop better-personalized music consumption marketing campaigns.  

Make it interactive.

Email platforms can make emails look like “a piece of the internet” in your inbox. Your content can be dynamic, showing GIFs, images, videos, and location-based content. All these things increase engagement and maximize fans’ email experiences. Emails can drive website engagement before your target reaches it while providing interactive and relevant content to increase interaction. Also, emails can have request info from fans to get updates on artists’ releases or tours, pre save a track or begin a purchase, which can increase the chances of them completing the transaction and give you an opportunity to follow up.  

More, but relevant, automatization.

Spam filters and the ability to screen emails are getting more sophisticated. Labels and artists’ marketing management are challenged to think about their email content and frequency strategy to minimize email database decay and unsubscribes. Although excessive automation can be an issue, using these tools strategically to drive time-relevant content can be a game-changer. 

The different tools available on email platforms like Salesforce, MailChimp, IBM Acoustic, Constant Contact, Microsoft Dynamics, among others, can be used to respond to a fan action, inaction, date, or internet-connected interaction. These automated emails can deliver just the right messages to fans and subscribers at just the right time.

Overall, Email is a key engagement tool for the music and entertainment industry. The current technologies and innovations point to a bright and valuable email marketing future. Artists and labels need to provide relevant, timely and well-executed email campaigns to enhance fans’ experiences and foster long-term relationships. 

Want to learn more about how FanMail Marketing can help you engage fans and supply them with the content they want when they want it? Talk to us and discover the best way to maximize your investment in your email marketing platform or to help find the best program for your needs. 


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