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December 09, 2010

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Jon Walker

Love this post.. Only point I'd like to make is that sometimes it's difficult for us to "require" geo data at a sign-up point because it's a huge turn-off. Usually if we're having trouble getting good numbers on sign-ups I can go in and "un-require" a zip code and sure enough sign-ups really pick up. As old as the Internet is people are still reluctant to have their offline world tied to their online world.

Next year we're going to release a simple ability for our newsletter subscribers to update their information (zip, birthday, etc..) for a chance to win prizes or coupons. This is no new idea but something we never put in place.

My $.02

David Hooper

One way for musicians to work around getting location information, assuming they're collecting email addresses at a live event, is to segment their lists based on the venue being played. For a band that regularly plays the same venue, a list like this is extremely powerful to mail to since you know that the people getting your message know how to get where you'll be, are likely in the area, etc.

But you are correct that people are getting more particular about giving out personal information... A good reason for musicians to do something like a contest, which not only gets them customer info, but also has the ability to increase loyalty and rapport in a big way.

GATA

Now, David, be fair: there are plenty of men who act too cool for the room and claim to be intolerant of drama, and yet they're the first ones vying for the daytime Emmys as Best Actor. Drama is not exclusive to women...:oP
Point taken about the mailing list, though. Good tips.

David Hooper

Ha! I knew that comment would get a response. :)

You are correct. However, the thought that came to mind when I was writing that was all the first dates I've had when women who say something like, "I don't like drama." Always a red flag.

Men may very well say the same thing in this situation, but I am unaware of this, as I don't date men. Perhaps some women (or gay men) reading this can chime in with their experiences...

GATA

::grabs popcorn and waits::
No, j/k. LOL

drew Roberts

@Jon Walker,

it might be possible to collect location information after the fact via a little mailing. Something like this:

Hi, thanks for signing up for our mailing list. You have been added to our worldwide list as we don't know where you live. You will be getting mailing about all of our shows wherever they may be.

If you would prefer to only get mailings about shows in your area, please click here.

Thanks,

Jon Walker Band

Then, when they click on the lick, get their location info and remove them from the general list and add them to the location list.

all the best,

drew

Jon Walker

@drew - thanks for the suggestion.

drew Roberts

@Jon Walker,

hope it proves useful.

Pat from RockStar Machine

There's a few things to consider: if you only collect e-mails at shows, then yeah, this sort of sorted list keeping will work. Also, using a mailing list management program or service that let's you customize what you ask for at signup would work (on your site).

A good workaround that I've seen is to send one single e-mail with a list of tour dates to your entire list. Personally, I think this is the best option as adding just an e-mail address to a list is simpler than filling out a 2-3 line form and thus more effective (a minor nuisance perhaps, but too much of a hassle for some people).

It also makes that mailing less of an overt ad and more of a newsletter, which allows you to highlight aspects of your career and what you're up to, and demonstrates that you've got some sort of heat.

For example - you send out a mailing which includes a short blurb about what you've been up to, a link to recent press coverage, news about an upcoming project or special performance, a list of upcoming shows (with a link to you're site's touring page w/ tix & venue info) and info on how to purchase your new record. You could also offer things like free downloads of live tracks or some other offer.

Basically, it's a more subtle form of promotion with major PR benefits. If you want to check out an artist that does an amazing job of this, I'd suggest joining Mike Doughty's mailing list.

Bev Barnett

Some of the email marketing services provide geo location, which will correlate the email address to the ISP's location once they open and click to download images in an HTML email. Its not fool proof, but it may help.

I worked with a popular touring folk musician recently who had more than 3000 email addresses on her list, but only about 1/3 were associated with names and locations. Her fans are loyal. We talked about giving something away in exchange for asking for update info but in the end, we devised a survey and just asked for their help.
Response was about 70%, and allowing for comments also garnered her a dozen unsolicited house concert and other gig offers.

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