If you're looking for a great way to build your mailing list and get important information that will help make your music marketing more effective, a "bounce back" card is a great tool.
Traditinoally, a bounce back card is a pre-printed, pre-addressed, pre-paid postcard distributed with with a product or related materials. Recipients are asked to respond to questions about the product/materials and then return the postcard by mail.
You've probably seen these cards when buying home electronic or kitchen equipment, such as a television or toaster. Many times, to increase response rate, the manufacturer of the equipment will tell you it's necessary to return the card to "register your product" or "activate your warranty."
You can use the same tool to get valuable information from the people who purchase your music. Below is an example of a bounce back offer by Sequoia Records.
As you can see from the example above, use of a bounceback offer is also a great way to get people to refer their likeminded friends. Also note the offer of free music downloads available at the company's site.
Not selling physical albums? If you have basic contact information from people who have purchased your product, you can send followup questions via an online system, such as SurveyMonkey.com. If you've ever purchased and registered an Apple product, such as an iPod or iMac, you've likely gotten an offer like this via email.
While many people won't fill out bounceback offers, especially without getting something in return, high-value fans (the ones who buy everything you release and make up a significant portion of your music business income) are more likely than most. Even if you only get information from this segment of your fan base, because you want more people like them, it's worth the effort to include a bounceback offer in any product you release.