See Things Differently
Initially, in the early days, collecting emails was probably the number one reason for running a website. Nothing was done unless an email was collected. In the last couple of years, with the rise of social networks, friend lists and bulletins many artists fell in to the trap of believing email less important since fans could be reached via bulletins or blog posts.
So it was good to see the recent Coldplay promotions run by EMI which went straight for the email jugular once again. Campaign number one was the free track giveaway. Hardly anything new – artists have been doing this for years. And yet it proved incredibly succesful with over 2m people registered. Next up, they offer a free gig but you have to register – again, another masterstroke in building an email database. It reminds me of the Robbie Williams’ gig he performed at the Albert Hall – the one where he did his Frank Sinatra impression. Fans had to apply via http://www.robbiewilliams.com, and over one million fans did, despite only 10,000 tickets being available. He performed and they filmed the gig. Subsequently, they emailed everyone who had applied for tickets and sold 100,000 DVD’s on pre-order, vividly illustrating the power of CRM.
And I don’t think that power has been diminished, despite the plethora of new ways to communicate. Email is still the thing people obligingly read and most likely will respond to. Our advice for artists is to use phplist, a fantastic open source program that enables you to manage multiple lists or quickly combine them. Capture data at gigs, on your site, via your social networks and insist your gig promoter shares any data from ticket sales – perhaps the most valuable fan data of all and the most often overlooked.