The last time you emailed a music industry influencer, chances are you thought one of the following:
“Will they reply?”
“Will they read it?”
“Will they be interested?”
As time passed, without a reply, you agonised further,
“Did they receive it?”
“Why haven’t they replied?”
“Should I send them another email?”
To combat your anguish and dramatically increase your email success, here are three powerful tricks that are quick and easy to apply to every email you send.
1. Make Your Recipient Count
What colour hair did the last person you passed in the street have? Was that person male or female?
I’m guessing you can’t answer either question – because when you passed that person, you were thinking about ‘you stuff’ e.g. “I’m hungry,” “I’m tired,” “I’m happy,” “I’m sad,” “I’m horny,” whatever.
However, imagine if the last person you passed in the street said, “Hey! Wow, this is so weird – I was in the crowd at your gig last night. You were amazing! It was so funny when you spilled your drink on the amp and almost electrocuted yourself!”
Trust me, if that happened, you’d be able to tell me that person’s eye colour, hair colour, shoe size.
So, what’s my point? When sending an email to a music industry influencer, be it venues, promoters, press, management, labels and so on, the most powerful thing you can do to make your existence matter to the recipient is to first demonstrate their existence matters to you. DO NOT tell them anything about yourself (not even your name) until you’ve cited something about them.
Here are 3 example email openings – all of them contain hidden psychological magic:
“Hey Marie, your Tweet yesterday about networking made me realize two things…”
“Hi Max – your February article on touring gave me three great ideas, and after reading it I…”
“Hi Jacki – your April interview with [insert musician here] highlighted a valuable point…”
So, here are the three clever psychological cues behind these openings:
- An early use of ‘you’ or ‘your’ immediately engages the reader by making it about them, not you. Remember, we’re all just living, breathing egos, so feed the ego of your email recipient, but do it straight away – you have split seconds to make your email count.
- Mentioning specific dates/times your recipient did something not only shows your sincerity, it demonstrates research and, again, feeds their ego. Check their website or Twitter feed for something relevant/recent you can use.
- According to the psychological Principle of Reciprocity, if you give someone something, they feel obliged to give you something back. That ‘something’ needn’t be a tangible item, it can be a compliment, a gesture, a good deed, etc. Give your email recipient a compliment or a feeling of relevance, because doing so heightens their sense of obligation to you and your cause.
But please, I’m begging you, don’t be a creep – keep it authentic and non-gushy.
2. Keep Your Recipient Awake
No one, in the history of receiving an unsolicited email, ever thought, “oh, I wish that email was longer!”
Did you notice how, in my above example emails, I didn’t insert a paragraph break between the greeting and the opening sentence? Why did I do this? Well, although a paragraph break is good and accepted writing form, it severely interrupts the breezy structure of an email – and fact is, ‘breezy’ is strong currency in the music business.
KEEP YOUR EMAIL SHORT.
So, how short is ‘short’? Reading your email from start to finish should take less time than:
- Making ONE cheese & salad sandwich
- Making FIVE paper aeroplanes
- Making love after TWELVE years in prison
EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!
Assuming you proof-read all emails before sending them [something you must do, no excuses, just do it!], here’s a great way of checking if your email is too long:
Read it out loud 10 TIMES – checking for typos, grammar fails and unnecessary waffle. If, during these 10 reads, you get bored or start skimming, IT’S TOO LONG, edit it.
3. Be a Quiz Show Host
End every email with a question. Ending your email with a question is the equivalent of a TV drama entering a commercial break during a juicy/dramatic scene, or when a quiz show enters the commercials before revealing if the contestant has won £1 million. These tactics agitate our instinctive thirst for a resolution.
Here are two example email closings:
Thank you for reading this Michael – I appreciate your time, and hope you’re able to help.
Thank you for reading this Michael – I’ll be in your area February 2, can I buy you coffee, and depending on funds, cake?
Which would make you feel the stronger urge to reply?
If you think option one, my years of experience strongly disagree. Additional to the closing question in option two, notice how Jen dropped the final pleasantries of ‘kind regards.’ She conveys gratitude and politeness by thanking the reader, but she doesn’t dilute the closing question by adding unnecessarily distracting words after it. The absolute last thing your email recipient reads must be your question. Why? Well, imagine if I ended this post after tip two – you’d wanna know where tip three was, right? In your pursuit of an adequate resolution, you’d either post in the comments box or hunt me down on Twitter to call me an “imbecilic buffoon who can’t count,” in either case, you’d be taking action – and this is your goal as the email sender, to encourage action from the email recipient, chiefly, to send you a reply.
Think of a closing question as a cliffhanger – and as we’ve seen in the above commercial break trick, cliffhangers pique interest.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must fly – my girlfriend is upstairs, dressed in stockings. She just sent me a text message that reads, “Come upstairs, I’m ready, I want you to…”
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Guide to Music Marketing