As the editor of a leading electronic music blog, Noiseporn, I get hundreds of emails from artists, publicists and managers every single week asking me to listen to a new song or album. But how many of these actually make it on the blog? Maybe five percent. Chances are, I won’t ever read more than the first sentence of your email, and the chances of me actually clicking through to listen to a release is even slimmer than that.
It’s a common misconception that an artist needs to be popular and already well-established to get heard. While it’s true that it’s harder for smaller, independent artists to get their music out there, it is possible and it’s not as challenging as you may think. There are a few sure-fire ways to catch my attention and the attention of other music editors.
Here are five things you should always include in your email to get your music (or your client’s music) heard.
- Provide all necessary information in the subject line
An email with the subject “New Song!” is going to get deleted from my inbox faster than it took you to press send. It is so important to go into detail (without going overboard) as much as possible in the subject line of your email. At the very least, provide the genre(s), the type of release (is it an album, an EP, a single?) and the release date. Here is an example:
Listen to Calypos’s Brand New Indie Disco Track “Numbered,” out on June 10
This is concise and to the point, but still lets me know what I’m opening. It’s also important to note that you should always know the demographic of the blog you’re sending your music to. If you’re a metal band sending me – the editor of an electronic blog – your music, you’re doing it wrong.
- Get straight to the point
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the first tip. When crafting the email you’re going to be sending out to blogs, don’t beat around the bush in your first few sentences. As harsh as it may sound, I don’t need to know your life story or the story of the artist you’re representing. This is such a common mistake so many artists make.
I get it; you grew up with nothing and have hustled your way to Los Angeles hoping to get your big break. That’s awesome, and I commend you for your hard work and dedication to your art. But let’s face it, that isn’t the thing that makes you unique. Your story won’t make you stand out to me, because chances are I’ve heard it a million times before. The thing that will make you stand out to me is your music, but you need to get me there first.
Don’t drag out your intro, just briefly tell me who you are and why you think your music is good for our blog. Which brings me to my next point…
- Make it personal and do your research
Press releases are one thing, and I know those are being sent out in mass quantities. That’s fine. However, my biggest pet peeve are the emails that seem personal (i.e. “Hey dude, love your blog!” but were clearly sent to every other music editor on your list of contacts. It’s so easy for me to decipher emails that are sent to just me, and emails that are copied and pasted and sent to dozens of other blogs. DON’T DO THAT.
One major tip I have for you to catch the attention of an editor is to reference something recently posted on the blog you’re sending your email to. And not only that, but go into a little bit of detail about it. For example, if we just posted an editorial on Kanye West and his crazy antics and part of that editorial resonated with you, include that in your email to me. Surprisingly, very few people do this, but when they do, I almost ALWAYS end up clicking on the song and giving it a listen.
There’s just something about a personal email. When an editor thinks you care about their blog, they’re going to be more likely to care about you and your music.
Going one step further, tell me what you can bring to the table. Why is your music good for our blog specifically? Why will our readers like your music over someone else’s? These are all things to consider when reaching out to an editor, and they should all be addressed in your email to them.
- Include any and all pertinent information
Now that you’ve introduced yourself and have told me why your music is a good fit for us, you’ll need to include next steps. Be sure to always include things like your contact information, all of your social media links (this is so important!!!) and any link to download or stream the release you want me to listen to. That sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many people send me an email asking me to listen to their song, and then DON’T include a link for me to listen to it!
In addition, include a (short) artist biography in your email, preferably at the end after everything else. This allows for editors to gain a little bit of insight into who you are as an artist, where you came from, and what your goals are. Going back to the second tip, this is NOT a place for your life story. This is simply a quick way to get to know you as an artist. An artist bio may include things like where you’re from, where you’re based, how old you are, your main genres, if you’re on tour or have toured in the past, fun facts, etc. And word to the wise, be sure your bio isn’t ladened with grammatical or spelling errors.
As a side note, if you’re linking me to your social media, be sure you have your sh*t together. I will almost always check out your social media before listening to your music, and if your Facebook and Twitter are a disorganized mess, you can pretty much kiss your shot at being featured goodbye. I won’t delve into this too much more as this is a whole other topic for posting, but it is definitely something to consider when reaching out to blogs for a feature.
- Make sure your release cover is high-quality
Not only does your music need to sound good, but you need to look the part if you want your music to make it on blogs. This doesn’t mean you as an artist need to look a certain way, but your branding needs to stand out – all the way down to your release cover. Make sure your release cover is high-resolution (preferably 2000 x 2000 pixels). And aside from the size of the image, having a cool, unique release cover is a great way to stand out and will entice editors to listen to your release. As sad as I am to say it, most editors do judge a book by its cover when it comes to music.
While there unfortunately isn’t a magic formula for getting your music featured on blogs, following these steps will undoubtedly help your chances. Always remember that you’re competing with thousands of other artists out there, and in order to stand out from the rest, you need to do every single thing you can in order to set yourself apart.