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Doug  has share the benefits of building a email list. Learn why building a email list is important, email marking myths, email marketing e...
Doug has share the benefits of building a email list. Learn why building a email list is important, email marking myths, email marketing examples, and more.
This post was written by Doug, the founder and content curator of Midi Lifestyle. Make sure to checkout his site if you found value from this article.

Email Marketing

Beginner’s Guide to Building An Email List

You’ve got a Facebook.
You’ve got a Twitter.
Hell; You might even have a website.
So far so good. You might be making money, getting engagement, and turning visitors into raving fans.
This is great, but there’s one BIG problem.
Here’s the average life cycle of your website / social media page visitor:
  1. They visit your page
  2. They (might) buy something
  3. They leave.
While you could definitely gain some fans that will keep coming back for more content on their own, the majority of visitors will never return.
In this article you’ll learn how to best utilize your traffic and be able to stay in contact with your customers forever using email marketing.

We’ll Be Covering:

  • Why you SHOULDN’T ignore list building
  • Killing some myths: You DON’T have to be annoying
  • An example of what you can do
  • Getting started with email marketing
  • What is an autoresponder
  • Mistakes to avoid
Let’s get to it!

Why You SHOULDN’T Ignore Email List Building

In the intro of this article, I talked about the life cycle of your average visitor. (They visit your page, they might take action and buy something, and then they leave.)
Without having an email list, you are always in a constant hustle for traffic.
If your social pages were to get banned, inferring that social media is your only source of traffic, you’d completely lose contact with your entire audience and your income stream will die. You’d have to start from square 1 all over again.
Email marketing allows you to capture emails from potential buyers. You’ll be able to market your beats as soon as you produce them and you can build a closer relationship with your audience by providing them with valuable information.
If you’re still not convinced, here are my top reasons for building an email list:

A Email List Lasts Forever

You are able to stay in contact with customers as long asset they don’t unsubscribe. It will take a while, but you’ll eventually have a large list of fans and customers that trust you and like making purchases from you.

You Are 100% in Control

You don’t have any real control over your twitter followers, Facebook fans, and YouTube subscribers. Think about it. If you make one wrong move, your entire business can be destroyed without hesitation.
Especially with YouTube, people have went from making thousands of dollars a month, to $0 overnight. Large companies put their site visitors before everyone else. If they feel you aren’t following the guidelines correctly, they will crush you, usually with no appeal.

You Get a Direct Line to Your #1 Fans

When you post something on social media, because of all the clutter and saturation, your message will only be seen by a tiny percent of your audience.
If you are getting targeted email subscribers (we’ll talk more about that later), you’ll be able to contact them with any important news you have.

You Can Launch Future Projects with Ease

When you’re building an audience that loves to hear what you’re up to, it only makes sense to promote your future projects.
Not only will you be able to promote your projects, but you’ll be able to get feedback. With Midi Lifestyle, I ask for feedback once and a while to see how well my content is resonating with my audience. Within minutes I’m able to get feedback and make improvements.

Killing Some Myths: You DON’T Have to be Annoying

There is one very important thing I MUST tell you.
I’m sure your email is barraged with spam, sales emails, and other crap that you always ignore.
You DON’T have to be scammy or sell your music in a slimy sort of way.
The best way to have success with email marketing is to be genuine and provide VALUE to your audience.
What is value?
I hate saying the phrase “provide value“ because “value” is such a buzz word. You’ll hear the phrase “provide value” all over the internet but will never receive a solid explanation of what “value” actually is.
In essence, you should be sending emails that are helpful to your target audience. Put yourself and their shoes and figure out what type of information they want when they subscribed to your list.
Examples of useful email content:
  • Music production tips
  • How to mix vocals with a beat (good if you are promoting to rappers/singers)
  • Free resources
  • Your experience with certain equipment.

An Example of What You Can Do

Here is a scenario:
You’re a beat maker.
You create an email opt-in on your website with a headline that says something like “Need Hip-Hop Beats? Get Our Free Guide To Buying High Quality Beats Online”.
The free guide automatically gets sent to the subscriber as soon as they confirm their email.
Once a week, you release a new beat and broadcast it to your email subscribers. You tell some history about the beat and details about how it all came together.
What to take from this example:
This is a very basic example of what you can do. If done right, you can increase your sales and keep your audience up-to-date with what you are do-ing.
In this example, the list being built is very targeted. You aren’t just targeting people who need beats, you are targeting people that need Hip-Hop beats.
Also, you are getting subscribers that are interested in buying beats online. You won’t be attracting people who just want some quick freebies. You are getting an audience of serious buyers that want top-notch beats.
It will take some work to put together the buyer’s guide, but once you create it, the guide becomes an asset of yours that will keep helping people over and over again.

Getting Started with Email Marketing

So now we got the theory down.
The best way to manage your lists is with an autoresponder. An autoresponder is in control of sending emails, storing subscribers, creating opt-in forms, measuring analytics, and many other useful things that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
There are many different choices. I’d recommend either aWeberMailChimp, or GetResponse.
I can personally recommend aWeber because it’s what I’ve been using. They have a great support team and have really easy-to-use tools.
I’m sure Mark, the mastermind behind Hip Hop Makers, could recommend MailChimp since it is what the Hip Hop Makers site relies on. MailChimp is free to start out on. There is a monthly fee once you hit a certain amount of subscribers.
Get Response is another popular option. It seems to be slightly cheaper than aWeber and also seems to have a clean user interface for crafting beautiful emails. Once again, I can’t directly recommend it, but since so many other people use it, I’d say at least to check it out.
Learning Resources:

What is An Autoresponder Sequence?

One of my favorite parts of email marketing is creating an autoresponder sequence.
There are two types of emails:
  • Broadcasts
  • Autoresponder sequences
Sequences are emails that you have already created in the past. Once someone subscribes, they’ll be fed the emails from the sequence at an interval that you decide.
Broadcasts are like sending a normal email. You compose an email and press send. You can still schedule broadcasts, but only people who are currently subscribed to you will see them. A broadcast won’t be sent to future subscribers.
Some people create sequences that go on for 1+ years. Of course they don’t build these overnight, but when done correctly, you’ll be able to get passive traffic and sales just through your sequences.

6 Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Too Broad of a Freebie

Giving an “ethical bribe“ to get subscribers is a great thing to do. BUT, if you provide a non targeted freebie, it won’t help you out.
If you want to sell your beats and your freebie is a guide on making beats, there’s a good chance you won’t make a lot of sales. In this case, you’d be attracting people who want to make beats instead of buy them.

Too Little of An Incentive

You don’t always need a freebie to give away. You do, however, need a solid reason for people to join your list.
“Join our newsletter” is not a good enough reason for people to subscribe. An example of a better reason would be “Join our newsletter to stay on top of the biggest news in the music industry as soon as it happens.”

Selling Too Much

Nurturing your audience is important. If all you are doing is sending them sales emails, you are training their muscle memory to click past and ignore your emails.
It is very possible to ruin your chances of potential customers by overselling.

Selling Too Little

It’s OK to sell.
You don’t have to be shady. You don’t need to feel slimy after sending a sales email.
People subscribe to email lists because they want to gain value from what you have to say. If you can offer a solution to their problem, they’ll be happy to buy from you.

Boring Subject Line

The best subject lines provoke curiosity. Don’t have irrelevant or over hyped subject lines, but keep it interesting.
Just with a little bit of a creativity, you can turn a subject line such as “How To Buy Beats” into a more interesting title such as “I HATE Poor Quality Beats! Here’s How To Avoid Them”.

Too Long of An Email

I don’t know about you, but I normally make subconscious decisions to close an email just because it was too long and I didn’t have the time to finish it.
There are certain cases where a long email is ok. If you’re teaching how to do something in your message and don’t want to leave anything out, it could work.
In most cases, a short but sweet email is ideal.

Final Notes

I hope you enjoyed this article!
It was a ton of fun writing it and I look forward to see how it can help out the Hip Hop Makers community.
If you have a question, drop a comment down below. I’ll occasionally be coming back to this post to respond to comments.
Thanks for reading!