In the second part of this series on How To Get Blogged we’ll cover the anatomy of the bloggers inbox and how to craft the email header and sub-header. The first part of the How To Get Blogged posts can be found here..
Are you heavy with the seed of creativity? Long suffering to share your passion with the world ?
Hungry for adoration and approval of your peers? Of course you are.
But then why will the cruel world not recognize your talent and immediately respond your emails and blog your music?
Because there are a billion twats out there doing the same thing as you.
Email is the number one method of making contact with blogs, everyone knows it and everyone does it and the vast majority of them do it all wrong. To understand why it’s so hard to get your email even opened you really need to look from the bloggers point of view and plan your approach accordingly.
By following a few simple rules and applying common sense you can vastly improve your chances of making it past stage one: the inbox.
Remember the goal here is to get your music heard. To actually get email opened and the play button clicked. At which point your earth shattering music will spill forth from the speakers and launch anyone within ear shot into raptures of musical fulfillment.
The Bloggers Inbox
Loudat is a tiny blog. It’s about dance music which doesn’t really gather much interest in the blog world. The big blogs about more artists and bands rather than producers / DJ’s. But still this website get a shit load of email.
Imagine what the big blogs have to deal with. Remember bloggers don’t get paid -Their time is limited….ruthless methods of selection must be enforced to keep remotely on top of the mail dump. Lets take a look at my inbox:
This a quiet couple of days and about 40+ emails have gone straight to spam because certain address’ have consistently sent me stuff about music I’m not interested in.
Most of those will be from PR companies just bombing emails out. No time for that shit even if they are promoting something relevant now. I cover this in the previous post.
Over 800 unread emails.Partly me being slack, largely people being shit. The quickest and most effective way for me to work through these are to check the emails from people I recognize. This would typically be producers I follow, labels I like or names that ring a bell – maybe names that I recognize from commenting on my blog. The brain just turns off and automatically homes in on stuff you know. That’s just how brains work. This is why the first How To Get Blogged post encourages interaction through blog comments, twitter, facebook, twitter etc…..makes sense now, see?
But out of all the emails – a well drafted email subject header will win out. Sadly very few people manage this. Take a look. I’ve crudely annotated the inbox with my thoughts.
Notice out of that wedge of emails how many I’m planning on opening – labeled in green. Just 9 out of 27 odd I’ll CONSIDER opening.
Now some of the senders have an easy job, Scruff, Boddika etc most people know what ball park your in there and it’s very well targeted at my musical tastes. Lucky them.
But out of ALL of those emails ONLY 2 – from Studio Rockers and Freeform Records have actually included in the email header WHAT KIND OF MUSIC THEY ARE PUSHING. That’s it. Just 2. I’ve never heard of them and I don’t like dubstep but I’ll check because I know roughly what I’m getting.
Sound simple now doesn’t it? Even the PR companies fail at this. It’s all “Hey how are you?” or “Got some amazing new music for you…” This is a music blog inbox for fucks sake, the emails are ALL going to be about new music. Why waste the valuable advertising space of your email header on pointless pleasantries and inane shit?
Drafting a Mail Shot Header
The Email Header is advertising at it’s most efficient.
The BOLD email header is your initial advertising space. It’s about 60 characters long and in that you need to make it clear what you are selling
The most important thing for an unknown artists is to include what it is your emailing about.
Take into account what the blogger already knows:
The email is about music, this is your promo, it’s available for play / download, you’re really fucking great and you want everyone to hear about you.
You DO NOT need to include these in your header – it’s a given. Otherwise you wouldn’t be emailing.
What the blogger does not know – and would most likely like to know straight away.
What KIND of music is this? – so much music is wide of the blog’s style it would help to know immediately that you’ve done your homework and have targeted the right blog.
If you write “Tech-House Track” and your name in the header I’m going to pay attention. It would scare the shit out of other indie blogs but they simply wouldn’t open it and would be grateful.And THAT is pretty much IT. If you can’t slot your music into a broad genre because you’re so pioneering and groundbreaking, you could should at least swallow your pride and pigeon hole it as best you can.
An ideal header might look like this:
“Glitch Remix – Artist X Rhubarb remix of Artist Y”
“Dubstep EP – DJ SuchNSuch – Track Title”
GENRE – ARTIST – TITLE
Simple as that. That is all you need for the header. Remember you have a bit more space in the sub-header (non bold) to add more stuff should you need to.
The record shop analogy
Think about it like this: The inbox is the digital equivalent of the old school record store or a book shop. Record shops don’t label up their tracks with “Yo, itz ya boy…” or “Hi just thought I’d…” do they? No they fucking don’t and for good reason.
The record shop floor is organized by genre. Punters need to know roughly where to look to find music they like. That is what your email header is for.
Artist and Title is the correct way to title your tracks and emails as that it traditionally how music and books are filed. It works, follow the rule.
GENRE – ARTIST- TITLE
Really quite devastatingly simple yet nobody does it.
The Sub Header
Once you’ve got the bloggers attention you then have the sub header to follow and this once again is so often wasted.
The sub header is your chance to further relay important points and draw people in.
There are loads of email newletter automation sites that crunk these out for you and invariably you get the sub header “Email not displaying correctly?” What’s the point in that? Make sure you don’t fall for this one…I’ll cover the technical side at a later date.
Look at the subtitles in red . They’re either repeating what they said in the header, stating some obvious point, full of contact details or asking if the email is displaying correctly.
This is the equivalent of paying 50,000 for 30 seconds of premium TV ad time and having a person on the screen go
“Look at the telly, can you see me? Turn the telly on. This is an advert. My name is Dave, here is my address. This is an advert for something. Can you see me?”
Use the space wisely. You have about 60 characters for the sub heading and this could be put to good use saying “Supported by…” people like to know who else is into stuff..the queuing mentality. Or again “sounds like..” or perhaps what’s in the email “Soundcloud stream and 320kbps DL”
All stuff that will encourage further reading… you could craft something like this:
(Breakbeat Electro) DJ Someone “My Track” – like Satamile? Try this. Soundcloud link and 320 DL Promo
Apply any music you like to that framework. That is all you need to know to decide whether or not you want to read further. Once you’re past this point You have a whole email to play with. That is all you need to know from an unknown artist to make the decision to click or not.
This is largely aimed at unknown artsists but relevant to a lot of hopless PR companies out there
FOCUS ON THE GOAL
That is simple: To have your email noticed and opened. At this point nothing more.
THE EMAIL HEADER IS PRECIOUS
Include a rough idea of your music genre , artist and title. You have about 60 characters to play with.
A suggested format is
(Genre) Artist – “Title” ie. (Deep Disco) DJ Massive Shades – “Check Me Out”
Don’t dick around with ALL CAPS or ASCII images…it’s just stupid and you’ll get binned
THE SUBHEADER IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT
Do not waste it on pleasantries or include redundnant information. You have about another 60 characters.
Say what’s in the email, if you can include a rough idea of your sound by associating with a label or artist who might sound a bit like you.
(Deep Disco) DJ Massive Shades – “Check Me Out” Similar to 6th Borough Project…Soundcloud Stream and 320kbps promo.
THE EMAIL CAN CONTAIN DETAILS AND FLUFF
Once the email is opened you should be a maximum of 2 clicks from being heard, one preferably. You can deal with the details later. But for now, you just need to cover the important info and get the email opened.
In the next installment I’ll cover information on setting up a simple email that once opened will get your music playing ASAP. And ultimately that is what you’re striving for.
Hope this helps..