In this post you’ll learn how to create your first email in the autoresponder welcome sequence that all your fans will receive when they sign up to your band mailing list.

In the video below we walk you through exactly how you should welcome your new fans to your fan email list and what we recommend you put in that first email that your fan email system will automatically send them.

We’ll also look at how you can add further emails to your autoresponder sequence to deepen your relationship with your fans, send them more music and, at some point, ask them to buy something from you.

play

​If you didn’t set up your Aweber account in the previous tutorial, you can click below to get that set up and go back to watch the set up video.

​Now would also be a good time to download the checklist of all the steps so that you’ve got that to hand as you go through the whole band website build and fan email list set up process.

​CLICK TO GET THE FREE COURSE CHECKLIST NOW

CLICK TO GET THE FREE COURSE CHECKLIST NOW

So, if you’ve watched the video above, you know everything that you need in order to go into your new Aweber account and get this first welcome email set-up

If you want some more insight, we’re now going to highlight the main steps you’ll need to go through in a little more detail.

Email Autoresponders For Musicians

You learnt what an Autoresponder is in the tutorial where you set up Aweber.

Your autoresponder is a function in your email software that allows you to send a series of pre-written emails to anyone who joins your list, on complete autopilot and at the time intervals chosen by you.

As we covered in more detail in that post, this enables you to ‘nurture’ the relationship that you have with a new fan and engage with them via that set of emails.

For a long time, we have advised that musicians follow a solid direct response marketing strategy that uses this autoresponder sequence to deliver your download package of free music at the beginning, and then uses a series of emails over the next few weeks to communicate your story, send additional free material (music, but perhaps videos or lyric pdf’s etc), and later to make offers to your new fan to buy something - be that music or merchandise.

We still think that this is the easiest way to build your first marketing funnel as a musician but we have also been having success recently by using the autoresponder sequence as more of an engagement journey.

One example of this is to offer the same exclusive package that we’ve talked about in several of the tutorials in this band website series, but to instead use an autoresponder sequence to send out one song per day until the whole package is complete, rather than as a single one-time download.

This has the advantage of avoiding the problem that some new fans have with downloading a whole zip file of tracks and getting them onto their phone to listen to - which is an issue for a small section of your new fans.

Using your autoresponder to send a track per day means that you can send one song as an attachment to the email on each day or, better still, you can send your fan to a hidden web page each day where you can give the song some context and tell part of your story as well as offer the download in various formats and have various streaming options, such as an embedded YouTube video, Soundcloud player or Spotify player.

Sending one email per day also gets your fans used to hearing from you every day and makes them less likely to unsubscribe.

We also find that this daily emailing can deepen the interaction you get from your new fans considerably - especially if you ask them clearly to reply to you and react to the song they’ve heard that day.

Nonetheless, as we have done throughout this series of posts, we recommend that every musician start with the method laid out in this series - a simple download package delivered on a Success Page all in one go, and then use the autoresponder sequence to engage your fans with stories and more free content in a series of emails delivered automatically over the next few weeks.

This is far easier to set up and therefore provides the encouragement that you need when getting stuck into this kind of direct response music marketing for the first time.

Plus, it’s still a very effective method and for many musicians will prove to be the only offer that they need to build their fan email list.

In other words, master this first, and you can try the ‘engagement journey’ method later on if you feel it’s necessary.

This is an example of the ‘80/20' rule in operation - it’s much much more important to get this direct response music marketing system set up and running to begin building your fanbase than it is to build the most effective system right from the off!

The simple email in exchange for an exclusive download package (if the offer is strong enough) remains very effective for most musicians, is the easiest system to set up and will likely give you 80% of the results of a more complicated offer for 20% of the effort.

By all means, build a more complex ‘funnel’ later on once you have mastered the basics and your skills are up to it, but, for now, just get started!

autoresponder for musicians

​To begin with, follow this strategy and write a series of emails that allow your new fan to get to know you and your music better.

In some of the further emails in your fan welcome sequence, do direct them to YouTube or Facebook videos of some of the songs that you’ve already sent them in the download package or to videos of other tracks from your catalogue.

Do tell them more about you and your band and your journey into music - your story.

Do ask for feedback and encourage replies and, when you receive them, answer back and forge real friendships with the keenest of your new fans.

They will become your advocates and superfans and we all know by now the legend of the ‘1000 true fans’.....

We’d actually say that you need maybe 10,000 casual fans within which you have perhaps 1,000 true fans in order to have a sustainable DIY career as a minimum, but that’s very achievable following the methodology we’ve set out in these posts.

Whichever approach you go for, it all starts with getting a new fan to join your mailing list and then sending that automated sequence of emails to them to build the relationship.

When creating your first autoresponder welcome sequence for new fans of your music where you’ve offered a download package, the first email you’ll need to add your autoresponder is one that welcomes them and directs them back to the Success Page on your band website where they can actually get the download package.

You’ll learn below how we set up the autoresponder in your Aweber account and how to get that first email into the welcome sequence.

Set Up Autoresponder In Aweber

Log back into your Aweber account that you set up in the Aweber tutorial.

You should only have one list in your Aweber account at this stage (as that’s all we set up previously), but just make sure that you have your main email list selected in the ‘Current List’ window towards the top of this screen.

Then, from the main menu, select ‘Messages’. This is where all messages that are sent to this list are controlled.

Message Options In Aweber​

On the pop-out menu you’ll see : Drafts, Legacy Follow-Up Series, Broadcasts, Blog Broadcasts, Campaigns and Email Template Manager.

To create your autoresponder sequence, you’ll select ‘Legacy Follow-Up Series’.

aweber message series

​The ‘Legacy Follow-Up Series’ is the system that Aweber has always used for creating autoresponder sequences.

They now also have a tool called ‘Campaigns’, but we still use the old method for most of our musician mailing lists - partly because it’s what we know, but also just because it does all that we need it to do.

Start with this and if you want to try out Campaigns later, you can (and you can import across all your Legacy Follow-Up Series messages).

The other options here should be reasonably obvious - any messages you haven’t yet finished or sent to your mailing list subscribers will be in ‘Drafts’.

‘Broadcasts’ is where you’ll create and send one-off messages to all or part of your fan mailing list - to be used for things like announcing a release or a new gig (note that ‘Broadcasts’ are in addition to your autoresponder sequence and you can send them whenever you need).

‘Blog Broadcasts’ is a system that will automatically send out emails when you make a new post on your band website - we don’t use it since you want to craft a bespoke message every time you mail your fan mailing list subscribers.

‘Email Template Manager’ is a tool that you can use to set up templates for your emails that you can re-use time and again. Although there is value in using this if you plan to do some kind of layout design, you’ll see that we tend to always use plain text emails (with no design elements) and therefore email templates are usually not necessary.

Why Use Plain Text In Emails To Your Fans?​

Once you’ve clicked on ‘Legacy Follow-Up Series’ in the pop-out menu, you’ll be taken to a screen where you have the option to choose what type of email you want to create.

The first time you visit this screen it will be laid out as in the image below with options for ‘Drag & Drop Email Builder’, ‘Plain Text Message’ or ‘HTML editor’.

aweber message editor

​The HTML Editor allows you to create a bespoke email designed using HTML code with fancy graphics, header, buttons and all that jazz. I’m going to assume that, because you’re wading through this series on the ‘simple’ ways to build a band website and email system, it’s likely HTML isn’t your thing….yet. Even so, you could have a designer create these for you - but we advise you don’t!

You might be thinking that I'm about to suggest that you use the Plain Text option, given what I just said above, but, actually, no. This Plain Text option would be fine to use (to a degree), but it is very limited as it uses a default font (Times New Roman) and you have no font size options - it’s super basic.

So, that leaves the Drag & Drop Email Builder.

This is basically a simple way to build emails that have design elements such as images, buttons, borders and so on without needing to custom design using HTML code - and you could do that.

But, instead, you’re going to use the most basic options that this option has to create a ‘slightly better’ plain text email.

You see, what you’re after is trying to create your emails so that they look like the majority of emails that we all open all day long - but the ones we like. So, not the designed, smooth corporate emails we get from mailing lists we’re on - shops we buy from, events listings or your bank…!

No, you want your emails to your fans to look like emails that they get from friends, family or work colleagues.

The ones that you actually read and interact with.

And that is the primary reason that you want to make your emails look like plain text - because they feel ‘real’. Like they’re being sent by a real person, not an organisation - another reason why earlier in this series of posts we recommended that you set up this email software with the ‘from’ address being the first name of one of the people in your band.

We’ve found from a lot of years trial and error that music fans react better to this kind of email. Plain, simple and human - and familiar.

So, click through to the Drag & Drop Email Builder.

Just one thing - it’s worth noting that as you come to add further emails to your autoresponder you won’t see that first time message screen again, but you can get to those three message design options at any time from the Home tab or in the Messages tab as you can see in the image below.

band newsletter options

​Write Your Welcome Email In Aweber​

Once you click through you’ll be taken to the edit screen where you’ll create the first autoresponder message to your new fans in your welcome sequence.

Hang on!

You’re right - your new fan did already receive one automated email when they signed up to your fan mailing list on your Squeeze Page - the email that asked them to confirm that they wanted to be added to your fan mailing list.

But, that’s not really part of your autoresponder welcome sequence because your potential fan isn’t actually on your fan mailing list until they have clicked the link in the confirmation message.

This first autoresponder message you’re about to create will be sent as soon as your new fan has clicked that confirmation message.

If you remember from the last tutorial on how to build your musician Squeeze Page, when your new fan clicks the link in the confirmation message, they are sent to your Success Page or Download page.

Whilst they are doing that, your Aweber account will send this first autoresponder message, so it makes a lot of sense to use it as a reminder of where the Success Page is (in case they somehow failed to actually get as far as that) and also to start the process of engaging with them.

Sometimes things do interrupt your new subscriber just at the moment they should be taken to the download page and be grabbing your music - and this can be an amplified issue if they are on their phone whilst signing up to your email list.

So, use this first autoresponder message to give them the URL of the Success Page and to start telling them your story - and always ask for feedback to show that their interaction with you doesn’t have to be a one-way street.

Using this Drag & Drop Email Builder is going to be child's play for almost everyone following this tutorial series.

After clicking through, the screen you’re taken to is like a basic word processor with some further options on the left hand side, that you aren’t going to use at this stage - if at all!

edit band newsletter

​That left hand menu is for adding images, buttons and lots more and for creating a layout of an HTML style email but without having to touch the HTML code.

However, as you’re going to be writing a plain text message, you won’t need any of that column and you’ll just use the basic options in the top menu that you’ll be familiar with for things like bolding text or aligning it and adding links.

It’s easy.

The larger white area is the content area where you’ll write your whole message and what you put in there is the content of that first email that your fans will receive automatically - and you’ll get to that in a minute.

But first, let’s talk about personalization in your emails.

Personalizing Your Aweber Emails​

You’ll remember that when you set up your Aweber fan email list system to start with and set up your musician Squeeze Page, you were advised to collect the first name of your potential new fan in your sign-up form.

And this is where we get to why you did that.

When you're creating any emails in your Aweber account (whether they be Follow-Up messages for your autoresponder or Broadcasts or whatever) you have the option to personalize the content of your message.

This means that you can address your email directly to the fan who joined your musician email list by using their first name, which you collected from the sign-up form on your Squeeze Page.

That first name is stored in your Aweber account with their email address.

So, when you create an email that will go to everyone on your email list, you tell Aweber to drop in the ‘First Name’ of each person on every individual email that it sends.

You can, of course, choose not to use this feature and address all your emails to your fans on your mailing list with something like ‘Hey Guys’, but, as we've repeatedly stated throughout this set of tutorials, as a DIY musician, the personal engagement is key.

So, you’re recommended to use this option and drop in your fan’s first name.

Where should you do this?

Well definitely in the opening where you say ‘Hi’. That should be ‘Hi Ian’.

But you can also put it in the subject line of your emails and anywhere else in the content if it makes sense to do so.

To actually put this in place you need to tell Aweber where to use the ‘First Name’ of each recipient.

Place your cursor in the content area where you want the fan’s first name to appear - so, in the video example, just after the word ‘Hi’ right at the start of the email.

Simply click over to to the right side of the grey bar above the content area to where it says ‘Personalize’, click that and you’ll see a dropdown of options where the second is ‘First Name’.

Click this and the code for inserting your fan’s first name will appear in your content where your cursor was.

This looks like ‘{!firstname_fix}’.

Now every email that gets sent out with this will say ‘Hi Ian’ - or whatever the fan’s name is - automatically.

To use a fan’s first name in the subject line, click the ‘Personalize’ button in the subject line box and, again, place the cursor in the subject line where you want the personalization before you click the ‘First Name’ option from the dropdown.

For example, you could make this subject line read ‘Thanks for Downloading the Your Great Band E.P., Ian - Here’s Your Download Reminder’.

To be honest, I use personalization for the opening of every email and sometimes again in the text of the email, but I very rarely use it in the subject line. That’s just my habit but you might find it works for you.

personalize musician email

​What To Write In Your Welcome Email​

So, back in the large white content area of this message edit screen, you’ll have seen in the video that I pasted in some text that I’d already prepared, so I just pasted it all into the white box and then fixed the line spacing.

You can do that, or you can type directly into the content are - it is just like using a word processor that you’ll be perfectly at home with.

Increase The Font Size:

Once you’ve typed some of what you want to say in that box, you’ll want to highlight all the text and increase the font size.

I find that 14 point is about right, just because I feel that the default 11 point is too small.

With the text highlighted you increase the font size (and can change the font) by selecting in the ‘Font’ and ‘Size’ buttons on the top left of that content area.

By all means go smaller than 14 point if you prefer but it feels about right to me.

Enter Your Subject Line:

In the other white box at the top of the screen where it says ‘Insert Your Subject Here’, you need to enter your email subject line.

Now, I could write another 10,000 words on what to write in a subject line and whether to use capitalised words or not.

But...I won’t.

Not today!

aweber email subject line

​You’ll see in the video that I wrote simply ‘Thanks For Downloading the Your Great Band E.P - Download Reminder’.

This is what your recipient fan will see in the subject line of their email inbox, so in this first autoresponder email all I’m trying to do is be obvious.

I want them to see it and if it goes to a junk folder I want them to find it, so I’m putting the name of the band in there and making it clear it’s just about where they can get to the download they just signed up for.

I recommend that you do the same - say ‘thanks’ for their interest and make sure the artist name is in there. The rest of it is up to you.

Note that I capitalised all the words except ‘for’ and ‘the’. I’d suggest you do the same, but in later emails there’s a school of thought that suggests you’ll look more like a friend if you use normal sentence case - i.e.  a capital only on the first word.

You can try that out on later emails and make your mind up, but you may as well pretty much copy my subject line text and formatting for your first email.

Plenty Of White Space:

Back in the content of the email itself, break up your email into small blocks of text, with generally no more than one sentence in each paragraph.

In other words, there’s lots of white space around the words making it easy to read and to see the links that you’ll add because they are going to appear as blue hyperlinks.

Just think about how you feel if you’re presented with a wall of text with no breaks. You’re simply less likely to read it.

One thing I’d admit is that I probably make my welcome email a bit too long, but I’m not known for brevity…..

As long as you can get what you need into the email, simple is best and brevity is better and you’ll be doing a better job than me!

What You Need To Say:

In the rest of the text of this email you want to ensure you do a few key things.

Firstly, introduce yourself and your band, if you’re in one. Use your first name (unless you use a stage name!) and tell them what role you have in the band.

As we said in the earlier Aweber set up tutorial, you should’ve decided who was going to be the sender of emails for your band - easy if you’re a solo artist and usually the front man/singer if you’re a band.

Your fans will expect a personal tone from you as a DIY musician, so using the first name of your chosen figurehead and a personal tone are key. In other words, at this level and stage of your career you must not write about your music and your band in the third person.

To me it comes off as fakery if you write about your music in the third person in these emails and on your band website. That’s fine for Coldplay and Beyonce but if you’re building your fanbase fan by fan you should be talking to them on an individual level.

Secondly, you must thank your new fan for signing up.

Remember that they’ve invested in you to hear your music. OK - they haven’t paid for your music, but they have committed to giving you their time to listen to it and give you a chance and you need to thank them for that.

After that you’ll want to tell them something about you and your music and, hopefully, something about your story.

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This isn’t complicated - just a few sentences that are on a human level about why you make music and a few factual things about these particular tracks.

If you’re a middle aged carpenter who makes Bluegrass because of the stories your Grandfather told you when you sat on his knee, tell your fans that. And then tell them that the collection of ten songs they downloaded were written about your Grandpa's life and you even played his guitar on a few of them - you get the idea.

I like to follow that brief explanation with a line saying how much you hope they’ll like what they hear.

Download Reminder With A Link To Success Page:

The next thing you want to do is tell them that hopefully they have the download already (because clicking on the confirmation message should take them to your Success Page), and that they should have a zip file to unzip to be able to hear the music.

I sometimes add a line here where I link to a page on the bandcamp website that has some great advice on how to get a downloaded zip file into iTunes. I know you’re not using bandcamp at all in this system, but this page has some advice that is helpful for your less technically able fans and it means you don’t have to write it all out for them!

Other times I just tell them that they might need an app to unzip the folder if they are using a phone to download the music.

There’s no getting away from the fact that this is an issue with a download file, but I find that only a tiny percentage of your potential fans actually have a real issue with it.

But, the key thing here is to give them the link to the Success Page again. In fact, give it to them a couple of times - once as a URL (some people prefer to click on or even copy and paste a URL from an email) and once as a plain call to action, such as ‘Click Here’.

Creating a hyperlink from any of the text that you’ve typed in the message is simple - and, again, you’ll almost certainly have done the same thing in a word processor.

You’ll see in the video that the first link I create is the full URL of the Success Page. Hopefully you’ve kept that on your little text file of notes and logins, but, if not, you can go into the WordPress Dashboard of your website and find the Page and grab the URL.

Have that URL in the text of your content - so something like ‘If you missed it you can click here to get your download - http://yourgreatband.com/ygbfreedlmembers’ - highlight the part that is the URL and click the hyperlink button in the grey menu above the content area.

This will pop out a window where you create the link.

Paste in the same URL and click ‘OK’.

create link in band newsletter

​You’ll now see the URL in the text of your email as a blue clickable hyperlink.

Towards the end of your email, add a second reminder, but this time highlight some ‘call to action’ text, such as ‘CLICK HERE’ and do the same steps to create a second hyperlink.

That way your new fan sees several options to click to ensure that they actually get to the download you need them to hear.

In the section below on using a ‘P.S.’ there’s some more thoughts on adding a third hyperlink!

multiple links in band newsletter

​Tell Them What To Expect And Ask For Feedback:

In the last section of your email you’ll want to make sure that your new fan knows that you’ll be sending them more emails over the next few weeks and when you have news about what you’re up to.

As we’ve said elsewhere some of  your new fans are going to unsubscribe and send you emails saying that you have been sending too many emails right after they signed up.

This happens.

It’s the price you pay for doing direct response marketing.

Learn to live with it in the knowledge that fans who unsubscribe were probably not the fans you needed!

Those that really engage with you and your music will generally stick around and stay on your mailing list.

A great way to encourage this is to directly ask for feedback in this welcome email.

Simply ask them to hit reply or give them the band email address that we’ll show you how to set up in this post, and ask them to let you know what they think of what they’ve heard.

Not every fan will but you’ll likely be surprised by how many do and these replies are the start of your chance to engage more deeply with some of your new fanbase.

Make sure to say that you read and reply to every email you receive - and then make sure that you do indeed do that!

You can see in the video that I also add a line where you ask your new fans to send their friends to your band website to get your music rather than sharing it directly - so that you can keep in touch with them too.

Obviously this is an attempt to ensure that everyone who is interested in your music ends up on your fan mailing list.

To be honest, I don’t know how effective it is and you should be glad that anyone wants to tell their friends about you and your music in any way they see fit - social proof like that is worth more than almost any marketing you can do.

Whether you add this or not is up to you. Do note, however, that I don’t put a link to the website or the Squeeze Page here - all the links in this email need to go to the Success Page. That’s the action you need your fan to take so don’t put any other links in this email.


TIP:   ​That’s actually a key piece of advice for your autoresponder messages and broadcasts and, in fact, for all your future email marketing.

Do place multiple links in all your emails, but always to the one same destination. Do not send emails that have different links to different destinations.

Always focus all your efforts in a single email on a single action and single destination that you want your fans to do and visit.

If you have more than one thing you want them to do, split those actions into separate emails!

That’s pretty much it for what you need to put in the text of your first fan welcome email, but there’s one thing I didn’t do in the video that I’d advise you to add - a ‘P.S.’.

The Three Part Power of the ‘P.S.’​

Although you didn’t see me do it in the video above, you should always add a ‘P.S.’ under your signature to every email you send. Both for emails in your autoresponder sequence and when you later come to send ‘Broadcast’ emails.

There’s three reasons.

Firstly, a ‘P.S.’ in an autoresponder email can be used to create what marketing people call an ‘open loop’. This is when you say something in your ‘P.S.’ that tells your fan what to expect in the next mail - and play a little trick on them by hinting at what you’ll be writing about.

The psychology is that you have created an ‘open loop’ in your fan’s mind and they want to open the next email to see how you ‘close the loop’.

And, so, your fan stays on as as subscriber and actually looks forward to that next email and is eager to open and read it.

So, in your ‘P.S.’ you might say something like:

‘P.S. - Stay tuned for our next mail when we’ll tell you how we played a gig for royalty and were given a tiger as a fee!’.

I’m telling you that there’s not many people who wouldn't want to hear how that turned out!

The art of the open loop is simple to use but you should also think about it carefully. Don’t try a shock and awe approach to every ‘P.S.’, just give your fan a reason every time to stick with you and wait for your next mail.

And, do be careful to actually close the loop with the story in your next email - don’t leave ‘em hanging!

And, secondly, the ‘P.S.’ is critical for a small percentage of your fans who open an email, skim through it and don’t really take in what you wrote.

These are the ‘TL:DR’ folks.

They are opening your emails but they aren’t getting the stories you’re telling and the engagement you’ve worked hard to be allowed to build because they aren’t reading them.

They open the email, skim through and haven’t really taken it in.

But, most people do notice a ‘P.S.’ at the bottom even if they read nothing else.

So, you can use the ‘P.S.’ to give them a very short summary of what the email said in as few words as possible.

As you write more emails to your fans you’ll learn to write a ‘P.S.’ that is both a summary and an open loop for the next email.

Thirdly, if you’re linking to anything in your email - an offer to buy some music, a gig announcement, a blog post, a YouTube or Facebook video, for example - then you should always (as I showed in the video) put the link in your email as a hyperlink more than once - ideally once as a URL and once as a call to action such as ‘Click here’ or ‘Watch the video on YouTube’.

But, the third secret of the ‘P.S.’, is that you should use it as a third place to drop that clickable link in your email.

I’ve seen it proven countless times that putting the link you want your fans to click in your email (or blog post for that matter) more than once will see it getting more clicks - and my experience has always confirmed it.

Given that’s the case, add the link you want your fans to click into the ‘P.S’ and you’ll squeeze a few more visitors to your music sales page or YouTube Video - and every one counts.

Wrapping all three of those functions together, your fantasy ‘P.S’ could now read:

‘P.S. - If you haven’t seen it yet our new video is out today and you can see it here - http://youtube.com/your-new-video. I’ve got a true story to tell you next time about that video and how it was inspired by a gig we did for royalty who paid us with a tiger!’

Take it from us, this little extra lesson in the triple power of the P.S. just amped up your fan email game more than you can imagine!

In your first welcome email, your ‘P.S.’ could read:

‘P.S. - If you skimmed this email, we said ‘Hi’ and ‘Thanks’ and made sure you had the link to the download page if you missed that so far. There’s an email coming tomorrow when we’ll give you the missing track from our debut album sessions - a track that Elvis wanted to sing from beyond the grave.’

So, that has a summary of what the email was about, one more link to the download page and an open loop for the email you’ll set up to be sent automatically on the next day.

That’s your email done.

Just make sure that you click ‘Save’ at this stage, and hopefully you’ve been doing that all long whilst writing your welcome email. Luckily, Aweber autosaves as you go along!

All you need to do now is test it!

Test Your Autoresponder Message​

You should never send a message from your email software without sending it to yourself to make sure that everything is bang on.

And that means testing each message you put into your autoresponder sequence and every broadcast email that you send out later.

You’re looking to make sure primarily that the links work and take your fan to the correct URL destination, but you’re also looking for typos, formatting issues and even just spelling mistakes.

Take it from me - it’s far better to test than send an email out to thousands of fans where you make a stupid mistake!

To do the test, click the blue ‘Preview & Test’ button in the top right hand corner of the message editing screen

test band newsletter message

​You’ll be taken to a new screen where you can enter the email and first name that you want to use to test the email.

You have to add these manually as you’re testing the system, not asking it to look at all the emails you’ve collected so you want to send this test email to yourself.

So in the white box above the email content, enter the email address that you’re going to send the test to - your email address.

And then, to add the personalization that we looked at earlier in this tutorial, click the ‘Personalize’ button on the right and enter your first name.

This will then appear wherever you put the ‘{!firstname_fix}’ code.

Once you’re set, just click the green ‘Send Test’ button.

send band email message test

​Note that you can get back to the main message edit screen with the ‘Back’ button at the top.

Having sent the test, you need to check that your email works properly.

Pop over to your email and find your test message, open it and click all the links you used.

check band newsletter message

​Make sure that they all work and go where you want them to - in the case of this first email that being your Success Page.

Check that the personalization has worked and that everything else looks good.

If not, head back to your message edit screen in Aweber and fix any issues, and then….test again.

Do not send out an email until you are satisfied that all the elements are correct!

Once you are happy that it’s all tickety boo, click ‘Save & Exit’ which is on the bottom right of the edit message screen.

save band mailing list message

​That’s the first autoresponder message done. Now all you have to do is add it to your autoresponder ‘Follow-Up’ sequence.

Add Your First Autoresponder Message To Your Follow Up Series​

As soon as you’ve clicked the ‘Save & Exit’ button, you’ll be taken to the ‘Drafts’ screen of your Messages area in your Aweber account.

That’s where Aweber stores any messages you create until you tell Aweber what to do with them and you’ll see your first email message there, referenced by the subject line you used.

This first email you’ve created now needs to be added to your ‘Follow Up Series’.

Simply click ‘Send Options’ and a pop up will offer three options for this message - ‘Send a Test Email’, ‘Schedule a Broadcast’ or ‘Add to Follow Up Series’.

add message to band newsletter autoresponder

​Obviously it’s the last of these we want, but this is another way to get to the Preview & Test option if you need to do that again.

You’d select ‘Schedule a Broadcast’ if you wanted to send a message to all of your fan email list at that moment - as we’ve said, for things like announcing a new release.

So, select ‘Add to Follow Up Series’ and a new window will pop over the screen.

On this pop-up, you’ll see that Aweber tells you that this messages is going to be ‘Follow Up #1’ and that your fans will receive this message ‘immediately’ after signing up to your mailing list.

Click the green ‘Add to Follow Up Series’ and that message is done - automated and ready to go to every new fan as soon as they have hit the link in the confirmation message.

add first follow up to band email list

​Since you’ve just added that message to your Follow Up Series, as you click you’re taken to the screen for the Legacy Follow Up Series.

And you’ll see your first welcome message here and the fact that it will be sent immediately on a new fan sign-up.

This screen is where you will see all your autoresponder welcome sequence emails, arranged down the page in timed order.

follow up series in band newsletter

Each will state how many days after the previous message it will be sent and as you create these further messages you’ll see a few more options are offered, such as setting all emails in the sequence to be sent at the same time of day using your fan’s local time.

These additional Follow Up messages are very easy to add.

You can create them in exactly the same way as the first message you’ve just put together.

You can get to the Drag & Drop Email Builder from the large green ‘Create Message’ button on this or any Messages screen and also from the Aweber Home screen of your account.

You can also copy this first message to Drafts (by clicking ‘Copy to Drafts’ on this screen just underneath that first message) and then edit a new message from that draft - the advantage being simply that you already have the font size changed and your signature at the bottom.

Whatever method you’re comfortable with is fine.

Adding More Messages To Your Autoresponder Sequence

The process for making each mail is the same and as you complete them you’ll be asked to add them to your Follow Up Series and to set how many days delay you want the next message to be sent out.

When you have a series loaded into this Legacy Follow Up Series they will be arranged down the page and you can drag and drop them around to move their place in the sequence.

You should think carefully about the intervals between messages and what you want your series to do.

We’ve mentioned this elsewhere in the series but you will generally build a better connection with the fanbase that have joined your fan email list if you mail them more often than you will likely initially feel comfortable with.

The fear of hard won ‘fans’ unsubscribing and, yes, receiving the occasional pissed off email from some who signed up puts a lot of musicians off.

Again.

Take it from us, you cannot please all the people all of the time and our best advice is to mail your new fans every day for a week or even two, especially if you have enough depth to your story to make that interesting and enough material to talk about.

Spacing these initial emails out every few days is the next best option and is a middle ground that we find a lot of musicians settle on.

You’ll want to get at least eight to ten emails in this initial sequence and at least one (later in the series) should be an email that asks your new fan to buy something - a CD of the download you’ve already given them for free, another album you have in your catalogue or some merchandise.

Do not be afraid to ask for the sale.

These people have shown an interest in your music, downloaded it and stuck with the email series you’ve sent them.

There are no people more qualified on the whole planet to buy from you than these fans!

They are primed.

So, make sure that, at some point in your follow up series, you ask them to buy!

We’ve already touched above on what this Follow Up Series should also talk about, and it will be different for every artist.

There’s a huge amount to think about in how you approach talking to your new fans, starting with identifying a niche, what they are usually interested in and speaking to them in their language, and thinking about what you story is and how to tell it - all of which was covered in the first post of this band website series.

If you’re about to start building out your Follow Up Series, go and read that post again and think about how you want to engage your fans and what you think they will respond to.

Your aim is to tell your story, feed your fans details about what your about, get them to listen to your music and build rapport with them by asking them to respond to your emails.

Feed Your Music Discovery Engine

So, you're done with the core steps in this tutorial series.

That’s a very big deal as you’ve just built the platform on which all your future success can sit.

Without this platform you might get lucky, but with it, and a plan and goals for growing your fanbase you just put yourself in the op percentage of DIY musicians.

You deserve a lot of credit.

Give yourself an almighty pat on the back!

You’ve built the basic version of your site and you can build that out and style it as you go, and we’ll have some more posts on that to help you.

But, crucially, you have built the engine that can drive the growth of your fanbase.

You don’t actually need the rest of your band website yet. It would be nice, but it’s not essential for the purpose of getting fans on to your mailing list and engaging with them.

What is essential is driving discovery of your music, getting those potential new fans to sign up to your fan mailing list and let your autoresponder do the job of starting their engagement with you and your music.

How to drive that discovery is another massive topic.

We are working on an expansion of this free tutorial series where we cover the build out of your band website, but also deal with mindset and planning your success and we’ll also cover how to use this engine to become a fully fledged full time DIY musician who can make a decent living just from your music!

This is something we do all day every day and if you want to hear more about that course when it’s available you can sign up to the early bird registration here.

​​But, for now make every other marketing effort that you use direct your potential fans back to your Squeeze Page and let your email follow up series do its job.

You will be stunned!

That means linking from every video on YouTube (use the cards and end screens and descriptions.

Use the link in your bio in Instagram and post music clips and great photos.

Tweet the link to your Squeeze Page and be engaging on Twitter. Build a Twitter following by using an intense Twitter growth strategy.

And master Facebook.

Give your Facebook followers a stream of content that is both about you and your music but also about the interest you share with them - and you know what these are because you’ve thought about your niche.

Have the Aweber Atom App on your merch table at shows and hustle to get live shows that matter. Call out your free download from the stage and send people to the merch table to sign up.

Do all these things.

And more.

music discovery engine

​But, there’s a secret that works for every musician we’ve ever worked with.

Advertising.

You might think it’s a dirty word and there’s no doubt that you can build a fanbase without advertising and just hustling social media, playing live and networking.

But, advertising works.

You don’t have to do it.

Build this fan email collection system whether you are going to ever use advertising or not,

It will serve you either way.

But advertising in the digital age allows you to control your own discovery.

You can find people who you think will like your music and put your exclusive free package offer in front of them.

That’s the next skill you will want to learn.

First build this band website and email system and then take our course that will teach you exactly how to feed your music marketing engine. ​

This series is done, but there’s one more thing we mentioned several times and we just want to show you how to make sure you set it up.

Set Up Your Band Email Address For Your Band Website

Although you are done with all this Squeeze Page and email list set-up stuff you might have noticed that several times in this set of tutorials we’ve mentioned that you can use an email address which is using your band website domain.

But, how do you set that up?

In the next (quick and easy) post you’ll learn how to set up that band website email address in literally 60 seconds.

Don’t forget that you can also download the full checklist to keep on hand as you go through all these steps (which also covers the set-up of the email list and squeeze page).

Download the accompanying checklist by clicking below:

​CLICK TO GET THE FREE COURSE CHECKLIST NOW

CLICK TO GET THE FREE COURSE CHECKLIST NOW

You can go back to the hub page for all the posts for the whole system here but if you’re reading these posts in order then click below to go to the next step.

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Ian

Ian Clifford is the owner of Illicit Media, a music management and consulting company. He is also the owner of Make It In Music, an online site that is the ultimate resource for aspiring musicians offering advice, tips, and insight on all the skills needed by modern artists to succeed in the rapidly changing music industry.

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