Email Management: Thinking and Blogging About Channels

by Matt @ Kurb on January 29, 2009

I wanted to talk more about developing digital channels last year – that is refining your digital output into some kind of cohesive interface – but I’m afraid that kind of talk around here will not be making you richer in 2009. It’s fun and all to think about the future and groovy aliens or whatever, but you got to remember I wanted to bring a hard edged make money vibe to this music promotion blog.

Dreams are only free as long as you can afford a bed to sleep in.

So coming up next is a  post on Email List Management because it’s time to start getting on with stuff, and getting on with email management is a biggie.

The first 3 months I signed up with Aweber, a top email management service, I just let it sit there while I was off designing websites and whatever else but I knew I had to make some progress eventually, because for artists the email list is essential but not often considered.

No musicians ever ask about email management because it’s simply not so exciting as the stuff we do to help bands in getting traction on big sites, it’s a lot of work and it’s a long and slow return, but the email list is rudimentary in internet business and the music business is now an internet business, and this blog is all about using successful internet marketing strategies to build online music businesses.

I know, It’s getting crazy. You’re pushing out content across all these platforms which is essentially the same content – social networks, blogs, email, but you’re connecting with different audiences for different purposes. Is this efficient?

Again I’m comparing the way I interact with my readers and clients to the way you would interact with your fans.

So it’s all about processing and distributing content.

I mean this blog helps me think, so the weird thing is when I’m talking about something like email list management, I’m talking to myself to make sure the concepts are sinking in and swishing round in there. But I’m also talking to a lot of my readers who are often uncommitted potential clients, because I like to encourage people to learn more about what I’m doing if they’re actually going to benefit from it . . . whereas on the other hand, I know a lot of my clients dont read my blog at all, when they’re the ones who are paying for this stuff!

This is because they rely on my email consultations.

That was the whole idea behind my forum site, I needed a closed classroom where I didn’t have to spend hours answering emails. It’s endless, and it’s especially inefficient when often I’m just repeating the same stuff, answering the same questions.

And it takes more commitment to push that content out through blogging and the forum, to maintain those platforms. These are the problems that are waiting for you once you do actually start to make it.

Managing this stuff! You got hundreds or thousands of kids who think you’re amazing, by crikey you’ll have to manage it!

So until then you’ve really got to consider what channels are going to be most effective and how you’re going to manage them. Just as the artists priority is addressing the core fanbase, I’ve got to address my clients, as well as underlining why I need email management myself, just as much as any artist, to create more effective communications around customer interactions.

An email list is about managing the relationships that lead to revenue.

I was talking with a client and he asked me – well do you have an email list?

Well I don’t actually. Pretty much everything else I do with artists, I use myself but I’ve never bothered to build a list, despite the fact I’m always preaching it.

Usually I figure that I’m doing enough but that’s not really the point. If i’m going to go around suggesting that email list building is so important then I had better be testing it myself in practice.

And as I’ve said, I need a more effective way of getting important information to those who I need to provide for most – my clients, as you need to address your real fans, not the casual lurkers.

But it’s a real tribe building thing. This is real, people dont care about the damn CD! They want leadership!

Email management means not only managing your communication content better and developing communications processes, but also allows you to do that fine targeting and customizing your subscriber groups for specialized communications.

But hey, I’m not saying I’m packing in my forum. I’m just saying let’s learn to crawl before we run off anywhere, it’s nice to be doing well but you’ve got to stay lean and work within your capacity if you’re going to really start blowing up.

It would be great if we could all have buzzing forums but until then we’ve got to make the communications that count work as best as they can.

There’ll be more coming up in the next post as we get more detailed on this email management business.

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