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10 Email Subject Line Words to Avoid if You’re A Musician

November 20, 2014 Featured News, Marketing No Comments

inbox_flickruser10chThis article, written by L.A.-based publicist Ebony Jeanette, originally appeared on Sonicbids. We’re excited to be working with them to exchange industry tips and trends for your business!

There are many reasons why that took-you-all-night-to-write-and-now-you’re-late-for-practice email you crafted to spread the word about how incredibly awesome your new album is got deleted — or even worse, triggered and flagged as spam. Perhaps the reason lies in the lack of power and punch of your subject line. Or, maybe it was your last-second word choice that damned your announcement to languish forever in the spam folder. If you used one of the 10 words in the list we’re about to share, the latter may be true.

Much like crafting that perfect pick-up line for the out-of-your-league guy or gal at a bar, the subject lines of your emails and press releases can be a major point of stress. Going over the coolest things you could possibly say without coming off like a complete moron mirrors the dreaded process of rereading and retyping subject lines for length, tone, spelling, and overall catchiness. Will it be deleted or even make it into the inbox without triggering spam filters?

Email intelligence experts at towerdata.com have identified the most common words and phrases that mail filters such as Spam Assassin, Postini, IronPort, Barracuda, and Outlook mark as spam, due these words’ association with “junk mail” (and no one wants that clogging up his or her inbox). Many of these no-no words are used in music writing and can significantly increase the chances of your email being sucked into the black hole of rejection known as the spam folder. By avoiding these 10 words in your email subject lines (view an extensive list here), you’ll dramatically increase your chance of besting spam filters and actually get your message opened and read.

Top 10 words to avoid in email subject lines:

  • Free
  • Available now
  • Download
  • Discount
  • Guarantee
  • Sign up now
  • Offer
  • Win
  • Order now
  • Thousands
  • Bonus tip: Also avoid using percentages of any kind (100%, 50%, etc.) in subject lines.

A killer subject line is hard to come by without a little creativity. Instead of saying “available now,” try “out today” or “new release.” Instead of “sign up,” use “invitation” or “let’s connect.” Stumped for synonyms? Use thesaurus.com for similar words and ways to get your point across.

When choosing your words, always remember that first impressions make lasting impressions. So the next time you get ready to crank out that email, triple-check this list to make sure your subject lines stay spam-free.

For more on email marketing best practices check out this Daily Rind post from the archives. 

Change Is In The Air for Spotify’s Desktop Platform…

November 10, 2014 Featured News, Marketing No Comments

Spotify_ios-sdkWe’re soon going to be seeing some changes from Spotify, regardless of whether we see Taylor Swift albums return or not. Spotify is in the process of a major redevelopment of their desktop platform! If you’re in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Philippines or Slovakia, you’ll start to see the new and improved platform slowly roll out, with 100% of Spotify users in all territories seeing the platform in early 2015. No further info yet on what to expect, but we think it’s going to be pretty cool.

As part of the roll out, Spotify is phasing out their third party apps. Once the new platform is launched, it will no longer be possible to run third party applications within the desktop client. Never fear though if you are looking for tools to build apps outside of the Spotify platform! Spotify has just launched their new Web API and mobile SDK’s for iOS and Android. If you have any questions on how to use these tools, please check out the FAQ’s on Spotify Developers site.

When & Why Should You Invest in Radio Promotion?

November 3, 2014 Featured News, Marketing No Comments

thesyndicate_logo_2014We’re happy to welcome our partners from The Syndicate to The Daily Rind! In this guest blog post, Robert Wilcox, Senior Manager of Alternative Radio Promotion, tells us when and why you should invest in radio promotion. Take it away, Rob! 

So you’re in a band, or perhaps you’re a manager of an up-and-coming artist — or perhaps you run a record label and have a release you want to create additional exposure for. What do you do to create awareness for a piece of art that needs to be heard? Where do you go? How do you bridge the gap between a local fan base and a national audience? As we’ve all learned, cream does not always rise, and it takes more than just a message in a bottle to make sure you’re being received in an ocean of new and/or already established artists.

Studies have shown that radio is still the number one source for new music discovery — and it’s as simple as flipping a switch or clicking a mouse. As a radio publicist, I too can attest to this, and feel that in any field of marketing, knowledge is power in taking full advantage of these tools. Much like a conversation you’d share with the knowledgeable clerk at your local mom and pop record store, radio promotion serves the purpose of cultivating positive dialogue about your music between the promoter and the programmer of a radio station — focused on turning them onto new ideas and sounds across various genres.

If you find that there’s been an organic build in awareness for you or your artist preceding a new release — independent or through a label — or you’re planning to go on tour in support of that release, you should consider radio promotion. This is especially important when your release has national distribution, either physically or digitally, as radio support can help influence immediate sales. In doing so, there are several arenas in which you can enlist a radio publicist to promote your record: College and “Non-Comm” Radio, Specialty Radio, and Commercial Radio.

For decades now, the College Radio format has existed as a source of new music discovery, regardless of genre. College Radio can also be a great launching pad for artists looking to test the waters of their commercial viability. Many artists, especially in the Indie genre, have seen their rise to notoriety through college radio. The Adult Album Alternative (or Triple A) radio format is representative of Indie and Singer/Songwriter “tastemakers” like WXPN in Philadelphia, KCMP in Minneapolis, WFUV in New York City, KCRW in Los Angeles, and KEXP in Seattle — all of whom happen to be Non-Commercial radio stations, either listener supported or university affiliated. Equally well known, the AAA format also includes commercial stations like WRLT in Nashville and WCNR in Charlottesville. These stations tend to play music that skews towards independent and heritage artists, and encompass a wide array of genres.

It’s not uncommon to also see artists from this side of the dial “cross over” into the world of Commercial Alternative Rock radio, where some recent examples include Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, and Mumford & Sons. But before these artists were in regular Rock rotation alongside bands like The Foo Fighters or M83, they were getting their first debut spins on commercial alternative New Music Shows — better referred to as the Alternative Specialty format. Alternative Specialty is a radio format designed to act as the testing ground for slightly more “underground” acts who are nudging their way into the mainstream. Well-respected stations like KROQ in Los Angeles, WRFF in Philadelphia, and WEQX in Albany all carry weekly specialty programs designed to feature new music from artists both old and new.

Regardless of the format, a good promoter will be there to help navigate and decide upon the appropriate avenues for your music. Not all music is meant for the radio (and that’s perfectly okay), but if you have a desire to be heard, choose a publicist that shares the same burning desire. The secret code to all of this is that when the right song hits the right ears, it can lead to wonderful results — whether you’re a radio programmer who’s inspired by a promoter to fall in love with a track, or a casual listener looking to purchase “something new” for their music collection.

— Robert Wilcox, The Syndicate

4 Creative Ways to Sell More Merch

October 28, 2014 Featured News, Marketing No Comments

merchThis article, written by Founder of New Artist Model, Dave Kusek, originally appeared on Sonicbids. We’re excited to be working with them to exchange industry tips and trends for your business!

A lot of people in the music industry call merchandise one of the best revenue streams musicians have left. Sometimes, however, getting people to buy your branded T-shirts or other knick-knacks can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting out.

Merch can become a great revenue stream for you and your band – if you have some strategies in mind when pitching and selling your merch. Here, we’ll cover four you can start implementing right now or at your next show.

1. Let people know you’re selling merch

Okay, this one isn’t exactly “creative,” but you’d be surprised how many musicians fail to do it, whether it simply slips their minds, or they aren’t comfortable playing salesmen.

We’ve all been to a concert where the excitement of the music and being with friends means we just don’t think about merch. Something as simple as mentioning that you have a merch table or even directly asking fans to check out what you’ve got for sale will increase the number of people who stop by.

If you want to really go above and beyond, take some time to walk through the audience (not during any other band’s performance, of course) and get a conversation going with fans. Carry some merch with you and make transactions right from your smartphone with a card reader like Square.

2. Make it fun

Sometimes the prospect of T-shirts isn’t enough to draw fans to the merch table. Once you actually get people there, however, the chance that they will buy greatly increases. One of the best ways to get people to walk over to the merch table is to make it an event. Don’t entirely leave your merch to some random assistant or venue employee – before and after the show, hang out there yourself!

Of course, you could just hang and talk to fans and that will certainly be effective, but, if you want to go one step further, take some time to think about how you can really turn it into a fun event. If your audience is primarily teenage girls, set up a photo booth with fun props where fans can take pictures with you and the band. If you play Hip-Hop or EDM, host a spur-of-the-moment dance contest over by the merch stand. Something fun will draw people – and purchases.

… Continue Reading

Buy Stuff (Read: Music) on Twitter

October 20, 2014 Featured News, Marketing No Comments

Twitter Buy ButtonLast month Twitter started testing a buy button that would allow users to purchase directly from a tweet on a mobile device. They are still rolling out the feature to a small amount of US users, which will grow over time. With the holiday season around the corner, we may be seeing offers in our feeds soon.

What is interesting is who they partnered with to start the test, the group includes charities, brands, and artists, including Death From Above 1979, Brad Paisley, The New Pornographers, Ryan Adams, Paramore and Megadeth to name a few.

The potential this tool could provide artists, bands, and labels is vast. You may already have D2C (direct to consumer) packages planned for your upcoming release that you are offering directly to your fans; with ‘in tweet’ purchasing you could expand on this idea by creating exclusive music, merch, tickets for your Twitter followers — basically another channel to reach your fans and offer them the flexibility to buy while never having to leave Twitter. Your future sales could be a few taps away!

About The Orchard

The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. Founded in 1997, we empower businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

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