Tag Archives: Events

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Emails Are Read by A&Rs, Managers & Booking Agents

How to Make Sure Your Emails Are Read by A&R Guys, Managers and Booking Agents

Life as an unsigned musician is frustrating to say the least; hours on end rehearsing, months in the recording studio, every last penny on promotional material and yet when it’s time to send out those all-important emails to the industry you can bet that replies will be few and far between.

Industry folk receive hundreds of emails every week and whilst many emails are no doubt overlooked, there are certainly a few things to avoid if you want to make yourself heard. The first thing to remember is that A&R guys, managers, promoters and booking agents are all normal people like you and I, it’s part of their job to find new music and so if you contact them with a personable, non-salesy approach you stand a much better chance of starting up a conversation.

I’m not really in the music industry myself, I run a booking agency for function bands, but still, I think the principle is the same regardless. Every day we receive emails from new bands and musicians in the events industry looking to join our books, we check out every single act that approaches us but unfortunately very few are up to the standard we’re looking for. This article is more about making sure that your email is read and that your work is heard in the first place, most of it appears to be common sense and yet a lot of people aren’t following the basics.

Be Personable in Your Approach

Rule number one is to be personable and approach the right people.

Sending out a blanket email with hundreds of people blind copied in (or worse, CC’d in!) is definitely a big no-no, if you haven’t got the time to send out a personal email then why should anyone be bothered to read it.

Do your research, find people in the same field as your music and write to them on their level.

Try to avoid sending emails to generic addresses such as info@, you want to reach the individual and it isn’t usually too hard to find out what their email is, for example,firstname@domain.com or firstname.lastname@domain.com is probably a good starting point. Using social media to message can work but I still think email is an important first point of contact, after all, Facebook messages will end up in the “other” folder of death and Twitter is all too easy to ignore due to the sheer mass of information available.

Don’t be a Salesman

Nobody wants to read an email that kicks off with a long rant about how good your band is, what your inspirations are and why you’re the next big thing; be confident and friendly in your opening line and for goodness sake, be “normal.”

HTML or flyer emails are a massive no-no, it comes across as spammy and in my opinion is the completely wrong approach. If I receive an HTML email my finger is so quick to hit the delete button that it barely even registers – that’s if the spam filters don’t get to it first.

Use the recipients first name, open with a line to introduce yourself, perhaps even mentioning that you’ve supported one of their bands or that you were passed on their info by a fellow musician or associate – having a mutual contact will definitely go a long way. Include a brief paragraph about yourself and why you think they might be interested, that’s the most you can do at this stage. The longer an email is the less likely the chances of it being read. Finally, check your spelling and punctuation. (Queue comments about my punctuation.)

Link to Soundcloud and Youtube

Avoid large attachments such as mp3s, it clogs up the inbox, takes time to download and is a general annoyance in the age of the cloud. Instead, include a link to your Soundcloud or Youtube page, whilst your website may be awesome, people generally like familiarity and prefer to visit a page that they can quickly access without the need to actually engage their brains.

Create Great Demos and Promotional Material

Promotional material is the key, you are essentially a brand and in order to sell yourself you need high quality photos and fully-produced demos – whilst lots of musically-minded people like to think they don’t need the production to recognize a good band or well-written song, I beg to differ; a great song is a great song but sometimes a good song can turn into a great song with a little bit of help in the studio.

Think about your target audience and help an A&R guy to visualize exactly what it is you’re trying to be, whilst you may have the outlook of “we just do what we do,” you can bet that they will need a clear plan of action if they’re going to pitch you up the chain of command.

Don’t Be Disheartened When You Get No Response

When you get no response to your well thought out emails it’s easy to assume that they aren’t being read but the truth is that 99.9% of music that gets sent out simply isn’t what that particular person is looking for. My advice is to continue to write great music, build your fan base and ignore the industry, they will come to you when the time is right.

About the Author:
Written by Adam Mezzatesta, founder of UK music agency www.bandsforhire.net

HOW TO USE SNAPCHAT FOR EVENT MARKETING

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Though it’s been out since 2011, Snapchat is still relatively unknown. That’s a shame because it’s a tool that can come in really handy especially for event planners. If used the right way, it can really foster engagement among followers and create some much needed hype.

More marketers, however, are beginning to catch on, as is the general public. As of May 2015, there are an estimated 100 million active daily users. Furthermore, roughly one in five social media users also use Snapchat.

Read more on how event professionals around the world are incorporating social media tips and trends into their event marketing and attendee engagement.

Snapchat Best Practices

  1. Provide a First Peek

Remember, Snapchat is distinguished for its “one-time view” feature. Once opened, content can be viewed only once and usually for a duration of only 10 seconds before it self-deletes. How might you be able to take advantage of such a concept? One way is to provide an insider’s look into a product or service.

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If your event is unveiling a new product, for example, then you can use Snapchat to provide a sneak peek of the product. Since viewers only get a one-time look, they’ll be debating about it on social media about what the new product is, how it works, how it differs from previous products, etc. This kind of gives the item an aura of mystery that encourages online discussions.

  1. Provide a Behind-the-Scenes Look

You can also take a page out of Hilton’s playbook and use Snapchat to provide a behind-the-scenes look. To promote its Live Nations concert series, which provides live entertainment to reward program members,Hilton used Snapchat to unveil behind-the-scenes snippets of some of its concerts.

This included one with Jason Derulo during his performance at San Diego’s Hilton Bayfront. The goal was to target millennials and get them to sign up for the company’s loyalty program, which is made up primarily of older members.

You can do the same. Granted, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get celebrities on board for your event. Nevertheless, you can still use Snapchat for providing a behind-the-scenes look, which can include a look at board meetings, venue scouting, or backstage happenings from a previous event.

  1. Make a Game Out of It

Find a way to make a game using Snapchat. Heineken did this to perfection. In collaboration with the Coachella festival, the beer company sent out cropped images on Snapchat, which included obscured photos of celebrity performers.

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Image courtesy of Event Marketer

The image revealed a surprise performer scheduled to perform at the Heineken House, the company’s performance stage for the festival. Snapchat users that were able to correctly decipher the image and identify the performer were rewarded with a confirmation of the star’s identity and details of the performance.

You can use Snapchat to create your own guessing game. Perhaps provide an image or emoji relating to a company product or service. Participants that guess correctly within a set number of tries will be rewarded with a small prize, such as a discount code.

  1. Incorporate It into a Contest

Social media contests are a tried-and-true strategy for encouraging consumer participation. Snapchat can be used in one way or another.

Here’s one example: create a word scramble game consisting of multiple rounds that progress in difficulty. For one of the later and more advanced rounds, the scrambled words can be sent via Snapchat, and participants only get a brief look before it automatically deletes.

Of course, players can cheat by taking a screenshot or snapping a photo of it with their mobile phone. That’s fine if they do that; what’s important is that you create some sort of contest that generates engagement. Those who successfully complete every word scramble round will, of course, be the winners and receive some sort of prize, such as a free event ticket.

  1. Take Advantage of the “Our Story” Feature

“Our Story” is a feature designed specifically for events. It allows planners to send live content right as their event is in progress. When you enable this feature, users present at the event can join in and submit their own image or short video from the event and share it with their own followers.

That is a lot of free marketing right there courtesy of your own guests. If you’re going to use Snapchat, then it doesn’t make sense not to milk this feature.

Don’t Ignore Snapchat

If you’re already using prominent social networks like Facebook and Twitter, then you might as well incorporate Snapchat while you’re at it. It’s just another tool in your arsenal that you can add for acquiring more publicity for your event.

Guest Author Bio: Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at JD Parties, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter@DanCarthy2.