Next to live performances and things like meet and greets, email marketing should be at the top of the list for musicians wanting to build quality relationships with fans and gain their trust.

For those of you that are not collecting emails, you are shooting yourself in the foot and you need to get on that (see this -> email marketing case study).

For those of that are collecting email I have a few tips on how you can take your email marketing step further.

Reply to New Subscribers

For the past year I have been replying to every person who subscribes to my list. It takes a little extra time but it is totally worth it.

Not everyone replies but the ones that do often are very appreciative and amazed that they are talking to me. It gets the conversation started and I can honestly say that I've actually become friends with some of my fans because of it.

Here's the message I reply with:

[first name],

Just wanted to personally thank you for grabbing my free songs. I really appreciate it.
I hope you are digging the songs.
And just so you know, if you have any question or comments, I'm right here.
Have a good one,
Corey Koehler
P.S. You can hear ALL of my songs here…

Pretty simple and straight forward.

I usually wait about 24 hours to reply just so they get a chance to check out the free music I sent in the first email plus I do not want to bombard them with a bunch of emails on there first day.

Also, to show increase the believability that it is actually me sending the message, I use a subject line that includes something specific to the time of the day I'm replying. Something like Good Afternoon, Good Evening, Happy Monday Morning, or whatever.

Bonus Tip: To save some time, make a template of the message so you don't have to tpe it out every time. If you use Gmail you can use a feature called canned response. I am pretty sure other email clients like Outlook or Yahoo have a similar feature.

Connect with New Subscribers on Social Networks

Having multiple points of contact is great for increasing the odds that you and your tunes remain top of mind in a sea of information. Also, having a large network of people on various social networks can really help spread the good word.

You could do it old school by searching for the new fan out in social media. OR you could use a bad ass tool to help you.

If you use Gmail, there is a great plugin called Rapportive (UPDATE: Check out Vibe App for Chrome instead… does the same thing)It recognizes an email address and then searches the internet to find any social media profiles that – the person attached to that address – might have (like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, etc).

It gives you a glimpse of their profiles so you learn a little bit about the person you're replying too.

You can also follow, friend and connect with that person right from your inbox. Very handy!

I've used this tool to build a pretty good network of friends, fans and industry contacts on sites like LinkedIn, Google Plus and Facebook.

Bonus Tip 2 (its your lucky day!): For more personability (is that a word? If not I think you know what I mean) you could even tailor your reply based on the what you learn profile information on display. For instance, if their Twitter profile mentions that they love Daft Punk or Neoclassical Lego Sculpture, and you happen to like one of them too, BAM!, you have something in common and the odds that a deliciously geeking chat on a mutual favorite could be at hand.

Go Forth and Multiply

So there you have it. To get the most out of your email sign-ups, sign up for Rapportive if you can, then connect, hit reply and introduce yourself to your new subscriber. You might create a fan and/or friend for life.

What do you think? Did I miss anything? Do you do this already and have a few tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below.

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