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August 1, 2014Bob Popyk - Member Local 78 (Syracuse, NY)
I know how it goes. You get a lead on a club gig, a corporate event, or a wedding, and one of the first things you do is get an e-mail address and send a note to see if the person is really interested and if you should pursue it further. But hold on for a minute. Are those e-mails or e-mail blasts you’re sending even being read or opened up? I read an article recently that the average retail customer receives up to 300 e-mails every week, checks their smartphone more than 100 times per a day, and spends 20+ hours each week reading and responding to e-mails.
It went on to say that our attention spans are shrinking, and it’s not hard to imagine why. In today’s fast-paced world of information overload, we’re constantly barraged with e-mails, text messages, and all kinds of things trying to grab our attention. We’re flooded with radio commercials, TV commercials, billboards, computer pop-ups, spam e-mail, snail mail, junk mail, YouTube ads, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, and everybody’s blogs. It’s like drinking from a fire hose. People’s brains today are being taxed to the limit because there are just too many things competing for attention.
Think about it yourself. How many e-mail messages do you delete (or not even read) because they are just too long? We actually feel good if we can hit delete right away. I think, if you’re trying to get a person’s attention with an e-mail message or text, shorter is better. (Did you know that 43% of most lengthy e-mails are deleted in the first 30 seconds?)
Being brief most often wins out. If the gig you’re trying to get needs some serious one-on-one contact, your best bet might be to not start by sending an e-mail or text. You might want to think about simply finding a way to talk with them in “real time,” either on the phone or face-to-face. Then you can take all the time you want to tell your prospect about you or your group, your playlist, your references, your fans, your experience, and all the reasons they shouldn’t book anyone else. You can then refer them to your website for a demo video. Maybe do a follow up e-mail after that.
You have a serious advantage in getting (or competing) for a gig when you are actually talking in person, instead of getting into e-mail Ping-Pong.
That’s not to say that e-mail marketing doesn’t have benefits, but there are a few things you might want to think about.
First of all, (as mentioned before), our attention spans today really are shorter. The average adult’s attention span is down to just eight seconds. (That’s less than that of a goldfish.)
Everyone today is on the go. People open over half of all e-mails on mobile devices these days. They squeeze checking their inbox in between everything else they do.
Make sure your e-mails are mobile friendly, especially if they link to your website. According to data from Constant Contact, a whopping 75% of people say they simply delete e-mails that don’t render nicely in their mobile inbox. Yikes!
When designing your e-mail, have mobile readers in mind. Compelling headlines, striking images, large fonts, and a clear call to action are must-haves for mobile-friendly e-mails that look great on big screens too.
And the shorter the better. Long e-mails can look intimidating. A long sequence of long paragraphs, are deleted faster. Long run-on sentences that do not seem to stop, or go anywhere either, seldom work. Sentences filled with fluff words that add little to the meaning are confusing, and can make the recipient read less. I read somewhere that the best e-mail messages are three witty and precise sentences long.
After consulting other marketing people, the consensus was, if you do have much to write:
• Break your e-mail message into bullet points.
• Begin each point with a concise summary of the action you want taken.
• Make sure important information is not hidden in your message.
• Only look for one action per message
In the music business we like to say, “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus.” In e-mail marketing just get to the point—the quicker the better. And if you’re following up a lead, trying to reach the person who wants to book you, and trying to find out if that potential gig is even viable, try talking to them in person. That’s my opinion.
If you’re talking to the person who might book you in person, or even on the phone, they can’t shut you out by hitting the delete key. It’s easier to make them feel like a friend, if they can hear emotion or inflection in your voice. All the emoticons in the world can’t be a substitute.
So, keep your e-mails short and remember that spending some real time with the person who might book you usually results in getting the gig. If the next e-mail you send out is eight sentences long, try cutting it to three. If the sentences ramble, shorten them. It will be easier for you and your recipient. Just don’t bore us.