Email marketing list – why and how you should build one

Building an email marketing list is so, so important.

It’s a powerful marketing tool and is often overlooked. Your email marketing list is your essential weapon of promotion; it can make you money and it can be used a service.

Get this picture in your head: You own a record label. Your goal is selling music. Now imagine you have an email marketing list containing 5000 people that love your record label and the music you release. Now envision sending 5000 people an email with a link to your own online store where they can directly purchase your music.

We’re talking about completely cutting out the distributor here.

Let’s say your single costs £2 to buy directly from your store and 20% of your email marketing list buys it.

That’s right, you’ve just made £2000 from sending a single email. #Winning.

If you are anything like me; your cogs are probably whirring, the light bulb has lit up and you are probably thinking, ‘hang on, I could do something like this too’. You’re goddamn right you can.

Here are the basics…

First thing’s first, you need to collect the email addresses and to do this you will need a landing page (a landing page is a specific web page advertising a specific product, the product in this instance is your music).

There are many landing page builders available, some cost a lot, some don’t.

On various projects I use Thrive’s landing page builder that is hosted on WordPress, it’s a one-off purchase and fully customisable, I really like it. Thrive is one of those “everything in one box” apps that plugs into WordPress. It comes with stacks of landing page templates that are easy to manage, it’s pretty much plug and play. It’s great if you’re strapped for time. It also doesn’t cost a lot. It was around £60.

Without being aware you have already been part of this workflow pipeline during your time on the internet. You’ve landed on a page; found something appealing, submitted your email address and in return, you‘ve received an email.

See how this works now? The landing page is where your customers will end up when searching Google, clicking on a Facebook ad or clicking a Tweet, etc. Essentially it doesn’t matter where the traffic comes from at this stage, but what matters is collecting their email address and keeping it for future use.

On the landing page you need to display your promotion or product, perhaps an embedded SoundCloud player featuring your latest release or mix, an email sign-up box and a call-to-action (CTA) AKA a reason why the person should hand over their precious email address in the first place.


In a nerdy kind of way, CTAs are really interesting. I enjoy psychology and how people perceive words and actions. What’s even more interesting to me is how those people act on those words and actions.

A CTA is an instruction, which is carefully written, designed for a purpose, normally to get someone to take action. However, people have started to abuse CTA techniques, by combining them with subject lines.

You’re probably aware of a little guy called ‘clickbait’; he is the worse kind of example of CTA abuse. He’s very deceptive and has normally been put together by a scheming journalist. We’ve all clicked on link laced with ‘clickbait’ and thought “well, this has nothing to do with the reason I clicked or signed up”. This is precisely the point, it’s designed for one aim only and that is to gain traffic.

All I can advise is to not go down that route as it won’t benefit in the long run.

The best kind of CTA is a different beast; it’s still a clever piece of writing tailored for your audience, but without the deceptive attributes. You’ll normally find it right before a sign-up box on a landing page or website.

It can give the customer a sense of reassurance that signing up is the right move to take. The CTA can be persuasive, thought provoking, clever, funny and even inspiring.

A well-worded example; Netflix’s landing page features a sign up box which says ‘See what’s next. Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime’ and on the button underneath it states ‘Join free for a month’.

This is both a strategic play on words and a reassurance of intent. ‘See what’s next’ could mean see what film is next, or see what happens next after signing up. ‘Watch anywhere’ tells you that Netflix can be taken and viewed anywhere, suggesting that it’s available on all portable platforms. ‘Cancel anytime’ tells the consumer that it’s not a contract and can leave without giving notice. So, in a mere 7 words this CTA explains and codifies Netflix’s business model in your head.

Landing pages

Make your landing page interesting, think carefully about the colours, your wording and the branding. Try to keep a coherent look and feel throughout your page. It’s very important.

Regarding colours; here’s something for you to Google, or Bing if you’re that way inclined. Why are oranges in the supermarket placed on blue packaging?

Once you’ve got your answer think how it could apply to your landing page.

Going back to the landing page; for a prime (pun intended) example, look at Amazon’s front page. The balance of space between elements, the slick navigation and the clear intent. There’s something compelling about a well-crafted landing page; it draws you in.

The professionalism of the presentation is like an imaginary force that makes you click that ‘add to basket’ button, and once you take that first step it presents you with even more products you can buy.

So you (if you’re like me) add a little more to your basket. Once you’ve purchased a product (or 12), Amazon email you with another offer you can buy (upselling).

Amazon has spent millions perfecting this loop, both in the psychology and technology and they are the ultimate selling machine.

Think about it, they now have you by your balls (ladies, your metaphorical balls) You now need to get your customers by the balls.

What I’m saying is, dangle your music in front of the customer, get them interested, caress them a little (intellectually), get them warm (with more tailored content) and then reel them in like a whopping fish. I appreciate this is a terrible mixed metaphor; but such is the music Industry; always changing.

Here’s an example of this workflow from the customer’s view:


Your fan is browsing Facebook or social media of choice.


They find a song/ad you posted about – The ‘dangling’ part

The fan clicks the link ⬅️ The getting ‘interested’ part


Fan lands on your landing page and sees the product ⬅️ The ‘caressing’ part


Fan thinks, “cool, it’s only £2 direct from the label page” ⬅️ The ‘getting them warm’ part


Clicks the CTA or purchase button ⬅️ The ‘reeling them in’ part


Email them right after offering another product. ⬅️ The ‘upselling’ part


Collecting emails

To collect a person’s email address you will normally need an email marketing platform running in the background, let’s use MailChimp as an example.

In Mailchimp you need to create an empty list which connects to your landing page sign-up form. When a person inputs and submits their email address on your landing page, it will appear in the Mailchimp email marketing list. Mailchimp has sweet automation too, you can tell it to email to every new address collected without you having to intervene.

Hopefully, you now understand the basic process of collecting customer email addresses from a landing page and are already thinking of ways to use this technique.

This email marketing list tactic can be used in many instances. For example; free releases, competitions, mixes, vinyl giveaway or anything else that tickles your pickle (or floats your fish; whichever metaphor you prefer).

To learn more about music marketing & promotion take a look at the articles on our blog 

Take your record label to the next level with email marketing.

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