The great thing about running a Spotify pre-save campaign is that the artists, in turn, get to build up their fan base before each release. The more people that pre-save, the more exposure their music gets, which over time is like the snowball that keeps on growing. All the artists need to do is get their fans excited about their new track. Everyone wins. In the age of streaming, it’s still possible for everyone to win, with Spotify pre-saves.
Pre-saves are nothing new, but they were previously only on offer for significant, successful artists. Now, all independents, labels, music producers and artists can make use of the feature too.
But to make effective use of Spotify pre-saves, you first need to understand the ins and outs of them and what they mean for you.
What is a pre-save on Spotify?
Spotify pre-saves function precisely like any other kind of pre-ordering system. They allow your fans to save your upcoming release before its release date. While this traditionally involved pre-ordering and paying in advance, the subscription model of Spotify means you pre-save it rather than pre-order. Then, on release day, the album, single or EP is automatically added to the library.
This makes the process extremely easy on the part of the consumer. You deliver the pre-save campaign by posting a link to your upcoming music, and all the consumer needs to do is click the pre-save button. That’s all! The process is seamless, and we’ll discuss that in more detail below.
Engage with your fans
What Spotify pre-saves allow you to do, aside from promoting your music, is getting your fans engaged before releasing the song. This means that Spotify (in theory) will notice the traction on your new song from the moment it’s available on release day. When fans pe-save your music, it shows Spotify there’s interest in your music.
Building pre-save energy improves the Spotify algorithms. Algorithms detect music that is doing well and may promote it through their semi-automated editors’ official playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar.
These playlists display on other Spotify users’ homepages and automatically update once per week – the good thing is the playlists are based on listening habits and will provide music the user will enjoy. Also, once getting on these playlists means your music is more likely to reach a wider audience due to Spotify distributing to their userbase, which in the long run builds momentum over time.
The Release Radar is a playlist readjusted to each user on Spotify. It’s updated every Friday with new music from artists users have already listened to, along with some the algorithm thinks they’ll like. So while having lots of fans will help you get on more people’s release radar, you can also boost your chances by getting more listens as soon as your song comes out.
Discover Weekly is another playlist tailored to individual users. Spotify algorithms put music into playlists they think users will like, based on their current taste. So, along with the Release Radar playlist, Discover Weekly is where you want your music to end up. It’s a fantastic way to generate more streams and more followers. Keep hitting these playlists month over month; you’ll create a following in no time.
Generating a successful pre-save campaign and making use of these playlists involves a few key factors. However, before we get into that, let’s talk about the overall Spotify pre-save campaign setup.
How to set up a Spotify pre-save campaign?
The Spotify pre-save process is very straightforward. With just a few steps required on your part, you can have your pre-save links generated, which you can send out to your fans in no time.
With Promoly, it’s easier than ever, and we take care of all the technical bits. In addition, Promoly’s built-in pre-save tool can be used to create a campaign and distribute the campaign in record time.
Step 1 – Schedule your music for release.
To start a pre-save campaign, the first thing you need to do is set your music’s release date with the distributor. This date is the day your music will become available to stream on Spotify. When you set a release date and publish the music, the distributor will start delivering the music to the shops, like Spotify, Beatport, iTunes, Apple Music, etc. Once you set the date, you’ll need to work backwards to give you enough time to kick off and promote your campaign.
Step 2 – Get your music barcode.
Promoly can generate a pre-save campaign using your music barcode. Other services depend on the Spotify URI and many fiddly setups, but we like to automate the process by using the barcode to reduce the manual work. Promoly can also pull in metadata from the barcode, like your release details, artwork, and information.
If you’re not sure how to get the barcode, it’s usually called a UPC or EAN. Ask your record label or music distributor if you are unsure. Once you have it, create a Promoly account, log in, press ‘new campaign’, and then select ‘pre-save.’
Next, plug in your barcode; Promoly will search for your music on Spotify (and all the other stores) and create a campaign automatically.
We only need Spotify for this campaign so that the other shops can be disabled for this campaign. That’s it, and providing everything is looking correct, you won’t need to update anything else. You’ll notice that Promoly creates a Spotify pre-save link and landing page for you – you’ll need this landing page link to direct fans to your music.
Step 3 – Kick off your campaign.
The final step of the process is to kick off your Spotify pre-save campaign. This step is critical, as it’s the way you’ll get people to pre-save your music. You can start by giving fans the link so that they can pre-save your new tracks. To do this effectively, you need to know how to get people to pre-save your songs, and I’ll explore this in more detail below.
How do you get people to pre-save your songs?
Once you have your pre-save campaign ready to go, you’ll need to start building traction. For example, simply sending out emails to your followers asking them to pre-save your music might not be enough on its own. While your fans might take action with your campaign email, the open rate benchmark for media and entertainment is 21%. Therefore, 21% read emails leaves 79% unread. That’s a huge number, which means a good chunk of your fan mailing list will never see your email or hear your music.
Giving your followers an incentive to pre-save your music is essential for your pre-save campaign to be successful. You need to give your followers a reason to click your link, and the music might not be enough to build initial momentum. At first, anyway.
If you already have a massive following, you might be able to count on your followers by clicking the link straight away. But if you’re trying to grow your following, you need to be proactive and creative.
Run a competition
You want to get your fans excited about your new music. A great way to do this is to run a competition and run a pre-save campaign alongside. Ask your followers to pre-save your upcoming music, and in return, enter them into a prize draw once they show you proof of the pre-save.
This draw could be for anything, from T-shirts to exclusive content. The main point is to get the fans warmed up to pre-save your music whilst getting them to take action simultaneously.
For example, you could post your pre-save on social media and say:
“Want to win a signed T-shirt?
When you pre-save my music, post a screenshot of the tune in your library in the comments, and I’ll choose a winner at random.
The competition closes Friday!”
This post will definitely get more attention compared with a post just saying ‘pre-save my music’. Why? For starters, everyone wants to win something.
The top line is called the hook, and it’s designed to grab someone’s attention. Then you tell them how to win. In this case, it’s simple. So that someone has to pre-save and post a screenshot of their Spotify library in the comments. It’s a simple task but does you massive favour (by building your engagement) in the long term, and someone wins a T-shirt.
Artists do this with exclusive T-shirts, limited edition vinyl, and lots of other unique items. This is an excellent way to give your followers more than just the music. Try it.
Pin a Tweet and ask fans to Retweet
Twitter has a cool function where you can pin a Tweet. Or, in this scenario, pin your Spotify pre-save link. This means every person who comes by your Twitter page will see your pre-save page link pinned to the very top.
Having the Tweet at the very top of the account is great for optimal impressions. To make things even better, ask your fans to Retweet to help build traction and awareness.
You could think about running a Retweet, like, and follow competition. Give your followers a little more of what they want by requiring them to follow or like you in return for a chance to win.
A Twitter contest can be an excellent way to increase exposure and follower count. By giving people multiple ways to enter contests, it can also improve follower growth and engagement.
You could then give your followers points for Retweeting and liking, which would add up over time. These points could then be redeemable for backstage passes, merchandise or early access to other music.
You can really get creative with driving a pre-save campaign, so don’t be afraid to try something out of the box. The idea is to engage your audience and incentivise pre-saving your song.
Once you know how to run an effective pre-save campaign, you can reproduce the technique for every release.
How to get insights and learn from Promoly
Spotify pre-save link campaigns are great for boosting your presence on Spotify. But by monitoring and tracking how your fans engage with your music, you can better understand your fanbase.
Promoly can also generate shop links campaigns too, so once your pre-save campaign is over, you can log in to Promoly and enable the other stores. Promoly will automatically update your campaign without you having to do any manual edits.
When you launch your pre-save campaigns on Promoly, we don’t only provide you with an awesome campaign, but we track everything that is happening and display that you in easily digestible stats.
Once your campaign is live and running, Promoly will collect all the relevant data from your fans so that you know where your fans are pre-saving/clicking on your music.
We take care of all the complex stuff so you can focus on your music promotion — no need for difficult Google Sheets tracking here… well, unless you want to, of course!
Promoly helps you track these results; know who you’re reaching and where they’re listening. This will allow you to grow as an artist or label and become more successful in the process.
If you’re ready to set up a Spotify pre-save campaign, get the ball rolling with Promoly and signup for a free trial.