How to write an effective email that will get great responses

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Imagine you’re a record label A&R. A producer you’ve never heard of sends you an email. The subject line says “sign me to your label”, and the body of the text is simply a Soundcloud link. You immediately delete it because the sender has no regard for email etiquette. A lot of producers within the music industry are absolutely incredible when it comes to the creative side of the music industry. However, they often lack skills regarding the distribution (business) aspect and thus are receiving bad results. During this article, we’re going to discuss the exact strategy behind gaining great email responses, and how to approach people within the music industry in an authentic way.

Let’s start with the fundamentals. If you are a dubstep producer, it makes sense to send music to dubstep record labels and Spotify playlists. Although this may seem extremely basic, many people within the music industry don’t have the smarts to even understand it. If you speak to any blogger, they will be able to give you countless examples of submissions they’ve received that don’t even adhere to the genre of the blog.

Once you’ve created a specific audience (such as online dubstep blogs with over 10k followers), you need to find the right person to connect with. This may be within the contact information page on the website, or you can alternatively find them on Linkedin with relative ease. This is where things can be time-consuming. However, the end result is definitely beneficial towards your artist career.

You need to find what makes the recipient of the email “tick”. What do they love doing? What hobbies do they have? What sports teams do they like? Essentially, the aim of this step is to find a genuine and authentic connection that you both have. For example, if you both live in New York City and love sports, you could talk about the recent New York Jets vs Patriots game. Establishing a connection will allow them to form an essence of trust with you, the sender.

The subject line of an email is also an incredibly important part of the communicational message. Besides your name, it’s the first thing they will see in the preview section of their inbox. Therefore, creating an effective title is essential to them even opening your email and reading the full contents of it. If they are getting several hundred, or several thousand emails a day, the chances are high that they’re only opening emails which have genuine importance to them. Ensure that the subject line resonates with your recipient in order to invoke an action or feeling within them. For example, if they are an A&R you could say “are you tired of terrible demos?” Or “Would you like to hear your new favourite song you haven’t heard yet?”

Another great tip is to get straight to the point within your email. A lot of producers will either write a couple of words or dozens of paragraphs. Unless they are unproductive, they may only have 1-2 minutes to both read the email, and preview the track to see if it’s genuinely any good or not. Therefore, avoid phrases such as “how are you?” In order to get straight to the point. That said, providing a very short bullet list of your accomplishments within the music industry can be a great way of communicating your benefits to the record label. It’s much more effective than writing paragraphs.

Finally, follow up with the email approximately a week later if you don’t get a response. Despite what many people seem to think, they won’t hold a grudge against you if you simply send a follow-up email to push your name to the top of their inbox. After all, they may have simply forgotten to respond the first time. If you don’t get responses after 2-3 attempts, they’re not interested.

Now that we’ve covered some best practices when sending emails, here’s a quick example of a good demo submission to an A&R:

Hey Jack,

I know you’re really busy and that you get a lot of emails, so this will only take sixty seconds to read.

I’m a dubstep music producer from The Netherlands with 36k followers across my social media profiles. I’ve previously been supported by Tiesto, W&W, and many more.

I absolutely love the newest release on your record label and would love to be a part of the musical legacy you’re creating. I’ve attached a SoundCloud link and would love to discuss further if you’re interested in potentially working together.

All the best,

Matt Lillywhite

(Insert private Soundcloud link)

So let’s discuss why this template email is a good example that you can use to get a high response rate. Firstly, it’s very straight to the point and acknowledges the time of the recipient. A lot of producers make their pitches entirely about them. They don’t give a second thought to the person reading it. By respecting their time, and being straight to the point, it creates an element of trust between you and them.

Also, it talks about the legacy of the recipient. Instead of saying “please sign me to your label so I can get a lot of Spotify streams”, you make the email about them. After all, they are the one receiving it who can make a difference in your life. Ultimately, by creating effective pitches in both your personal life and business, you can improve both the response rate and your chances of success.