Emailing in the Music Industry
Our company curates 12 different Spotify playlists, runs channels on YouTube and SoundCloud, and features artists on our Drunken Coconut blog. We also have experience working with and running our own labels in the past. We have received many demos in our careers, so we know what it takes for an artist to stand out and get featured. You have less competition than you think. The number of artists that cannot write an email or break almost all of the following rules is astounding. Getting your email right is half the battle, so do it right the first time.
Address the Email Properly
Make sure you address the person that the email is going to. Do more than a few minutes of research to figure out who you are talking to. If it is just a general office, that is different. In that case, “Dear A&R representative” is okay. It’s better to address a general office than call someone by name and someone different opens the email.
Why are you here?
Are you sending in music to be featured on a playlist? Which playlist? Why do you think you’re a good fit for that playlist? Where did you find it? Keep it simple but also make sure we know what to do with your music. We get a lot of emails where the message says “I’m submitting this for review, please feature it.” They haven’t told me anything about what I’m about the listen to, whether they’re aiming to be on my blog, one of many playlists, or be an exclusive on our YouTube or SoundCloud. Help us out. What do you want?
Be Personal and Professional
Don’t call anyone bro, please. If you aren’t on a very casual level with this contact, don’t act like you are. Use proper language like you are applying for a job. You want to make a good impression that says you are serious about what you do.
Next, show that you’ve put some research into this person or company. We want to feel like we are a first choice, not one of 500 emails you just mass sent.
Pay Attention to Detail
Make sure your grammar and spelling is correct. Don’t use abbreviations. Stop writing “u” instead of “you”. If you take shortcuts and hash out an email in 20 seconds, we’re not going to spend 3 minutes listening to your track and then 15 minutes writing a blog post about it.
Keep it Simple
Don’t write a life story. You can tell us who you are, a little bit about you, why you’re emailing, and a short introduction on your music. This can still be a small paragraph, three or four sentences maximum. Most blogs, curators, labels, and other busy industry professionals don’t have time for much more than a minute or two per email. Any excuse they have to delete an email, they’ll probably take just to cut the pile down.
Send one track. Not five of your “best” tracks. Send the best one you have. It is a good sign when an artist knows what their best track is. If we like it and release it, you can always send another one later. If we really like you, we can go visit your pages to see more.
Make our Job Easy
You better be sending a track that’s completely ready for release. If its unreleased for a label, make sure it’s a private link. If we have to wait to feature it because it isn’t out yet, make sure that it is out soon. I’m not going to schedule in a playlist add for a week from now. Although, some people will. We do this mostly with submissions through SubmitHub. It keeps the accepted demo there in line so we don’t forget anyone that is releasing weeks later.
Send links, not files. Nobody trusts files from another computer, we aren’t going to download them. Even worse, if I downloaded a track from all 100 demo submissions per day, my computer would be full pretty quickly.
Socials and Links
Provide your most impressive socials and pages so that we can look into you if we want. Leave out the mediocre ones. If you have a SoundCloud that’s super active and popular, don’t ruin it by also putting your Facebook page with a few likes. It’s not worth it. Most importantly, make sure your links work. Triple check that. If one link is broken, the whole email gets deleted.
Link to your press kit, or send it in PDF form. Make sure its one page. Have some photos, info about you as an artist, and your social and music links. Always make sure it is styled to fit your brand, and isn’t too cluttered. This helps us as bloggers do a feature on you quickly. We don’t have to write or edit a biography, or find photos and social links ourselves. It is all conveniently there for us.
For more information on marketing yourself, or for valuable opportunities to network with others who are serious in the music industry, make sure to join our Facebook group at /musicindustryinsider.