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Connecting to Fans in their Inbox – The Challenge Week 7

February 27, 2012

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons license by derschlosi

Every week, hours are spent putting together the Songwriters Association of Canada‘s “Songwriters Update,” our weekly email newsletter.  We want to stay connected, and we know that even though we are constantly updating Twitter, Facebook, and our website, landing in someone’s email inbox is still the most powerful call to action.  This is the same thinking behind Chapter 7 of Ariel Hyatt‘s “Music Success in 9 Weeks,” the book that is guiding participants in the Canadian Songwriters Social Media Challenge.

Let’s recap what we’ve done thus far:

Week 1:  Setting Goals – We defined personal goals, which in turn personalized each person’s experience of this challenge.
Week 2:  The Pitch – We came up with branding statements to define who we are.  These statements were then sprinkled throughout all our online communication tools.
Week 3:  The Website – We built online home fronts for ourselves.
Week 4:  Social Media – We extended our online homes to social media platforms to connect with even more people.
Week 5:  YouTube – We built YouTube channels.
Week 6:  Blogging – We built our own blogs and reached out into the blogosphere to connect with other bloggers.

And now, we’re at week 7.  Whereas all the previous weeks were about reaching out to the masses and hopefully acquiring fans, the newsletter is about engaging and keeping your fans interested.  Building the infrastructure to email newsletters is not necessarily a creative or fun process.  But once you have an established system, you will have an outlet in which to pour your creativity…keeping in mind that ending with a call to action is key.

Some people may struggle to find a call to action, especially if you do not have a product to sell yet.  Herein is the beauty of this challenge and the social media ecosystem that is built in the process.  If you are regularly creating new content, on your blog, YouTube channel, or Facebook fan page, you will also be creating new calls-to-action to place in your email newsletter.  No matter where you are in your creative journey, you will have something to share because you are already regularly sharing!

On that note, we look forward to sharing the progress of our Challenge participants this week. (With only 2 more weeks to go!)

Okay Challengers, please post the following:
1.  Link to this week’s blog post.
2.  Name of Newsletter Provider you have chosen (eg.  FanBridge, Reverbnation, Vertical Response, Mail Chimp, etc.,) and why you chose it.
3.  Link where people can register for your Email newsletter.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2012 12:21 pm

    1) Here’s this week’s blog post:

    2) I have chosen Reverbnation, because I already have a profile there. Seemed sensible (and economical) to keep it all in one spot. Although I thought looked pretty spiffy.

    3) You cannot register for my email newsletter yet. (My blog explains why.)

  2. February 27, 2012 3:36 pm

    Week 7 blog entry: “Poor, Poor Baby”

    This week I migrated my list from to After five years with Industrymailout, which was quite functional but zero bells and whistles, I wanted to move to a mail provider that allowed people to update their information, like what city they’re from, when their birthday is (so I can start a Birthday of the Month Club!) etc. I also wanted an email service that allowed me to create a sign up form on my website with minimal fuss, and Mailchimp has a good plug in for that purpose. As a bonus mailchimp is free for lists under 2000 subscribers. I am at 650, so it was silly to keep paying a monthly fee when I wasn’t using the full capacity of available email sends.

    Mailchimp has a bit of an unwieldly learning curve, and it took some effort to create a custom template to create the layout I wanted. It was a frustrating week getting everything up and running and smoothly migrated to the new provider. But in the end, it seems to have worked out. I’m a little nervous about whether or not Mailchimp actually makes it into the inboxes of my subscribers… those spam filters are vicious! We’ll see how it goes over the coming months…

    And yes, you can SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter here:
    Come on by! 🙂

  3. February 27, 2012 10:29 pm

    1. Link to this week’s blog post:

    2. Name of Newsletter Provider you have chosen: Bandzoogle
    Why you chose it: I did lots of reading this week and spoke with bandzoogle employees about the pros and cons of using the site to host my newsletter. Since my new site will be hosted there, using bandzoogle for the newsletter seemed to take out the middle-man, while still having all the perks such as offering a free download upon subscription, easy email blasts, data collection, etc.

    3. Link where people can register for your Email newsletter: Newsletter is on it’s way! This blog post will be updated when the newsletter is ready. As the blog explains, I’m waiting on my website update and the *new* single to be mastered off my new EP to offer as irresistible incentive! This way the newsletter will also be the gateway into the new look and new album. bam!

  4. February 28, 2012 1:57 pm

    1. Week 7’s blog:

    2. Newsletter Provider: Fanbridge – clean, easy to navigate and keep track of fans details. Plus I’m interested in the Facebook features Fanbridge offers that I haven’t fully explored yet.

    3. For now I’m having people continue to sign up at: to get them to my website quickly. I may install a Fanbridge app on my website to consolidate my website with my Fanbridge account.

  5. February 28, 2012 2:13 pm


    2. Ha! no newsletter provider. When I am at 500 ‘true fans’ I will look at a provider.
    3. See above.
    Happy blogging 🙂

  6. February 28, 2012 2:55 pm

    Hey guys!! Here is my Week 7 post:

    I’ve been using Reverbnation as my newsletter provider for over a year. I use their platform for everything now, so I like the integration of the stats and user friendliness of the platform, but initially I went with them based on a recommendation 🙂

    You can subscribe to my newsletter (and get a free download!) here:


  7. February 28, 2012 4:23 pm

    This week involved a lot of data crunching, brainstorming, and getting out of my comfort zone, but in the end, I’m really excited about building a newsletter that’s fun, informative, and that people will look forward to browsing through every month!
    My Blog Post:
    My Chosen Newsletter Provider is Reverbnation… I already do a lot using that site, and have an email list started, so I decided to pay extra to upgrade to Pro Newsletters, and work on expanding my email list.
    Lastly, I want you in on the fun! Follow this link, and you’ll enter your email and receive a free download as a thank you from moi!
    And don’t worry, your info is safe with me. I’ll never share it with anyone else!

    Adri-Anne R.

  8. February 29, 2012 12:11 am

    I chose Mailchimp as my provider. They allow for free sends to lists less than 2000, auto responders so I can say hello and share free songs automatically with subscribers. They also have an iPhone app that allows me to add people to my list while at shows or on the bus (I can’t really imagine me doing it on the bus but I could if I wanted too)

    I have a sign up form on but you may also visit to see my experiment in more direct marketing.

  9. February 29, 2012 11:41 am

    Week 7 blog:

    I am using reverbnation newsletter because I have been using their site for quite some time and it is quite user friendly with good support, also I like to keep things simple as possible and not multitask.

    The link to my newsletter is at:

    Anyone who joins my mailing list will be on my ‘newsletter.’ To join my mailing list fans can click on Join The Mailing List. There they can get a fan exclusive download.

  10. March 1, 2012 1:46 am

    Week 7 blog:

    Bandzoogle is my newsletter provider. It keeps it simple for me. Though I do think Fanbridge looks good too. 🙂

    Sign up here:

    Have a great week, everybuddy!
    😀 KAT

  11. March 3, 2012 5:26 am

    week 7 blog:

    No newletter…just the blog post.

  12. March 3, 2012 12:33 pm

    1) Week 7 Blog Post:

    2) Still deciding between Mail Chimp and Reverbnation

    3) No newsletter this week

  13. March 3, 2012 3:56 pm

    Ummm…I’m an idiot. I was wondering how I got traffic to my OTHER blog from this address. Simple–I posted the wrong link for my week seven MSi9W3 challenge. Here’s my actual (i.e. relevant to the assignment) blog entry for last week. Sorry for any confusion. And thanks to the seven of you that actually followed the erroneous link–I hope you enjoyed it!

  14. March 4, 2012 6:34 pm

    Hi folks, I hope you all had a great week. I personally am experiencing the “Seven-Week Itch”, and if you’d like to read about it:

    1) This week’s (Week 7’s) Blog:

    2) My newsletters are provided with my web service of Hostbaby

    3) To sign up for my list, you just have to go to any page of my website, and there is a link to sign up, with a free MP3 download too:

    PS…Hooray!!! My blogs from the previous weeks were located last week, but have new URLs because I changed my domain name…here they are:

    Week 1:

    Week 2:

    Week 3:

    Week 4:

    Week 5:

    Week 6:

  15. March 4, 2012 7:03 pm

    Hi !
    Here’s my blog entry for week 7:

    I went with FanBridge for several reasons – it comes highly recommended by Berklee Music with a student discount so is low cost (I am currently enrolled) – so I took advantage of this. They also have a great support team and it has expanded it services substantially so I may switch over my FBook fanpage as well.

    newsletter link:
    Many thanks

  16. March 9, 2012 12:25 pm

    1) Week 7- The Newsletter- A Lightbulb Moment!

    2) I’m using Reverb Nation since I’ve already had an account with them for a while; and i have, in the past, made a very weak attempt to use their mailing list… but as of this week, that has changed 🙂

    3) You can join my mailing list here:

    or if you want to sign but and also get a FREE download check out my website:


  17. March 11, 2012 3:15 am

    I’m having trouble posting to this thread. I’ve posted on other parts of this blog no problem. I wonder if part of my post is banned for some reason. I’ll post the first part of it only:

    1. This week’s blog post:

  18. March 11, 2012 3:16 am

    Wow! It worked! I tried to post here on Thursday and earlier tonight with no luck! Here’s the next bit:

    2. Newsletter provider I’ve chosen: ReverbNation (although I intend to migrate over to MailChimp when I have an alternative mailing address and a good chunk of time to work on configuring their newsletter sign-up forms for my website and blog)

  19. March 11, 2012 3:19 am

    Hey – it turned out it was the ReverbNation link to my mailing list that was blocking my posts, which was the third part of my post.

    Anyone who would like to sign up for my newsletter, please do so via the widget on the right-hand side of my website

    Thank you! Sorry for the 3 posts!

  20. March 11, 2012 10:36 pm

    1. Week 7 Blog: Eblast Off! Giving Myself The Best of Me.

    2. I’m using Mailchimp because it’s free for 2,000 emails. I won’t mind paying after 2,000 because that will be a celebration to have 2,000 on my list!

    3. Register here please:

  21. March 12, 2012 8:06 pm

    1. Post Week 7’s post:

    2. I am currently using Nimbit’s platform to collect fan emails in exchange for free downloads and voluntary signups. Their platform came with a CD manufacturing & distribution agreement and has worked well.

    3. You can sign up for updates from me at: The main page has an email sign up in exchange for a free download for a single from my album ‘Wait’

  22. March 12, 2012 10:36 pm

    Here’s my blog entry for week 7!


    Newsletter: I’ve been using Bandzoogle as that’s also what I use for my website. It’s working well so far!

    You sign up on my home page: 🙂


  23. March 12, 2012 11:47 pm

    Week 7!

    Blog: The Missing Building Blocks: My Plan

    I have decided I’m either going to use fanbridge or reverbnation. Still want to do a bit more research and figure out which one will suit my needs best.

    Sign up for my newsletter here:

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