Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why Play on the Facebook Freeway? You Can Meet Me In My Inbox Instead

This post is #1 in my series, "How to Get on the Internet for Fifteen Dollars a Year."

I live in my inbox. Don’t you?

It’s like this. I sit down at my computer, or I pick up my smartphone. First thing I do? I check my email. There I go. I just went into my inbox. I’m at home and I’m greeting people or sending them away.

I like to keep my inbox clean and tidy, just like my real home. Okay, there’s a bit of dust and some dirty socks kicking around. But generally, I keep the place in order because I live there.

People live in their inboxes more than you think. You can go right to their front door by sending them an email. When you add someone to your email list, you probably have asked their permission. You say, “I’m going to be in touch with you. I’m going to be knocking on your door real soon. Are you okay with that?” And they say, “Oh yeah.” So when you send the email, they’re expecting you. You can walk right up to their front door. 

What person would not want to open the door to someone they were expecting and someone they trusted? The more times you send an email, the more visits you can make in one day.

Your inbox can become too junky when you end up getting stuff sent to you way more often than you guessed. This is a sign that your inbox is becoming more like a trash bin, and you have to decide if you’re going to clean it up, or just move into a new inbox. (Some people have more than one email account to help with this. Not a bad idea if you're ready to keep track of them all.)

I’m thankful that I can unsubscribe from many email alerts when it becomes obvious that I don’t really want them. Now my list of house cleaning chores has expanded to cleaning my inbox!

It's worth keeping my inbox tidy. I believe an inbox should be a much more controlled place. You can see the subject lines; they’re not going to disappear down in the stack somewhere. You can flag articles and sort them into folders.

I keep my inbox clean, because I'm expecting regular guests to send me stuff. Their stuff is valuable to me and I don't want to miss it.

Email can be way more useful for maintaining contact with people than Twitter or Facebook. To understand this, you have to think about it from the receiver's point of view.

The big problems with Facebook and Twitter are that you lose control. The user has many peoples' messages streaming past their door all day long. How can you be sure that your post won't get swept away in the current? In addition, your message may be truncated or even blocked by their settings. A worse problem is that your message gets mixed in with other less critical messages like, “Mmmm tacos for dinner,” or “Ricky is checked in at Mr. Sub,” and it becomes lost in the noise.

With a "warm" email list made up of expectant people, you have complete control.

As a musician you should consider using email as your key communication and fan-building tool. It will work powerfully for you, as long as you're committed to sending valuable news on a regular basis.

Don't be the guy who starts a website that becomes useless. Use your website to gather email addresses. 

You are not a spammer if you use email. Spam is unsolicited garbage. That is NOT you!

You are going to succeed at this, because your fans like you. They've heard you play, and they want to follow your story. Share your story with them. They expect it, seek it, and will share it with others because of their relationship with you. And you both find the relationship to be helpful. When you come knocking at their inbox, the door will be opened to you. 

Do you live in your inbox? Reply and tell me all about it.


Tom Shea said...

Thanks, Glen! I've been doing a Media Challenge blitz with an online group for the last 6 weeks, and I'm feeling kind of supersaturated. This was a nice shot of perspective after the whole twitter / facebook / youtube / bandzoogle / you name it cavalcade.

Glen Brown said...

Thanks back.