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Suggestions on my booking email? Subject line?

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  • Suggestions on my booking email? Subject line?

    After having always been in the "I wanna meet face to face to book" camp, I'm noticing more and more folks booking through technology. Everyone has a smartphone these days.. and it makes things quick and easy. On top of that, a lot of the more professional businesses (agents, venues, sports teams) aren't really keen on face to face meetings, they'd much rather deal with things on their time.

    I'm in the process of sending out emails and press kits to book the band, both through traditional email and through Facebook. I'm sending messages to 400+ venues and potential clients... from bars and clubs to sports teams to theme parks, to agents and more, trying to make them aware of who we are and what we do.

    Coming up with a subject that will make people want to open the email is proving to be difficult... but here's what I've got for the body, replacing the generic details with mine and my bands, and "Entertainment Coordinator" with the intended receipient, of course.

    (NOTE: I edited my band name as I don't want this to appear in a Google search for the band name, for obvious reasons. I'm sure most of you should have no trouble finding it!)

     

     

    Hello Entertainment Chairperson,

    I'm writing to introduce you to one of Virginia's favorite party bands, *BANDNAME*!

    If you could take a minute and check out the band's website ( www.*BANDNAME*.com ), you'll find a live video demo, audio samplers sorted by genre, a songlist, photos, past dates, and lots more to show you just what the *BANDNAME* experience is all about!

    Since it's formation in January 2010, *ABBREVIATED BAND NAME* has brought it's high energy stage show to hundreds of festivals, clubs, colleges, and events, 3-6 nights a week, and has shared the bill with the likes of Kip Moore, the 10,000 Maniacs, Tracy Lawrence, and Colt Ford. Featuring genres such as pop, country, rock, top 40, dance, 80s, 70s, and much, much more, *BAND NAME* has the music to appeal to crowds of all ages and tastes.

    Thank you for checking out what *ABBREVIATED BAND NAME* is all about, and we look forward to working together in the near future to create memorable events and fun times!

    - Jason
    PHONE #


    Going to the website takes you to the main page, where the promo video is front and center. There are obvious links at top for a songlist, audio samples sorted by genre (country, rock, top 40, dance.. all little five song montages, no more than 1:30 per montage).

    Consider that some of these clients are bars or clubs (which this feels a bit formal for, but meh)... but many of them are festivals, agents, and events or places that have events (theme parks, sporting events, etc)... and those clients tend to appriciate a well worded email more than "hay can my band play ur place?". Still.. do you guys think this email will capture someone's attention enough to look at what we do?

     

    Thanks in advance for the advice, guys, ya'll are always good for a helping hand!


  • #2

    From experience, you'll be lucky to get a 2% response rate (if that) - on 400 emails thats 8 replies. Most will be no, and you're lucky to get one or two "yes" or "let's meet". Of course you will have a small rise in web traffic but you want to book gigs not have people just show up to a site!

     

    I would send email, measure how many responses you get, from what types of people, the size of the venue, etc (their demographics). I would then look at calling them, just to have a freindly chat and to put a voice to the email. Then either invite them to a private gig (e.g. one you host for clients - so its both networking and publicity) or a normal gig. If you spot a booker at a gig, go make yourself know.

     

     

    People buy people not emails.

     

    hope that helps.

    <div class="signaturecontainer">Improve your guitar playing for as little as 99cents - <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ashleyjsaunders.com">www.ashleyjsaunders.com</a></div><br><br>** 6 New books for 2013!! **

    Comment


    • Blackbird 13
      Blackbird 13 commented
      Editing a comment

      aj_guitarist wrote:

      From experience, you'll be lucky to get a 2% response rate (if that) - on 400 emails thats 8 replies. Most will be no, and you're lucky to get one or two "yes" or "let's meet". Of course you will have a small rise in web traffic but you want to book gigs not have people just show up to a site!

       

      I would send email, measure how many responses you get, from what types of people, the size of the venue, etc (their demographics). I would then look at calling them, just to have a freindly chat and to put a voice to the email. Then either invite them to a private gig (e.g. one you host for clients - so its both networking and publicity) or a normal gig. If you spot a booker at a gig, go make yourself know.

       

       

      People buy people not emails.

       

      hope that helps.



      I TOTALLY agree that "people buy people".. and I feel like my email is a little impersonal, which was the point of asking you guys.


      What things do you think I can do to make that 2% rate you're talking about go up a bit? On Facebook, most everyone will check the message, because people don't tend to leave messages unread. But email-wise... I want to get the maximum response.


      I should have clarified.. I plan on following up on ALL of these leads with a phone call in the next two weeks. I will invite some of the club bookers out to see us at nearby venues, but for some of the bigger potential clients I'm approaching, I'm more interested in them getting to know that "hey, there's a cover band out there with something professional going on, maybe that would fit X-EVENT that we put on".


  • #3

    Hi Blackbird 13,

    The info I will give is maybe not exactly what you are looking for but I assume that the aim of your emails to clubs, agents or any people from the music industry have the same end goal.

    I read the email you intend to send them and the only thing they will be interested in is not mentioned. All these people you are trying to get the attention from have only one thing in mind: How big your fan base is?

    A club owner, is going to look for band that will fill up the place. A booker knows that he will be able to book a band that has a big fan base way easier than a band that doesn't. A manager will look for a band who can sell well for bigger venues and knows that it is only possible with a huge fan base.

    To be really honest with you, no promoter, agent, bar owner or manager care about how great the band is or how great the CD sounds. Only the fans do and that is what you need to emphasis when you are looking to make new fans.

    But when you are looking to attract the attention of the business people, they are only interested in how much money you are worth crowd wise. If you have a big fan base that follows at each of the venues you perform at, show it in your email and write a catchy title to your email that define the purpose of you writing to them. For example if you write to an agent, write a title like :Sold out on our last 12 venues!! (it does not matter what title you write as long as it attracts their attention on what interests them).

    In the case you do not have a strong fan base yet, you need first to create one in order to make sure you will get good chances of response to your emails.

    I will try to post something when I have the time on tips and strategies to create a huge fan base.

     

    Cheers,

     

    StageMasters

    Comment


    • SeniorBlues
      SeniorBlues commented
      Editing a comment

      StageMasters wrote:

      Hi Blackbird 13,

      The info I will give is maybe not exactly what you are looking for but I assume that the aim of your emails to clubs, agents or any people from the music industry have the same end goal.

      I read the email you intend to send them and the only thing they will be interested in is not mentioned. All these people you are trying to get the attention from have only one thing in mind: How big your fan base is?

      A club owner, is going to look for band that will fill up the place. A booker knows that he will be able to book a band that has a big fan base way easier than a band that doesn't. A manager will look for a band who can sell well for bigger venues and knows that it is only possible with a huge fan base.

      To be really honest with you, no promoter, agent, bar owner or manager care about how great the band is or how great the CD sounds. Only the fans do and that is what you need to emphasis when you are looking to make new fans.

      But when you are looking to attract the attention of the business people, they are only interested in how much money you are worth crowd wise. If you have a big fan base that follows at each of the venues you perform at, show it in your email and write a catchy title to your email that define the purpose of you writing to them. For example if you write to an agent, write a title like :Sold out on our last 12 venues!! (it does not matter what title you write as long as it attracts their attention on what interests them).

      In the case you do not have a strong fan base yet, you need first to create one in order to make sure you will get good chances of response to your emails.

      I will try to post something when I have the time on tips and strategies to create a huge fan base.

       

      Cheers,

       

      StageMasters


       

      We've discussed this point forever on this forum, but I will bring up one issue you're probably going to mention later, so I'll save you the trouble.

      Most bands are willing travel farther than their fans.  Geography is an important variable, but you should be trying to find one club in each of several different geographic areas that don't compete with each other.  Your job is to ESTABLISH a fan base in each of those areas.  If nobody shows up to a bar unless they know the band, you're out of luck, BUT it seems to me that some club owners might actually welcome some new blood that would bring new people out to their venue through word of mouth.  If you have nothing to offer beyond the stable of groups that's there now, then we have a different problem.


    • SpaceNorman
      SpaceNorman commented
      Editing a comment

      StageMasters wrote:

      I read the email you intend to send them and the only thing they will be interested in is not mentioned. All these people you are trying to get the attention from have only one thing in mind: How big your fan base is?

      A club owner, is going to look for band that will fill up the place. A booker knows that he will be able to book a band that has a big fan base way easier than a band that doesn't. A manager will look for a band who can sell well for bigger venues and knows that it is only possible with a huge fan base.

       

      Your points about what the OP's intended audience are truly interested are on the money.  Unfortunately, you don't acknowledge the reality that no club owner, booking agent or manager worth their salt will ever believe a thing they read in an advertisement.   Claims that can't easily be substantiated are pretty much instantly dismissed - and let there be no illusions - an email from a band they've never heard of making claims about "selling out shows" is something that can't be substantiated.   At best - you can hope that the combination of the timing of your email (how it correlates to their needs of the moment) and something in your note convince them to take a little closer look at your promotional material.   You are right that club owners don't care how good the CD or video looks - BUT, most club owners who are making hiring decisions at that time will take a 30 second look at a video and make a determination as to whether or not what they hear is consistent with the quality they're used to hearing in their venues.

      In the end - probably the only thing that really carries any weight with club owners is what clubs you're playing and how often you're playing (both of which can easily be confirmed with a little bit of web-searching). 

      If you're an "unknown" band - telling bar owners about your draw, crowing about "selling out" previous gigs, talking about how high the liquor sales were at previous gigs - is all marketing hype.   For "unknowns" - being "first in line" at the moment that a bar owner realizes he needs a band is really the name of the game. 

       


    • Blackbird 13
      Blackbird 13 commented
      Editing a comment

      StageMasters wrote:

      Hi Blackbird 13,

      The info I will give is maybe not exactly what you are looking for but I assume that the aim of your emails to clubs, agents or any people from the music industry have the same end goal.

      I read the email you intend to send them and the only thing they will be interested in is not mentioned. All these people you are trying to get the attention from have only one thing in mind: How big your fan base is?

      A club owner, is going to look for band that will fill up the place. A booker knows that he will be able to book a band that has a big fan base way easier than a band that doesn't. A manager will look for a band who can sell well for bigger venues and knows that it is only possible with a huge fan base.

      To be really honest with you, no promoter, agent, bar owner or manager care about how great the band is or how great the CD sounds. Only the fans do and that is what you need to emphasis when you are looking to make new fans.

      But when you are looking to attract the attention of the business people, they are only interested in how much money you are worth crowd wise. If you have a big fan base that follows at each of the venues you perform at, show it in your email and write a catchy title to your email that define the purpose of you writing to them. For example if you write to an agent, write a title like :Sold out on our last 12 venues!! (it does not matter what title you write as long as it attracts their attention on what interests them).

      In the case you do not have a strong fan base yet, you need first to create one in order to make sure you will get good chances of response to your emails.

      I will try to post something when I have the time on tips and strategies to create a huge fan base.

       

      Cheers,

       

      StageMasters



      I didn't specifiy, but my band is a cover band, playing venues appropriate for such. Likewise, I'll NEVER tell anyone "we can draw X people to your bar", for a number of reasons.

      The first reason is that I never know what kind of a crowd will show up. We've played 3-6 nights a week for most of our 3 years running, and I don't know what shows people will pick to go to. I can guess.. but it's just a guess. I've had people call me to book my band, and after talking to them, I've passed on the work, simply because I refuse to make any promises about who will and won't be there. That isn't something I have any control over, assuming I've made people aware that there is a gig taking place that night and all. Folks might show up, folks might not... we've had nights at the bar where they've done 10K+, and nights where they've made $1500.. and guaranteed us $800. That's the business.

      Secondly, and this is really two combined, but I'm not asking for my fee to be an entertainment promoter. My fee covers my payroll, my income, my costs incurred with the sound system, professional equipment, and light rig, and the know-how to do what I do. A good club/bar promoter in a big city gets paid GREAT money. I'm not being paid as a promoter, although I certainly will promote each event and show to the best of my ability... and I will do that because, ultimately, a relationship with a client (be it a bar, festival, or whatever) should be a win-win. That leads me to the second part of this.... any venue that depends solely on each individual band to bring in the crowd is in sad shape. The venue should be a place people WANT to go, and part of building that reputation is to have high quality, professional bands in place. If a venue doesn't know or care enough about the importance of building it's brand, than why would I want to trust them with mine?

      Third... if I knew for a fact that I could get 300 people to come out to every show... why on earth would I bother contacting any venue.. except one I could rent to charge admission to?

       

      Finally... many of the people I'm contacting could care less about draw. Sure, bars are generally going to be concerned with how many people you bring in, but that isn't at all the case for many of the "event" style gigs I'm aiming for. They already have crowds there.. they just want professional entertainment to keep those crowds engaged and happy, and to make it so people walk away having had a great time.

       

       


      I realize that things are different for original bands, it's a different ball game. I also realize that draw is important for a cover band. It isn't the end-all, be-all. There are cover bands on here making serious money that have no real "draw" at all, but they have both a product worth selling, and a way to market it to buyers. That's what I'm working on.

      Still, thanks for the insight, and I'm sure if you do post fan base-building tips, I'll give it a read!


  • #4

    Personally - I wouldn't sweat the nuances of the email.  The note you've laid out sounds fine.  As long as whatever you send out conveys the information you want to share - and error free in terms of spelling and gross grammar errors - your good.  There are no "magic words".   

    As others have pointed out, expect that at best you'll see but a handful of responses.   However, don't interpret that only getting a couple of responses means that the email campaign wasn't successful.   My experience has been that NOBODY gives a sh!t about any of the unsolicited advertising they receive unless they happen to be actively looking to purchase that sort of product when the advertisement crosses their path.   Worst case scenario - you'll have gotten your name in front of them, maybe even gotten them to peek at your web site, and if you're really lucky - saved your email off to a folder somewhere in anticipation of maybe making such a purchase in the future.   

    Once you get your list of target recipients all pulled together - plan on sending out similar emails to the same list every couple of months.  Your objective should be to keep your name and quality demo material in their face constantly (but not so constantly that you become an outright annoyance).   One email every 4-8 weeks should keep you safe.   Ultimately, your hope is that your email will hit their inbox right about 10 minutes before they decide they need to hire a band.   You simply gotta stay creative in wording up a slightly difference email each time - and be persistent about keeping it in their face.

    The SpaceNorman

    www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
    www.souldoutrocks.com

    Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
    Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
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    Comment


    • #5

      I do not agree with you SpaceNorman.

      If you are a club owner (besides a few exceptions) and you have live music, you want to make money and do not care about great music. It is not about the band, it is not about the owner's music taste but about how many people will show up at your gig. An evening without an audience is money loss for them. And a regular club owner with live music every week (between 2 to 7 times per week) receives about 100+ solicitations from bands per month. I can promise you he won't check them all. He will indeed spend 30 seconds on an mp3 or a video but he will be listening to maybe 25 of them if he is not too busy.

      How do you stand out and make sure that you will be in those 25? You need to appeal on their needs... In this case a full house. It is maybe Marketing psychology but marketing has been developed that way simply because it works. All the big firms make millions with marketing strategies. All the successful artist that I know are using marketing everyday because they manage their band like a company or their manager does. But someone has to do it.

      If the header on your email says: Booking or states your band's name or simply Dear mister... Your email will never even be opened by the majority of these guys.

      You need to make sure that anything you write is easily verifiable. That gives a lot of work but that's what it takes to make things happen. I do not play in bars anymore for the past 5 years and things may have changed so I may not be up to date with their way to deal with new bands but in big clubs and big venues, you simply can't get any answer from them without a strong fan base you can rely on.

      Nowadays no band can take off without a marketing plan, a marketing strategy, a business plan and a business strategy. I just quit a band last year that used to be successful in the 70s under the name Livin' Blues now renamed Livin Blues Xperience. I quit them after a long talk with our manager and the leader of the band. The band had 5 produced albums and 3 successful hits. That was in the 70s... I have toured all over Europe with them as well as Indonesia and Russia... All of a sudden almost everything stopped for reasons which I will not display here. In the mean time, we produced an album without business plan, strategy, marketing etc... And ooh surprise.... It did not sell!!! I built myself a business strategy, marketing plan etc for the band, the manager loved it but the leader not. Result? Back where we started!! Still no gigs, CDs and T-shirt unsold!! I quit because I was wasting my time with a band who was still in the 70s... Things have changed and as I told them: Old ideas stay old...

      Now they play less than ever...

      All that to say that it takes a lot of work and commitment with the new ways to work for a band to take off, no matter how good the band is and that includes using marketing tools.

      Cheers

       

      StageMasters

       

      Comment


      • SpaceNorman
        SpaceNorman commented
        Editing a comment

        Stagemaster,

        I don't think anybody is disagreeing with the points you make.  Pretty much everybody on this forum understands that bar owners hire bands to puts butts in their venue and to sell food and drinks - NOT out of some altruistic desire to promote quality music.   Pretty much everybody also understands that to be successful in the game today - a band needs to have goals and needs to pursue a strategy to reach those goals (put whatever labels you like on it marketing plan, marketing strategy, business plan, business strategy, etc.)   However harping on these points at the 50,000 level like you seem to be is like standing up and declaring you're all for Mom and apple pie.  It makes for a good sound bite - but does little to provide the detail that's needed to truly further the discussion.

        It's tough to provide much concrete advise to the OP since he didn't give us alot of information about where his band is today (the kind of gigs they're currently playing, what sort of consistent draw they currently have, etc.)   However, the fact that he explained he's preparing to send out a mailing to "400+ venues and potential clients ... from bars and clubs to sports teams to theme parks, to agents and more, trying to make them aware of who we are and what we do" speaks volumes.   This type of shotgun marketing blitz is typically used by bands who are relatively new - and simply trying to get themselves out into the public eye.  Said another way - it's an "entry level" strategy.  It's one that's used because they likely don't have other options.

        The OP's shotgun marketing blitz makes it pretty clear that he's hoping to jump start his band by seeking out "commodity" gigs (i.e., like the $300-$400 a night gigs at local corner bars - that can be had by bands that don't have a proven following that they can sell (yet!)).   If the OP had a proven following that was large enough and consistent enough to use as a meaningful selling point - he wouldn't be sending out mass mailings - he'd be following a marketing strategy that identified specific venues and tailoring his message to get those gigs.

        No offense - but your message reminds me of some of the "self improvement - how to find a job" books my kids have come home with.   I've read 'em ... all sorts of advice on how to fine tune a resume', how to write cover letters, etc.   There's lots of great advice in those books - for the folks who have "content" (i.e., education and experience) to put on a resume, and who's education and experience qualifies them to compete for jobs that are filled in that manner.   However, for a kid fresh out of high school, with no proven marketable skills and virtually zero bonafide work experience - it's a waste of time.   He's qualified for a "commodity" job - minimum wage labor.   You don't land a "commodity" job with resumes and cover letters, business plans or marketing plans - you land a "commodity job" by being the first on to respond to a "help wanted" sign.  You land a "commodity job" by being persistent in asking if a business is hiring.    

         



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