Email Marketing for Musicians: How To Set Up Automation Sequences

Email marketing for musicians can be as simple or as hard as you choose to make it, but however, if you operate from the basis of offering something to a potential fan for free in exchange for their email address you can market to them later on the back end.

Service them with content over an extended period of time and develop trust with the customer in your brand. Repeat this process over and over again and you’ll have a list of dedicated buyers that love what you do and will buy your products.

In todays modern music industry, we all know by now that making a solid connection with your fan base is none negotiable, and with the tools, we have at our disposable such as social media platforms and email, music marketing is something that can be done easily and better yet, automated! 

In the past, I’ve told you why you should be using email marketing to promote your music, but today is different!

In this blog post I want to show you just how easy it is to set this process up and fully automate it using one of my favourite email marketing platforms, Mailerlite step by step.

Mailerlite is a relatively unheard-of email marketing service, but for what we want to achieve in this tutorial it is their perfect choice for beginners and seasoned professionals.

Of course you can choose from many different platforms such as Constant Contact, Convert Kit or Get Response, but Mailerlite for me is the platform that has stood the test of time.

As a musician you can use email to promote upcoming gigs and tour dates, promote a new song, sell merch, or give out a free download.

If you haven’t signed up yet you’ll need to sign up to follow along with this tutorial and start collecting subscribers! You don’t have to pay a dime until you get to 1000 gain email subscribers and even after you surpass the 1000 mark you’ll only pay £8 per month! 

How To Set Up Signup Forms In Mailerlite

Click Forms

select forms within mailerlite

Head over to forms, what you’ll see here is a variety of options for the type of sign up form you can create.

Let me briefly explain what each option can do!


popup forms within mailerlite

A pop up does exactly what it says on the tin, you can manually set the amount of time a visitor has to be on your page before they are given the option to sign up to your email list, you can also set what triggers the pop, not only does it work based on duration of time but you can also set up exit-intent popups which triggers when someone goes to click away from your website.

Landing pages

landing pages within mailerlite email marketing platform

If you don’t currently have any subscribers Landing pages are a gold mine for collecting emails and building your list, all they are is a dedicated page that entices you to take a single action i.e. signing up for a free gift.

With this alone Mailerlite proves to be an excellent marketing tool.

As an artist, an easy way to get people to your landing page to sign-up for your email list would be to utilize them for a new single release, here is the process I would follow no matter what stage you’re at in your career.

  1. Share the news of your single on your social media profiles
  2. Create content to promote that single (Instagram posts, Facebook posts) in the lead up to its release to build up momentum
  3. Instruct people to click the link to your landing page and sign-up with their email address for exclusives benefits only given to those on your email list (this could be something like a video of you recording the video)
  4. Give your subscribers as much free content as possible, make them fans! after a few months start to send them deals on your merch
  5. Rinse and repeat

As I said at the start of this guide, email marketing for musicians does not have to be difficult but having a great strategy is extremely important, strategies from many different markets can be easily transferred to your own.

Embedded Forms

embedded forms within mailerlite

An embedded should be quite easy to understand, just like popups they do exactly what they say on the tin, except with embedded forms, they stay exactly where you put them and are “embedded” on to the page, once you’ve created a form in Mailerlite you’ll be given a script to place on your page so that it appears.


promotions popup feature within mailerlite

Promotional forms are an excellent way of promoting deals you’re running throughout your entire website, in Mailerlite you can easily set one up by using their prebuilt templates, you can also precondition when and how the offer appears based on how long they have been on your website through to the frequency in which it appears, as well as determining if the offer will show site-wide or on specific pages.

All of these signup forms are great in their own right but for this example let’s concentrate on Embedded forms.

Setting Up An Embedded Form

Firstly what you need to do is set up a group in Mailerlite which your subscribers will be assigned to if they fill out your form.

Heads over to subscribers and then hit groups!

setting up an embedded form

To set up a new group hit the “Create New Group” button, you can’t really miss it, it stands out quite a lot!

Create new group button

From here you’ll be prompted to create a name for your new group, I would recommend naming your group depending on what offer you plan on sending to your subscribers.

name your group

This part is VERY important to creating your automation sequence, so don’t skip it!

Head back over to the embedded forms section and hit “Create Form”, the first thing you’ll need to do is decide what to name your form.

name your newly created embedded form

I recommend naming your form the same as you named your group.

Once you have hit “Save and continue” you’ll come to the next page and its now time to assign the group that you created earlier to your form.

This is so that when someone submits your form they are also assigned to the correct automation sequence.

assign form to group

Now we’re at the stage when we can start designing how our form looks and it’s message.

designing a sign up form in mailerlite

Now I don’t want to get into full-blown form design as that can be saved for another tutorial, but as you can see below there a fair number of options to change how the form template looks and feels all of which are very user-friendly and easy to use.

If you want to be picky about design and want to see how easy it is to create a fancy looking embedded form using Mailerlite’s editor watch this video.

design options

Once you’re happy with your design and message, hit the next button in the top right-hand corner.

Once you’ve hit the next button you’ll come to the form settings page, this is a very important page as it contains some vital things that you need to do to get your form working properly.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find a bunch of scary-looking code and you might think what the hell is this i’m no Mark Zuckerberg, but chill, its nothing too serious, all you need to do with Javascript code is copy and paste it before the closing </head> tags of your website, if you don’t know how to do so, I would start researching now!

install java tracking script

It’s important that you get this installed before going live with any email campaigns as if you don’t Mailerlite will not be able to keep track of your results!

Next is to install is the HTML code on the page where you would like your signup form to appear.

install html code

So now let’s move onto the juicy stuff (at least for me) setting up your first automation sequence.

How To Set Up Your First Automation Sequence In Mailerlite

setting up your first automation sequence in mailerlite

In the main menu hit automation and then hit the “Create New Automation” button.

You’ll then be sent to the page where you can start setting up your automation sequence which looks something like this.

setting up a workflow in mailerlite

The first thing you’ll want to do is name your automation.

Now select the workflow trigger drop-down menu, for the sake of what we’ve gone over in this tutorial select, “When a subscriber joins a group”.

select your workflow trigger

After you’ve selected when a subscriber joins a group as your trigger you’ll then have an additional drop-down option appear called subscriber group, make sure that you select the group you created earlier on.

select subscriber group

This is the point when the magic starts to happen, from here is when you can start creating emails and adding conditions.

Hit the plus button and you’ll see that you have a variety of options which allow you to add an email, add a delay, add a condition or add an action.

Hit email for now.

adding an email to your mailerlite workflow

Next, you’ll have to come up with a subject title for your email and then select “Design email” to start writing your message.

If you want to track the traffic you get to your website make sure that you check the Google Analytics checkbox otherwise when you check your stats in GA the visitors that came from your email will show as Direct rather than Email.

give your email a subject

Once you’re done here remember to save your progress.

create an email

In Mailerlite you have many options when it comes to how your email looks such as sending nicely designed HTML emails or you can just send plain text emails, for this tutorial we concentrate on Plain Text, HTML is for another day.

Hit rich text editor.

rich text editor in mailerlite

As you can see from the image above the process of typing out an email needs no explanation, if you’re privy to using any kind of text editor like word you’ll know exactly how to work the text editor.

Once you’ve written your email click the “Done editing” button.

From here you can continue adding to your automation sequence, hit the plus button to add a delay to give your subscribers a chance to read your last email before the next action is taken, I recommend to make it a minimum of 2 days.

Now hit the plus button again and add a condition based on workflow activity, adding conditions is a very advanced thing to do, with conditions you can set what happens in the automation., for instance, the most simple condition to add here would be based on whether your last email was opened or not, select one of those options and then click Save.

email was not opened

From the screenshot above you’ll notice that there are two options available to you one with a green thumbs up and one with a red thumbs down, green represents that the condition you set being met and red represents the opposite i.e. they didn’t open your email.

From this point, the most obvious thing to do is to resend the previous email with some slightly modified text to the people that didn’t open the first email, to do so click the plus button under the red thumbs down. and then click email again.

In order to get people’s attention you may want to change the title of the to something like “Did you get my last email?” this will cause people to think erm what email? therefore increasing the chances of the subscriber opening and reading it.

second email in the automation chain

The next thing to do would be to set up an additional email for the people that did open your previous email., head over to the green thumbs up button, click the plus button and select email.

This time again you’ll want to enter a different subject, something along the lines of a thank you for opening the last email and maybe offer them a free gift like an exclusive video which you only send to those on your email list so that they feel special and engage with your content.

enaged person

This will strengthen the bond your subscribers have with you, depending on what you as an artist are promoting, for instance, for a single release you may send them a behind the scenes video of the singles music video or secret bonus tracks, all of this is just to build momentum for the big release day, the more micro-content you send to your entire audience the more engaged they will be.

If you’re planning a campaign out like this for an extended period of time continue to add in delays, emails, and conditions throughout the email funnel until the date of your single release.

But what do we do with the people that just don’t engage no matter how far they get through the funnel?

My strategy has always been to qualify them one last time before I make any rash decisions on what to do with them.

For instance, in this automation, let’s say they haven’t opened the second email we sent to them, the first thing I would do is click the plus button again, add in a delay of 2 days to give them a chance to open the previous email, and then I would add in another condition, following workflow activity and set to last email was not opened just like the screen grab below:

setting up conditions

Once you have set that up, hit save.

Now we’re going to add in an action, hit the plus button and select action.

From here it’s completely up to you what you do with the unengaged subscriber, but what I would do is unsubscribe them from the list or create another group of subscribers called unengaged to work on later.

But for this tutorial lets unsubscribe them from the list, hit the actions option in the chain and select mark as unsubscribed from the dropdown menu on the right-hand side.

mark as unsubscribed

But for the individuals that have re-engaged, head over to the green thumbs up add-in an action, from the options on the right-hand side of your screen select “move to another step” and then under filter by step select email and then under that drop-down menu select the email from the very first green thumps chain after the first email at the start of the chain.

move to another step

Now you might ask yourself, what should I do with the subscribers that DID open up my first email, my answer to that for this example is going to be short an sweet.

Again, hit the plus button under the email, add in an action, in the options on the right-hand side select “move to a group” and then right next to the “move to” option hit “create new group” and call it “engaged” hit create, then hit save.

create a new group

Once you’re at this stage, you’re ready to make the automation live, all you have to do is select the slider option in the top right-hand corner and set it to on.

Congratulations! you have now set up your first email automation sequence in Mailerlite!

It’s a lot easier to build engagement with your audience by collecting fans email addresses then most think, it does take some initial setting up! but once it is done you’ll be overwhelmed with what the results can bring.

Remember, if you haven’t done so already sign up to Mailerlite to get started building your email list and setting up automation sequences.


George Matthews
George Matthews

With 17 Years music production experience, George Matthews is the CEO of Your Local Musician, he also makes music under the name Grimmm and releases Lo-fi music.

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