7 ways to build your own e-mail list (for musicians)

Last week, I chatted about how to build an e-mail list that your fans care about. I also briefly mentioned why building an e-mail list is important. Today, I’ll be giving you 7 quick ways to build your own e-mail list (for musicians).

First, I want to share the importance of free traffic to your website. While paid traffic gives you organized bursts of traffic, not all of us have the financial means to always pay for traffic. I mention organized because you define how much traffic you could possibly get with the amount you pay and when you’d like the ad to run. On the other hand, free traffic is something you build so that you have it come regularly to your website without an on and off ad.

With some of the tips that follow, you’ll need to have traffic. If you don’t have much traffic going on your website, don’t worry. I’ll have a few tips on how you can build traffic and also grow your e-mail list.

So, let’s dive right in.

1.) Engage on social media by thoughtfully leaving comments.

Engaging on social media isn’t a direct channel to your opt-in list. Instead, what engaging on social media does is build awareness to your profile and curiosity. This means that comments and engagement that you leave on potential fans’ profiles should be meaningful and build curiosity in some way. Curiosity doesn’t mean leaving cryptic questions for them to find the answers to. Curiosity could mean, “what a nice thing this person said, I wonder who they are.”

And to make a post more meaningful and stand out, you’re going to do more than just emojis. Emojis and generic comments could help every now and then, but the more thought you put into a comment usually pays off in the form of traffic and even an opt-in.

7 ways to build your own e-mail list (for musicians)

2.) Have a light box on your website.

A light box is something that appears on your website after the visitor has visited for a few seconds. It’s like a little pop-up within the website that appears, inviting the visitor if they’d like to sign up for your e-mail list.

Many websites include a light-box, and it doesn’t come off as spammy as you think it might. Unless, of course, you make it spammy. For a lot of musicians, light boxes are a missed opportunity because they fear website spammy-ness. Having a freebie is one way to make it feel more like a benefit than spam. This leads me to my next tip.

3.) Give something for free in exchange for an e-mail.

For some light boxes, people will simply say “Get free updates” or “stay in touch” as a way to invite visitors to opt into the e-mail list. But as an extra little push, a freebie is a great way to bring the number of sign-ups higher. A few examples include a discount, one-time free shipping or single.

4.) Make it easy for people to share your content.

In addition to social media engagement, to build your free traffic you want to make sure that any content you create for your social platforms or website are easy to share. So, make sure to have all your needed plug-ins that allow fans to “click to tweet” or “click to re-share” or re-pin. This goes for your content on your website as well, especially if you keep some sort of blog.

5.) Try to get featured on relevant blogs and podcasts.

To optimize your website and appear on search results, you’ll need to have your website linked on other websites. This is called “backlinks”. To do this, you’ll need to get featured on relevant blogs and podcasts. Not only do you get “backlinks” to boost your page on search results, but you also increase the possibility of free traffic and exposure from those websites.

6.) Brainstorm ways to collaborate with similar artists.

Find a way to collaborate with similar artists to either support each other and help each other grow traffic to each others pages. It doesn’t have to be music, but it could be a shout out, sharing a post or running a small contest.

7.) Be part of a few Facebook groups and meaningfully engage in those groups.

Facebook groups are spaces where you can connect with folks that share similar interests. I’m sure you’re in a few right now. If you’re not, there are Facebook groups for Singer Songwriters, fans of specific genres, music lovers, music marketers, etcetera. These groups are excellent places to learn, bounce ideas, and support each other.

When you join a group, make sure whatever you join is relevant, and that you meaningfully engage. These Facebook groups serve as actual digital communities that aim to support each other. So, invest in just a few and meaningfully engage. If you’re looking for a place to start, make sure to check out Music Road’s Facebook group. You can find the link at the show notes on

These are only 7 ways you could build your email list. Are there more? Absolutely. Actually, in the Music Road List Building Studio I give over 20 ways to build your list organically without paid advertising. If you’ve tried these 7 and want to keep accelerating your growth, make sure to get on the waiting list for the next class. In the meantime, get free updates and resources by signing up.

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