“The reason no record label knows how to market anything to new media is they don’t live there. They don’t get it because they don’t use it. What you’ve seen happen with the marketing and presentation of NIN over the last years is a direct result of living next to you, listening to you, consuming with you and interacting with you. Directly. There’s no handlers or PR people here, it’s me and my guys – that’s it. There’s no real plan, even – it’s just trying to do the right thing that respects you the fan, the music, and me the artist. That’s the goal – a mutual and shared respect." Trent Reznor (NIN)


In 2008 Trent Reznor decided to bypass record label and created his own structure.

He released « The Slip » for free on his website with a limited-edition.

He had a great success and sold almost 100,000 physical copies . The album reached number 13 on the Billboard 200. .

Direct to fan marketing is the most natural way of doing marketing online. The concept is to find your specific fans, engage with them to build trust and relationship.

But why not sending people direct to iTunes?

When you are guest somewhere and meet someone for the first time, do you ask for their credit card right away?

I guess not, you will first introduce yourself, talk about you, get to know the person in front of you…

And I bet that it will be easier after 15 minutes to talk about the stuffs your are selling and even make a sale!


You’ll need to find your specific fans, find music fans that would die for you and talk to them, they will be more likely to buy your albums.

A good way to find specific fans is to run a Facebook Audience Insights.

In this article I explain the process of finding specific fans. Once you have an audience, you can create a Facebook ads campaign to promote the free offer.

sampleThe ads will bring traffic to a squeeze page. A squeeze page has only one function : converting visitors into subscribers.

The graphics on the squeeze page has to be minimal. The text is a sales copy with a strong headline, some social proofs, a call to action with an incentive. The incentive can be a free mp3, videos, ebook, free tickets, etc

Visitors will have to enter their emails to get the free music.

What marketers do next is sending a sequence of emails to build trust with the new subscriber. A first email to deliver the free mp3 and a few more with personal stories and pictures.

Example for the first email

‘Thank you so much for being my friend :), I just wanted to take the opportunity

to warmly welcome you to the family...

... and let you know that coming up over the next few days you're going to be

getting exclusive access to my most wanted music and videos direct to

your mailbox, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled.

Here is your download : http:/

You will love these 2 tracks, I recorded them during……..

And remember, I dig hearing from you guys so by all means,

shoot me an email if you ever have any questions, comments, feedback,

or just to say hey!

Here is my main website


Your Name

Take two seconds and join us

Your Facebook, Your Twitter,

P.S. The next few days are gonna feel like Christmas... Because as an added bonus for subscribing, I’m going to be sending you my best Musics and videos. Stay tuned... it’s gonna be good‘

As you can see in this first email, we just introduce ourselves and deliver what we promised. We also have the opportunity to tell a story about the tracks we offer.

The last part of the email is here to keep them aware that they are going to receive more good stuffs from you.

You want to create a relationship by entering in a conversation with them. (I dig hearing from you guys so by all means)

In this first email, ask suggest them to subscribe to your social networks.

And finally we included a P.S with a strong incentive, this is a good way to make them wait for your next email.

You can run a 3 to 4 email sequence with more personal stories, pictures and freebies.

newsletter-528458_1280After 4 emails, the fans will look at the the band as a good friend and will be ready to receive promotional emails.

We tested direct to fan email marketing by creating a music project from scratch.

We used Soundcloud and Twitter to collect emails via a squeeze page and extra popups on the main website.

We collected more than 800 emails in 6 months and made some sales even if we were in a difficult niche. (Ambient Music)

If you want to learn more about it, we have a video course that brings you step by step in the funnel creation.

We also give the email swipe copies that converted the best for us, you’ll just have to fill the blank.

And you, what type of direct to fan strategies are you using?