Case Study: Marketing an Entertainment Newsletter
By Justin Premick February 15, 2007
Meet John Waterman, creator of the Bandit A&R newsletter, a monthly print and email publication providing artists information on which industry professionals are currently seeking new talent and how to get demos/samples to them.
Customers often ask us for examples of how people are using AWeber in different industries, and what they can do to effectively run an opt-in email marketing campaign.
So, last month we solicited candidates to help us show how they’ve implemented email campaigns with their businesses.
Our 2007 case study series starts in the music industry, with John Waterman and the Bandit A&R Newsletter.
We’ve all heard great bands that we simply couldn’t find in our local music store. We say to ourselves, “These guys are great! Their CDs should be flying off the shelves!”
But the CDs aren’t flying off the shelves. Because they haven’t made it there. Because the band never got noticed by the record labels.
That’s where John Waterman comes in. His Bandit A&R Newsletter was formed in 1988 to help aspiring artists:
“Bandit aims to help ambitious singers, bands, songwriters and producers find a market for their music whatever commercial music style they are working in.
There are many paths to making a living from music and Bandit tries to cover recording deals, licensing of finished tracks, song publishing deals, TV/Film/Advertising use and artist management.”
Bandit is a monthly print and email publication providing artists information on which industry professionals are currently seeking new talent and how to get demos/samples to them.
While Bandit grew, so did use of another valuable tool: the Internet.
“In 1995 I ‘retired’ from the day job and set up a full time office, bought a PC and started to investigate the Internet.
By the end of the year Bandit had a self designed/written web-site with the help of a 7 Pound ($13) “Teach yourself HTML” book and a plain text email option for subscribers!
The subscriber base quickly spread world-wide and I decided to start an additional US content edition to satisfy and encourage more US based subscribers.”
A few years later, John picked up an AWeber account to automate his list management.
How John Uses AWeber
John offers a free sample copy of an old back issue of the Bandit newsletter as a PDF, and delivers the download link via AWeber.
Web forms are located on several pages of the Bandit website. Here’s an example from his homepage:
“The facility to add a second section to the front of the auto-responder email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a key feature that I use to track the source of enquiries. I use this for keying print Ad responses or anywhere that uses email response.
I also use it as a basic affiliate program where I give affiliates a exclusive number to add the email address they use to send me prospects and also to embed in their web-forms offering the free sample issue. If the prospect subsequently buys a subscription the affiliate can have their commission credited to their account.”
After subscribers confirm and get their sample, John follows up with them through a sequence of seven messages. He also broadcasts to his list one-two times per month, offering further samples and benefits of paid subscriptions. All messages are in plain-text format.
Results So Far
A look at his account showed that John gets a lot of junk traffic to his opt-in forms and spam sent to his autoresponder. However, he’s getting a lot of quality subscribers as well.
He’s currently converting nearly 7% of prospects to paid subscribers via his follow up messages. Most occur after the first follow up message, with the remaining sales spread across the subsequent ones.
John’s goals are to:
- Get more people to confirm their signups to his list
- Increase his sales conversion rate
John’s obviously succeeding. Keep it up, John!