1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9...send.
Everyday, playlist curators, bloggers and editors the world over receive hundreds of emails from artists seeking press for their music. Some of these artists are great, some of these artists are terrible. And while some of them have got this press pitch down, many of them don't have the first idea about how to present their music online. Here are the 8 Email Commandments for Recording Artists...follow or die a slow, digital death.
#8 CHECK YOUR SPELLING
Its rely importent to chec youre speling. I can't tell you how many times over the years I received emails from artists looking for a post that failed to check the spelling in their emails. The worst part is the email usually starts with a line like "I invest a lot of time into my career..." Really? Then you should also invest in a Speak & Spell. Incorrect spelling and bad grammar isn't going to fly at your 9-5, so don't make it a part of your 5-9. And please, please, please spell the name of your "hot new single" correctly.
#7 IF YOU SAY SOMETHING IS ATTACHED, MAKE SURE IT IS
"Check out my dope, amazing, crazy good new song attached to this email." * Looks for attachment, can't find it *. Another frequent occurrence when receiving emails from artists looking for publicity is to be told a song is attached to the email and it isn't there. Artists: No journalist is going to email you back and say "hey, you forgot to attach your song" unless said journalist already has a great relationship with you or they were expecting your email. If you are simply taking your chances and sending your song out and you say it's attached to the email, MAKE SURE IT IS! Simple but important advice.
#6 BCC YOUR EMAILS
You know how you've built up (or purchased) a database of all the top journalists, curators and website editors? If and when you use that list to promote your new music, ENSURE you BCC: those emails when you send them out. Trust me when I tell you everyone on your list will HATE you if you don't BCC their email when you send out your music. Not only will they probably not post your music if you don't BCC:, they may blacklist you forever (whether you know it or not). I've seen so many instances of artists not BCC'ing emails and the terrible "reply all" situations that followed. It's a simple courtesy that will go a long way. And if you don't BCC: by mistake, send a follow-up email apologizing for your error (but make sure you BCC: that time...'cause I've seen people not BCC: on the apology email too).
#5 INCLUDE SOME INFORMATION ABOUT YOURSELF
"Hey, check out my new song"...end of email.
I'm not saying you have to write a 13-page biography, but provide SOME information about yourself in an email. Major label publicists still "introduce" artists in emails to the press, if for nothing as a refresher on what the artist has been up to. You, as an artist people probably don't know at all, need to tell some sort of story as a means to introduce you to the media. This is why it's important to have a skilled publicist on your team.
#4 INCLUDE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTO
You know that photo of you and your homies twisted at the club? Don't include that as your press photo. Spend a few dollars (or find a friend that knows what they are doing with a camera or phone) and take some professional photos that properly convey your artistic image. It will go a long way in "presenting" you.
#3 EITHER BE GENERIC OR BE VERY SPECIFIC
If you are going to blast out your new music, make a decision. You either a) Personalize the email and be very specific or b) You send a generic blast...that is very generic.
If you choose option a), mention something specific about the blog, website or person you are sending it to. Don't simply say "Hey, I like your site" say "I really dug that article you did on Pusha T. That part in the interview where he talked about his first time in the studio with Kanye was crazy" followed by your pitch.
And if you choose option b), make the email for a generic audience. Don't say "Hey, I really like your blog" and send it to 3000 people - this might not even apply to some people on your list ie. playlist curators or freelancers.
#2 IF YOU ARE GOING TO PERSONALIZE THE EMAIL, MAKE SURE YOU GET THE BLOG/WEBSITE NAME RIGHT
Over the years I have received many emails like this:
"What up, I love dopehotshitcrazynewstuff.com. I'm a big fan of your site and visit all the time."
If you are going to personalize your email to a blog or website, it's very important to get the name right. Sometimes when I received emails like this I would email back and say "this isn't dopehotshitcrazynewstuff.com"...but usually I would just hit delete. Might have I deleted the greatest new song from the greatest new artist in the game? Sure. But if you can't get the name of my site/playlist/blog correct, how much are you really investing into your career?
#1 YOU AREN'T THE NEW LAURYN HILL...SO DON'T WRITE THAT
In the past, whenever I got emails that said "Check out this artist, she's the new Lauryn Hill" I delete without listening. Why? Well, in every instance of this since I started in the game back in 1996, whenever I got an email like that and listened, the person ended up being more Cassie (if that) than Lauryn Hill...so I stopped listening and started deleting. You Mr. or Ms. artist, are not the next anyone you are the first you...so stop writing dumb things like this and let your music speak for itself.