9 Things to NOT Do When Emailing Music Blogs

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1. Add Bloggers to Your Mailing List Without Giving Them a Heads Up

I don’t know who you are, yet I’m suddenly on your mailing list and there’s no unsubscribe button. At least send an email to let me know you think I’ll like the music you plan on blasting out. It’s even worse when the email blast says things like “this song is different than what you heard last time“. “Last time”? I don’t even know who you are.

2. Buy Lists of Email Addresses

People compile lists of blog addresses they found on the internet and then sell them. To me, buying these lists is almost as shady as buying followers. Someone added my contact email to some Australian blog list, and now I get a ton of emails inviting me to shows in Australia. I’ve never even been to Australia.

3. CC Your Email Blasts

If you’re sending a press release to a bunch of blogs and CC all of us, I can see everyone else you sent the email to. BCC us. Otherwise, I’m going to look at the lists of email addresses and see what types of sites you grouped me with. If I don’t like them, I probably won’t listen to your music.

4. Write Excessively Long Subject Lines

When you’re writing a subject line for your email remember that anything beyond 11 words will probably be cut off in the inbox view.

5. Get the Blogger’s Name Wrong

If you’re cutting and pasting the body of the email into new messages and personalizing it, be sure and proofread. You might have forgotten to change the name of the blogger or the title of the blog. It’s not always the end of the world, but it could prevent you from getting your foot in the door.

6. Only Send Links to Music

There’s a link to a SoundCloud track in this email, but that’s it. Why should I click this? Who are you? You don’t have to send an entire bio, but at least say hello and tell me what this link is.

7. Be Overly Casual

I know this isn’t a job application or the New York Times, you can keep it casual when you send an email pitch to a blog. However, there is such a thing as being TOO casual, especially if you have no prior relationship with the blogger. Don’t unnecessarily throw in words like “shit” and “whatever”, it’s distracting. “I like to sample my guitar recordings as if they’re someone else’s records or whatever“producing shit on my computer”

8. Lie About How Much You Love the Blog

Bloggers can tell when you’re lying about being a devoted follower of their blog. “I’ve been following your blog, it’s great” is often followed by a link to music that sounds nothing like what I post. If you’re not going to do your research then don’t lie about it. If you really do like a blog, specify what you like about it.

9. Spam Bloggers

One producer has everybody on his team emailing me every time he puts out a new remix, which is every week. I get four emails about the same song every week. I don’t even remember what this guy’s music sounds like, but I don’t like it. It’s okay to follow up a few times, but don’t be excessive.

Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more for Digital Music News. She also started and runs the West Coast Fix music blog, track it on Hype Machine. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

Photo is by Reid Rosenberg on Flickr used with the Creative Commons License

16 Responses

  1. Me

    You should go to Australia. It sounds like you’re missing out on a lot of great shows!

  2. Anonymous

    I get loads of shit now because we’re listed with the A&R Registry- WHICH IS SOLD- as a master list of recording labels, A&R people and industry contacts. When working at a studio, we found that Registry to be invaluable for tracking down the right people for the studio to be paid by the major labels that booked us. So I’d have to disagree about paying for a list. We paid for that and it was updated several times a year. Completely worth the expense. As a label now, being listed in it, we are regularly sent stuff now that is an e-mail that is typically one or two cryptic sentences describing some band or artist with a few links we’ll never listen to. To me, if there is no phone contact, nothing will ever happen from our end. E-mail is a waste of time unless you already know us.

    • Nina Ulloa

      Sounds like it was useful to you as a studio, but not as a label, which is in line with what I’m saying. Not all contact directories are bad, it’s just bad when an artist thinks they can buy a list, hit “send all” on a link, and take the easy way out.

  3. Sal G Sofia

    I think the person in the photo needs a Doctor not a job.;-) maybe is an actor, ?
    And why a man???
    Thank you!


  4. careful

    This is not just about netiquette. Spamming people is illegal worldwide. You don’t want to piss off the wrong person and have your host suspend your mail and website account because you couldn’t be bothered to read the rules.

  5. GGG

    Subscribing me to your mailing list without my permission or even knowledge is a quick and easy way to get on my shit list. And I’m sure many, many others would say the same.

  6. Praverb

    Great post, one of the best post that I have seen on this topic. Congrats. Sharing it now.

  7. Lynn

    I run an indie label rather than a blog, but I agree with a lot of those points. Yes, I too have been added to a number of mailing lists that I didn’t sign up to. But the delete key deals with them OK. What annoys me the most are the people who don’t do sufficient research or don’t bother to read the info on my website where the answers to their questions are staring them right in the face. Instead they seem to prefer to email the same questions to me time and time again! I also get annoyed when people send MP3s attached to emails, or post CDs to me when I specifically ask them not to.

    I listen to at least 98% of the music I am sent on links, but I rarely listen to the CDs that fall through my letterbox with annoying regularity.

  8. Dovile

    Once I started to receive emails from guy about his life, musical creations and gigs. I realized I am on some kind of email list but there was no button “unsubscribe”. I emailed him and asked “Who you are? How did you get my email? Why there is no button to unsubscribe because that’s illegal and people shouldn’t be forced to read emails they don’t want to?”. He emailed me back very angry letter about me being rude. He wrote me that he was doing me a huge favor because I received exclusive news. If I want to unsubscribe from his email I should email to him and ask about it 14 days in advance.
    I am wondering in what kind of world this guy lives.

    Other crazy email I was added to was written in French. I personally adore French music and fashion. The problem is that I don’t speak and I don’t understand French. Google translator was not able to translate it because its format. Also I would be not able to attend events in France. At least I found where to unsubscribe.

  9. th

    And thats why some of the labels dont even read demo or promo mails .Love the post but it is what it is.

  10. Gees

    Ive been following your blog, it’s great!
    Here a link to my music – theresnomusichereimjustbeingironicandsilly.com
    It’s a good list though. Is there a reason you did 9 and not the normal obligatory 10?