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How to Effectively Use Download Campaigns

It’s become common convention that giving away something for free is the only way to get fans to engage with an artist.

While a download for an email address is a great way to build your mailing list and start your following, it does not reward the fans that are truly boosting your income.

I often tell artists that they shouldn’t give away everything for nothing. Doing a special EP now and then at no cost works, but not every-single-one.

My general suggestion is to pair freebies with a paid event - like a concert.

Know your venues and tailor your giveaways on a show-by-show basis.

Take this scenario for example :

My band - call us “The Rolling Stones” - is just starting out and we are doing a Southeast tour with a swing through Texas.

The Stones and I are trying to gauge a way for us to give away something special to our loyal fans, but not every person with an AOL account.

We’ve got this awesome new record about to come out - “Sticky Fingers” - and Keith (our guitarist) suggests giving it away to the fans at each show before the official release.

How do we limit the downloads AND make sure everyone has access to a copy?

This is where Download Campaigns come in…


Lets say The Stones are playing in a 200 seat venue - remember, they’re just starting out.

Tracking how many people actually attended the show or handing out a million little slips of paper with a URL are both cumbersome.

Why not just give them them a password and set the limit to 200 downloads?

End of Show :

“Thanks everyone for coming out! To show our gratitude we are going to tweet out a link with a free download of our upcoming album Sticky Fingers. Just use the password thankyouaustin”

This method achieves a few things:
1.) Promotes new album and feels exclusive
2.) Easily reach attendees with minimal work
3.) Promotes Twitter account

What if there wasn’t 200 attendees? What if they share the password with their friends?


Who cares?  - That’s more word of mouth marketing and exposure for you…

-Tommy


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Posted: February 10, 2014
Filed Under: Tips & Tricks

Mad Mimi Blog Contributor

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