Recently, I posted a lesson called, “Here’s Why Music Biz Professionals Aren’t Emailing You Back” (read it here). Today, I want to look at an email that resulted in a phone call, a hold, and eventually a Joe Nichols cut.
A few years back, I wanted to get my song, “Crickets,” to Joe Nichols. I just thought it’d be perfect for him. But how do I get it to him? I didn’t have a personal connection with anyone in his camp. However, I did happen to get the email address of the owner of Joe’s label (thanks to a sungplugger friend of mine). I decided it was worth a cold email.
(Note: Normally, I wouldn’t send a song to a label owner. But I know this particular owner actively listens to songs through email and has a say in what end up on his artists’ albums. See my post “The Big Yes.”)
Not knowing the owner, this is how I worded my email:
Song for Joe Nichols: “Crickets” (Baxter, Shaffer, Whyte)
I’m a songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson (“Monday Morning Church”), Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, and others. Here’s a song for Joe. Thanks for listening!
(Brent Baxter, Lisa Shaffer, Bill Whyte)
Lyric and mp3 attached.
Sometime later (maybe a day or two, maybe weeks), I got a call from the owner. He said he loved the song and wanted to hold it for Joe. Eventually, they cut it and it became the title track to Joe’s debut album on Red Bow Records.
Okay, let’s break down the email and see what we can learn.
I was proactive and pitched my own song.
I didn’t wait for someone else to make my dreams come true. See my post, “10 Reasons Songwriters Should Pitch Their Own Songs.”
I used an appropriate communication channel.
This was an email address that the owner regularly uses to listen to songs. It wasn’t his wife’s personal email or some other inappropriate email. I was conducting business through a business email address.
The subject line is very clear and professional.
No hype. No bull.
I kept the message very brief and to the point.
One quick glance at the message isn’t a turn-off. He could read it very quickly, so he was more likely to actually read it. Long emails are intimidating and look like too much work.
I presented pro credentials briefly and in the beginning.
I opened with a few choice cuts to set myself as a pro in his mind. It increased the chance that he’d take my email seriously and expect a good song. If you don’t have these, just get to who the song is for. It’s better to skip this completely than say how you won a local talent show. Your song may be killer, but if you’ve only has small success (so far), they might think you only have small talent.
I provided contact info both in the email and on the lyric sheet.
He called be back partly because I made it easy for him to find me.
I provided both the mp3 and the lyrics.
Some folks don’t look at the lyric when they listen. Some do. I don’t take chances. I want them to have everything they might need.
The song was well-written and a good fit for the artist.
The email was written to get the song heard. But getting the song heard doesn’t help if the song itself isn’t good or isn’t a good fit for the artist.
What about you? Have you had any success with cold emails? How did you word them?
Pro songwriters know how to act professionally. And if YOU want to become a pro, you need to think like a pro, too. In my FREE e-book, “THINK LIKE A PRO SONGWRITER,” I not only reveal several of the mindsets which separate the pro songwriter from the amateur, but also…
- How to get on a music publisher’s radar
- How the pros know who is looking for songs
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God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,
Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.