Here are seven easy steps to writing the perfect outreach email to introduce yourself and your music to a blogger.
1.) Make sure to target people who you think would actually like to listen to your music i.e. confirm that their musical tastes align with your genre (more on that in step five).
2.) Find that person’s personal email address (not a generic firstname.lastname@example.org address) or @mention them on Twitter and ask them to DM it to you if you can’t find it (make sure you’re following them or else they won’t be able to DM you!).
3.) When composing your email, remember that shorter is better. Always.
4.) A lot of the time artists and their PR reps get too hung up on telling their story. Even if your story is touching or entertaining or incredible- if I don’t like the music, I’m not going to write about it or you. Save me, and you, the time by sparing that information until I’m familiar with your work.
5.) What I want to read: a description of your sound so I can get an idea what I’m dealing with before I click to listen. I’m pretty opened minded and will check out 90% of the press releases that land in my inbox, but if you label your work as “pop country”, again, save me and you the time by letting me know up front it’s something I won’t like so I don’t waste time clicking on it.
6.) What I want to click: Soundcloud, YouTube, and Bandcamp links are all #1 in my book. Anything else that’s relevant and helps me get to know you and your music better- links to press coverage, your website, your social accounts- are also welcome and appreciated.
7.)Dress all that up with a photo or two and a personalized opening paragraph and you’re good to go.
What’s a personalized paragraph? So glad you asked. It’s a genuine statement (i.e. something that you can’t easily make up) that lets me know you took the time to figure out why you think I might like your music. This will differentiate you and your outreach efforts, letting the blogger know you care about your work as much as you say you do.
[edit February 5, 2014]
8.) Put your streaming link near the top; I like to listen while I read. Please don’t make me hunt for it.