Ryan Baustert, like most musicians, didn’t think about the business side of music when he first started booking gigs with his band Throw the Fight back in 2003.
Eighteen years later, they’ve sold 40,000 albums, have over 265,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, over 23,000 YouTube subscribers, and regularly sell out shows.
Along the way, Baustert came to think of himself as a marketer just as much as he’s a songwriter and guitarist. He attributes part of the band’s success to leaning into the business side of music.
You do it for so long, it ends up becoming a part of your identity and you don't even know what you would do without it. There's so many talented musicians and so many bands out there that no one will ever hear of because most musicians don't realize that it takes so much more than talent to start building a name for yourself. You really have to just hustle hard.
His most powerful marketing tool? His email list. With 4,000 subscribers and counting, it’s Baustert’s foundation for promoting Throw the Fight to fans old and new.
“I'm a big fan of the 80/20 rule—the idea that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort—and focusing on the stuff that's driving the most results. For me, that’s email,” says Baustert. “We love ConvertKit. As soon as I switched to ConvertKit, I started to see immediate results.”
We sat down with Baustert to find out more about how Throw the Fight uses email automations to create diehard fans.
How to use email automations to turn interested people into diehard fans
The biggest driver of new email list sign-ups Throw the Fight comes from targeted landing pages optimized for conversion, paired with a free offer.
We get most of the people onto our list through a ConvertKit landing page, and we just give out our latest record for free with a free download. I always get questions about whether that even still works because everyone’s streaming, but it does. It’s less about the medium and more about the value you’re giving them.
Once a fan joins your list, the fun part begins.
Baustert uses ConvertKit’s Automations to create a simple onboarding flow that showcases the band’s greatest hits, upcoming shows, and more—without needing to lift a finger.
Once people download the record and we’ve got them on the email list, we’re sending people to Spotify and YouTube and various videos and pitching merchandise and other news through ConvertKit’s automations. It’s the 80/20 rule again.
Onboarding is the opportunity to make a lasting impression—especially for someone who hasn’t seen you play in person. You can give them a sense of who you are and what you stand for and start to build them into superfans.
And by automating the process, Ryan is building a lasting audience for the people that are going to come see Throw the Fight again and again. Their casual fans matter, but it’s the diehards—the ones who buy every album, comment on every video, follow the band around for a summer on tour—that are going to make a difference to their bottom line.
Throw the Fight uses a seven-email sequence that looks like this:
- Email 1 delivers the original offer of a free album or music download, depending on what the band is promoting, and a thank you note.
- Email 2 promotes social links and Spotify channels.
- Email 3 delivers the latest single.
- Email 4 has the most recent music video and promotes their YouTube channel.
- Email 5 is all about Spotify, which is one of Throw the Fight’s biggest channels. They use a combination of ConvertKit and FeatureFM for streaming services so fans can pre-save new music and automatically get notifications when anything new drops there.
- Emails 6 and 7 showcase merchandise and a few odds and ends before dropping subscribers into their regular newsletter cadence.
Use ConvertKit email automations to create a lasting fanbase
Being a talented musician and being a talented business person are two different skill sets, and you can do both. With easy-to-use tools like ConvertKit, anyone can be a marketer.
This stuff does not come naturally to most people. It’s learned. But it really works, for any genre of music, as long as you know who your audience is and why you’re doing this.
ConvertKit makes it easy to focus on what matters: your music. Hit the button below and create a free 14-day trial with ConvertKit to start connecting with your followers and turn them into your diehard fans today!