Extracting email addresses from a recipients list to collect a music promotion mailing list

This is one of those dirty tricks that I haven’t had the guts to utilize before, but now I’m going to give it a try, because…why not. I’ve decided to talk openly about all the means that I’m using in order to gain a stand in the music business. I hope that others will learn something in the process, and that I find some working music business infiltration methods that can be replicated.

Every once in a while I receive a promotional email, which has been sent to a gazillion of recipients. It has taken a lot of time and effort for the promoter to collect all those addresses. Some of them can only be obtained by actually meeting these people. Generally people aren’t too happy about their email addresses being shared freely around. The best practise to send promotional emails, is to mark the recipients as BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) instead of CC (Carbon Copy). This way the recipients will not know who else is getting the same email. Sending the message as CC, though, is a common mistake, and that can be seen as an opportunity to harvest email addresses.

There must be an easy way to convert the email addresses from a CC list to a contacts list, but I thought that it would be important to go through the list and check if the recipients still work at the same company, and that they’re actually relevant people to my promotional messages. I imported all the contacts to a spreadsheet, with the headers “Name”, “Email”, “Company”, “Position in company”, “Action to take”, “Additional information”, “Type of business”. Business type could be “radio” or “magazine” for example. This way I can sort the list easily, and send emails that are more useful for the recipient, because I know the medium they’re working on.

I also have another list of contacts, which has much more information about the people I’ve met in person. You could call that a CRM of sorts. I started building it on top of a spreadsheet, because I couldn’t find a simple enough CRM software that would be free or reasonably priced. Suggestions are welcome!

I’ve collected emails from music industry event visitor lists (which I have attended), websites of interesting companies, Twitter profiles, CC fields of promotional emails and from the business cards of the people I’ve actually met. These “warm” contacts are naturally the best.

I haven’t really utilized this rather big database of email addresses before, and I figured that I need to have a team member to do that. I feel that I might not have the balls to send promotional emails myself, because I pretty much am the product, and it might not be convincing enough, if I did it myself. I’ll have a meeting tomorrow with someone who could potentially be that person. I’ve bought some promotional services before, but haven’t really benefited enough from those, and I’m curious to see more of the trial and error data myself.

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