Sales funnels are all the rage in digital marketing. But for good reason: they work. This strategy is commonplace in “normal” business and the selling of products. But sometimes, it’s pushed aside when it comes to marketing music. So leverage look at how we can leverage and use a music sales funnel more effectively.
After all, if done correctly, funnels can get you more streams, expand your exposure and strengthen brand identity while increasing your fan base.
So this post will take you through everything you need to know. By the end, you should have a clear idea and path forward on what to do and how to implement a powerful funnel into your music marketing strategy.
But enough small talk – leverage get it!
- What Are Sales Funnels?
- X Benefits of Using A Sales Funnel for Music
- How to Create An Effective Music Sales Funnel In X Steps
What Are Sales Funnels?
Sales funnel aren’t too mysterious and pretty much what they sound like (a funnel). And they’re nothing new.
In fact, this methodology has been around for a long time as a sales best practice. The biggest difference now is the process is largely online and more expansive with who’s using it and how.
Case in point: independent musicians.
So leverage start with a simple definition.
Sales funnels are visual representations of the customer (or fan) relationship and buying journey.
So funnels essentially structure your audience from the top of the funnel, where you have new leads and people who have never heard of you, all the way down to the bottom of the funnel, where you have your current and loyal fans.
This organizes your marketing efforts, campaign offers and fan base.
X Benefits of Using A Sales Funnel for Music
Sales funnels boast a lot of cool benefits. They add an advanced level of strategy to your music promotion and the results can be impressive.
So here are six of my favorite benefits to using a sales funnel for promoting your music or brand online.
Using a sales funnel will naturally organize your marketing and growth online. The nature of a funnel is in its structure and how we adapt each stage for a specific purpose and audience.
Naturally, using such a system will increase your promotional organization. And this is a huge benefit, since you can clearly monitor what’s working and what’s not while focusing your attention to the most appropriate funnel stages based on your specific goals and audience.
The big benefit of using a sales funnel is the ability to customize all of your offers, messaging and promotional campaigns. Each stage of your funnel will have a different audience persona, and your campaigns should echo this.
For example, targeting an audience who has never heard of you will be a completely different message and offer compared to campaigns targeting current fans or people who have listened to your music before. Funnels make it easier to customize our marketing efforts.
3. A Better ROI
When you use a sales funnel – especially with paid ads – you can optimize your campaigns and their offers and messaging. Ultimately, this can save a lot of money since personalized content simply performs better.
ROI, or return on investment, is a key business metric and musicians shouldn’t ignore this number. After all, you don’t want to spend hundreds of ad dollars on a campaign that yields zero return. Sales funnels can help mitigate this issue through customization and intentional targeting.
Many aspects of a sales funnel can be completely automated – especially if you’re leveraging traffic sources like blogging or YouTube videos, which tend to be evergreen and continually grow over time.
And if you’re using a sales funnel software, a lot of your ads, email captures and marketing communications can be set on autopilot. I’ll talk a bit more on this topic (of tools and resources) in step one below.
5. Reach the Right Person With the Right Message
I’ve hinted at these benefits already a bit, but since sales funnels provide a customized experience for the end user, you can be sure that your ad or messaging is reaching an audience where it will resonate more deeply.
Going back to the example of communicating with an audience who has never heard of you versus your current fans, obviously your messaging between these two groups will be different. Sales funnels can organize your messages so you’re communicating most effectively with each audience.
6. Create Trust + Build Relationships
Sales funnels, especially towards the top and the middle of the funnel, will follow a strict give-first approach. This is the concept of adding value and is the hallmark of a successful sales funnel.
We don’t want to come in too strong when an audience doesn’t know who we are. We need to create trust first, by adding value and retargeting people who engaged with that value with followup ads, adding even more value and interest. Eventually, you’ve established a relationship and suddenly selling or promoting your music is whole lot easier.
How to Create A Music Sales Funnel: 4 Steps
OK, now on to the good stuff: how to build a sales funnel for your music. I’ve broken this process into four main steps, starting with getting things set up and ending with how to get traffic and retargeting.
There are links at the end of each section for further reading on the topic, but this crash course should be a great starting point for setting up an effective music funnel.
Step 1: Getting Set Up
Step one is all about taking inventory and making sure you have the right tools and resources. To create a great sales funnel, you’ll need good creative assets, communication channels and “homes”, where your music and brand live.
So leverage look at these few things and make sure we’ve got everything we need (don’t worry, you can technically snag most of these tools all for free).
Websites, Music Platforms + Socials
As musicians, we’re generally promoting an audio “product”. So traditional funnel formats, involving the creation of landing page sequences and product discount offers, aren’t necessarily the most helpful (unless you’re packaging your music in some unique way).
Still, we want to have a place to send people where they will take some desired action. For example, visiting your Spotify account and streaming your music, and potentially following your account.
Or maybe you want to promote an event or upcoming concert, so you need to sell more tickets. Or perhaps, you just want to increase your brand awareness and get yourself out there.
In all these cases, a funnel strategy can help.
But depending on your goal, you may use a variety of different platforms, websites and software. So here are some common platform “infrastructure” that you may use in your music sales funnel:
- Music streaming platform
- Such as Spotify, SoundCloud or iTunes (or the newer blockchain-based platform Audius)
- A personal website
- Such as Wix, Squarespace or Bandzoogle
- TikTok, Instagram and YouTube
- An actual sale funnel builder
- Such as Builderall or *Renderforest
*Renderforest is a cool all-in-one platform, where you can make a website, videos, animations, logos and more (see below)
Next, we’ll need creatives (visuals and audio). Obviously, your music is likely going to be a big part of this basket. But we should also have other visually interesting assets that will bring out the most in your songs.
Besides self-recorded videos and camera phone hacks, there are plenty of tools we can use.
From stock photos to free stock videos and animations, gathering a collection of unique creative assets will be essential for your sales funnel. Here are some great resources for making unique creative assets:
Email Marketing Software
One more thing that’s extremely helpful for a sales funnels (and operating online in any capacity) is email.
And email marketing software is different than having just a gmail account. With the software, you can set up automations, newsletters, drip campaigns and segment your communications in really cool ways.
In fact, it’s still a highly effective marketing channel and allows you create “owned” subscriber lists that can never disappear (compared to social media followers, which are not owned).
The basic concept of email marketing is to capture emails using compelling offers and reasons to sign up for your list. This is a common top-of-the-sales-funnel campaign.
Once you have someone’s email, you can now communicate directly with them for free, pushing them further down the sales funnel and closer to future transactions and conversions.
So email, is like the glue that holds together and connects the different stages of a funnel. It’s also just a great asset to build for your brand as a musician.
Here are a few great email choices if you’re ready to get set up:
- Constant Contact
Recommended Read: Email Marketing for Creatives: How to Build A Loyal Audience
Step 2: Drafting A Funnel Outline
Once we have all of our assets set up and ready, we can put together an outline of our music funnel. For simplicity, leverage use an easy three-stage funnel design:
- Stage 1: Top of the funnel
- Stage 2: Middle of the funnel
- Stage 3: Bottom of the funnel
To create a good funnel, think about what your ultimate goals are and what action you eventually want people to take.
Each stage of a funnel should have a different purpose, altogether bringing people closer to your ultimate goal. Each stage builds upon the last, in a sort of synergistic way.
Remember, that sales funnels function best when you’re adding value and gently nudging people along, building the relationship and only “selling” towards the bottom of a funnel, once people know and trust you.
For example, sending out a “stream my new song now!” ad to a cold audience at the top of a funnel (who have never heard of you) isn’t going to have the best conversions…unfortunately.
Even though music streaming is technically free, it takes value creation and patience to get people to actually take the time to listen (and hopefully become a fan).
So start slow, and invite interest and intrigue (rather than pushing for the immediate sale or stream). Create ideas and concepts that match each stage of sales funnel.
Here is an example funnel outline for music:
- First: Video ad
- Second: Retarget everyone who watches at least 50% of video with followup video or landing page
- Third: Retarget more, eventually pushing people to stream your music, buy a ticket or sign up for something
- Second: Retarget everyone who watches at least 50% of video with followup video or landing page
Recommended Read: Ideas for Adding Value As A Musican Or Artist
Step 3: Getting Traffic
OK, so you’ve got your assets ready to go and an amazing funnel outline finished, with sweet messaging and offers to boot. So where are all the people?
Ah yes, right, we need traffic. This is the third step of your music funnel.
There are various ways to get traffic – some cost money, but many are free. Here are three fantastic ways musicians can get traffic to their website, music and sales funnel stages:
- Social Media
- Social Media Advertising
- Blogging + SEO
- Check out my full post on how to create a blog for creatives!
Recommended Read: How to Get Traffic to Your Website: X Online Sources of Traffic
Step 4: Retargeting + Followup
Every sales funnel requires targeting and followup. That’s the essence of its design and why it’s so powerful.
Consider this, it takes 6-8 points of contact (or more) before a new prospect becomes a customer, subscriber or fan. This is the value of using a funnel strategy and retargeting protocols.
It’s best to not get discouraged if people aren’t streaming your music and you’re not growing your fanbase as quickly as you’d hoped for. Rather, you may just need to focus attention on relationship building more and increasing your points of contact.
Your music is great and ready for the world. But building relationships means focusing attention on your audience, their needs and wants and providing amazing value (beyond music). Retargeting leverage us efficiently do this.
This is another great reason for building an email list. It’s direct communication and frequent followup, straight to someone’s inbox, which can feel more personal and direct (compared to other marketing methods).
So the main purpose of this step four is to focus on strategic retargeting, following up with only the most engaged and interested people from the previous stage of your funnel.
There are various metrics to find this information (such as video watch time, whether they commented or how long they spent on a landing page).
In time, your funnel efforts will pay off with the right retargeting. So stay focused and remain vigilant – good things will come!
This post has looked at the benefits and strategy behind using a sales funnel to promote music. As musicians, it can sometimes be difficult to customize and apply modern marketing concepts.
However, adopting a funnel methodology is a strategy that can pack a serious punch to your brand-building and promotional efforts.
I’ve included a quick four-step process for setting up a simple sales funnel, from the tools you need and how to get traffic and retarget the most engaged people.
But with anything, these things can take some time to get familiar with them. Also, don’t forget to test and read the data. If you can implement these steps smoothly, there’s nothing standing in your way from growing as a musician online.
Thanks for stopping by today! Let me know in the comments what questions you may still have about sales funnels for music.