Sebastien Lintz | Label/Artist Manager/Producer @Revealedrec
Here are some tips to increase your chance to get your demo heard by e-mail. I’m assuming your demo is well produced and ready to get released. If you’re not sure about this then don’t send out your demo. There is only one opportunity to make a good first impression. This article is focusing on the Electronic Dance Industry.
1. Make it easy to get heard
A&R Managers don’t have much time, if they found 1 minute of their time to check out your demo then make sure it doesn’t cost more than 1 minute to listen to your demo. Don’t use sites such as Wetransfer/Send2space. It’s smarter to use a site such as Soundcloud (with DL button!) so A&R managers can easily stream it, most A&R managers only need 2–3 seconds to judge a demo. The more time it takes to prepare the session the less chance they will check it out.
2. Don’t send unsolicited e-mails.
Why should A&R managers spend 1 minute of their time if you didn’t take that 1 minute extra of your time to personalize your e-mail? Always address your e-mail to the receiver. If not it will look like a mass-mailing and your e-mail will get deleted right away.
“Hey, this is my new demo”
“Check out my new demo”
Instead (personalize the e-mail multiple times so the receiver knows you did your research well and you actually spend time writing it).
I hope you are doing well!
I just finished a new track, I think X Recordings is perfect for this track, I haven’t send it out to other labels yet, you can stream it here:
My previous releases are supported by X,X,X,X and I’ve released on labels such as X,X,X,X.
Thank you for your time!
3. Follow Up!
Even if you didn’t think the A&R managers are reading and receiving your e-mail (if the mail address is correct), they actually do! Sometimes you’re sending the mail at a wrong time (more about this at point 4) or they just didn’t had the time to check your e-mail at that moment (and they will forget about it).
Make sure you follow up your demo e-mail after 5–7 days. Most A&R managers are flooded with e-mails (150+/day), so give them time to catch up. The second e-mail should be something like “Hey X! Did you had the time yet to check out the track :)?” Just keep it short and simple.
The 3rd e-mail follow up should end with “If you don’t like it that’s ok, just let me know so I can move on to the next label”. That will create a sense of urgency which will click-bait them to check it out. No need to send a 4th e-mail. Bother them with a new demo later on, be persistent!
This is a nice trick if you want to make sure they are reading your demo e-mail. Find out where the A&R manager is based so you can send your demo the right time. Most people read their e-mails in the morning. I would recommend to send demo’s around 10:15–11:00. Make sure you have selected the right time zone, their time can be different from yours of course. For example, if you’re from New York, send your demo 4AM in the morning (your time) if you want to get read by someone in Amsterdam at 10AM. There are actually plugins and add-ons to schedule this so you don’t have to wake up early 😉 Mac mail example: https://www.feingeist.io/mail-plugins/
Important: NEVER send out demo’s in the weekends, holidays, x-mas, NYE, WMC, ADE etc.
Build a sustainable relationship with the A&R manager. Meet them in real life, follow and talk to them on Twitter etc. After a while they will recognize you and that will increase your chance to get heard. Don’t be a stalker though and don’t push it too hard.
Get introduced by someone who have dealt with the label before (Artist/Manager/Publisher/). If an A&R manager dealt with someone before they will most likely check it out if they trust that person.
Of course there are a lot of other tricks, just use Google to find more about how to send proper demo e-mails and how to get heard.
Note: We don’t actually support demo e-mails at Revealed. We have a demo system in place which made it easy for us to listen to every demo we get. http://revealedrecordings.com/demo/
Edit: This article is NOT about how to get discovered, how to get signed or something like that. Making the best music and get your own sound is the biggest chance to get discovered. This article is for those who have solid productions but have trouble reaching the right A&R’s by e-mail. As pointed out by Mat Zo.