The Shotgun Approach To Failure

You Will Be Deleted

· Rant

Every week I get several emails from representatives of bands and artists that, while they were hoping for a positive reply from us, get no reply at all. 

They get deleted unread. 

I get messages via direct email to the Invisible Man Show as well as via the general contact form on the website. The following image is a screenshot of one of the emails from the contact form. 

broken image

I blurred out the content to prevent embarrassing the individual (and to avoid potential lawsuits). But I think you get the idea. 

Such messages start with a generic first sentence--requesting airplay, interview, or song/album review. Often the second sentence states how wonderful the band/artist is. 

And if that’s not enough to convince me, they paste their entire band bio, EPK, and/or press release. And yes, I often get all three copied and pasted into one email. Thousands of words of text in one email. 

In the above example the entire message was about 1400 words. That’s the equivalent of a 6-page book report. 

Can you guess how many words I actually read? 

Twelve. I read twelve words. 

When I got to “BIOGRAPHY” I stopped.  I reached for my mouse and clicked on the delete icon. 

There are several things that put me off when I get messages like this. 1. The generic salutation. They don’t know who I am. 2. The generic request for promotion. They have no idea what our show is about or what we actually do. 3. Pasting 1000s of words of text into the body of the email. A total disrespect for my time. 

The email to us is the same email they have sent to everyone else. They just copied and pasted it and no doubt sent it out to hundreds of others. Which is the definition of spam. 

Don’t get me wrong. Once I’ve booked a guest on the show. I virtually demand a BIO, and appreciate the EPK and press releases. The difference is, I solicit the information and I’m not only ready to receive it, I’m eager to read it as well. 

But SPAM, just like the analogue version of spam--flyers that get stuffed into your mailbox every week—ends up in the bin. Everybody deletes spam in their email. Everybody hates spam. Pretty much everybody’s email automatically deletes it, and everyone is glad it does. 

So why do people who want to promote themselves send spam? Considering they know how they react to spam when they receive it. 

To put it bluntly, they’re lazy. 

Of course, they might say something about having a family and a day job, and . At first glance one might be inclined to sympathise. Families, day jobs, and “reasons” are truly exhausting time sink holes. So, minimizing time spent on promoting one’s music is understandable. 

Or to put this another way--

Really busy and tired = SPAM

However, to spend one’s valuable spare-time sending out the same message to everyone actually totally devalues the aforementioned spare-time. 

SPAM = deleted unread = complete waste of time

Do they want air play? Then why send the request to The Invisible Man Show who will get copyright strikes on all social media platforms if they were to play your studio recorded music? And we don’t do reviews on request, and we’ve never done an album review. 

It only takes a few minutes to look at who they’re sending their emails to. And then add a personal sentence or two stating what they want and why. And then copy and paste a link to their website, or EPK. Yes, a link is all I need. The fewer words the better, with a link to a website or EPK. 

That may mean they only have time to send out 10 or 15 messages at time, rather than 100s. But there is a far greater chance that it will be read and replied to. In contrast to spam which will be deleted unread. This is the principle of targeted marketing. Targeted marketing is proven to yield more positive responses. 

The moral of the story is: If you want to get the attention of a booking agent, a show runner, music director, low-reach amateur music podcast, or anyone else who might be willing to promote your music for free, the best thing for you to do is...


For crying out loud. It’s pretty much the first thing stated in every instructional video, book, and article on self-promotion. 

So, I updated our contact form page 

I wrote a submissions guidelines document which is linked on the contact form page (we’ll see if anyone ever reads it).  And I also added notes on the form as well. 

And, right above the form, I also  included a warning of what will happen to spam. 

-- Mark David Stallard