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World Class Peach
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| posted on 11/10/2013 at 06:44 PM|
More than a decade ago, when Mark LaFay was the 19-year-old manager of Haste the Day, he harvested tens of thousands of email addresses from university directories in an attempt to connect students to the upstart metalcore band from Indianapolis.
The admittedly invasive practice wouldn’t be welcomed today, but Haste the Day became one of the biggest Hoosier acts in recent memory — selling more than 300,000 albums and traveling the world to promote its music.
“I like to think we were on the front end of music marketing, even though there was no major strategy behind how we were using email as a medium to spread the word,” LaFay said. “But we were using email.”
Today, LaFay is COO of Sonar Studios, a digital services company that’s offering a new model of “permission marketing” based on musicians and fan email addresses.
The software known as Conversion in a Box allows bands to learn key details about fans (from email addresses and hometowns to phone numbers) to build powerful databases.
As the Conversion in a Box homepage theorizes, “a big fan database is the difference between career and hobby musicians.”
The free software is built on an exchange of content for contact information. Virtually all acts give away one song to launch an album release, and some platforms — Bandcamp.com, for instance — facilitate the collection of fan email addresses.
LaFay said the HTML code provided by Conversion in a Box is a flexible and up-front asset for musicians.
“Let’s find a way to do this very, very easily,” LaFay said of the development process. “We know that bands are attached at the hip to their Facebook pages, to Tumblr or a blog.”
Conversion in a Box offers complimentary downloads of songs to fans, who submit email addresses as part of the transaction.
LaFay said the model is preferable to promotion on YouTube, where viewing/listening is a passive experience.
“One million anonymous streams or 10,000 names and email addresses,” LaFay said. “Which is more valuable to you? I would argue that it’s the names and email addresses.”
Haste the Day disbanded in 2011, but LaFay said he’s lined up metalcore bands Emery and Still Remains to adopt Conversion in a Box marketing.
Any act can use the software at no charge.
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