Music Newsletters From The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, Run The Jewels, and Other Artists

Music Newsletters From The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, Run The Jewels, and Other Artists
29 March, 2023 • ... • 6568 views
Daria Zhuravleva
by Daria Zhuravleva

Many of your favorite bands and artists have mailing lists. Some of these email marketing campaigns are tasteful and artistic, others look like a last-minute message. 

Our team subscribed to several newsletters from different musicians and explored them — here’s what we liked and disliked about them. Spoiler alert: a lot of them were surprisingly good!

Why do bands and artists send out music newsletters?

The music industry is not that different from other businesses — that’s why it’s not surprising that musicians run email marketing campaigns to promote their works. But which goals do they pursue and can emails help them? Let’s find out.

Keeping fans informed

Have you ever missed a concert in your area? Or discovered a new album from your favorite band a year after it was released? Looking for updates manually can be a bit of a hassle — wouldn’t it be better to receive them all in one place?

Music newsletters work wonders and help people avoid situations like these. They keep fans informed about tour dates, new releases, and merch drops so they don’t miss anything. It doesn’t even have to be a weekly email — sending email newsletters when you have something to share is good enough.

Building a brand

The music industry, especially pop music, is centered around bright and charismatic personalities. To be successful, you have to be memorable and broadcast your uniqueness on all the possible channels — why not bring email campaigns to the table?

The tone of voice, colors, fonts, the visual aesthetic in general — musicians can use all that to create a vivid image that will keep the fans hooked.

Nurturing relationships

Unlike social media, emails have a personal touch. Musicians, like entrepreneurs working in other industries, can use email marketing to build stronger relationships with their fans, which may even include talking to them directly. These emails don’t even have to be daily — even monthly updates can do a lot.

Long story short, music newsletters can be used for the same objectives as emails campaigns in any other industry — to increase “customer” loyalty, express the brand personality, and inform fans about offers and important events.

Now let’s take a closer look at some examples of newsletters from different musicians and explore the tactics they use in their emails to keep their fans interested.

The Weeknd

This retro RnB singer’s emails are very irregular — The Weeknd only sends out newsletters when he has a reason.

Newsletter from The Weeknd

What we liked about it:

Great font choice, the minimalist approach to design and email marketing content, and sending emails only when there’s a valid reason to do so — The Weeknd surely has a solid email marketing team that knows what they’re doing.

Lana Del Rey

Elizabeth Grant, known under the stage name Lana Del Rey, had an interesting career path. She started as an obscure singer-songwriter Lizzy Grant, reinvented herself into a big pop star that defined the early 2010s — and since 2019, Lana has been going back to her old indie self with quiet and contemplative albums centered around poetry and storytelling. Here’s what her welcome email looks like:

Email newsletter from Lana Del Rey

What we liked about it:

Right off the bat, Lana started selling us her new album and showed us a GIF with exclusive versions of its vinyl release. We also appreciate the simple design with a hint of brutalism — although she could’ve chosen a more readable font. In the end, it’s a solid welcome email that fulfills the purpose!

Run The Jewels

This rap duo has emails bold and expressive as their music. This is their new merch drop announcement from the beginning of 2023.

Music newsletter from Run The Jewels

What we liked about it:

Remember what we said about the personal brand? This email is the perfect example — we like its vivid design. Bright, almost overloading GIFs and illustrations embody the band’s aesthetics. And the informal and friendly tone of voice in this email expresses the charisma of the collective too.

Billie Eilish

The design and content of this young star’s welcome email is on trend and thought-out: right off the bat, you get all the necessary links to new releases and merchandise.

Newsletter from Billie Eilish

What we liked about it:

Carefully thought-out visuals that follow modern email design trends, all the important information in one place, a pleasant color scheme and good pictures, the smart use of GIFs, and a short and concise copy — it’s a perfect music newsletter in each and every aspect.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran definitely knows a thing or two about the importance of email marketing — here’s his latest album promo:

Newsletter from Ed Sheeran

What we liked about it:

Great use of pictures — we especially love the manuscript one. Although Ed Sheeran is a big pop act, he promotes himself like an indie artist, which shows in the aesthetics of this email — including a picture of his own handwriting implies that he’s the main mastermind behind the album. Overall, this newsletter is incredibly stylish — and although using GIFs to showcase new merch is pretty popular, Ed used it in an especially tasteful manner. Despite that bright yellow background, the animation doesn’t feel seizure-inducing and it’s very reserved. This is what great branding looks like!

Dua Lipa

First things first, this email landed in the spam folder, which is already a red flag.

Newsletter from Dua Lipa

Secondly, this email looks like a blast from the past — and by “past”, we mean the Y2K era web design. Let alone the small, poorly readable email font and the CTA button that is not highlighted in any way — it barely stands out in the email body. This email is tasteless and unprofessional. Are there brownie points though? Yes.

What we liked about it:

  • Great picture choice — it’s stylish and on brand.
  • A very informal and personal tone of voice that leaves an impression that you — yes, you! — are the singer’s close friend.
  • Minimalism — the email doesn’t have too much content but sort of fulfills its purpose.

Metallica

This legendary metal band has a strong fan community that includes a blog with a paid subscription option, a forum, and, of course, emails. Here’s what their relatively recent merch drop promo email looks like:

Newsletter from Metallica

A black background, brutalist sans-serif fonts, a monochrome color scheme, and cool pictures made in the same aesthetic — this email is as metal as it can be.

It’s also interesting that Metallica use specific emojis in the beginning of each subject line. For general newsletters, they use the high voltage emoji — it’s a reference to their logo and probably the word “newsflash” too. They also use the guitar emoji for emails related to new releases, the TV emoji for emails related to their Youtube channel, and the explosion emoji for all things Met Shop. It’s a very smart move! In this case, email emojis don’t just attract attention — they also give a hint about the sender and the email content.

Metallica newsletter subject lines

What we liked about it:

  • Great use of emojis in subject lines.
  • Consistency — they send emails pretty often, unlike other artists from our list.
  • Awesome design choices — each email expresses the spirit of the band.

Patti Smith

Did you know that The Godmother of Punk has her own Substack newsletter where she shares poems, social commentary, and blog posts about her life? We didn’t either! Here’s one of the latest issues:

Newsletter from Patti Smith

What we liked about it:

Substack doesn’t allow a lot of customization when it comes to email design — but don’t judge the book by its cover! Patti Smith’s newsletter prioritizes content and good writing, it’s deeply personal and resembles a diary. No aggressive sales but emails like this one help establish a strong rapport with fans and build a loyal community.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

These veterans of the Australian post-punk scene have two mailing lists. The first one is your good old regular newsletter with updates, merch drops, tour dates, and other important information. This is their email about the anniversary of Push The Sky Away:

Newsletter from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

What we liked about it:

Nick Cave’s email marketing strategy is all about good content. He definitely writes all these emails himself, and even if it’s just a newsletter about the album’s anniversary, it still has a deeply personal feel. And Nick Cave does a great job writing about his own music without sounding like a narcissist.

Aside from the typical band newsletter, Nick Cave also runs Red Hand Files. In this project, named after one of his popular songs, he uses the dialog-like feeling of an email as a medium to answer fan questions and discusses serious issues with them — for example, gives life advice to teenagers. It’s an innovative approach to music newsletters, and, according to Nick Cave’s interview in the 2022 documentary “This Much I Know To Be True”, talking to fans via email is a spiritual practice for him.

Red Hand Files email

What we liked about it:

It’s not a marketing email — so you won’t see any flashy designs or CTAs screaming at you, and the look of this newsletter is pretty close to plain text. But as we mentioned earlier, Nick Cave’s approach to emails is content-first — and the content is awesome! He’s a great writer and, whether he’s playing a character or being himself, we can’t help but get absolutely charmed by his wholesome personality. 10/10, and if you need something interesting to read in your inbox, we strongly recommend Red Hand Files.

Wrapping up

As you can judge by our selection of music newsletters, there are at least two main email marketing strategies musicians choose:

  • The “classic” approach that is similar to e-commerce brands and includes salesy emails with tour dates, merch drops, and album pre-order announcements.
  • The “personal” approach that is focused on communicating with fans, giving more insights about the artists’ personalities and lives beyond the stage, and creating the content as interesting as the music — it’s basically a separate art form and a new way to express yourself.

Some artists like Nick Cave use both strategies and create separate mailing lists for different types of email content. Is one way better than the other? They pursue different goals — the first one aims at boosting sales and spreading information, the latter is all about building a community. Both aspects are important when it comes to music newsletters — choose your fighter 💪

29 March, 2023
Article by
Daria Zhuravleva
I'm a writer with 3 years of experience, knowledge and interest in all things IT and marketing, and a passion for the English language. As a staff author at Selzy, I see my mission as an educator who makes your life easier by explaining complex topics in a digestible and somewhat entertaining way. Hobbies include birdwatching, all things music and art, writing freeform poetry, and hiding in the woods.
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