Death By Promo

In the first of a series of posts around why we do things the way we do at Inflyte, our head-honcho Paul Hamill gives you an insight into his promo workflow and explains why Inflyte will always be a permission-based, opt-in platform...

In my old day job working in radio on the BBC, I once did a calculation based on the average amount of promos i received in my email each week:

  • Received: 500 Promos per week
  • Number of tracks per promo: 3
  • Average Track Duration: 5 mins
  • Total Time Required To Listen to them all: 7500 minutes

This doesn't take into account the mailbag full of CDs and vinyl which would also land at my desk each week.

Now, let's take for granted that most of us are 'skippers'. We skip through each track, checking out the vibe, looking for clues as to whether the tracks are going to work for our radio or club sets before leaving feedback, picking a favourite track and beginning the laborious process of downloading and managing the audio files - it's still a hell of a long time out of the working week to spend sifting through promos. Is it any wonder Richie Hawtin and many more top-flight DJs employ staff or promo librarians to help them manage this process?

People have asked us why their tastemakers have to 'opt-in' to Inflyte, why can't they just send promos without permission like some other platforms allow them to do? Well, there's a name for that kind of stuff right?

Taking personal experience along with hundreds of interviews we've conducted with DJs, tastemakers, media over the past 18 months and the common feeling is: there's simply too much content flying around the internet, competing for people's attention to even find the time to look at unsolicited promos, which 9 times out 10 will be unsuitable for their intended recipient.

Permission based marketing is proven to be more effective than interruptive marketing, this guy even wrote a book on the subject. Therefore, tastemakers are increasingly more likely to respond to a label they have opted-in to receive promos from, the relationship between label and tastemaker has been established with the opt-in request. So it's our mission at Inflyte, to do everything possible to ensure your music gets top priority with your audience.

Let me tell you how my promo workflow works: I use a dedicated Gmail inbox to collect all my promos. In there, I have filters set-up for my Trusted Sources - my favourite Promo Companies, Labels, Artists and even delivery platform. By the time i'm done checking out my favourites, there's simply no more time left to check out the hundreds of random emails i get looking for feedback on music that's irrelevant to my needs or tastes.

The only thing that will prompt me to check out a promo in my 'un-important' folder is if it's attached with a personal message from someone who has taken the time to contact me personally, which is not very often.

There's too much spam in the world as it is, so don't let your music become part of the problem, here's few tips on how you can engage with your audience better and deliver killer promos:

  • clean-up your mailing list
  • be selective in who you target, know your audience
  • thank your tastemakers if they've left feedback, they'll be more inclined to open the next one you send
  • keep your press release clear and concise, nobody needs a life story
  • keep sending bloody good music

Keep an eye on our Twitter for more posts like this, and of course feel free to drop me a line if you've any thoughts or suggestions on how we do things around here: paul@inflyteapp.com