Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


March 29, 2012

Don't Make THIS Mistake with Your CD Artwork

A friend of mine, who happens to be a great singer and songwriter, recently released his first EP. He was very excited about getting this debut recording out to the public.

He was doing all the right things: Getting digital distribution through CD Baby, setting up a Facebook fan page and a YouTube channel, hiring a graphic designer, and even manufacturing a short run of physical CDs.

I was so happy for him and eagerly bought a copy of the EP when it was available. The packaging looked great ... but I quickly noticed that an important detail was missing.

I examined the album artwork two or three times to make sure I wasn't overlooking it. Alas, one crucial detail was nowhere to be found.

On the album artwork, this talented artist had neglected to include a web address of any kind. No artist website, no Facebook address, no Twitter URL ... nothing!

Of course, you can say that many of the people who buy the album will already know where to find the artist. Or that anyone can simply "Google" his name to find him online. But WHY make fans work that hard to connect with you?

Your physical recordings are more than just pretty packages to deliver your music in. They also act as marketing tools. Therefore, you should use them (and every other piece of physical promotional material you create) to connect with fans.

Do This to Make a Real Impact

In fact, I encourage you to take it a step further on your album artwork. Don't just list your website. Create an attention-getting incentive to visit the site and ... drum roll, please ... get on your mailing list!

That's right. Think about it. Is everyone who purchases your album, or everyone who sees your album at a friend's house or in their car, on your mailing list? In most cases, the answer is absolutely NO! Which means there's a huge disconnect between you and your fan base.

Consider all the people who purchase or hear your new album and love it. How will they know when you have something new for sale? How will they know when your next live show is? How will they get to know and appreciate you more?

The short answer: They WON'T if you aren't able to connect with them directly!

That's why building a mailing list is so important. And that's why creating an obvious "call to action" on your album artwork to visit your website and get on your list is important to your growth as an artist.

Note of clarification: I'm suggesting you place your websites and calls to action on the inside of the CD booklet/insert or on the back cover - NOT on the front cover of the album. Some digital retailers, such as iTunes, will not sell music in their catalog if the album cover contains a web address.

What do YOU think? I welcome your comments.

-Bob

P.S. The image above is by Chris Griffith.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:08 AM   13 comments


13 Comments:

At Mar 29, 2012, 2:11:00 PM, Blogger chrissy7supreme said...

I think this is a great blog! So many times unitentionally, I have forgotten to add my website or social media info on flyers, cd's etc....You get so caught up & excited to have finished product, yet you don't maximize the use of these Marketing Tools!

 
At Mar 29, 2012, 2:50:00 PM, Blogger Vigogabelah said...

What would you recommend to promote an indiegogo project? We are currently trying to fund an animated video to one of our songs, how could we attract or interest people to be part of the project? Our project is now online at: www.indiegogo.com/vigogabelahvideo
Let me know what you think.
Thanks in advance.

 
At Mar 29, 2012, 3:51:00 PM, Anonymous Kevin D said...

As always - a great tip Bob.

 
At Mar 29, 2012, 5:25:00 PM, Anonymous David said...

I really appreciate the tips and encouraging tone of your articles, Bob. I'm self recording and getting ready to release my first album, independently, at 35. I wish I had known these things 15 years ago, the course of my life would have been very different (in a good way). Props and lookin' forward to more great tips.

 
At Mar 29, 2012, 5:46:00 PM, Blogger TQOBW said...

Absolutely agree with this. What a wonderful opportunity to not only pull new fans into the email list, but the "giveaway" can even be something that attracts new fans. There's no end to the creativity that can be put to work here.

 
At Mar 30, 2012, 12:05:00 AM, Blogger Billy Grisack said...

On my last two CDs I have added the QR code that Mail Chimp generates for your mailing list sign up in addition to my main site, squeeze page http://www.freesongforkids.com

My new project web address will be added to the next 12 CDs (guess what the web address is...) http://www.12cdsin12months.com

Love ya Bob!

 
At Mar 30, 2012, 6:15:00 PM, Anonymous Rick Stone said...

I agree with this wholeheartedly, and yet I can tell you that a LOT of the trouble seems to come from the ART DIRECTORS of all people, who somehow must think that it's tacky or something. I can't tell you what I went through with the guy who designs my covers to get him to include the URL in a visible place on the cover (on one cd he made it so small that I need a magnifying glass to read it, YIKES!).

Then again, it could be worse, take a look at some of these for a laugh! http://blog.tastebuds.fm/worst-album-covers-of-all-time/

And btw, my own website is http://www.rickstone.com and you can get a free mp3 from my latest CD "Fractals" (Jazzweek Top 100 for 2011!)

 
At Apr 10, 2012, 2:57:00 AM, Blogger The Berlin Music Scene said...

Absolutly agree!

Some kind of info has to be on the CD. That makes it even look more professional.

benJi from Home is where your Heart is
www.facebook.com/HIWYHI

 
At Apr 16, 2012, 6:10:00 AM, Anonymous Banners Portland said...

You gave us such a valuable tip. Thanks and more power again!

 
At Oct 18, 2012, 1:20:00 PM, Anonymous Daniel David Johnson said...

Is is true about iTunes? what if the web address is on the back cover?

 
At Oct 18, 2012, 7:46:00 PM, Anonymous Cha said...

Great tips, Bob. Marketing should be part of every music artist (any form of art) skill.

I am learning so much from you Bob.
Thank you.

Respect
Cha

 
At Dec 29, 2012, 9:15:00 PM, Anonymous @4LaH said...

Great Information as usual Bob! Always an inspiration!

 
At Feb 10, 2013, 5:20:00 AM, Blogger Toby Rogers said...

Totally agree that it makes sense to include website contact details with your product. If you don't want to have it included in the artwork,though, maybe a solution is to resurrect the fan club cards that used to be inserted in every CD you bought in the nineties. Links to all your online profles, QR codes and a good call to action could do wonders for your fanbase.

 

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