One of the most essential components of planning a release nowadays is the pre-save campaign. If done correctly, there is a lot of opportunity in terms of landing on algorithmic playlists such as Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and more.

Before we talk about some best practices to take when creating a pre-save campaign…

What is a Pre-Save campaign?

A pre-save campaign is the same concept as a pre-order. Primarily associated with Spotify, a pre-save campaign is where a user will add a song to their library and/or playlist prior to its release date.

What Are the Benefits to A Spotify Pre-Save Campaign?

There are a number of reasons as to why you should rack up as many pre-saves as you can, such as building hype to your release and increasing brand visibility.

Whenever a user pre-saves a song or record, it will automatically appear in their library on the day of release, as well as appear on their Release Radar, which is pretty rad.

Below are some 5 easy steps to a better pre-save campaign.

Give Yourself Enough Time

As musicians, we love jumping the gun on things. We get excited and get caught up in the moment when it comes to sharing our art with the world.

Unfortunately, that results in a poor release plan.

When you plan to a release, a rule of thumb is to give yourself an ample amount of time to do a number of things. You usually want to have 4-6 weeks of time to maximize the amount of pre-saves you could potentially get, as well as drive your project’s awareness.

Make sure to plan accordingly, especially when going through the process of getting all of your assets such as final mixes and visuals. Build out a timeline over the course of 6 weeks that includes everything from uploading to your distributor, launching your pre-save, promoting your pre-save, all the way down to the day of your release.

Target the Right People

In a perfect world, everyone would love our music, as well as opt into a pre-save. However, we live in a not-so-perfect-world where everyone and their mom is a producer, and everyone and their mom is capable of throwing up a song on the good ol’ SoundCloud. 

Music is over saturated, and the average consumer is constantly being bombarded with not-so-great music, as well as poor delivery. And they might not even be being show the right music.

For example, if you believe your sound resonates best with Coldplay – and you promote yourself as FFO: Coldplay – what does that even mean?

Which Coldplay do you think of when I say Coldplay?

You have to know who your target audience is as well as be targeting the right people when it comes to who you are pushing your pre-save to.

Another big mistake is asking for pre-saves from cold audiences. This does NOT work. If you are going to push a pre-save, it has to be to a “warm” audience, rather, people who already know who you are.

If I have never heard of you or your music, why would I pre-save it?

Pushing out a pre-save to strangers in hopes of them actually following through with it does not yield results. The only time I push pre-save campaigns to cold audiences, are when I either have social proof, or I am running a split test for audience targeting through Facebook Ads.

Focus on nurturing and maximizing your existing following. That will get you better results than trying to reach people who have never heard of you or interacted with you.

Offer an Incentive

As the saying goes, give more than you take. This ties directly to making sure you target your already warm audiences.

In exchange for a pre-save, consider offering your fans an incentive. Keep in mind these have to be warm audiences or else this will fail. 

For example, if I follow your page, and have watched your videos, and have listened to your music, chances are that if you offer me early access to a song or an exclusive video in exchange for me pre-saving your new song?

Chances are very high that I will pre-save.

But if I have never ever heard of you, seen your name before, and you’re offering me the same deal in exchange for a pre-save?

Chances are very low that I will pre-save.

You need to have some form of familiarity in the back of someone’s mind in order to increase the chances of them pre-saving your release, and with an incentive to top it off?

You’re golden.

Use Your Email List (Or Create One)

Chat bots, auto DMs, text messaging – these are all great. But you know what’s been around for what seems like forever and still is effective?

Email campaigns.

If you don’t have an email list, don’t worry – you can create one.

And you might already have one, depending on if you’ve ran a pre-save campaign before and it also does depend on your distributor and what platform you used for your pre-save.

For example, if you used DistroKid, their HyperFollow platform not only allows you to get listeners to pre-save your release, but it allows you to collect the email address associated with that person’s Spotify account.

Neat, right?

You can then import these contacts into an email marketing platform (I recommend Email Octopus) and send them an email to the day of release, just to give them a reminder that the song released.

You’ll appear on their Release Radar because of the pre-save, probably on Facebook, and now their email inbox – making your project top of mind throughout the course of the drop.

Have an Advertising Budget

Paid ads are the bread and butter of every campaign, and anyone that tells you otherwise probably did not have a pleasant experience when it comes to dealing with paid advertising through Facebook and Instagram.

Remember how we said to target your warm audiences?

Through Facebook Ads Manager, you have the ability to create Custom Audiences for you to them target through your advertising efforts.

What better audience to target than your most engaged fans?

By creating a Custom Audience, you can then target people who have watched your videos,  visited your Page, or even engaged with your page – hitting that feeling of familiarity we were talking about.

If there is a sense of trust, or familiarity when it comes to being shown a piece of content online (or in this case, an ad) the chances of a user pre-saving your release will only increase. 

Ready to kill it on your next release? By following these steps, you now will be able to get the most out of next pre-save campaign and beyond!

Still need help?

Click below to download our FREE ebook titled “How to Plan & Market Your Next Release”.

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