Ask for the sale

Adapted from Music 4.1: A Survival Guide for Making Music in the Internet Age (Hal Leonard Books). Reprinted with permission.

In 2015, Amp Music Marketing conducted a study regarding call-to-action "buy" buttons where they tested the language on a number of buttons to see which was most effective when it came to selling music.

The choices were:

  • “Get The Music”
  • “Download The Music”
  • “Buy The Music”

It turns out that the most direct, “Buy The Music” (album, CD, etc.), was the most effective, while “Get The Music” was the least. Apparently, consumers related “Get The Music” to a bait-and-switch where they may be lured into clicking only to find there’s additional information required or that something else would be asked of them.

When it comes to sales, consider that the very best technique is often the most direct. Ask plainly for the sale. If a customer or fan really wants to buy from you, you are doing him or her a favor by making the process streamlined and easy. If your customer or fan is on the fence, you’re not helping your cause by being ambiguous.

Another thing to consider is limiting your choices. Keep the options to a maximum of three – a choice between two works best. If given too many choices, your customers are more likely to throw their hands up in the air in frustration and not buy anything.

Here are eight sales tips to keep in mind.

1. Ask for the purchase. Never forget that even though you’re selling yourself, you are still in sales. Ask for the sale explicitly.

2. Sell a package. Bundle your products: with a ticket, you get a CD; with a CD, you get a T-shirt; with a T-shirt, you get a sticker. The idea is to add value to every purchase.

3. There are other things to sell besides CDs and T-shirts. Hats, a song book, a tour picture book, beach towels – get creative, but choose well. Again, too many choices may actually reduce sales as a result of buyer confusion.

4. Begin promoting as soon as possible. That allows time for the viral buzz (a.k.a. free promotion) to build and ensures that you’ll get a larger share of your fan’s discretionary spending.

5. Get as much info as you can. Always try to capture the name, email address, and zip code of anyone who makes a purchase, particularly ticket buyers.

6. Give your fans and customers more than they expect. By giving them something additional as part of their purchase, you'll keep your fans coming back for more.

7. Sell limited-edition items. The best items to sell are the ones that are the scarcest. Autographed items, special boxed sets, limited-edition vinyl that’s numbered – all these items are more valuable because of their scarcity. If the items are abundant, price them cheaper. If the items are scarce, don’t be afraid to price them higher.

8. Sell your brand. You, the artist, are your own brand. Remember that everything you do sells that brand, even if it doesn’t result in a sale. Just the fact that people are paying attention can result in a sale and more revenue down the road.

Combining his music and recording experience with an accessible writing style, Bobby Owsinski has become one of the best selling authors in the music recording industry with 22 books that are now staples in audio recording, music, and music business programs in colleges around the world. Read Bobby’s blog: