When I spoke in London a few years ago, I met Patrick, a European entrepreneur who is not only a brilliant guy but also a music producer with a lot of talent.
He is a recording professional with his own recording studio and music label. His repertoire is quite extensive, and he's worked on or collaborated with some of the top recording artists in the world. (Some with hit songs.)
At the time, he confided in me that he was about to send an email to his list, making a one-time offer promoting his demo recording service. (Demos are incredibly important in the music business, just so you know.)
He wanted me to give him some brief feedback on his email. I thought that, with his permission, this would be a cool case study to post, here.
Taking the time to critique the entire email would have probably taken me more time than to simply rewrite it for him. (It only took me about 15 minutes.)
I'm reprinting this brief email copy makeover for you.
Here's his message, reprinted verbatim, without any changes (keep in mind, English is not Patrick's first language so his writing is understandably a little less polished):
If you are serious about your music you know that to have a professional demo is ESSENTIAL to be considered today in the music industry.
Most of the artists hope to get their record deal without investing in a proper recording studio.
I know that the problem for most artists is that they don't have a huge budget to spend, and they keep struggling to get the attention they deserve.
Now's your chance to record your professional demo, AT A FRACTION OF THE PRICE.
I'm Patrick and I've recorded with top worldwide producers, songwriters and artists.
I normally charge more than £[X]+VAT per demo and £[X]+VAT per records.
For the first and only time, I'M GIVING YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH ME AND RECORD 4 OF YOUR SONGS, AT ONLY £[X] and 10 OF YOUR SONGS AT ONLY £[X].
Only first 10 booking will be recorded with me, the others will be done with some of my affiliate producers.
I guarantee that the level is absolutely professional. You can easily check at [website] for my company's information or at [website] for my personal Biography and samples of my songs.
Book now, send us an email with the name of the songs you would like to record at [website].
Here was my answer.
The opening statement is redundant because they are all serious — or should be. What they want is fame, money, fans, etc. Plus, many artists may be looking to get hired more often, not just recording deals.
Also, you need to be more “sexy.” More compelling. Give them a taste of what they get, in other words. Get them to feel your special offer, not just read it.
I've massaged your letter to this…
Want more fans, more money, more gigs, perhaps even that lucrative recording deal that will take the world by storm?
A professional demo is ESSENTIAL to be considered today in the music industry. Whether you're a professional artist, a freelance entertainer or an eager one in search of that elusive recording contract, without a demo they won't even consider you.
Why? Because if you don't have one, they'll think you're not serious, or wonder why you don't believe in yourself enough.
Your demo is not just your resume. It's your advert. It's your foot in the door. And it's also the key that can unlock the door to a thousands of opportunities waiting for you RIGHT NOW.
What can a demo do?
It not only shows off your talent. It can also attract hordes of eager fans, raise recording industry eyebrows, land that once-in-a-lifetime recording deal, or get you hired by MORE clients, MORE often and for MORE money. You name it!
A professionally recorded demo is also VERY expensive. I know.
Most artists hope to get their record deal without investing in a proper recording studio, which can cost them an arm and a leg. If you're like most artists, you don't have a huge budget to spend, and you keep struggling to get the attention you truly deserve.
Well, stuggle no more. Now's your chance to record your very own, professionally recorded, high quality, jaw-dropping demo …
… AT A FRACTION OF THE PRICE.
My name is Patrick, and I've recorded with top worldwide producers, songwriters and artists. My work has been instrumental behind some of the biggest recording successes in Europe and around the world.
But you see, I know how it is to struggle. I've been there. That's why I want to give you a CHANCE. I want to make it easier for you to unlock those amazing doors of opportunity.
My professional fee is normally more than £[X] (+VAT) per demo (one song only), and £[X] (+VAT) per album. (And those are mimimums, since it depends on the work involved, including producing, recording, mixing, engineering and more.
For the first and only time (and for a very limited time), I'm making a unique and tantalizing offer for aspiring artists — no matter what your music genre or recording style is, whether it's jazz or new age, or country music or hard rock.
Get your very own 4-song demo for only £[X]!
That's right. You get not one, not two, but four songs professionally recorded and mixed, for just one-quarter of my normal, professional fee! That's 75% off the regular price.
(In fact, if you want more, I can even do 10 songs for ONLY £[X]. That's less than half the normal album rate!)
Is there a catch? Yes, unfortunately, there is.
This very special pricing is EXTREMELY limited. I can only allow 10 eager artists to work closely with me, because that's all the time I have to personally invest.
This means that only the first 10 bookings will be accepted. The rest will be done with some of my affiliate producers. These openings are going to go fast! So you better hurry and book yours today.
I personally guarantee that your demo is professionally done, under my strict and close guidance, and with the same level of professionalism and quality I give some of my high-level clients.
Now's your chance to blow people away with a powerful demo!
You can easily check at [website] for my company's information or at [website]for my personal biography, along with actual samples of my songs.
Book now, send an email with the name of the songs you would like to record at [website] before it's too late.
I look forward to working with you.
(By the way, since Patrick is based in London and his audience are primarily in the UK. I used the word “advert” above, because that's how “ads” are called in the UK.)
As for the subject line, he asked me if “One-time offer to record your demo” was good. I said “no.” Too bland. Too boring. And also, too direct. (You're basically telling them the email is an offer, which says “don't open me!”)
The subject line is only to get them to start reading. Period. Instead, say:
- “Are You a Struggling Artist Without a Demo?”
- “Let Me Turn Your Voice Into Gold… ” Or…
- “Yes, Your Very Own Professional Music Demo!”
OK, time for a shameless self-plug:
If you want a “makeover” like this one, where I go through your sales copy and dissect it, word by word, and even rewrite it (just like that email, above), you might want to check out my copywriting and critique consulting services.