Hollywood spends a gazillion dollars on movie marketing each year. But most independent filmmakers don’t have Hollywood marketing money to toss around. And if you’re like most filmmakers, by the time you read this article, odds are good that you spent all your money in production.
“Your audience is your business. Without an audience, you have no business.” [click to tweet]
If you’ve ever attended one of my speaking events, you know how much I emphasize the importance of audience list building. Long before you even make your movie, you need to start thinking about your audience. You need to start thinking about the people who actually want to watch your movie.
And you need to do it now. You can no longer base your movie business on selling a few thousand DVDs to retail outlets. The DVD market is dying. You need to source your movie audience in prep for video on demand distribution.
But how do you measure the size of your movie audience? Easy. Despite all the social media trends, the one thing that matters most is email. And the amount of subscribers you have is like having money in the bank. This means you need to grow your email list.
How To Grow Your Movie Audience Email List
In my Sell Your Movie system, I provide fundamental marketing strategies that you can employ in your movie making business. One such strategy involves marketing directly to your audience through the use of email. But what do you do if you only have a few people subscribed to your email list?
One of the easiest ways to grow your email list inexpensively is called a list swap. There are a few ways to execute this strategy which may help you spread word of mouth about your movie.
1. Utilize Another Filmmaker’s List
If you are ready to sell your movie, reach out to other filmmakers with similar genre specific movies and find out if they would be interested in promoting your title to their lists. In exchange for doing this, the other filmmakers would then receive a percentage of sales resulting from the blast.
It is important to remember that any filmmaker who values their list will not do a blind email blast. These filmmakers will want to screen your movie and make sure it is a fit for their audiences. In making your pitch to the list owner, you may want to provide a link to your movie website.
If you are successful, this could really help you grow your email list.
2. Advertise In Targeted Newsletters
In addition to doing a dedicated email blast, you may benefit from subject matter experts, publications and bloggers who send frequent newsletters to your target audience. With this strategy, you simply request that the editor reserves advertising space to promote your movie in their next newsletter.
In this scenario, you could opt to pay a percentage of the sales on the back end or simply pay an upfront advertising fee. This is a straight forward strategy. However, you may get a low response if the newsletter is not totally dedicated to your movie.
3. Swap Movie Promotional Emails
Lets say you’ve done the work to grow your email list. Then you go on the festival circuit and meet another cool filmmaker, marketing to a similar audience. Over a few beers you learn that she also has a sizable audience list. It is at this point you realize: You could promote each other!
So a week later, you send an email to promote your friend’s movie. And at the same time, she sends out an email to promote your movie. This win-win strategy works best when you write your own movie promotional copy and send website visitors to a targeted landing page.
If you would like professional filmmaking tips on how to grow an email list as well as other promotional tactics, grab a copy of my sell your movie system.