EDDM Mailing for Chorus Non-Profit?

by StarkContrast 6 replies
I'm working with some men to build up membership in a men's barbershop-style chorus (4-part a capella), and we're struggling with ways to attract men who would want to sing with us. It's a new group in an area that has a couple of groups already (nearest is 30 miles away) We're in a metro area that can easily support another group.

I'm thinking of doing an EDDM mailing to homes in the area where we're meeting. It's a unique hobby. When people hear the music, they like it. And when men sing it, they also like it. Getting men to check out the chorus is where we're stuck. When we go out to sing in public, the responses have been great and we invite men to join us at every venue, but there's not a lot of takers.

The approach I'd like to take is to focus on men who stopped singing after high school or college. Our thought is to have a Visitors Night where the whole focus is on the barbershop craft and the fun of singing. Use the mailing to draw men back to when they had fun singing while they were growing up because most of the choral singing was by choice.

Unfortunately, the general perception of our craft is a bunch of old crotchety guys singing songs in their spare time. Some of that is true but it doesn't have to be. The younger guys (teens and twenties) who have caught the bug are loving it and doing fabulously in the whole Barbershop Harmony Society (yes, there's a vibrant society for what we do). The society is doing what they can to combat that perception, but it's slow going.

I'm kind of stumped at this point. Any thoughts on where you would take this? I'm thinking EDDM but there may be another idea or twelve out there that I'm overlooking.

Thanks. I do appreciate the wisdom and experience on this forum.
#copywriting #chorus #eddm #mailing #nonprofit
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    I do not believe that a mailing to the general public would be a good investment of scarce resources. For one thing, you'd be spending money to reach households that have no men in them. For another, you'd be spending money to reach households where not one person is interested in singing.

    Two better ideas:

    1)Have the younger members of your groups make a video demnstrating how much fun this is and have them post it on their social media.

    2)Survey members of your groups to see what other affiliations they have in common. Perhaps they're mostly church goers, or mostly Little League coaches, or whatever. That can provide clues on where to put your marketing energy.

    Marcia Yudkin
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    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by StarkContrast View Post

    I'm working with some men to build up membership in a men's barbershop-style chorus (4-part a capella), and we're struggling with ways to attract men who would want to sing with us. It's a new group in an area that has a couple of groups already (nearest is 30 miles away) We're in a metro area that can easily support another group.

    I'm thinking of doing an EDDM mailing to homes in the area where we're meeting. It's a unique hobby. When people hear the music, they like it. And when men sing it, they also like it. Getting men to check out the chorus is where we're stuck. When we go out to sing in public, the responses have been great and we invite men to join us at every venue, but there's not a lot of takers.

    The approach I'd like to take is to focus on men who stopped singing after high school or college. Our thought is to have a Visitors Night where the whole focus is on the barbershop craft and the fun of singing. Use the mailing to draw men back to when they had fun singing while they were growing up because most of the choral singing was by choice.

    Unfortunately, the general perception of our craft is a bunch of old crotchety guys singing songs in their spare time. Some of that is true but it doesn't have to be. The younger guys (teens and twenties) who have caught the bug are loving it and doing fabulously in the whole Barbershop Harmony Society (yes, there's a vibrant society for what we do). The society is doing what they can to combat that perception, but it's slow going.

    I'm kind of stumped at this point. Any thoughts on where you would take this? I'm thinking EDDM but there may be another idea or twelve out there that I'm overlooking.

    Thanks. I do appreciate the wisdom and experience on this forum.
    Google your region for High Schools. Almost all of them have choirs and singing groups. Many of them publish an online newsletter.

    Save your money from EDDM, not a good idea. Better yet, send the classic One Dollar Bill Letter (google it to see) to local high school choir leaders/music teachers.

    They often stay in contact with Alumni, and you might get a free blurb in the Newsletter and or local papers too.

    You want singers? Fish where they swim or have been know to swim.

    101 of Marketing. Go to where the customers are.

    You're selling fun and singing fellowship, TARGET those who have experienced it, and don't waste your time or money on EDDM for this. Start with FACEBOOK groups of your local area high schools, and see what is going on, often the group admins will give you a free shoutout.

    But I think a nice letter to the musical directors of local high schools would give you what you are looking for.

    GordonJ

    PS. Here is what a classic one dollar bill letter looks like:
    http://swiped.co/file/famous-dollar-...-gary-halbert/
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    It's fun when one idea sparks another.

    Start with Marcia's first idea about making videos using younger members. Add an element of freshness by doing more up to date music. There is music from R&B to Bluegrass that would fit the barbershop style.

    Then take Gordon's idea of networking your way to being noticed. High schools are a good place to start. Another place is up one level, at college/university music departments. Instead of wasting time and money mailing postcards to random addresses, put notices on bulletin boards in the music departments.

    The Visitors Night idea isn't bad, but you get a lot more traction if you can somehow tie it a local cause. Maybe "Singing for Schoolbooks" or "Harmonies for the Homeless" or something. Ups you chances of getting some free publicity.

    One more idea -- how about people who fancy themselves as wannabe singing stars? Being in your group, especially if you publish videos and do events, gives them exposure that could help a budding career.

    As you might guess from my tagline, I wholeheartedly agree with Gordon's point about fishing where the fish are...
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  • Profile picture of the author StarkContrast
    Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

    I do not believe that a mailing to the general public would be a good investment of scarce resources. For one thing, you'd be spending money to reach households that have no men in them. For another, you'd be spending money to reach households where not one person is interested in singing.

    Two better ideas:

    1)Have the younger members of your groups make a video demnstrating how much fun this is and have them post it on their social media.

    2)Survey members of your groups to see what other affiliations they have in common. Perhaps they're mostly church goers, or mostly Little League coaches, or whatever. That can provide clues on where to put your marketing energy.

    Marcia Yudkin
    Thanks, Marcia.

    Good advice on EDDM. Makes perfect sense.

    Unfortunately at 54 I'm one of the youngest members! I do get the point. In fact, I've brought up the idea of having someone come in to teach us Instagram and Snapchat because as far as I know, none of us are using it.

    We are all reaching out to our churches as we can. We meet in a church and have the blessing of the pastors to hold concerts and such at the church. One of our members (plus me) were "recruited" from the music team.

    Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

    Google your region for High Schools. Almost all of them have choirs and singing groups. Many of them publish an online newsletter.

    Save your money from EDDM, not a good idea. Better yet, send the classic One Dollar Bill Letter (google it to see) to local high school choir leaders/music teachers.

    They often stay in contact with Alumni, and you might get a free blurb in the Newsletter and or local papers too.

    You want singers? Fish where they swim or have been know to swim.

    101 of Marketing. Go to where the customers are.

    You're selling fun and singing fellowship, TARGET those who have experienced it, and don't waste your time or money on EDDM for this. Start with FACEBOOK groups of your local area high schools, and see what is going on, often the group admins will give you a free shoutout.

    But I think a nice letter to the musical directors of local high schools would give you what you are looking for.

    GordonJ

    PS. Here is what a classic one dollar bill letter looks like:
    Famous Dollar Letter by Gary Halbert » Swipe File Archive » Marketing & Copywriting Examples
    Gordon, appreciate the words. We will be reaching out to the local schools. We're literally 200 yards from the high school. That seems like a very practical approach. It's something I've been thinking about but haven't put shoe leather to the idea.

    EDDM is out.

    Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

    It's fun when one idea sparks another.

    Start with Marcia's first idea about making videos using younger members. Add an element of freshness by doing more up to date music. There is music from R&B to Bluegrass that would fit the barbershop style.

    Then take Gordon's idea of networking your way to being noticed. High schools are a good place to start. Another place is up one level, at college/university music departments. Instead of wasting time and money mailing postcards to random addresses, put notices on bulletin boards in the music departments.

    The Visitors Night idea isn't bad, but you get a lot more traction if you can somehow tie it a local cause. Maybe "Singing for Schoolbooks" or "Harmonies for the Homeless" or something. Ups you chances of getting some free publicity.

    One more idea -- how about people who fancy themselves as wannabe singing stars? Being in your group, especially if you publish videos and do events, gives them exposure that could help a budding career.

    As you might guess from my tagline, I wholeheartedly agree with Gordon's point about fishing where the fish are...
    Thanks John. Looks like there seems to be some, er, harmony between the advice given.

    As soon as you said "wannabe singing stars" I thought of a Talent Show night, perhaps at the school and combined with their choral people to benefit them!

    Now the ideas are beginning to flow. Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      Originally Posted by StarkContrast View Post

      Thanks, Marcia.

      Good advice on EDDM. Makes perfect sense.

      Unfortunately at 54 I'm one of the youngest members! I do get the point. In fact, I've brought up the idea of having someone come in to teach us Instagram and Snapchat because as far as I know, none of us are using it.

      We are all reaching out to our churches as we can. We meet in a church and have the blessing of the pastors to hold concerts and such at the church. One of our members (plus me) were "recruited" from the music team.



      Gordon, appreciate the words. We will be reaching out to the local schools. We're literally 200 yards from the high school. That seems like a very practical approach. It's something I've been thinking about but haven't put shoe leather to the idea.

      EDDM is out.



      Thanks John. Looks like there seems to be some, er, harmony between the advice given.

      As soon as you said "wannabe singing stars" I thought of a Talent Show night, perhaps at the school and combined with their choral people to benefit them!

      Now the ideas are beginning to flow. Thanks.
      We would love to hear back from you in a month and learn what you did. Can you do that for us, give us an update.

      It rarely happens, and many times the original poster doesn't even respond.

      Getting useful advice is a good deal for all us, but USING it seems to be as rare as Hen's teeth. So let us know and hope you get all the singers you want,

      just a thought, post Superbowl, wasn't that Justin guy in a barbershop quintet?

      Adult Boy Bands, how sweet the sound. HA!

      GordonJ

      PS. If you ever hold a contest for most OFF KEY, me and a few buds will abide!
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  • Profile picture of the author StarkContrast
    Gordon, I will most certainly post back when we meet and discuss these things. These tips from everyone were very helpful, including the unanimous suggestion that EDDM wouldn't be a good option at this point.

    Our chorus is just starting to pick up some momentum. Tonight we had a mini-concert at a senior living facility. There was one moment in the evening that chorus and audience connected like nothing I've seen before. It sent shivers up and down the spine. I wish I could tell THAT story to potential chorus members.
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