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Do's and Dont's for sending emails to venues to get gigs?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SmokinJoe992, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. I have recently put a band together and have become the band leader by default. I have limited experience in obtaining gigs. I would like to put something out to a lot of the local venues to see if I can get something lined up. Most of them do booking online now, and I was just interested in getting some general advice on the best ways to get gigs online. We made a couple of short promo videos which have us playing about 5-6 songs each to include in the email. I would just like to hear how you guys generally word such an email and what you put in it and what you don't put in it.
    ICM likes this.
  2. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    No luck with straight email. I found I have to a) figure out who the manager is b) figure out when s/he is there and c) try to get him or her to listen to me about how I can pack the place if they hire my band.

    Some places just hire musicians as a matter of course, without expecting promotion on your end, but this is rare, I found, and everyone wants to play there. Thankless work really -- but face to face selling is what has worked for me.
  3. I second the in-person approach. You may get a response electronically, but your results are going to be significantly better in person. Figure what rooms you want to play and go from there.
    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  4. I get no love on FB messenger or email. I still try though!
    Face to face is the way to go...
    catcauphonic and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  5. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    Don't send an email...it will likely be ignored. Talk to them in person.
    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  6. This is what we send new venues. We get a contact to send to first, not just a “Dear Sir” type thing. Always follow up with a phone call or personal visit.

    Hi {contact name}

    My name is {your name}, I am with the band Pistol Whip. We’ve been having a great response from venues and audiences around the {area} and would love to add {your venue name} as well.

    Pistol Whip is a five piece cover band featuring outstanding vocals and infectious grooves. The inclusion of a keyboard player means that we easily break out of the “Classic Rock” formula and can provide faithful covers of more current radio hits as well as the tried and true classics.

    You can see us in action on our Facebook {linked} or Instagram {linked}.

    We have dates available from {future date, so you look busy} onwards, but are booked solid until then. We would love the opportunity to work with you this coming year. If you’d like to talk further please let me the know the best time to call or drop in.

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  7. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    emails really don't work unless you immediately follow up in person. Meeting the booker/manager is the best way to hustle gigs. have a nice promo package - photo(s), disk or something with a demo on it. Point to a slick website, etc.
    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  8. I appreciate all the great responses. It seems like the overwhelming consensus is that trying to book gigs on line is not worth the effort. Have any of you had any success at all doing this? Most of the good venues in this area have booking pages on their websites, or give you an email address to contact for booking. Is this just an easy way to weed out the amateurs?
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  9. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    If it was just as easy as sending an email, we'd all have all the gigs we could handle. Get off the couch, drive to the venue and introduce yourself. You may have to go more than one time. :thumbsup:
  10. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    Absolutely. And buy something. A drink, a meal, appetizers- anything to show them you’re a customer first. And tip your server. This personal contact gives you a chance to make friends with the folks you’re (hopefully) going to be working with and keeps you busy during that waiting period before the owner/manager/booker comes to talk to you. IMHO follow up emails are good but first contact in person always works best for me. I also like bigboy_78 email style too. Ymmv
  11. All good points
    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  12. RiffwRiter


    Aug 23, 2016
    Memphis, TN
    We have a couple local venues that actually prefer to book by e-mail, but the booking process varies from venue to venue. We have one guy that uses an old-school answering machine and checks it once a week on Tuesdays because he has found this to work best for him. With most of the rest face-to-face is the way to go. After the contact person gets to know you sometimes you can book by phone call, but some of them still are terrible about returning calls and you pretty much have to go there every time or call them so many times they will finally return the call.
    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  13. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    I work in IT. A well guarded secret is there is no guarantee that an email sent is an email received. (The reasons why are beyond the scope of this forum.)

    And for the 99.99% that do get received, no guarantee it makes it into the recipients Inbox due to spam filters, mailbox keyword filters, etc.

    And lastly, for those that actually do make it to the recipients Inbox, no guarantee it will be read. Some people get in excess of 400~500 emails a day, so there's no way all of them are being read.
    Spidey2112 and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  14. We've booked a grand total of one gig via email in 17 years, and that was after a regular act at the venue vouched for us.
    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  15. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    E-Mail has a very low success rate unless the recipient knows you - hence the need for face-to-face contact first. Once they're able to recognize your "From:" among all the who-knows-what they get in their In Box, you have a chance, but you have to build a certain amount of rapport first.

    Sales is all about patience & persistence. There is no one magic thing that you can do one time and have it pay off. This applies to face-to-face meetings, too. Expect to meet with booking managers several times before anything of substance happens. You need to get at least to a point where it's no longer necessary for you to introduce yourself when you walk into the joint because they already know you. With familiarity comes a certain amount of trust, which is necessary to earn their business.
    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  16. I had kinda gotten the impression that some venues are put off by you showing up in person, when they have on line booking available. However, based on what I am hearing from you guys it sounds like it is the only way to go. I guess I need to start practicing my sales pitch and hit the bricks. Thanks again for all the responses.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  17. Yep smokin, there are good threads on approaching venues here.
    Have a good video ready on your phone, your band's calendar and be prepared for questions like:
    How many peeps are you going to bring in?
    Where have you played?
    What type of music?
    How long is your set?
    ABC! (always be closin)
    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  18. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    Our BL is out two or three nights a week schmoozing at the clubs. She got us our first gigs singing at an open mic. An owner said "You really ought to have a band," at which point she opened her iPad calendar and offered him his choice of dates. It has all built from there. The people who are going to book you need to see your face in their place often.

    I don't know why clubs offer online booking dates, I've never once gotten hired that way.

    PS: As I have often posted here-- We ain't got no EPK, no pro video or audio, no booking agent. And we get all the work we can handle.
    SmokinJoe992 likes this.
  19. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    My guess is no guarantee for the e-mail utilizing a system that doesn't at least stop and have coffee at the TCP level of the protocol stack...
    Coolhandjjl and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  20. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Well, when you got charm and a face like yours, it can only help ;):cool::smug:
    Jimmy4string and SmokinJoe992 like this.

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