Nuts & Bolts: Comedian: Email Pulls in Crowds, Social Is Ephemeral
Comedian Steve Hofstetter thinks of even social networks as middlemen. The most direct way he can market to his fans, he says, is through email marketing.
And, yes, he did use Twitter, Facebook and his email list to urge fans to buy his most recent album "Pick Your Battles" on its release date, Feb. 15, 2011. That move propelled the album to No. 1 on the iTunes comedy charts, according to his Facebook post that day in which he thanked fans by saying "for the next 24ish hours, you can have three of my other albums FREE."
However, Hofstetter believes his email list is his main conversion tool because it gets fans to come to his shows. In the end for Hofstetter, the show's the thing.
Target Marketing: What's funny about direct marketing—thinking of yourself as a brand?
Steve Hofstetter: Well, nothing's funny about direct marketing. But direct marketing certainly helps funny. And funny helps direct marketing. Things are more likely to be clicked when they're funny.
In terms of thinking of myself as a brand, I've always understood that performers are a brand. We sell ourselves on stage every night and to think that we're not a brand is silly. Some people have the mistaken impression that selling themselves is selling out. And that's not true. If you sell something you believe in, you're not selling out, you're just selling.
TM: Do you try to relay humor through the channels you use—such as social media and mobile?
SH: I definitely try to use humor … Sometimes I put real things. When my wife was going through a double mastectomy and reconstruction and, you know, I'm getting all these silly Facebook birthday wishes, I made a little video saying, 'Instead of wishing me a happy birthday, here's a charity to donate a dollar to.'