Nuts & Bolts: Comedian: Email Pulls in Crowds, Social Is Ephemeral
TM: How do you get fans to opt in? At shows? Other ways?
SH: I do get people to opt in through shows. But I can tell you one direct result. … But I can tell you that my last album hit No. 1 on iTunes. … And that only happened because I have this viral reach. And so, when the album was coming out, I told people to go pre-order. And, when I went to sleep—because it comes out at midnight—so when I went to sleep, it was at No. 28. And I sent out a Twitter, Facebook and email blast saying, 'Hey, if you're gonna buy it, buy it today. Let's move it up the charts.' And I woke up and it was No. 3. And it kept moving up until it hit No. 1. And it was that direct reach that made that happen. Is that direct financial gain? Sure. I can tour wherever I want, because I can bring out a few hundred people, because of my lists and because when someone comes up to me at a show and they say, 'Hey, that was great,' I don't just let them walk away. They sign up for the email list, they download the album. They go from a casual fan to an actual fan.
TM: Do your influencers get extra perks? Like what?
SH: Every so often, I'll do something like, 'All my albums for $5.' Or just, 'Hey, thank you guys for doing this. Today, you can download any album for free.' Something like that. Like where I'll just do random things for people who are devoted. But also, like after a show, if someone's talking to me and they're clearly a big fan, you can tell the difference.
When someone is quoting jokes to me from three albums ago, I know they're a fan. And so when I see that, sometimes I'll just hand them an album. I'll say, 'Hey, thanks for the support. This one's on me.' Something like that. And that's not something people forget.