This article explains how you can use a pre-save to boost followers and stream count to increase fan engagement, and optimize your marketing for the most impactful release day. The article really lays out what it means to have a ‘successful’ pre-save campaign. It goes on to look at a couple of creative ways AWAL artists have used them to great effect.
In a streaming dominant world, pre-saves have become a hugely important marketing tool to encourage fans to save their favorite music on Spotify, Apple & other services before it comes out. Pre-saves are somewhat of a streaming equivalent to the use of pre-orders for album & single downloads and allow fans to engage with a release before release day.
As such, running a successful pre-save campaign can be an integral part of an artist’s release and marketing. Outlined below are some ways to utilize a pre-save to its fullest potential and boost your engagement with fans before your release has even gone live:
Pre-saves as a Call To Action: Announcing new music in an age where our digital attention span is so short can be difficult, especially when there’s no direct action for a fan to immediately take. Setting up a pre-save, however, gives your fans a window of time before a release is out to actually do something with your music and adds weight to your announcement. Pre-saves can be calls to action directed at your fans, that can be easily inserted in things like video premieres & live streams as well as included in social posts leading up to release day. You can incentivise your fans to take this action by running contests or hosting gated content, for example, which is only available once a fan has hit ‘pre-save’. As well as rewarding your fans you’re ensuring they don’t ‘forget’ about the specific release date as the song will automatically be added to their collection once it’s out.
Pre-saves in ‘Follow’ Campaigns: In addition to setting up pre-saves for specific tracks or releases, you can also set pre-saves up to automatically follow an artist or playlist on Spotify. Following an artist on Spotify ensures any release by that artist will hit your Release Radar playlist and you’ll receive tailored email marketing from Spotify about them, for instance, when they have a new track out or they’re playing a show near you. If you’d like to set up a pre-save for a playlist, a great playlist to do this for would be a catalogue artist playlist. You can create this playlist to live on your artist page on Spotify and highlight tracks from your catalogue all on one playlist, think of it as a ‘greatest hits’ of sorts. These types of playlist are great ways to promote catalogue consumption and new material all in one place. All of these actions positively impact the platforms’ algorithms and engagement straight off the bat thereby boosting your stream to engagement ratio which can then hopefully help push the track into more editorial playlists.
Pre-saves to Understand Your Audience: It’s also important to keep in mind that pre-saves can help capture data about your audience and provide you with insights you may not have had otherwise. By adding clear messaging directing fans to the link, you can also collect email addresses as part of your pre-save campaign as an easy way to formulate a mailing list for future marketing-related messaging down the line.
To provide further context for how pre-saves can be used as part of a marketing campaign, we’ve highlighted some AWAL artists below who’ve used pre-saves in unique ways:
- Kodaline set up an album pre-save that gave their fans a chance to win a zoom Q&A with the band
- Dylan set up her pre-save to trigger an exclusive first look at her new video
- Mosa Wild offered a chance to win exclusive signed merch to any fan that pre-saved their release
Overall, pre-saves are an easy way to allow your fans to actively engage with you and your release before it’s even out. It also locks in their attention on release day by placing the release in their libraries without any effort on their part. Depending on what you have at your disposal you can also make this a fun, enticing experience for your fans to unlock exclusive content, prizes, and more. Pre-saves, when used successfully, can strengthen your marketing campaign and make your release day as impactful as possible.
Article Authors: Victoria Stuart (Director, Label Management) & Jade Johnston (Label Manager)