A killer pre-order campaign can make a huge difference in generating early buzz and sales for an album release.
But with so many artists putting out music these days, how do you make yours stand out? Don't worry –– we've gathered 4 essential tips from artists who know their stuff when it comes to pre-order campaigns to help you crush it like the pros.
1. Move albums with a live shopping stream
Want to create a hype-worthy event that drives fans from all over the world to your shop AND moves albums? Hosting a live shopping stream is the way to go!
Just take cue from Jelly Roll's playbook, who collaborated with Single for a standout 4/20 event. He hosted a live shopping event to spotlight his much-anticipated album, Whitsitt Chapel. Fans could pre-order it right during the broadcast, resulting in over 1,000 digital albums sold, and a flood of new emails added to his shop's mailing list.
2. Dazzle fans with exclusives
Let's face it, your fans love your music, and they'll love it even more if you give them something exclusive. Offering unique content, signed copies, or limited edition merch is a fantastic way to show your appreciation and make your fans feel like they're part of an exclusive club.
SZA has this technique down to a tee. For her album "SOS," she offered several deluxe editions, each featuring unique solo versions of songs like “PSA” and “Open Arms.” This thoughtful gesture provided fans with an extra treat before the deluxe album dropped, boosting her album sales for four straight weeks.
3. Skyrocket sales with upsell campaigns and bundles
Upselling and bundling your music with cool merch is a surefire way to boost your pre-order campaign's success. By giving your fans more bang for their buck, you can increase your average transaction value and see a significant rise in revenue.
Coldplay aced this strategy with their album "Music of the Spheres." They debuted a line of merch that closely tied in with the album's theme, putting all of the items on pre-sale together months in advance. Fans couldn't resist the opportunity to grab both the music and the related merch, driving up sales during the pre-order period.
3. Collaborate for a creative (PR) twist
Creating a buzz for your pre-order campaign is not just about what you sell but also how you promote it. Teaming up with other artists or brands in inventive ways can grab attention and expand your fan base. From co-created products to exclusive events, these collaborations can be your ticket to landing valuable PR!
Take a leaf from Dolly Parton's book. For her 48th album, "Run, Rose, Run," she orchestrated an innovative pre-order campaign in partnership with Jeni's Ice Cream and 1-800 Flowers. Exclusive tracks were bundled with unique bouquets and a pint of ice cream, making it a super cool pre-order campaign that not only drove a third wave of pre-sales but also made mouths water.
4. Sell on Socials and Tour Pages
Link your pre-order to popular tour platforms like Bands In Town, Seated, and even where fans already hang out or listen to your music, like Spotify.
Get started on your own:
Install Single in your Shopify store.
New to selling music on Shopify?
Read our guide for everything you need to get started with selling music and reporting sales to the charts from your Shopify store here.
Want to host your own Live Stream, right from your Shopify store? Our professional services team frequently partners with clients to help brainstorm ideas, build websites and more.
** If you plan on reporting sales, be sure to check in with your preferred chart to understand how your marketing strategy may affect reporting. If you're selling physical versions of this release (like vinyl), make sure to tag them for reporting.