Dear HypeMachine (a letter to anyone involved in mass email for marketing or newsletters)

Dear HypeMachine, I've been a huge fan of your site for a while now. You're an amazing resource when it comes to finding new music, and ever since you included my music blog in your listings, traffic to it has quadrupled.

When I first signed up to be a member of your site, you asked for my email address. A lot of sites do this. In fact, most sites do this.

Most sites then send you weekly updates, monthly reminders and invites to events that you don't care about or are nowhere near you (I believe the correct term for this type of stuff is "Bacn"). HypeMachine doesn't. In fact, I think this is one of the first I've gotten from you:


# NEWS: We want your Top 10 Albums Music Blog Zeitgeist 2008 is coming in December, and we need your Top 10 Albums. Open to anybody with a blog, enter the link to your blog post and what CDs you picked to be included: http://hypem.com/zeitgeist/?e=1126

# NEWS: Profile Customization Now you can add a photo, website, & set your location. How: Click settings in the toolbar

# MUSIC: 5 tracks YOUR friends are obsessed with Play All: http://hypem.com/parkernow/people_obsessed/?e=1126

# MUSIC: Hottest 3 artists right now 1. Deerhunter: http://hypem.com/artist/deerhunter/?e=1126 2. Kanye West: http://hypem.com/artist/kanye+west/?e=1126 3. Cut Copy: http://hypem.com/artist/cut+copy/?e=1126

# BLOGS: Latest 3 music blogs added 1. New Rave gone wrong: http://hypem.com/list/7000/?e=1126 2. 88 Days In My Veins: http://hypem.com/list/6998/?e=1126 3. The Laundromatinee: http://hypem.com/list/6983/?e=1126

# BLOGS: Hottest 3 music blogs right now 1. Popdose: http://hypem.com/list/5103/?e=1126 2. Metaphor: http://hypem.com/list/6274/?e=1126 3. music is art: http://hypem.com/list/689/?e=1126

---- <3 The Hype Machine Team (Anthony, Taylor, Zoya, Scott, & Mati)

We make these newsletters for you. Want to see something else added? Let us know: http://hypem.com/contact/?e=1126 Unsubscribe: http://hypem.com/email_manage.php

No heavy graphics or lengthy blocks of text - you guys want the simple route. With just a quick glance, I can get the gist of what your news is.

This is probably way more effective than long paragraphs that most readers will probably just skim anyways. Its also easy to read on mobile devices, and its actually worth reading. Not only is it giving me news about your site, but it is also fun in that it gives me some info on the top music.

Not every site or company has something as interesting as top music lists to share with their readers, but surely they can put something interesting. In that case, they could take the time to publicly thank their top customers or users. Or they could provide brief stats or numbers about their industry - people love lists, too.

But you already know that, HypeMachine. A lot of people can probably learn from you.

Keep up the great work on all fronts.


Parker Mason

PS: if you ever get another wordy, graphically-rich marketing email from someone: send them yours and tell them I said it was awesome.

PPS: iStudio's annual Christmas card is an exception to the simplicity-is-best rule, but that's because they are so damn clever. After being fortunate enough to see it last year, it was actually one of the things I was looking forward to the most this holiday season. Check it out at iStudio.ca/holiday08

Believe The Hype(Machine)

First there was Napster. When that fell, we had Kazaa and a host of imitators. Pandora rose to prominence a few years ago, but seems to be plagued by the same copyright and licensing limitations that the other systems had. There are BitTorrents, but these seem to be only good for popular or newly released albums.

The next best solution is music blogs. These sites are a great alternative to both Pandora and BitTorrents because they offer tracks that you might not have heard about (but might enjoy because of someone's suggestion) or that are not otherwise available for download. As best as I can determine, they operate on the edge of legality and quickly take their content off line if they are deemed to be infringing on some (ridiculous) copyright law.

A step up from the music blog is The Hype Machine, a music blog aggregator. It takes all these great blogs, lets you listen to the song before taking you to the place where you can download it. Rather than being a "walled-garden" like the above mentioned services, then entire internet is your playground when you use The Hype Machine.

While you've heard of bands that have made it big by way of MySpace, I've heard (mostly by word of mouth) that a number of bands are starting to come out of the music blog scene.

An example of this is the amount of excitement surrounding Parisian electro phenom Uffie. In anticipation of an upcoming album release, she's been releasing tracks to various music blogs for the past year or so.

Check it out.

(for my personal recommendation,  shit doesn't get much hotter than Uffie's track "Pop The Glock")