How to send digital promos via email using the ‘secret link’
As we’ve highlighted before, SoundCloud is an excellent way to send music privately to your contacts without having to send bulky attachments via email or use ugly, generic file-sharing and FTP services. And of course without having to send CD’s, which are expensive and arguably not very environmentally friendly.
More and more music PR’s, pluggers and labels are starting to use SoundCloud now to send out their digital promos. So we thought we’d put together a quick post about it. There’s three easy steps to show you:
1) Use SoundCloud to create a fantastic looking promo
2) Grab your secret link to give quick and easy access
3) Prepare your own email and include the link
4) Collect feedback with regular and ‘timed’ comments
1) Prepare Your Promo
When you send a promo using SoundCloud you’re not just sending them a bunch of files, you’re also giving them access to a clean simple page where they can preview the music, download hi-res artwork, information like release dates and catalogue numbers, even video and buy links if you have them. You should make sure you complete as much as you can while you upload the tracks.
You can choose whether you want to just give someone streaming access or let them download the original file as well, should they wish. We support all audio file types so you can send any bit-rate MP3 or even lossless WAV or AIFF. For further information, this blog post has all the info on our new sharing flow.
2) The Secret Link
The ‘Secret Link’ is a free feature available to all our usesrs so this is much cheaper than many other digital promo solutions. When you decide to turn a track to private in the settings option a secret link is automatically created.
Selecting this option means that your music will remain totally private, won’t show up on your SoundCloud profile and is not searchable. But you can send a secret link to anyone and give them immediate access to the music by clicking ‘share’ on your uploaded track and grabbing the secret link. They don’t even need to sign up (although you can do this with our other private sharing options if you wish).
The link will not expire and there is no limit to the number of people who can stream or check the music. However you can deactivate or refresh the link at any time should you wish to block access from anyone who you’ve sent the link to previously. You can go back to grab the Secret Link at any time by clicking ‘share’ and copying and pasting from the track/set page on SoundCloud.
3) Send Out The Secret Link
Now of course you’re going to want to send out the secret link to your own database of press, radio, DJ and other industry contacts. You’ve hopefully already added all the information the recipient will need to the promo’s page on SoundCloud but you might want to add some more personal information or extra things like tour dates, contact numbers etc. You already know what works best so we’ll leave that completely up to you! All you need to do is add the secret link prominently in the mailout so that the recipient can click through and immediately start listening to the actual music. Busy journalists don’t want to have to sit their and download a zip to their desktop before they can even check the release out! To take this one step further, you can use the secret link within email marketing services such as Campaign Monitor.
If you’re sending a track and you want them to be able to download it directly from the email then you can do this to. Just take the secret link and add ‘/download/’ in the middle like this:
Secret Link: http://soundcloud.com/inspirit-music/pushin-west-of-centre-remix/s-0oJzD
Secret Download Link: http://soundcloud.com/inspirit-music/pushin-west-of-centre-remix/download/s-0oJzD
4) Get Feedback
By using SoundCloud we also allow you to collect feedback directly on the page for your promo. As well as just leaving general comments the recipients can actually leave feedback directly in the track by using the ‘timed comments’ on our waveform player. Nice.
Of course, if you’re sending your promo to a lot of different people then you’ll probably want to hide these comments so they’re for your eyes only. You can hide the play counts too.