If Paul McCartney needs to market himself, you do too.

I love the Beatles. I also love the way they marketed their stuff back in the day and it has greatly influenced me. For instance they had a fan club in which they would “give give give.” Listen to this special Christmas album that was only given to members of the UK fan club. Listen to how they make it feel like they are talking directly to you. Truly 1 to 1 marketing (or I guess 4 to 1 marketing)

Paul Mccartney is on tour and I saw him perform when he stopped by Arizona. The concert was great but what completely blew me away was the way he marketed. He used the same direct response marketing techniques that I preach. In this week’s email I want to walk you through what he did and point out why it is so awesome. 

But first… If Paul Mccartney needs to market himself, you do too.

Paul Mccartney is arguably the biggest musician of the 20th century. You can just say “Mccartney” to most folks and they will know who you are talking about. He is a brand. And yet, here he is using a signup and marketing system to get people (who already paid him a couple hundred dollars to watch him btw) to follow him. People knowing your “brand” is not enough. You need a secondary system that will trigger them into acting (aka a call to action.) Email marketing will do that. Text Messaging will do that. That is what he is doing here. 

The Paul Mccartney signup process

On the night of the show I arrived at the stadium as soon as the doors opened. He had no opening act. Instead they just had Beatles music playing in the stadium and two giant video screens to entertain the crowd. About 45 minutes before he got on stage, the following message was displayed on the screens for a good 20 minutes.

Notice that “TEXT ME (212) 313 – 9547)?” This is a text messaging based subscription system where anyone could “sign up” to receive text messages from him.

Of course I signed up. And of course I documented everything that happened. And of course I am going to tell you how you can adapt this to your own game marketing. 

Part 1 the ask:

The call to action appears before the concert starts. Everyone is probably board, ready for the show to start and they are probably playing with their phone anyway. So it is perfect timing. Imagine if they showed this at the end of the show when everyone was tired and just wanted to get home so they could relieve the babysitter. That wouldn’t have been as effective timing. So good timing.

The CTA just says “Text me” and a picture of Paul McCartney. Now normally I would pair this with a lead magnet. However this is Paul mcCartney and it says “me” so I give this a pass. One could believe Paul is actually back stage just checking his phone waiting for me to text him. So this is a bit of a pass. I could see punching this up just a bit if it said something like “Text me about your first memory listening to one of my songs… “ Could be a bit more interesting. It is also not clear what Paul wants me to text him? What do you say to a legend?

Part 2 the reply:

…So I text him. Not knowing what to text I decided to tell him the story that my mom always tells us about her 2nd hand encounter with Paul McCartney.  You see Sir Paul actually owned a ranch not far from my childhood home. You can read about it here. Everyone in our neighborhood had “ghost-stories” about seeing him at the grocery store or at the local convenience store, or driving down Reddington Pass. Also, Tucson was central to the song “Get Back” (“Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona…”)

The auto-response is kind of boring. I clicked the link….

Part 3 the registration:

That link opened this page where I filled this information out.

Couple thoughts. 

  1. Way to go Paul being open to all genders. The options were Male, Female, Non-binary, and “prefer not to answer.”
  2. I needed to enter my birthday (see my previous email about marketing on birthdays). I need to wait a whole year to see what, if anything he does.
  3. City – I assume so he can market to me when his tour is rolling in again. Note that he could have done some geo-coding but many people travel from out of town to see his tour. My father-in-law came all the way from Missouri to see him in Phoenix. So that is why he asked.
  4. I like the privacy policy… It will be saved in Paul’s phone, I hope he has my number.

Part 4 The confirmation:

I submitted the form and got this confirmation message. He also texted me a reply with the boiler plate MSG rates apply and how to unsubscribe. 

Part 5 adding to address book:

Then he also texted me a special “contact” link so that I could add him to my phone book. He did this because it probably keeps me out of the spam filter. It also will make any texts that arrive him show up as “Paul McCartney” which will make me more likely to read them. This is equivalent to email where we try to get people to white list our emails and keep us out of the “promo” folder in Gmail.


Also look at that. I have Paul-fucking-McCartney in my address book. That is kinda a lead-magnet “give-give-give” right there right?

Part 6 The give:

A few weeks later, I got a text from him. I clicked it and it was a link to his new song. It also had a link to Spotify where I could stream it. Now that is cool. It is definitely a “give.” However it is a terrible delivery. He could have said something like “Hey check out my latest song, I think you will love it. Also thanks for coming to my show.”

Part 7 The followup:

I have since tried texting Paul to see if there is any chat bot or auto-responder integration. Nothing. No response.


Epilogue, how to use this.

I know I am “The Email Marketing” guy. But really I only use it because currently it is the best and most effective platform for directly contacting my fans. I can see a world where texting might get an even better response rate than email and be more cost effective. Not sure yet but this whole experiment was me trying to find out how a pro uses it.

When Paul texted me a link to his latest song, the URL was community.com. I looked them up. It seems like they are still in some sort of closed beta. I signed up and one of the questions was “Talent, Management, Other.” I think this is a startup targeting touring bands. I picked “other” and wrote “Game Designer.” I doubt they will let me in. 

There are other text message marketing companies out there. Mailchimp integrates with SimpleTexting.com. Plans start at about $45 to send 1000 messages per month. 

I have not experimented with it yet but here is how I would use it.

If I had a booth for my games at a trade show I would have a huge banner that had my phone number with the label “I will text you this game’s soundtrack.” Then as people are waiting in line to play my game they could have the time to try out the text. I would do a similar flow as Paul but with a bit more personality.

Thanks for reading talk to you later….

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