Why labels are ignoring your demos?

It’s frustrating to put your heart and soul into a song, and not even get a reply from labels. However, are you doing the best you can to have your song listened to and then replied back? A few comments on that…


1. You need to be polite and send a proper message when sending demos. Whenever you’re reaching out to a label, it’s always polite to (1) Ask the A&R how he’s doing, (2) briefly introduce your song (one sentence max), (3) have a quick and easy STREAMING link (no downloads), (4) introduce yourself if it’s the first time sending to this A&R (one sentence max), and (5) prefer phrases like ‘It would be an honor to sign at [LABEL] instead of ‘I believe this song would be perfect for [LABEL]’ as some A&Rs can view that as arrogant. But, what can you do if you’re using LabelRadar or other submission platforms? Well, that’s the second point. I always recommend sending EMAILS to labels instead of sending via web portals like Labelradar unless the label advises on the website to do so. Email is more personal and it helps you build a relationship with a label faster than these platforms, which can be helpful for future submissions. In any case, nothing matters if you’re not polite. Greg Newman, A&R from Sekora, said in this post that he’s allowed to ignore all emails that only contain a link or are not polite. Therefore, when it’s time to send emails to labels, remember… Be polite, get to the point (the link of the song) as fast as you can, and remember that you’re talking to a person. If you want to see the email format I ALWAYS use send to labels, check this post here.

2. Stop sending demos during festival seasons, holidays, and sometimes even weekends. Regardless of how you’re sending your song, it’s always important to be at the top of their inbox so you know they will listen to your song quickly. Therefore, avoid sending emails on weekends as the employees are normally not at work, and sending them on Monday morning will get you the same result AND will make you go higher on their inbox. Second, if you know an A&R is going to ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event), for example, avoid sending emails 10 days prior to ADE as A&Rs will likely not check their emails then and, again, your submission will only go down in their inbox. In this scenario, I always recommend sending emails three to four days after the festival is over as they will likely be picking up on previous work when they go back. Lastly, try to understand which day of the week do A&Rs normally listen to their songs. I’ve never asked them directly, but you can try to pick up if they always answer on a specific day of the week so, this way, you can send a day before to be at the top of their list when they go to check for new songs. Not only this will help you get a faster answer, but you can also have your song heard when A&Rs are still with fresh ears, which may help you not be quickly dismissed.

3. You must track your emails to understand if you’re being ignored, or if you’re just not getting an answer. If you don’t know if someone listened to your song, and you didn’t get a response for it, were you ignored, or did the label just not answer you back? It’s important to know this as these two scenarios could provoke different reactions in you. If you’ve been ignored by a label more than three times, I would stop sending emails to that label as (1) you could be going to their spam, and emailing more could only worsen it, or (2) if they are really ignoring you, why would you waste your time with someone who ignores you? However, most commonly, they are just not answering you, and that’s something you can check by tracking these emails. Using tools like Polymail (what I use) and Mailtrack (gmail only), you can receive notifications when someone clicks on your link or opens your emails, and that will help you understand: (1) if you’re being ignored or just not answered, (2) when they normally open emails and check demos; (3) when labels click on your link, if they love the song, “”normally”” they would answer right away. But, even if they don’t, that can be a cue for you to follow up and speed up the submission process; (4) understand if your song is being sent around to other A&Rs, which can show up when you’re seeing multiple opens and plays throughout the week. In any case, having this tool will give you more insights on your submission, and also help you move on faster when you’re not getting a response.

4. You’re not following up with the labels and your email is ending up forgotten. Sometimes, labels get busy because of festivals and planning other releases and they simply forget about your submission. Back in 2018, I sent a song to Enhanced in mid-March (Ultra Miami period – WRONG period to send) and didn’t get a response for two weeks. I followed up two weeks later (Early april, just after Ultra), and the A&R told me he was just coming back from Miami and would listen to my song, but nothing happened in two weeks. I followed up again, the A&R listened and signed my song on the spot. I knew he hadn’t listened to the song until the last follow-up because of the email tracking, and that’s why I kept pushing, and it worked. In other words, if it wasn’t for my two follow-ups and my email tracking too, which is something you can’t do if you’re not using email, I would have not signed a song at Enhanced Music. But, how should you follow up? When following up, just be quick and polite again. “Hey [Name], how are you? / Just following up on my previous email, were you able to listen to the song I/we sent you? If not, here’s the link for quick access / Hope you like it, Best”. Following up will help you by giving a quick nudge on the A&R and sometimes that’s what you need to have your song listened and, hopefully, signed. However, don’t follow up more than twice without an answer. If the A&R answers you, then you can follow up two more times, but don’t follow up three times in a row without an answer as that can come as annoying and might get you in the spam box


What other reasons could lead you to not get an answer to your submissions?
1. Your email is going to their spam box: If you’re using your own domain to send songs, sometimes that might get you in SPAM by Gmail and other providers for security reasons. Therefore, when sending songs, prefer GMAIL, OUTLOOK, or YAHOO to send them as these are certain to arrive in the A&R main inboxes;
2. You were put in their spam box: Sometimes, labels can tag you as spam after a certain amount of failed submissions. Or, you may have annoyed someone or you were not polite before, and that put you in their spam as well. In any case, try creating another email and sending it from a different email if you suspect that’s your case;
3. You’re attaching files to emails or using ‘download only links’: If you’re sending songs via Wetransfer or attaching files to emails, some A&Rs don’t even consider your emails as imagine dealing with 50 emails like that per week. When sending songs, always use STREAMING links (Dropbox, Soundcloud, Audius, Google Drive, etc)!

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Leo Lauretti

Leo Lauretti

Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Leo Lauretti has been producing since 2013. With releases on SONY Music, Armada, Enhanced Music, Leo Lauretti accumulates multiple supports from artists like Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten, Cosmic Gate, Nicky Romero, and many others all over the world.

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