Using zone strategy with your mailing list

If you're a practitioner of Joe's zone strategy for booking gigs, here's a tip that's served me well: incorporate your zones into your mailing list for more accurate mailings.

It occurred to me that it doesn't always make sense to email everyone in the state of Washington that I'm playing a show in Seattle. I could try a ZIP code search, assuming my list software allows it (it doesn't, and many free list services don't), but searching a ZIP range or radius doesn't always give you great coverage. However, since I started diligently boxing my subscribers into zones, the task has been a lot easier.

It's pretty easy to do with mailing list tools that provide fields for extra information like keywords. When someone subscribes to my list, I check if they live in one of my target zones and add a keyword to their information (e.g.,"Zone4") so I can find them again.

If you try this, don't worry if an out-of-state (or out-of-country) subscriber doesn't fit into any of your zones. You'll be able to go back and reorganize them into new zones as your circuit gets wider and wider. It takes some extra effort, but I think it's worth it to keep your subscribers engaged with relevant gig announcements.