What does your mailing list mean if it's not local?

About once a week, folks will ask me about another new service that's supposed to "get your music heard." And some folks will try these services out and report that they got a hundred new people on their mailing lists, or that they ranked on some chart somewhere.

My reply is always:

"And what did that do, THIS QUARTER, to put money BACK into your pocket?"

If you're a whiz at internet marketing, you might actually be able to convert those 100 new mailing list members into something meaningful.

However, if you're like most working musicians, what you really need to do is to build a list that starts in your own back yard and radiates out. If you can mobilize a targeted mailing list, you can get "bums in seats" at a show. Otherwise, you're scrambling for pennies.