Pre-selling your vinyl album is an art form in itself—a dance between generating excitement and managing the logistics of production.
It involves careful planning, smart marketing, and a deep understanding of your audience.
So how do you do it right?
These ten essential tips will guide you through the intricacies of setting up your vinyl album release, ensuring you not only hit all the right notes but also spin the disc just right for your eager fans.
So, let’s drop the needle and begin!
Table of Contents
1. DON’T MAKE PROMISES YOU CAN’T KEEP
Vinyl pressing can be tricky. Lots of moving parts!
We highly encourage you to work with us and be super transparent on the dates you tell your fans your records will be finished.
If you don’t want to do that, we highly suggest that you make very rough in-hand dates for when your vinyl will arrive to your fans.
Setting realistic expectations from the start is an excellent way to keep a healthy relationship with your fans.
2. SET A FAIR PRICE
Pricing your vinyl appropriately is crucial.
Too high and it may discourage potential buyers. Too low and it may undervalue your product.
Check out what our client Travis Scott did on his last album drop for inspiration. Be clear on what your intentions are before you price out your vinyl.
3. HIGH-QUALITY PHOTOS
Vinyl is a visual medium, and you need to show off your product in the best light.
Make sure your photos accurately depict your brand. And don’t be afraid to get creative with angles and lighting, too!
4. MAKE IT FEEL LIKE IT’S A LIMITED EDITION
Creating limited edition vinyl releases can add an element of exclusivity and urgency for fans looking to add to their collection.
It also creates a buzz around your release and can help increase demand.
But you can also make it limited by, well…releasing only a few records. Don’t worry because you can just re-order from us anytime anyway!
5. PROMOTE MONTHS AHEAD
Pre-selling your vinyl should start well in advance, giving you time to build excitement and anticipation.
The ideal time to start promoting an album is three to four months before the release date so make sure that your marketing timeline is in place.
Have a plan in place on how you’re going to store and ship your vinyl.
Make sure you priced out anything. You absolutely can’t send vinyl out in standard poly mailers or you will get a ton of returns.
You need vinyl mailers and vinyl mailers cost upwards of 3.00 to ensure your records get the right TLC it needs to reach to your fans’ doorsteps.
Do not cheap out on this part. It’s not worth pinching a few pennies for.
For your vinyl fulfillment needs, check our our pick-pack-deliver service.
7. CUSTOMER SERVICE
Who is going to handle getting back to the fans?
Make sure you are ready!
Don’t downplay this part because trust me—you will get emails straight away.
Who is going to handle those when you’re busy making your music videos or you’re busy on tour?
What happens if this is a MASSIVE pre-sale you didn’t expect?
Do not underestimate how many emails and messages you are going to get!
Remember these are your fans. You want to treat them with the best customer service you can possibly imagine. So treat them like royalty.
The good news is that, we offer this service too!
8. PACKAGING MATTERS—A LOT!
How your vinyl is packaged affects its protection during transit and its perceived value.
Again, please don’t cheap out on this.
Get the best vinyl mailer you can get. It’s cheaper to have to send a replacement record than 50 because they arrived destroyed.
Believe me this happened before and we had to fix it. Not good for you, not good for your fans.
9. MAKE IT EASY
Make sure the vinyl pre-sell order form is easy to find on your website and easy to use.
Customers today are extemely impatient. You don’t want them to get distracted to a Tiktok video while they’re figuring out how to place an order for your vinyl!
The more complicated the process is, the more likely potential buyers will give up before completing the purchase.
So keep it simple.
10. OFFER OTHER STUFF
Give fans a reason to pre-order your vinyl by offering exclusive bonuses like signed copies, bonus tracks, or limited edition merchandise.
This can help increase sales and create a sense of urgency for fans.
These are just the basics and I’m sure you know most of them. But what I want to emphasize is the importance of GOOD PACKAGING. You might think it’s not as important as the rest of the items in this list, but trust me—it is one of the most important things to consider when you’re shipping vinyl directly to fans.
If you want a one-stop shop who can offer you all you need—vinyl pressing, fulfilment, customer service, shipping, and packaging—give us a call.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.