Case Study: Ellis Paul

Nimbit Case Study: Ellis Paul
Started with Nimbit: 2002
Nimbit Applications Used: MyStore for Facebook, nimbitSkin, nimbitOMT, CD/DVD Manufacturing, 3rd Party Distribution, Split Payees, nimbitPOS

Online Sales (2009): $19,683.26
Contributed by Fans (2009): $100,000

Bio: Ellis Paul is an American singer-songwriter and folk musician.

To date, he has released 16 albums and has been the recipient of 14 Boston Music Awards.  He has published a book of original lyrics, poems, and drawings, and released a DVD that includes a live performance, guitar instruction, and a road-trip documentary.  As a touring musician, Paul plays close to 150 dates each year and his extensive club and coffeehouse touring, together with radio airplay, has brought him a solid national following.

Inner Circle: 300 core fans
Outer Circle: 10,000 fans purchasing any new release
Total Reach: 100,000 fan interactions throughout career

Goal: Create a direct to fan relationship with 100k fans that he can sell/promote his new release “The Day After Everything Changed”

Strategy: Solicit core fans to raise funds for recording album. Phased exclusive rollouts direct to fan prior to official 1/12/10 street date. Engage the loyal core fans in the promotion process to maximize new fan capture, reactivate casual fans, and build pre-release buzz.


Step 0: Engage fans on Facebook via FB fan page and via mailing list, website, etc

Step 1: Set up unique and compelling sponsorship levels ranging from $15 – $10,000

  • Street Busker Level – $15
  • Antje Duvekot Level – $100
  • James Taylor Level – $250
  • Neil Young Level – $500
  • Johnny Cash Level – $1,000
  • Joni Mitchell Level – $2,500
  • Bob Dylan Level – $5,000
  • Woody Guthrie Level – $10,000

Example:   $1,000 “The Johnny Cash Level”

Receive an advance copy of Ellis’ new CD personally signed and numbered; including a bonus disc of demos and outtakes of the songs

• Antje Duvekot will personally sign a copy of her recent release “Big Dream Boulevard” on Black Wolf Records

• You and a friend will be put on Ellis’ guest list for an Ellis Paul show of your choice

• Limited edition signed EP of Ellis performing live in the studio at Boston’s WERS

• One Year membership to Club Passim, the legendary folk room and Ellis’ home venue

• Ellis will thank you by including your name in the liner notes of the CD booklet

• Ellis will handwrite and illustrate lyrics to any one Ellis Paul song of your choice, which will be suitable for framing

• Limited Edition 11x 17 signed and numbered cover artwork from the new album which will be suitable for framing

Step 2: Send advance copies of new album to every contributor with a personal note and a download card to pass along only to people they knew that are/could become a “true fan.”

We would like to thank you for your investment and support of Ellis and his music.  We are confident that this project will be one you can be very proud to be a part of.

There are great perks that go along with your investment and we look forward to sending out the new CD’s, organizing your guest list spots and all the other items you should receive based on the level invested….

Thank you for your support, we look forward to a fun ride getting Ellis’ new music recorded and out to you.

Kind regards,

Ralph Jaccodine  (Ellis’ Manager)

Step 3: CD goes on sale exclusively from website and Facebook (Nov-Dec 2009) No digital album available.  Free single download offer available directly in the online store using download codes to track success of promotions and events.

Step 4: Album art features image of picture of Ellis over a lake with a vintage guitar in his hands. Some people think it’s a fake, but it’s from an HD video.  Creative team and Nimbit decide to post video on YouTube ( and spread the word around social networks creating viral buzz.  Over 6,000 views help drive traffic to website, increasing sales and exposure.

Step 5: Put download card into all orders of the CD encouraging purchaser to share the music with a friend.

Step 7: Early digital release and promotion with Amazon MP3 (12/15), start radio and press interviews. offers a better, more compelling package than anywhere else which both drives fans to Ellis’ website and increases sales.

Step 8: Digital street date, 1/12/10


“We awakened fans that had been disconnected for many years.  Fans that had not been to see him in 10 years were now coming out to shows and getting reconnected with all his work.

Many donors were just waiting to have an opportunity to help him financially. We made sure they had several copies to spread the word.  And the higher contributors get as many as they want to give away to people.  We do feel we are spreading the music in a more unique and efficient way.  If Ellis was on a record label, we’d have buy the disc  from the label at $7 each.   Because the CD costs us so little to manufacture with Nimbit, we’re able to market the CD more rapidly and at lower cost.  Nimbit’s Facebook app, download cards, and other direct to fan platforms helped us get to more of our fans quickly and easily.

Through Nimbit we’re able to get Ellis Paul’s music exposed to more people.”

Rachel Klein, Manager of Marketing & Promotions, Ralph Jaccodine Management


One thought on “Case Study: Ellis Paul

  1. Pingback: A Living, Breathing Case Study of a DIY Artist: Part Nine – 3 Key Tactics For The Release of The New Secrets in Stereo Album | Sorted Noise

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