Email For Artists Complete Guide
Are you discouraged because your social media posts are not reaching your fans?
Would you like a low-cost way to communicate directly to your art collectors?
It is becoming more difficult for emerging artists to make an online presence with the number of artists uploading new art for sale every day.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are becoming oversaturated with businesses trying to grow their fan base.
Not to long ago, Facebook made a drastic change to their algorithm to minimize the number of business page posts in personal newsfeeds.
Before the algorithm change, business posts reached 10 percent of their following. Today businesses are lucky if they reach 2 percent of their Facebook fans.
The only way you can have your social media posts seen by more people is to pay to “Boost” your Facebook posts or to purchase advertisements.
The good news is that there is a way for you to reach your fans, and that can be done free by implementing an artist email marketing strategy.
I am going to show you how to be more effective growing your email list and some newsletter strategies that will increase your chances of landing a sale in this ultimate email marketing guide.
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Ultimate Email Marketing Guide for Selling Art Online
How often did someone say to you, “I love your work, but I can’t buy it today.”
What steps do you take following comments similar to that?
Do you say thank you and just walk away?
Do you tell them about your online art gallery and hope they will remember to visit your site someday?
Do you hand them a business card?
If you want to have any chance of them purchasing your art in the future, you will need to stay in contact with them, so they do not forget about you.
A newsletter will be your best weapon for generating sales and build a long-term relationship with future collectors.
Many artists shy away from art marketing, mainly because they just do not understand the real meaning.
Art marketing is just creating a bridge between your target audience and your artwork through conversing and or online content.
- You do not have to wear a suit and tie.
- You do not need a bullhorn.
- You do not have to push your artwork on them or come up with cheesy sales pitches.
All you have to do is communicate your story with your audience.
That is art marketing 101.
Selling art via email is an art marketing strategy that is often overlook by artists.
Your email list will be the biggest asses of your online art business.
More sales will be generated by your email list than all social media platforms combined.
Let’s talk about how to make the most out of your email marketing strategy.
Benefits Of Email Marketing For Artists
Many artists fail to see the importance of email marketing and often put it on the back-burner.
I know some artists that have collected emails but have never sent one newsletter.
I can almost guarantee they are losing sales.
Selling art online takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of effort to build an audience online.
Your days will consist of writing content, creating videos, creating images for social media, and engaging with your followers on social media.
After you have caught someone’s attention you need to build their trust.
Someone is not going to give you a large amount of money for an original painting they saw online or give you their personal email address if they do not know you.
You have to earn their trust.
What is an email list?
An email list is a group of people who trust you and are interested in your art and or services you offer.
They are the people who will be more willing to purchase original art and art prints from you.
You work every day trying to make a presence online and generate traffic to your online art gallery.
When they visit your artist website, your job is to build their trust and inspire them to join your email list.
Below are 7 benefits of an email list:
- Email is Personal
- Email is Productive
- You own Your List
- Email is Specific
- Email is Private
- Reach More People
- Email Marketing is inexpensive
Related Post: 7 Email Contact List Benefits for Artists
How To Obtain An Email Address Offline
- There might be a time when you are standing in line at a grocery store, and someone will strike up a conversation. If they ask what you do and seem interested, ask if they would like to join your email list. You never know who will be your next collector.
If possible, get their email address before they leave if it is nor feasible, give them a business card and ask them to join through your website.
Do you have an elevator pitch?
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your organization does. You can also use them to create interest in a project, idea, or product – or in yourself. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name. (Source: MindTools)
Have one or two sentences of a speech memorized that describes what you do for any occasion that pops up.
I can not begin to tell you how many opportunities I lost before I wrote my elevator speech.
An elevator speech does not take long to write. All you have to do is dedicate five or ten minutes to write one.
After you have written your speech, place it where you see it every day.
Soon you will have it memorized, and you will feel confident sharing it when the time is appropriate.
- Always have an email sign-up sheet handy when you are showcasing your art at fairs or art shows. While you are conversing with people, ask them to join your email list.
- Have a few business cards and flyers on you at all times. Opportunities arise everywhere, especially when you least expect it.
How To Grow Your Email List Online
Now that you know how easy it is to grow an email list offline let’s talk about how you can build your email list online
Opt-in Email Forms
An opt-in email form is a must if you are selling your art online.
What is an opt-in email form?
An opt-in email form is a way for people to subscribe to your newsletter. Opt-in forms can be popups or widgets located in different areas of your website.
You will have to try different strategies to see what resonates best with your unique audience.
Best opt-in Form WordPress Plugins:
The opt-in plugins listed above will make it easy for you to set up an email marketing strategy.
You will have the option to:
- Build a popup
- Build a notification bar
- Create forms for your content
- Build forms for your sidebar
- A/B testing
Best Places to Add an Email Opt-in On Your Artist Website
The best strategy for building an email list is to produce high-quality content.
You want your readers to enjoy your content so much that they will want to revisit your site on a regular basis while waiting impatiently for your next post to publish.
When you have your readers hooked, it will be easy for you to collect their email address. However, you will want to make it easy as possible for them to opt-in. People are busy and will not take the time to search around a site to join an email list. In fact, it will never cross their mind.
Here are some of the most common places that professional bloggers place subscription forms on their websites. You might want to consider using all the suggestions or try a couple at a time and assess the results to see what works best with your audience.
A homepage is the main page of your website and is the first page a visitor will see navigating from a web search engine.
The Homepage will be the most viewed page for your returning audience and will be a great opportunity for you to get them to opt-in to your email list.
There are three common places on the homepage for newsletter opt-in forms.
Decide what will be more appropriate for your audience and the look of your site.
Top of the Homepage
Here is an example of an opt-in form on the top of the page.
It is not distracting, and the reader has the option of clicking the link off if they find it distracting.
One benefit of having this opt-in form is that it follows the page as a reader scrolls down to read the content.
If the reader enjoys your content, they will have an easy way to join your email list.
The footer of the homepage is a great place to add additional resource links for your site.
Some people will scroll down to the bottom of the page to see what other resources the site has to offer.
If the guest enjoys your site they might be willing to join your email list when they see your opt-in form on the footer.
The sidebar is another option for an email opt-in form. Some homepages do not have a sidebar and in that case, an email opt-in form will not be an option.
A key tip is to place the email opt-in form above the fold on the sidebar.
Above the fold is the space that you see once you land on the homepage before scrolling down.
Most people will not scroll down on a page. Placing the opt-in email form above the fold will ensure that everyone sees it when they land on the page.
Many people will visit the “About Page” if they are interested in what the site offers.
Artist websites might receive more hits on their homepage than other businesses.
People who buy art want to get to know the artist, and a good way for them to do that is by visiting the About Me page.
Two places to put an opt-in form on an “about” page is in the sidebar or the end of the content.
Most people who visit an “About” page will read all the content. Placing the email opt-in form at the bottom might be the right decision.
If the reader enjoys what they read, they will be more apt to join your email list.
A good strategy is to put an email opt-in at the end of every post.
Most people who visit a blog post do not read the entire article.
Many people will skim through the article and gather the critical points of the content.
Other people will leave the page after reading just the introduction of the article if a person is very interested in what you have to say if they will read the entire post.
Placing an email opt-in form at the end of a post is an excellent way to collect an email from someone very interested in what you have to offer.
Google has stated that they will lower Page Rankings of websites that use call-to-action pop-ups by early 2017.
Google wants to provide quality content and an enjoyable experience for each visitor.
The reason for this change is that more and more people are using mobile devices to search for content online.
The pop-ups on mobile devices can make it an unpleasant experience for the viewer.
Pop-ups were an excellent way for businesses to get emails, but it will be a thing of the past.
If you want to rank higher in search engines, you will have to play by Google’s rules.
If they punish businesses that use pop-ups on their sites, find a different way to collect emails.
Placing email opt-in forms in strategic places on your website will increase the sign-up rate.
You will want to research all the options you have for collecting emails if you are not using WordPress as your blogging platform.
Study what other people are doing on the same blogging platform that you are using.
You might want to seriously consider switching platforms if you’re blogging platform does not support email opt-ins.
An email list is vital to the success of your business.
If you are not using WordPress for your artist blog and you are ready to take your business to the next level, I recommend Bluehost for a hosting service.
Why should your WordPress artist website have opt-in forms?
Sending newsletters is one way to make sure your online audience does not forget about you.
They might not purchase an item today, but by keeping in contact with them, you increase the chance of landing a sale in the future.
Your artist blog and online art gallery should have a few different ways for your audience to join your newsletter.
People are not going to spend time searching for an opt-in form to give you their email addresses.
You have to make it easy and convenient for them.
Lead magnets are another great way to provoke readers to sign up for your newsletter besides just having opt-in forms.
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is a landing page or a free offer designed to give your visitors something of value for their contact information in return.
Lead magnets are a common tactic used by many successful businesses of all sizes.
How many times have you seen “Click here to receive this free…”?
Many artists send postcards, prints, desktop wallpaper, or screensavers to people interested in joining their newsletter.
Offer a little taste of what you create to your new audience.
Be creative and think of ways you can provide value for your audience in return for their contact information.
You will have the opportunity to produce sales once they have opted-in to your email list.
How To Send Newsletters
Use an EMS (email management service) for your newsletters.
Some artists think it is okay to send bulk emails via their personal Yahoo or Google account.
This is not a good practice and might damage your business.
Sending bulk emails through your personal email provider could end up in a SPAM folder and looks unprofessional.
There are free EMS services available for small businesses to use for their newsletters as well as paid services.
Email Marketing Services
- Sign Up Forms
- API And Integrations
- Import a List
- Split Testing
- Email Marketing Tracking
- Email Deliverability Rate
As your email list grows, you will have the option to purchase a monthly plan or pay as you go option.
FREE PDF from AWeber – What To Write In Your Emails
MailChimp is a very popular email service for bloggers and small businesses.
Some of the great features Mailchimp offers are an easy drag and drop designer that will allow you to brand your emails to match your art gallery, marketing automation, advanced analytics, mobile options, integration with apps, multi-user accounts, subscriber profiles, social sharing, A/B testing, and segmentation.
You can start building your email list with their forever free plan that allows you to have 2,000 email subscribers.
Constant Contact is the first email service that I started with many years ago.
You can try their services for free for sixty days.
If you are planning on marketing events or shows, they will help you with that.
One feature that stands out is the ability to create surveys so you can learn more about your audience.
Other features are similar to other service providers.
Their pricing plan is reasonable and well worth your time to see if they are a fit for you.
More Popular Email Marketing Services
One benefit of using an EMS service is you will be able to track who opened your newsletters and the number of clicks each generates.
When you get familiar with using your EMS service and writing newsletters, you can be creative and design an auto-response email for your audience.
This is an advanced tactic used by many successful businesses.
An auto-response email is a group of emails that are automatically delivered to your list.
What To Look For In An Email Marketing Service
The first thing that anyone looks at when deciding on making a purchase is the price.
When you are seeking to build your email list, do not search for the cheapest alternative in the beginning. Rather look at what the cost will be after you have grown your list.
You do not want to save a few cents today if it costs you more in the future.
Whatever decision you make you are not locked in.
You can always change services in the future.
However, it will be lots of work, depending on how large your email list is.
When you are writing to an email list, you will want to make sure that designing the email is easy.
You do not want to spend hours creating an email when you can be more productive doing something else.
Most excellent services will have a drag and drop feature to make designing a breeze.
Before you subscribe to a service, double-check on how user-friendly the email design wizard is.
You will be happy that you did. Also, check to see if you can incorporate the look of your art gallery.
Delivery And Analytics
Look into how easy it is to deliver the emails.
Most services will allow you to schedule a date and time for the delivery so you can create your emails ahead of time.
Along with the delivery, you will want to be able to assess the progress of the email.
You will want to know how many people opened your email and who they were.
This information is important for your future marketing strategies.
You will also want to find out if you can separate your list into specific groups.
Separating your list will help you deliver the best content to the right people.
Look into the support that the service offers.
You do not want to spend a day trying to fix something if their support service is poor.
Find out if they provide forums as well as live support.
Most services will provide links for people to connect with you on your social media networks, or share your email with their friends and family.
The option to share your emails is a great way to build your list with new people.
The email should also include an Opt-In for the reader to join your email list.
Best Email Provider For Artist
The best email provider will be determined by each artist’s goals and financial status.
Do your homework before jumping into anything.
Trust me, doing your homework beforehand will save you headaches in the long run.
Make a list of your goals and objectives for your newsletters.
Go through the top email providers for artists and see what the best fit is for you.
When Should You Get An Email Provider
I recommend signing up for a provider once you start building your artist email list.
You can start to email art and stories about your art business once you have one email address.
The people who sign up for your list do not know how many people are on the list, so don’t say to yourself, “I only have five emails, so I am not going to waste my time writing a newsletter.”
The people who gave you their email address did so because they want to see more art.
Show them you appreciate them by sending them a newsletter. You never know when your fans will decide to purchase an original piece or a giclee print.
Artist Email Marketing Basics
Now that you are motivated to build your email list, let’s start by defining what you would like to achieve with your emails.
Ask yourself the questions below before you start writing your email:
- Are you trying to promote new are?
- Are you hoping to sell some art that has been hanging around?
- Would you like to generate some extra income selling prints of your art?
- Are you advertising a sale?
- Would you like to share with your audience a craft show you will be attending?
Marketing your art online starts with a clear vision of what you would like to achieve.
You need to have a clear vision of your objectives before developing an art marketing plan.
Every newsletter you write should have a purpose.
If you do not know why you are writing to your email list, you are wasting your reader’s time and time.
Related Resource: How to Write Goals You Can Achieve Workbook
Just like anything in life, consistency wins. It does not matter if you send out a newsletter once a week, once every two weeks or once a month. Consistency is the key to success.
Decide what will work best for you and your schedule. Write it down on your calendar and stick to it.
You might want to consider increasing how many newsletters you send after you have been consistent with your schedule.
If you notice your ROI (Return on Investment) increases, the more newsletters you send, it would be in your best interest to write more newsletters than spending time on something that does not give you anything in return.
Test the waters and see what works best for you. Whether you are selling your art locally or selling art online, your email list will be your big money-maker.
What Should Be In Your Newsletter
Deciding what to write in your newsletter will take some trial and error.
Track the results.
The data received will allow you to make better decisions for your future newsletters.
Most EMS services, both free and premium, have analytics that will show you what is working for you and what is not working.
Let’s talk about some different topics you can include in your newsletters.
You might want to consider adding a section for your latest blog posts.
Include the blog post’s title, a few sentences, and a “Read More” link to the blog post.
Highlighting your newest blog posts will increase the traffic to your website and give your readers a chance to catch up with what is new with your art business.
Including evergreen content throughout the year works well also.
Evergreen content is content that does not age and is always relevant to your art business.
Examples of evergreen content:
- How To Frame New Paintings
- How To Store Art
- How To Clean Paintings
The examples above are evergreen content that will help your readers.
Some artists write a post like the ones outlined above and only share it once.
Keep in mind that there will always be new people who join your email list who have never seen those types of posts.
Including them will provide extra value, and they will be more likely to continue to open your newsletters.
Don’t worry about upsetting readers who have already read the posts.
If they don’t want to read the post, they will skip over it.
Include a section for your upcoming shows.
Some artists include a yearly schedule of events. This is a good idea and gives the readers plenty of time and options to plan.
A section could be added underneath the schedule showcasing past events. Show your readers what to expect by including pictures and highlights of the day. If you wrote a more detailed article, include the link.
Every newsletter should include a featured piece of art or print you are promoting.
Add a nice image or two of the artwork you are featuring, a short description, and a link to where they can learn more and buy the art.
Art In Progress
People love to watch art come to life. Progress images have always done well for me.
You might want to consider adding a section for work in progress. I have heard about some artists selling their artwork before it is completed. That is a win-win situation.
If you are on top of what is going on in the art world, you might want to add a section about trending topics. Many readers enjoy learning about what’s new in art. You can talk about upcoming art events, shows, gallery news, featured artists, the possibilities are endless.
Strategies That Keep Your Email List Opening Your Newsletters
Your email is so valuable because it keeps your name in front of the people who are interested in your artistic style and message.
Many artists spend a lot of time to build their email list but do nothing with it after people subscribe.
The end result, their biggest asset for their online art business goes ice cold.
Below are some easy to implement strategies that will keep your email list looking forward to your next newsletter.
Publish Your Newsletters On A Regular Schedule
Every artist is going to have a unique audience.
Knowing who your audience is will help you to determine how many times a month you should be sending newsletters.
I recommend you to send at least one newsletter a month. Anything less will increase the chance of your subscribers forgetting who you are.
When you decide what works best for you and your audience, stick with it. Consistency is the key to success.
Write Enticing Subject Lines
Your subject lines will be the first thing your audience will see when they open their email.
The objective of your subject line is to grab the attention of your subscribers.
Subject lines that tent to perform the best are descriptive, personal, and give the subscriber a reason to open the newsletter.
CoSchedule has a free email subject line tester that will show you how effective your subject line will be.
Visit CoSchedule Email Subject Line Tester to see how effective your subject line will be.
Provide What You Promise
Providing an interesting subject line is one way to get your subscribers to open your newsletters but if you do not deliver content that backs up the subject line they will be less likely to open future emails.
One of the best strategies you can use is to always produce valuable content that is above and beyond what you provide on your site. You can accomplish this by writing new content for your audience or just provide links to posts you have written. A/B test to see what works best for your subscribers.
How To Improve Your Newsletter
One of the best ways to improve your newsletters is to write as if you were writing to a friend.
How many emails do you delete without opening because you know that it is just another email that is trying to sell something to you?
Your subscribers get bombarded with the same number of emails you do.
You can stand out by providing a newsletter that is personal and lets them get to know you. Doing so will not only improve your email open rate but you will also build their trust and connect them to your artwork on a more personal level. When they are ready to purchase artwork either for themselves or as a gift they will think of you first.
Tools For Building An Email List
There are many different strategies you can try to build your email list like offering free products or services but today I would like to talk about two tools that will help you to increase your email subscribers.
The first tool I would like to share with you is Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads is a lead generation plugin created for WordPress.
Thrive Lead Features:
- Easy to design opt-in forms with a simple drag and drop editor
- Increase conversions by showcasing highly target offers
- A/B test to see what works best with your unique audience
- Actionable insights that will help you to be more productive with your opt-ins
The next WordPress plugin I would like to share with you is OptinMonster
There are over 700,000 websites using OptinMonster to build their email list including Harvard University, McAfee, Pinterest, and American Express.
- You have a choice of pre-built templates or you can build one from scratch with an easy drag-and-drop builder
- Target and personalize your offers with behavior automation
- A/B testing, edit in real-time
Email Marketing Solutions
The ability to make an emotional connection with your target audience and your artwork starts with telling a story.
Instead of stating you are selling the art, you are showcasing, start off by telling the story behind the art.
- What motivated you to start the project?
- What was your inspiration?
- What is the message you are trying to get across with your creation?
- What makes the finished piece special to you?
Keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of time to connect your art with a potential buyer.
Keep your story short and to the point. Make every word count.
If you become long-winded you will lose your reader and you will lose a sale.
Email Marketing Tip – Create Urgency
After the story, you will want to transition to why you sending your email.
This is when you will want to create a sense of urgency.
If you can create a stronger sense of urgency on your landing page or websites, then you can successfully spur people to do what you want them to do on your page (i.e., convert). Urgency causes people to act quickly. Many of the problems that affect conversions are issues of cognitive friction — people think too hard, wait too long, or simply don’t respond to our calls-to-action. Raising the urgency level cuts through a lot of this delay to create a significant improvement to conversion rates. (Source: Marketing Land, Post written by Neil Patel)
Here are some examples I have used to create urgency for my email list:
“For A Limited Time Save 20% Off This New Drawing Only Available To My VIP Collectors.”
“Buy Now And Save %15 Off Your Prints. Sale Ends Soon.”
“Now That You Know Why It Is So Important To Me To Help Protect Wildlife, I Will Be Donating 25% For Each Print Sold by Sunday.”
Every newsletter should have one clear call to action. Do not overwhelm your readers with multiple options.
It has been shown one call-to-action will produce better results than offering several.
Develop an art marketing plan for the year, mapping out what you would like to carry out.
Final Thoughts On Email Marketing For Artists
The last thing I would like to cover in this post is the importance of reviewing the statistics of your marketing strategy.
Not every strategy will produce the same results for everyone.
You will want to log the results of every tactic you implement.
Over time you will start to see what works best for your unique audience.
In just a few months your efforts will be rewarded with an increase in sales.
The best way to learn is by learning from your mistakes.
A mistake is not a fail, it is another step closer to you reaching your goals.
Instead of being discouraged because an email did not produce the results you were hoping for, think of it as a learning experience. The next email you write will be better and more productive.
Are you excited about selling your art or increasing the sales you already have? This Email Marketing Guide will help you build your email list. Start spending your energy on what will give you the best return.
Be patient. It will take time for you to learn what works best for your audience.
I hope you enjoyed this Email Marketing Guide. Let me know how it is working for you.
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Popular Art Marketing And Sales Tutorials
Are you ready to take your art business to the next level?
Investing in marketing courses and tutorials will maximize your profit and speed up the growth of your business.
Below are some of the most popular art marketing courses that will grow your online art business:
Most Popular – How to Make a Living Selling What You Make by Megan Auman
Most Popular – Build a Successful Creative Blog by April Bowles-Olin
How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft by Megan Auman
Pinterest Marketing for Makers & Designers by Megan Auman
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