Would you like a low-cost way to communicate directly to your art collectors?
Are you discouraged because your social media posts are not reaching your fans?
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 for selling art online post.
Ultimate Email Marketing Guide for Selling Art Online
By the end of this post, you will know…
- The benefits of an email list
- How to collect emails
- What opt-in forms are
- Best opt-in forms for WordPress
- What lead magnets are
- Popular EMS used by artists
- Email marketing tips for small businesses
- What you should include in a newsletter
How many times 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 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.
Email Marketing Guide for Selling Art Online
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 someones attention you need to build their trust.
Someone is not going to 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 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 get them to join your email list.
Why do you need an 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
One of your top priorities for operating an art business should be collecting emails.
It does not matter if you are showing your art at craft fairs, art shows, art galleries, or online.
Make it easy for people to opt-in to your email list.
The more people that sign up for your email list the better your chance of landing sales become.
How can you 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 they seem interested, ask if they would like to join your email list to learn more. You never know who will be your next collector.
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.
- 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 happen everywhere.
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
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 where they can give you their personal email address.
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 on your site.
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 of their work to people interested in joining their newsletter.
Offer a little taste of what you create to your new audience.
Be creative and think of different 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.
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 service could end up in a SPAM folder and looks unprofessional.
There are free EMS services available for small business to use for their newsletters as well as paid services.
A popular EMS used by many artists and companies is AWeber.
- Sign Up Forms
- API And Integrations
- Import A List
- Split Testing
- Email Marketing Tracking
- Email Deliverability Rate
FREE PDF from AWeber – What To Write In Your Emails
Related Post: 7 Email Services for the Artist Selling Art Online
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 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.
Small Business Email Marketing
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 what your objectives are prior to developing an art marketing plan.
Every newsletter you write should have a purpose.
If you do not know the reason why you are writing to your email list you are wasting your reader’s time and your 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 if you sell art online, your email list will be your big money-maker.
What Should Be Included Your Newsletter
Deciding what should be included 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.
You might want to consider adding a section for your latest blog posts. Include the title of the blog post, a few sentences and a “Read More” link to the blog post.
Including your posts will increase the traffic to your blog and will give your readers a chance to catch up if they have not had time to visit your site in some time.
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 for 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 it 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.
How To Build 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.
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.
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
28 Day Blogging Challenge for Visual Artists
Are you ready to start building an online presence?
Available on Amazon or Download your copy today.
The Productive Artist How to Live Your Dreams
The right mindset and time management skills are essential for any business. These topics are often not talked about but are key elements for your success. You will learn how to have a winning mindset and time management skills necessary for operating a successful art business.
Get More Done in Less Time The Part-time Artist
Proven strategies that will help you to get more work done in less time so you can sell more art and earn more money.
Available at Amazon or Download your copy today.
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