Email Marketing for Artists: How to Promote Your Art Effectively
Many artists have the same burning concern: “How can I make more sales? They know it is hard work to find potential customers”.
Holding open studio events, exhibiting at art fairs and festivals, and staying current on social media channels are just a few ways to gain exposure and spread the word about your artwork.
But what happens if you’ve met someone who loves your art? While it can happen, it is rare that a sale is immediately made on the first meeting or contact. That potential customer could easily walk away from your booth, or click away from your website and never return. You’re then officially “out of sight, out of mind,” as they say. Don’t let that happen!
The secret of cultivating art sales is to stay in touch with those who admire your work. They must come to know who you are, see your artwork over and over, and trust you before committing to a purchase and pulling out their wallet.
That’s where email marketing comes into play! Regular monthly contact through emails can keep your art in front of people you want to reach.
But how can you promote email marketing for your artwork? You’ll find the answer in this guide! Let’s get started!
Table of contents
- Why do artists need email marketing?
- 6 art newsletter ideas to inspire you
- How to build your art email list
- 7 best practices for your art email newsletter
- It’s time to promote your art!
Why do artists need email marketing?
Creating a buzz for yourself as well as getting your artwork out there is super hard! Many artists try their digital luck by building a website and claiming their handle on diverse social media platforms.
While all of these initiatives can increase your reach, you are not building your audience in one safe place. You have to depend on them to come back to you. When people click follow on social media, you have to rely on the platform in question in order to work in your favor.
Nowadays, even when you gain a new Facebook or Instagram follower, this doesn’t guarantee that your content will actually end up in their newsfeed. So far for your artwork being seen.
The solution? Use a robust email marketing strategy to build your art email list. By collecting email addresses, you’re able to talk to people directly.
To be specific, you should start email marketing right now because:
- You have control of your mailing list. You don’t have control of your social media accounts.
- Talking to your email list can keep you from fading away.
- You can sell to your email list.
- Email is highly personal.
- Email marketing automation can do a lot of work for you while you sleep.
6 art newsletter ideas to inspire you
As a matter of fact, art is a luxury good. That means people are not buying pieces regularly, but rather invest in art occasionally. Remember this when emailing your newsletters.
So, instead of focusing on fast sales, you should put your efforts into building a long-lasting relationship. Make your newsletter content unique, engaging, and must-have as your art pieces.
In this section, we’ll introduce 6 ideas together with real examples to inspire you.
1. Welcome email
A welcome email is your first impression with subscribers. Keep it positive and of course, thank them for joining your email list first. Then, you can share:
- What types of emails to expect from you
- If you have a gallery or store, where it is and how they can check it out
- Invite subscribers to join your social media channels
Let’s take a look at the welcome email from Lovepop.
You can read the full email right here.
2. Invitations and announcements to show openings
Newsletters announcing upcoming shows, exhibitions, or vernissages are common in art email marketing campaigns. Make your newsletter aesthetically pleasing by inserting the announcement flyer or other relevant images. Use the text to make your reader curious and excited about coming to your event.
For example, let’s see the beautiful newsletter design from the New York Academy of Art.
Don’t forget to write details of:
- How to buy tickets
- How to reach the venue
- Timings of the show
- Kind of art to expect
This will make it easy for your audience to take action and make a plan. And you just got visitors without spending on costly ad campaigns or jumbo size posters.
If you really want to give them an incentive to act, give them a coupon code that they can use to get free drinks at your show or enter before anyone else, etc.
3. Information about art news and local events
Give your audience the privilege of always being the first to know about your opening, new installations or collections, premium or limited edition prints, local events, and more. That exclusive benefit also makes for a good CTA for people to sign up for your art newsletter.
In the example underneath, you can see how Art Basel shares the latest art news.
4. Advice and skills sharing
Why not reveal a few tricks of the trade? We believe your readers would love to know about your techniques, which tools you use, and what best practices you follow.
Use your art newsletter in order to share your secrets or promote an upcoming workshop that you organize, just like the way New York School of the Arts does below.
5. Behind-the-scenes and work in progress
People usually love peeking into an artist’s process. Thus, to add a human touch, take your audience behind the scene to show your process, studio, setup, tools, etc. Make them feel that they’re “insiders” now as you are letting them into your life with these sneak-peeks.
6. Sales, specials, and freebies
Once you’ve nurtured a strong relationship with your audience by giving free content, tips, insider info, etc., it’s high time to build a transactional relationship.
You can start by offering a discount or giving away a freebie. Let your art shine with high-quality images and persuading copy. Remember to keep it authentic and don’t be pushy.
For instance, with high-quality images and modern layout, Marc Johns makes his newsletters always a joy to receive.
Most of them will not take out their wallets as soon as you say “buy now.” You should create an email campaign that runs for a few days and inform them about various kinds of pieces on sale, the story behind them, as well as where they can buy it.
How to build your art email list
From defining your ideal target audience to collecting your first subscribers - let’s explore how to build your email list as an artist.
Define your ideal target audience
When building your email list, you would like to target the right audience so you can focus on conversations with prospects, interested fans, and valuable connections.
For an art business or artist, your email list audiences could be:
- Family and friends
- Fans and frequent visitors
- Business contacts
- Art dealers, artists, designers, and other art professionals
- Influencers in the art scene, such as bloggers and critics
- (Local) news and magazine editors
Collect email addresses online via web and social media
To collect subscribers, add various email signup forms on different pages of your website, or include a link in your email signature. By enabling your fan base to opt-in to your email list, you are increasing your email deliverability, that is, landing right into their inbox.
Social media is also an awesome way to grow your email list. You can direct visitors to your website and get them to sign up through embedded forms and pop-ups, or create an opt-in landing page and then simply add the link to your profiles.
Collect email addresses in person
Apart from online, you can also attract new subscribers offline.
Below are some ideas to collect email subscribers offline:
- Ask gallery/ studio visitors to subscribe via an offline app for tablets or mobile devices
- Ask for permission when talking to prospects on the phone
- Use your own existing network and invite people in person
7 best practices for your art email newsletter
Below are 7 things you should be thinking about when sending your art email newsletter.
1. Segment your subscribers
Segmentation simply means grouping your subscribers that share similar traits.
For instance, you might choose to segment people who have bought your artwork and those who haven’t. You can also segment your audience by their taste in art or what type of connection they are (prospect or journalist?).
The criteria to segment can vary depending on your strategy. You can actually segment based on demographics, location, purchase history, or engagement level.
If you have a group of people who haven’t opened any of your emails in the past month, you can send a re-engagement email campaign specific to this group. Similarly, you can deliver pre-launch content to your super-engaged audience (your most loyal fans) and get their feedback.
Once you have created these segments, you’re able to send each group a tailored newsletter.
2. Focus on your email subject line
What is the SINGLE and ONLY job of an email subject line?
To get the email opened.
Your email subject line should be designed to encourage recipients to open your email. We’ve written a lot of blog posts on this matter. Some typical posts are:
- How to Write Best Subject Lines for Open Rates?
- The Guide for Email Subject Line Testing
- 33 Holiday Email Subject Lines and Most Favored Emojis
3. Automate your emails
One reason why email marketing works so efficiently is that you don’t actually need to send your emails manually every time.
With automation, you can:
Send welcome emails. You can actually pre-define a series of welcome emails introducing subscribers to you, your art, and what to expect in the next emails. And these will be periodically and automatically delivered to your subscriber. You can thus keep them engaged.
Automate getting feedback from people who bought your artwork or attended your workshop
Send birthday or anniversary wishes to your recipients automatically
4. Avoid the spam box
If most of your emails can’t reach recipients’ inboxes, your campaigns mean nothing.
So, how to stay out of the spam box?
- Avoid spammy words that are often used to make claims or outrageous offers, such as “100% off,” “free,” “$$$.”
- Use correct spelling and grammar
- Link only to legitimate websites with reputable domains
- Don’t use image-only emails
- Let people unsubscribe easily
5. Include a solid CTA
Don’t skimp on the CTA part of your newsletter.
A single CTA could shift your readership from passive readers to active buyers. And that is really a good thing, right?
Think about the aim of your newsletter. Do you want your readers to click back to your website? Download a file? View more of your work? Make a purchase?
For example, if you’ve written an e-book about your art process and want your readers to purchase it, emphasize it in your CTA button, and give them a clickable link to do so.
6. Send your emails regularly and reasonably
It’s best to decide how often you’d like to send your newsletter and stick to a schedule, so your audience knows exactly what to expect.
Sending out a newsletter every day is not reasonable for anyone and could annoy your recipients. So, it is probably best to send your newsletter at a monthly or bi-monthly interval.
Your main goal should be to deliver a great newsletter often enough to stay top-of-mind with your audience without annoying them.
7. Choose the right email marketing tool
There are lots of email marketing tools out there for you to choose from. However, we believe AVADA Email Marketing can become your wingman in every email marketing campaign.
With AVADA Email Marketing, you can:
Send automation emails. The platform offers pre-done automation email series, which help you follow up with your audiences at any touchpoint. You can automate making money while you’re sleeping.
Create unique email campaigns. With its stunning email templates, you’re able to start your newsletter campaigns in minutes with a simple drag-and-drop editor!
Easily segment your subscribers. AVADA Email Marketing helps you deliver your messages to the right audience at the right moment with advanced segmentation.
Take advantage of various forms. More than just collecting emails, the app lets you deliver promo and useful content or updates to your visitors. Some forms they offer include newsletter popup, spin-to-win, inline form, etc.
The AVADA team is well-known for being friendly, knowledgeable, and professional, so you can use the app with ease. Specifically, the app offers a free plan with the necessary features for you to get started. Don’t hesitate to try it right now!
It’s time to promote your art!
In this blog post, we’ve explained why email marketing is an excellent channel to grow relationships and sell art. Besides, we’ve shown you how to build your email ist, shared some inspiring art newsletter examples, and suggested some strategies for you to follow.
So, what are you waiting for?
You are now ready to bring out your own artsy side and start your very first email newsletter! Good luck!