The number one way of marketing art on the internet is to setup an art website. In my opinion, an email newsletter follows close behind in importance for online art promotion.
Many of us have had people who love our work but could not buy it right away. We may hand them a business card, or slip of paper with our phone number and email address.
The problem with this is that these are easily misplaced. The interested person may come across the card sometime, and vaguely remember you, but not enough to pursue the purchase.
To build a list of art fans and art collectors, an email list with accompanying newsletter is in order.
Benefits of Artists Having a Newsletter for Email List Building
- Newsletters help to keep art fans and art collectors up to date with new events, art shows, and highlights in your art career. When people inquire about your artwork at art fairs and exhibitions, ask them to signup for your email newsletter. Have a signup sheet especially for this, with headings for name, email, and address. Your email list can also be gathered from your website or art blog by embedding an online form. All visitors have to do is input their name and email, and maybe click a link in a confirmation email, to start receiving the newsletter.
- Regularly sending out a newsletter at certain intervals will help people become familiar with you, and see you as a person instead of just a picture on a computer screen, or someone they met momentarily at an art fair. They will come to expect a newsletter to arrive at a certain time. People who know and follow you are much more likely to buy your art.
- Newsletters are easy to forward and can create a viral effect, causing the email to reach a much larger audience than originally intended.
- Email newsletters are much cheaper than direct mailing. In fact, there are many free email management programs. Read on to learn about the one we recommend.
How often should email newsletters be sent out?
If you send too many emails, the person may get annoyed and unsubscribe. On the other hand, if you only send a newsletter out once a year, the person may have forgotten all about you, and wonder how you got their email address. There should be a balance.
If you are a full time artist, a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter may be preferred. This will keep readers informed of artworks in production, upcoming shows and events, and other things you want to share. For part-time artists who maybe have a non-art related job, a monthly newsletter may be sufficient to inform fans and collectors of your goings-on during that month.
Gathering email subscribers on an art website or art blog
- Have something to give away as an incentive to signing up. Some artists give away postcards or flyers to new subscribers. Others choose to give away wallpapers or screensavers made from their art. Create a free art ebook, or find one online that is public domain to use to entice signups.
It is much easier to get newsletter subscribers when something free is offered!
- Use an Email management service. Avoid using your regular email, such as Gmail or Yahoo for your mailing list. There are many online, but the one I recommend, MailChimp, is free for up to 2000 subscribers. This is plenty to build a good sized mailing list!
What should you write about for an artist newsletter?
If you run an art blog, and regularly write there, you should already have plenty to write about. Write on upcoming art shows, awards that you have won, ideas for paintings, artworks you are working on, and anything that reveals the inspiration behind your artworks. Do not try to sell them your art (ie please buy my painting!), just explain to them what it is about, and where it can be purchased. Some of these may have purchased from you before – others are still sitting on the fence, hoping to see how your art career progresses.
Let them know you are a serious artist, and the newsletter may result in some art sales. Here is a video about Aweber, one of the most widely used email marketing services.
Now that you know the value of newsletters to grow a list of email subscribers, I will explain in an upcoming post how to create a newsletter of your own using MailChimp.
Stay tuned for that post and please subscribe by email to be instantly notified.
Please signup for our newsletter in the sidebar, where we will be sharing free art promotion tips straight to your inbox!