As an artist, it can be hard to shift your focus from creating art to marketing and selling it. Both require a slightly different set of skills.
It’s even harder to market correctly, using the right channels & right timing.
But it can be pretty straightforward if you use emails as the backbone of your marketing efforts. You get trackable results, actionable insights. And you have the full attention of your audience.
Whether you are a painter, an illustrator, or a sculptor, email is the best choice to spread the word regarding your art – and marketing it, too!
This guide will show you why email marketing is essential, how you can get started and what best practices to follow for best engagement and efficiency. And yes, we also have some ideas on the kind of emails you can send.
You can do that too.
Ask the followers you already have on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to sign up for your email list. Provide them some incentive to do so - like promising to send them exclusive content for free, giving free workshops, discounts to your next exhibition, or promising to share not just your art but your journey as well with private Q&A.
A welcome email is your first impression of you in your subscriber’s mailbox. Keep it positive & of course, thank them for joining your list first. Then you can share:
We always see the finished product from an artist, and for someone who doesn’t paint, sketch or make art... that feels like magic.
So to add a human touch, take your subscribers behind the scenes to show your process, your studio, setup, tools you use, etc. Let them feel that they are ‘insiders’ now as you are letting them into your life with these sneak-peeks.
Whether your art is getting displayed at a gallery or you are putting up a show in your studio, your email subscribers will really appreciate a notification about the event.
Write details of how to buy tickets, if there are any, how to reach the venue, timings of the show, what kind of art to expect. This will make it easy for them to take action and make a plan. And you just got visitors without having to spend on expensive ad campaigns or jumbo size posters.
If you want to give them an incentive to act, let them know a coupon code they can use to get free drinks at the show or enter before everyone else, etc.
Once you have nurtured a strong artists-admirer relationship with your audience by giving free content, insider info, tips, etc., it’s time to build a transactional relationship.
You can show off your art with high-quality images & persuading copy. Of course, keep it authentic and don’t be pushy.
Most of them won’t take out their wallets as soon as you say ‘buy here’, so you can create an email campaign that runs for a few days & informs them about various kinds of pieces on sales, the story behind them, and where they can buy it.
Email marketing saves time and manual effort because you can automate a lot of emails.
You don’t have to keep your brushes down every time someone signs up.
Here are some ideas on emails you can create once and let the system send automatically:
Segmentation means creating different categories of your subscribers and sending content tailored for those particular groups.
The criteria to categorize can vary depending on your strategy. You can segment based on purchase history, engagement level, demographics, or location.
If you have a segment of people who haven’t opened any of your emails in the past month, you can send a re-engagement campaign specific to this group. Similarly, you can send pre-launch content to your super-engaged audience ( your most loyal fans) and get their feedback.
This will maintain good open and click-through rates because the content will be specific to people’s interests.
If your emails don’t reach the inbox, is there even any point in sending those emails?
So before you fuss over subject lines, which template to choose, etc., ensure that you have 90% + email deliverability. It is just a ratio of emails that reached the inbox/total number of emails sent.
If most of your emails are going to spam box, that means your email deliverability is low.
How to stay out of the spam box?
This is definitely not an exhaustive list, so read more; you can check out this blog on email deliverability.
It’s not a straight path to become an established artist, but email marketing can certainly help you. You can finally have a solid strategy to turn your passion into a business if you include email marketing.
The tips and ideas we shared above will be only helpful if you take the first step, sign up for an email marketing software, and just create your first email newsletter. You don’t have to think about all the complex stuff yet.
I would suggest signing up for SendX. Why?
You don't even have to commit anything before you are sure. You just have to give it a try with the 14-day free trial: no credit card or any long-form filling process involved. Sign up here.
1) Why do I need to go for email marketing as an artist?
Whichever type of an artist you are, whether you are a painter, an illustrator, or a sculptor, email is the best choice to spread the word regarding your art. Because, you will get trackable results, actionable insights, and you have the full attention of your audience that have already subscribed.
2) Can you offer some advice on how to grow my email list as an artist?
Here are some top tips to grow your email list as an artist:
- Create and offer valuable content in return for signing up
- Lead your audience from social media to signing up with their email
- Collaborate with other artists and art galleries
- Personally collect emails at art exhibitions and shows.
3) What kind of emails should I be sending as an artist, to consumers of art?
You can send the following types of emails to your audience:
- Welcome emails thanking them for signing up, with setting expectations of the content that you will be sending them
- A behind the scenes sneak-peeks into what goes into making the finished art product
- Invitations to your art exhibitions at art galleries, your own studios, etc.
- Sales emails and promotional emails, after you have built an artist-admirer relationship.
4) Can you share some email marketing best practices for artists?
Some of the best practices for artist's email marketing are as follows:
- Automate emails such as welcome emails, feedback emails, birthday, anniversary emails, etc.
- Segment your subscribers and send them content tailored for those particular groups
- Ensure high email deliverability by staying out of the spam box.