While creating and maintaining a thriving website is a huge part of a successful art business, you need more to keep people interested and coming back. Although your audience may enjoy your work, they likely follow hundreds of artists. They might find it difficult to check up on all of them frequently.
That’s where your mailing list comes in. A mailing list is a great way to remind new and returning clients that you exist and have new content.
If you need a bit of guidance when designing your mailing list, here are a few dos and don’ts for you to keep in mind.
Don't: Be Sales-y
While you do want to sell art through your mailing list, you don’t want to come across as too salesy. Subscribers will assume that you want them to buy something every time you’re sending an email, and they won’t hesitate to unsubscribe.
To avoid this, try ending your emails with a “soft sell.” You can do this by directing them to your website where they can find work for sale. Potential buyers can feel free to view your art at their leisure; they don’t feel pressured to purchase anything.
Do: Talk About New Art
In each email you send out, don’t hesitate to talk about the new art that you’ve been creating. Even if you haven’t finished the piece, your subscribers will be interested in updates or some insight on it. If you recorded a behind-the-scenes video, go ahead and include that in the newsletter! People love to see the process behind the artwork, and it’s a great time to showcase new pieces without being salesy.
You can pique their interest by dropping a few hints and photos. When you do release your new piece, you’ll be sure that your email subscribers will be first in line to put in a bid.
Don’t limit yourself to only your art. Feel free to discuss art you’ve seen in the industry or what artists you’re currently interested in. Your subscribers will get to know you on a personal basis and find out what you’re into. As a result, they’ll feel much more connected to you.
Don't: Spam Your Subscribers
This is quite possibly the most important tip: don’t spam your subscribers. While you do want to keep in contact with those on your email list, a few spammy emails can leave you without one entirely.
Avoid emailing your subscribers every day or even multiple times a week. Aim for once every two weeks or maybe even once a month. People will remember who you are without feeling annoyed every time your name pops up in their inbox.
Do: Update Them About Blog Posts
If your website has an art blog, you’re welcome to include those in your newsletter. Your subscribers want to get to know you better, and blog posts are a great way to do that. They can see what you’ve been up to, what you’re interested in, your likes and dislikes, etc. Additionally, your blog posts can serve as a platform to share thoughts on noteworthy events in your local art community.
Blog posts are a perfect way to draw attention back to the art you have for sale. Always include a miniature call to action at the end of your blog posts to direct them to your other art on your website.
Don't: Have Confusing Forms
Although that multicolored, flashing form on your website is hard to miss, it may have an unwanted effect. The last thing you want is for potential subscribers to feel confused while trying to sign up for your newsletter.
Review your subscription form and check to see what it looks like before you launch it. Choose a simple and straightforward form, and only ask for the necessary information. Ask for first and last name, email, maybe their birthday, and you should be good to go.
Make sure that your emails are easy to read. They should be easy to forward to friends if your subscribers wish to do so. You can go the extra mile by including social share buttons in each email to make it a breeze for them to share with friends and family.
Do: Use an Email Marketing Service
You don’t have to create an email list all by yourself. You can choose from dozens of email marketing services out there.
Some email service providers are free, and others cost a small fee after gaining a certain number of subscribers. You can choose a free service when you begin and update as you grow your subscriber list.
Don't: Email Sporadically
We’ve all opened our inbox to find emails from companies we haven’t heard from in months. Don’t be that person. To remain fresh in your subscriber’s minds, you need to email them frequently.
To keep in contact with your audience, pick a schedule that works for you, and stick to it. This way, people won’t click “unsubscribe” when they can’t remember who you are.
Do: Create a Newsletter Schedule
In line with the tip above, to avoid sporadic emails, create a newsletter schedule. Whether this means that you send out emails once or twice a month or once a week, people will get used to seeing your name in their inbox. They’ll start to expect your emails and may even begin to look forward to them.
Now that you’ve got a few tips and tricks under your belt, it’s time to launch your mailing list. Don’t worry about it being perfect; just get out there and make one! The sooner you have a mailing list, the faster you can grow your art business.