Email Marketing For Artists

  • Why Email Marketing For Artists?

    Why Email Marketing For Artists?

    As an artist, you’re already on social media

    Facebooks and Instagrams of this world

    You also probably have a website with your art.

     

    So why email?

    Who uses email anyway in the 21st century?

     

    Well, the people who sell millions worth of art do

    Art Galleries!

    Here's a quote from Artsy Gallery Insights: 2020 Report:

     

    "The most lucrative marketing tactic for driving art sales in 2019 was email marketing. This aligns strongly with the most commonly reported source of sales: existing clients. Having a dedicated gallery newsletter to send out regular updates, press releases, and exhibition announcements is one of the best ways to keep clients up to date and engaged with a gallery’s program."

     

    As the chart on the right shows, art galleries make most sales with Email Marketing

    Better yet, Email Marketing is the 2nd least expensive marketing channel for them

    And definitely for the artists too.

  • Do I have anything to share? Do I have anything to share? Do I have anything to share? Do I have anything to share? Do I have anything to share? Do I have anything to share?

    Do I have anything to share?

    I can't remember who said that (leave me a note please if you remember)

    But I read it somewhere that...

    Art collectors love the artist as much as the art

     

    For those of us who can't paint, artists are magicians

    Art collectors love to learn even minute details about their favorite artists and art

     

    Here are a few ideas for content:

    • Explain one of your paintings
    • What did you feel when you created it
    • What technique do you use, why this and not the other
    • What are you inspired by now?
    • What is your next project?
    • Where did you exhibit and how did it go?
    • What are your thoughts on the current situation in the world?
    • Why do you paint X, Y, Z

     

    All of them are great content

    All of them are worth sharing

  • Which platform should I use?

    Which platform should I use?

    Well, this one is easy.  MailChimp.

     

    12 million people are already using it

    It dominates the market with 68% market share

    Constant Contact, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, MailerLite, etc?

    Well below 10% of the market share

    So I'd stick the leader

     

    It is Simple.

    It is Friendly.

    It is Free (in most cases)

     

    I used it and recommend it

  • What MailChimp does for you What MailChimp does for you What MailChimp does for you What MailChimp does for you

    What MailChimp does for you

    • Nice looking emails
      • Several templates
      • Several themes
      • Good looking fonts

     

    • High email delivery rates
      • MailChimp ensures your email won't ened up in Spam/Junk folders
      • It follows 60+ anti-spam rules with emails it sends

     

    • Sophisticated analytics
      • Who read it
      • When they read it
      • Who clicks on your links
      • What they click on

     

    • Built-in mailing list management
      • Easy unsubscribe button
      • Easy to import/export your mailing list from/to CRM
  • How to collect emails? How to collect emails? How to collect emails? How to collect emails?

    How to collect emails?

    Most people are very cautious about giving out their emails.

    Always ask if they want to sign up

    And only send to those who expressed interest.

     

    My personal best places to collect emails?

     

    1. Art Fairs, Open Studios, Gallery opening
      1. If you’re working with gallery, ask them to share emails of people who expressed interested in your art
      2. Open Studios:  hold the guestbook in your hand, pass it on to people who come in.  People rarely decline
      3. Art Fairs: same as open studios, don't just give out cards, do have a nice guestbook
    2. Your Website
      1. Make the “Subscribe” page very prominent in the top navigational menu
      2. Have “Leave a comment” form in your blog to collect emails
      3. Use a “squeeze page” layout (watch this video for more on: Squeeze Page Formula)

     

    And don’t fret too much, everyone knows how to use the “unsubscribe” button.  

    And it is OK, if people do.  (But that depends more on your email content than anything else)

  • Your audience Your audience Your audience Your audience Your audience

    Your audience

    People who have subscribed to your newsletter:

    • Already like, if not, love your art
    • Probably want to follow you
    • Want to get to know your better
    • At some level, they see themselves in you
    • There’s something very intimate that you’re sharing with them

     

    In my experience, my unsubscribe rates are very low.  On average, 0.5% of people will unsubscribe a month (and several more will join the mailing list at the same time).  

     

    Email marketing might sound intrusive and uncomfortable at first, but in my experience I really enjoy the interaction.  The feedback and love from people, knowing that they read what I have to share.

     

    Your audience will include:

    • Your friends
    • Other artists
    • Art collectors
    • Gallerists, curators, art consultants
    • Your mom, dad, sister, brother and the entire extended family :)
  • Content Best Practices Content Best Practices Content Best Practices Content Best Practices

    Content Best Practices

    1. Keep them personal

     

    For me, emails are personal and some are even intimate

    There’s a certain trust that is building up with each letter

    People I talk with don’t just give me “Likes”, they give me their time and attention

     

    1. Keep the right image to text ratio

     

    We live in a world of short attention span

    It is still easier for us to “read” images than text

    I recommend using 1 image for 1 paragraph of text

     

    1. Beautiful template, your brand

     

    As an artist, you have developed excellent aesthetic sense

    Better than most of us, you sense colors and form

    You can use it in the email to your advantage

    MailChimp makes it easy with templates and themes

    Layout, logo, background color, all are tools at your disposal

    All communicate who you are and make your emails stand out

     

  • Content Best Practices, Cont. Content Best Practices, Cont. Content Best Practices, Cont.

    Content Best Practices, Cont.

    1. Content as a launching pad

     

    Email is just a preview of what you have to say and show

    No one, no one(!) likes to read long emails

    So use your email as a launching pad to your other content

    Use buttons (not just hyperlinks), buttons are more visible

     

    Every email section should have a call-to-action, e.g.:

    • Read my blog
    • Visit my new website
    • Take a look at my painting unclose
    • Buy my work
    • Fill my survey
    • Come to my Open Studios, Gallery Art Exhibition, etc

     

    1. Give back

     

    As with anything, always Give Back!

    Give back to the community by promoting other artists

    Promote art events around you

    Give something back to your art collectors

    Could be a gif, a pleasant photo of your garden, your favorite pet photo

    Something that gives them joy

    My personal rule of thumb, 20-25% of my email content is the “Give Back!” content

     

  • How often should I sent them? How often should I sent them?

    How often should I sent them?

    Most people are inundated with emails, that’s no secret

    Some companies (e.g. Artsy.com) recommend sending multiple times a week

    I find that is too often

    I feel like all they want is my money

    And.. they keep on recycling the same content

    (Today I received their email with the 2016 content... Thanks, Artsy )

     

    For me personally, once a month is the perfect cadence.

    It takes me 1-2 days to craft a good email

    Often, I need to write a blog or prepare quality images for it

    A month gives me enough content to share

    Spending more time than that on email marketing for artists... is too much

     

    If your readers want more frequent updates from you

    Then, they’ll follow you on Facebook or Instagram

     

    Once a month, has “a pleasant surprise” feel to it

    If your email is done right, it has that “unwrapping a gift” feel to it

  • Emails are Effective

    Emails are Effective

    My email open rate for the last several months is in this chart

    Started at ~40% and is now up to ~60%

    My click rate is 6-8% (people who clicked on links in the email)

     

    This is a high rate for all forms of marketing (knock on wood)

    Average across all industries email marketing open rate is 15-25%

    While Facebook click-through-rate is 2-5%

    And Instagram click-through-rate is 0.5%

     

    Averages for artists specifically on MailChimp are:

    • 27% email open rate
    • 3% click-through rate

     

    So email marketing for artists still remains quite effective 

    People still love arts and artists and like to hear from them

  • Happy Writing!

    Happy Writing!

    And on this pleasant note,

    Let's get to writing!  Emails at least :)

     

    If you like this guide, please see my other guides for artists:

     

    Leave me a comment below, please!  I'd love to hear your thoughts

     

    And please add me to your mailing list, I'd love to read them:

    max@arthousesf.com

     

    Yours truly,

     

    Max Khusid

    June 2, 2020