Email Marketing for Artists – Part 1

By Carolyn Edlund

Want to build website traffic, and have more opportunities to get in front of potential customers? Building and using an email database of your contacts is crucial to maximize your exposure and create repeat sales of your work.


Email Marketing. Learn about it at


Email subscriptions are “permission marketing” which means that the people on your list agreed to receive communications from you. Sending newsletters to people who didn’t give permission is spam, and is illegal. Here are nine basics for setting up and creating an email subscription offering and newsletter:

Subscription Opt-In. Every artist needs a good website. An email subscription sign-up box should be “above the fold” on your site.

Providers. You can create email newsletters for your subscribers through inexpensive or free services such as Constant Contact, AWeber or Mail Chimp. They provide an easy, customizable template and many other advantages.

Branding. Customize your newsletters by branding them with the same look as your website, business card, and other promotional materials. This consistency looks more professional, and makes your business communications more memorable.

Visuals. Incorporate images into your newsletter – use your personal photo (that’s important!) and your art, of course, including your most recent work. This is a great way to keep your collectors updated on new items they may want to buy from you.

Timing. Newsletters should be sent out on a consistent basis, but not too frequently, to avoid subscribers “opting out”. Monthly or every six weeks is a good rule of thumb.

Drive Traffic. Use your newsletter to incorporate multiple links back to your website, to increase traffic and get potential buyers to check out what’s new. The more they are exposed to your work, the more likely visitors are to make a purchase.

Manage. Use the tracking tools and reports available on your email marketing service to manage your list and analyze effectiveness. You will see who opened your email, and when, and who clicked links to visit your website. You will also see which recipients unsubscribed from your list.

Experiment. Use “split-testing” to find out how to make a more effective newsletter. Choose one factor, such as a subject line, headline, or image that you want to vary. Send one version to half your list, and the other version to the other half. Your analytics will show which was more effective in getting opens and click-throughs. Use this information to tailor further communications for better results.

Content. What do your subscribers want to know? Make sure your newsletter content is of value. Create compelling “teaser” intro paragraphs that link back to pages on your website. These might show you creating in the studio, announce upcoming events, or feature new work. Make it interesting, using headlines that grab attention so that your readers want to know more.

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  1. I think a quick email with a few images and a bit about the artist is good because it acts as a
    teaser, similar to what adwords and other campaigns do.

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