by guest blogger Mckenna Hallett
Some people have a knack for putting out tidbits of interesting stuff. They can fire up a tweet and get great conversations started on Facebook. They just seem natural at reaching out and engaging. They blog every week and it’s always a good read.
There are others who simply have full-time “writer’s block.” They post a picture here and there or might “like” a post here and there, but they just don’t go out of their way to express thoughts. They tell me that they feel like they have no words “worth sharing.” Or they just can’t think of anything to say. And then suddenly, they aren’t saying much of anything. They are not marketing their business.
It’s emailing where I see the biggest struggles – even for the prolific bloggers. But emails are still the number one most effective marketing that anyone can do today. Way more important than social media. With the recent changes at Facebook, more people are returning to this “old fashioned” marketing.
If you find yourself at a loss for words, there is a big chunk of ideas at the end of this article. But first, I want to share the foundations of email marketing to help you “quick-start” that next email:
- Put a picture of your stunning art right near the top. Everyone loves getting an email from an artist! Artists have among the lowest rates of unsubscribes. For those who have a hard time “writing” or coming up with something to write about: a picture is truly worth a thousand words. A simple title and/or description and you are basically done.
- Know your target market and streamline your message each time. Whatever you are sending needs to be clear. Not, “Hey buy this!” exactly, but if every email lists a series of offers for many different items and then has another entire agenda about “what I did on my trip to New York City,” it will make the email “noisy.” Even if you paint landscapes and portraits – try to unbundle them in your email marketing. Do one genre per email. Keep the message simple and obvious.
- Divide your emails into one of two categories: informational or promotional with emphasis on mostly informational. (Of course, technically, the goal is to always be promoting. However, I am sure you get the distinction.) An email that simply shares a tip or story will help you grow or maintain a trusted relationship. Maybe it’s showing how you prepare a canvas or that trip to New York City. Informational emails are great for anyone who blogs, of course. And blogs are a natural place to deposit people with a “Call to Action” or CTA. And once you have them visiting your site, they just might start looking at your art all on their own.
- Keep the promotional emails infrequent. A promotional email is about directing your list towards considering ownership. That means you are telling them about opportunities, like an opening, or new work now available, or an open studio. You are using the CTA to get them to a landing page where they might RSVP or you might even drop them into a shopping cart. If you keep the promotional emails ratio to about 20%, there is virtually no resistance. They may not click-through to your website, but they are not going to unsubscribe either.
- Use a program that gives you analytics. Whether you have 25 or 2500 people on your list, you need to pay attention to your results. You can gain enormous marketing information by open rates and click-through rates – it’s invaluable to know who did what when. Learn from these stats and grow your strategies.
- Grow your list. Growing a list is an entirely other subject. But I can’t share tips without sharing that thought!
Now – here are some ideas (more than a years’ worth!) for informational emailing content. Start with a pic and a few words to fill in the blanks.
Studio moments, half-finished art, before and after art, visit to a local art show, before and after a re-hanging at a gallery, an opening (yours or anyone’s), pictures of objects or places that inspire your art, your favorite classical artist and what is inspirational in their art, pictures (with permission) of someone who just bought your art, pics of your art in its new home with your collector (and a testimonial!), pics of you in the “shipping department,” a video of you stretching a canvas or opening your kiln, pics of you covered with paint, pics of your palette, pics of your local supply shop, pics of you at an art fair, pics of your art books, pics of your family, pets, or artist group…..
I need to take a breath! But let’s keep this going in the comments! And if you have ideas for promotional emails – share those, too.