Anatomy of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

by guest blogger Mckenna Hallett of My Golden Words

10 ways to get started on a kick-ass marketing campaign to sell your art.


Anatomy of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign


If you are like most artists in the world, you need more sales of your art. You need to find homes for your wonderful art. You want to continue painting or creating every day, but the work doesn’t magically find homes. It has to be seen; desire must be created. The buying public must be “in the loop.”

That’s where YOU come in.

If you have been paying attention over the past few years, you know that email marketing is back to being the top go-to advertising and sales tool. It never actually lost its top spot for the professional marketers, but we smaller one-person operations tended to give a lot of time and attention to the new shiny tools that “everyone” was using: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. You were sure that everyone was killing it with Social Media.

We all kept investing more time and more energy on lessons/webinars/forums to conquer the “new” and best strategies. Then they would change and change again. It’s exhausting to think of how many times I had to learn another new rule change for Facebook!

That’s just one of many ways that email marketing totally rules over all the other cyber communications: it really hasn’t changed much at all. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 has not changed one tiny bit. Whatever you learned about proper email marketing rules and laws in 2003 still applies today.

And although there are some marketing rules (with the advent of the smartphone) that have changed how emails look and work, the basics are the same: You hit send, then your subscribers open your email and they click (or reply) to buy or learn more. Moreover, they do this in huge numbers compared to all other forms of online marketing.

Email Marketing was 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined before the changes and lowered reach for Facebook took effect a couple of years ago.

Email Marketing also has the highest ROI (return on investment) at 43 to 1. Spend one dollar and you will get an average of $43 in return.

Getting Emails Back on the Front Burner.

So, how do you get your marketing on track? How do you start creating professional email marketing campaigns that get real results?

1. Get on board with a professional email service provider like Constant Contact (my recommendation), Aweber, or Vertical Response to name a few. Even Mail Chimp can work if you have some technical skills and strong marketing abilities already. You cannot use your regular email programs, like Hotmail, Gmail, etc. They don’t comply with the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act when sending to more than a few people at a time.

2. Get your lists uploaded. Consider segmenting them into clients, admirers, acquaintances, friends, family, co-workers, and anyone you think might enjoy an occasional email from you. If you travel to do shows, remember what a small world it is and don’t leave out your Arizona Show people from your Florida Show people. Remember, your collectors love to hear about your ambitious career adventures. It reminds them that you are a professional and very serious about your art.

3. Have a specific date in mind for a promotion. Grab a calendar and pick a date in the distant future. For example, you should be planning for Valentine’s Day right now! People will use any nudge to justify buying a beloved piece of art!

4. Create a campaign incorporating that specific date. It can be a national holiday, or an event or show you will be at, or a “because.” As in, “I am excited to share this latest creation because it’s the largest copper engraving I have ever attempted.” or “because this is the first in a new series I am starting this year.”

5. Don’t think about selling as the core message. You will not be “selling” per se, but you will be sharing and letting them know, of course, that you have art for sale. They always need to know that you are staying in touch in order to entertain and keep them “in the loop.”

6. Send an email every month at a minimum. You will send additional emails from time to time. Those will often be “special announcements.” Do not wait until your regularly scheduled email monthly date to announce you just got a commission for a large public space. Keep BIG news big! Sending 16 to 18 emails a year, is nothing compared to other social media outreach, right?

7. You are making friends and influencing people. Ration your selling. One email out of four emails can be a harder push. That occasional push is essentially your reason for all the other emails. As they have gotten “no strings attached” correspondence, they will not be offended when you occasionally make them an offer they can’t refuse.

8. Have a specific ending date and make it clear there are consequences if they don’t act in time. Whether it’s a show date or the last possible day that you can ship and guarantee delivery in time for Valentine’s Day, you must include that in your campaign. Urgency is a very important tool in marketing!

9. You must send a 24 to 48 hour reminder: A Last Chance or Don’t Forget email is often the most important one. You will actually get replies from people thanking you!

10. Don’t try to write a novel. Keep the message simple and send them to your website to get the rest of the story. This will greatly influence sales; an email is like a flyer on a bulletin board. Make sure you have the “tear off” contact information.

It should look something like this:


Anatomy of a well-written email marketing


Remember this: KISS! Keep it Short and Simple!

Be brief and get people to your website (or shopping cart) ASAP. Use your list carefully. If you have a cold list, you will need a very different approach, so to avoid getting “cold”, upload new email addresses quickly so new subscribers get in the flow quickly.


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  1. Thanks for this insightful article, Mckenna. I talk to artists every day about their businesses, and always recommend an email marketing program. There isn’t anybody out there who can’t start one, and it is so effective.


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