Build Your List with Email Subscriber Opt-Ins that Work

by Carolyn Edlund

Want to increase the number of subscribers to your art website? Use these strategies to reach more people and put them on your email list.


Build Your List with Email Subscriber Opt-Ins that Work. Read about these business strategies for artists at


Why is list building important?

Building your email list is essential, because it gives you control over communication with a group of people interested in what you offer. Social media followers are great to have, but each social media platform makes their own rules, and decides who you can reach with your posts. Converting followers to your list is a priority online.

Building your list offline is important, too. Selling work online in tandem with personal appearances, exhibiting at art fairs, festivals, open studios, pop up galleries and other events gives prospective collectors a live look at your work, which is the best introduction they can get. Use your art website as your online 24/7 headquarters to present your portfolio and brand, and as a way to share your story.

Exchange business cards with people you meet in person. Place a guest book at shows to encourage signups. Ask people if you can stay in touch with them through email. And then – do it, on a regular monthly basis that places your art and your name in front of them, over and over again. That is the basis for sales. It’s a smart and simple way to follow up – and any salesperson will tell you that “it’s all about the follow up.”


Patty Griffin Email Subscriber Opt-in


How do you gather email subscriber names and emails online?

Your website should have an opt-in form, preferably popping up when visitors come to your website. That opt-in form needs to give them a reason to subscribe to your email campaigns (see the opt-in form above, used by artist Patricia Griffin). Here are some incentives artists have used to gain subscribers:

  • Subscribe to get an exclusive preview of your newest work
  • Sign up to receive free shipping on first purchase
  • Subscribe to be invited to VIP events
  • Register for our list to receive invitations to your shows and fairs
  • Join my list to receive a discount on first purchase
  • Subscribe to get a free download of your art to use as wallpaper (see offer below from artist Paulette Insall)


Paulette Insall Email Subscriber Opt-in


How do you make a subscriber opt-in form?

Open an account with an email service provider, like Mail Chimp, Constant Contact or AWeber. You don’t need to be concerned about the expense, because if you are looking for a low-cost option, Mail Chimp is free for the first 2,000 subscribers.

Build an email subscriber form using the tools and tutorials on your providers’s site. There will be a number of fields to choose from when making a form, but don’t request too much information. Getting a first name and email address will work well. The subscription form you make will receive your signups, and the email service provider will store them for you on their site as you build your email list, and create your campaigns.

Where else can you place opt-in forms on your website?

A popup form is a nice start, but there are actually lots of other places on your website where you can solicit email subscribers. Here are some of them:

  • Place a subscriber offer in a colored bar that sits above the header at the very top of your Home page (similar to a Hello bar).
  • Put a subscriber link or form in a sidebar if you have that in your site layout.
  • Place a subscription offer on your About page.
  • Place a subscription offer on your Contact page.
  • Create a full “landing page” on your website for the purpose of attracting subscribers, telling your story, sharing your art, and extending your offers.
  • Got a blog? Ask subscribers to sign up through a link at the bottom of the article (just like the one at the bottom of this article).
  • Or, place a subscriber request in the middle of a blog post, like the one below.


Love this informative article, and want to learn more? Artsy Shark is filled with tips and insights on building your business as an artist or maker. Subscribe to our twice-monthly newsletter, and grab the free ebook “Where to Sell Art Online” right now!


How else can you use the link to your subscription form online?

Social media sites are perfect places to share your link and attract subscribers. Here are a few ideas:

  • Link your Facebook page to your subscriber opt-in form (see this easy tutorial) Notice the screenshot of Artsy Shark’s Facebook page below; on the left, the menu includes “Join my List” and on the right, a button for “Sign Up” that leads to a subscription form.


Artsy Shark Facebook page with email opt-in


  • You get one link in your Instagram profile, but you can expand that to a whole menu, using Linktree. “Sign up for my list” should be one of those options.
  • Using Pinterest? Pin your subscriber opt-in form to a selected Pinterest board, with a great description of your full offer, and a link to subscribe.
  • On LinkedIn, place a subscriber link on your profile page with a link to your opt-in. Read more about that here.

Then what?

Building an email list is an important activity for any small business owner, but it doesn’t stop there. Sending out regular campaigns is where you get the opportunity to reach out and connect with people who are interested in what you do, and are potential collectors of your work. Learn more about how to construct your first email by reading our informative article “Anatomy of a Successful Email Campaign”.


Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!


Speak Your Mind