Build Your Email Subscriber List

by Carolyn Edlund

How do artists increase their sales?  By staying in touch with prospects over time through email campaigns. Here’s how to get that subscriber list built.


How Artists Can Build an Email Subscriber List


The best way to cultivate collectors is to follow up with them. Contact your fans with news and images of your artwork on a regular basis, because the vast number of sales are made after numerous contacts. Email marketing provides a perfect vehicle for that type of ongoing marketing. But it is permission-based, which means you need to establish a list of subscribers who have “opted-in” and want to hear from you. Here’s how to get that list started and grow it.

Start with Your Network

If you’re just beginning, ask your family and friends to be on your list to launch your database. They probably already love your art, and will be glad you asked!

When you meet someone new and the conversation turns to what you do, offer to share your work with them via email, and get their address. They can unsubscribe easily, so there is no long-term commitment.

Look through your current contact list to find people you know who are interested in art (and who isn’t?) Reach out to them through a personal email asking if you can keep them updated via emails once a month. When they respond, add them to the list.

Ask people in your art community to subscribe. Do artists want to receive emails from other artists? Sure. Support each other by cross-subscribing and make referrals whenever possible.

Collect Names at Events

Whenever you make a sale at a show or fair, ask the customer if you can stay in touch with additional art, or to invite them to other local events. They will likely say yes.

In conversation with potential customers who do not buy, ask if you can keep them apprised of new releases and upcoming events. Or, take a photo of a work they are considering, and email it to them with information, a price, and a link to your website – and ask to stay in touch. This is a great way to hold on to fans who love your art!

Place a guestbook or clipboard in your show booth for visitors to sign up to your “VIP List” for occasional emails and news. Make a point to invite them verbally to sign up.

Plan a giveaway at a fair, festival or open studio event and collect business cards as entries. On your sign, mention it subscribes them to your mailing list.

Got printed marketing collateral? Use a QR code which can be scanned by a smartphone and leads to your subscriber form. They are free to make; find a generator here. You can also place the codes on shipping labels, in direct mailing materials, on booth signage or in press kits.

Gather Emails Online

Create a subscriber form on your art website, asking visitors to sign up for your list. Some artists offer an incentive, like free shipping or a discount on a future order. Or, just ask them to sign up for VIP previews and special offers.

Feed your list by linking to your subscriber form from social media. Place a “subscribe” button on your Facebook business page. Create a link to your form to place on Twitter or Instagram, or on a Pinterest board. Add a link to your LinkedIn profile.

Add an email subscriber link in your email signature. You can easily generate one here.

When you do send email campaigns, include a sign-up link. When emails are forwarded, the recipient easily can sign up too.

Do you blog? Place a subscriber link at the bottom of every post (like the one at the bottom of this article!)



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