Email Marketing for Artists | A New Art Marketing Series

Get the Most from Email Marketing

Email marketing for artistsArtists have a wide variety of art marketing methods at their disposal. Email marketing tops the list.

I trust you listened to the free January 8th podcast with Jason Horejs, owner of Xanadu Gallery, and me. Our topic was “Choosing Marketing Methods to Sell Your Art.”

Among the various traditional and digital art marketing methods discussed, Jason and I singled out email marketing. We believe it is the most effective, efficient, and affordable proactive tool for artists to market their work.

New Art Marketing Series | Best Email Marketing for Artists

There is so much to say about email marketing it cannot be covered in a single post. As such, subscribers will enjoy a series of future posts devoted to helping them master the best email marketing techniques. Subscribe and look for the series coming soon to your Inbox.

Popular Art Marketing Methods

Artists can use all the art marketing methods listed below to gain awareness for and promote their art businesses. Most are covered in-depth as part of my four-hour How to Get Your Work Seen and Sold Webinar:

  • Website
  • Blog
  • Newsletter – email
  • Newsletter – postal
  • E-commerce
  • Email marketing
  • Postal lists
  • Postcards
  • Gallery marketing
  • Social Media
  • Advertising
  • Referrals
  • Press releases
  • Publicity
  • Advertising
  • Affinity marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Broadcast media
  • Podcasts
  • Guest blogging
  • Event marketing
  • Networking

Your Website Keeps You from Being a Digital Sharecropper

Websites and blogs work hand-in-glove with email marketing. Websites have evolved into a necessary art marketing tool for artists. It is imperative to use yours to stake out and own a permanent place on the Internet.

If you rely on some third-party social media platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest as your primary online communication tool, you are helping to build their business and their followers, and not yours. You are not a customer of these social media companies. You are a user. This means you own nothing, and you are owed nothing, including the names and contact information of your friends and followers.

Effective email marketing drives traffic to YOUR website and YOUR blog. Social media can help you develop a vibrant, growing email marketing list. It should never replace your website and blog as the primary means of marketing and selling your art.

Blogging Is a Powerful Tool

A blog is a continuous log, a dynamic communication device between artists and subscribers, namely collectors and fans. Your blog allows you to create new content on regular basis. Fresh content is highly valued by search engines.

With your blog, you create an ongoing dialog with your collectors and best prospects. Use the search box on Art Print Issues’ sidebar to find useful posts on blogging for artists. Download the free Blogging Tips for Artists podcast with Jason Horejs and me. Or search the Internet for many links to information about blogging for artists.

Email Marketing Is a “Must Use” Killer App

When you study the many excellent art marketing methods in the list above, it can understandably be confusing to choose your best options. Email marketing works in perfect unison with your website and your blog.

While your website and blog work together to showcase your work and provide insights into you as an artist, an effective email marketing strategy willgenerate direct sales for you like no other method on the list.

In future posts on this series, we’ll look at:

  • How to build your email marketing list
  • Comparing email marketing services
  • Developing content worth reading
  • Using social media to benefit your email marketing efforts
  • Creating a reusable design and style
  • Scheduling emails for maximum returns, and much more.

If you want to make sure your don’t miss any of this series, sign up to have  your personal copy of this blog delivered to your email box, subscribe to today!


    • Barney Davey says

      Hi Charlotte, You are welcome. SEO is a separate topic from email marketing. There are few SEO techniques that can be included in email, which will be discussed in this series. A series on SEO is a great suggestion. Cheers, Barney

  1. says

    Barney, I completely agree with the value of strong, ongoing email marketing campaign for artists. Developing the one-on-one relationships with people who appreciate the artists work along with those who collect it is a keystone to long term business success.

    I’m also glad that you addressed the importance of driving traffic back to the artist’s website (or blog). I have heard many artists say that they didn’t see the need for a website because they get far more traffic on social media (especially facebook). Your point about ownership is spot on. For me, you have to drive people back to your personal space where you completely control the message.

    I think a future post comparing a “website” to a “blog” would be good. (Let me know if you have already done this.) I’d like to hear your opinions on whether or not both are still needed today. The way blogs have progressed, I’m on the fence. I realize this isn’t related to email marketing. It’s just a recommendation for a future post. : )

    Thanks for the great post! Very helpful.

  2. says

    Hi Barney, your Guerrilla Marketing is by my side and goes with me to and from town each day as I re-read through it to build habits of mind. I am in so many ways a pretty inept marketer. I am looking for a good free or low-cost e-mail provider that will do what Fineartamerica’s email service does, letting me embed art images in the text. But their service does not have a browse button so I cannot send any attachments. Since I make my own cards using my art and want to wholesale them, I need to send e-mail that puts my watercolor botanicals and other art right before the viewer in a professional manner but also lets me show the whole card, back and front.
    Mail Chimp does not allow me easy access to edit and revise the texts of e-mails once a campaign is saved, so I’ve given up on it for now as user-unfriendly. I think there is a huge learning curve for Mail Chimp if it does allow editing. It seems to be designed for a much larger target audience than what I’d be e-mailing.

    I would like to be more skilled at on-line marketing but find that the very terminology meant to help people like me is opaque and not written for people with a much lower level of expertise than the writer has. This was a big problem I found using Mail Chimp.

    Also I use Etsy in place of a website. When I had a website (the web host folded) I paid $60 a year without seeing any return on that investment. I would like to know of the best choice of e-mail providers to show my art and cards and point the reader to my Etsy shop for ordering. Many of these readers would be shop owners and commercial buyers since Etsy is, I think, increasingly used as a wholesaling platform. Fineartamerica so far has the easiest-to-use e-mail service but not if you want to sell cards you produce on your own. I also don’t know if Fineartamerica welcomes use by artists who produce cards since card-making is part of Fineartamerica’s line of services.

    Thanks for any clarifications or recommendations. I am sorry to sound so impatient, it’s just that I am tired of spending on services that only prove to be a financial loss or are over my head in regard to how to to get full use of them. Probably I should become a paying user of something in addition to Etsy, but I want to know I can make it work for me without hiring somebody else to explain it to me.

  3. says

    I have found that Mailchimp is by far the easiest of all the email marketing platforms out there (and I have tried them all) and, it is free. It doesn’t get much better than that. I send a monthly email newsletter and Mailchimp is very easy to use. You can save past emails as templates and use them for your ongoing newsletters. You can also add files quite easily. Mailchimp is designed to be used by any size of business, it is especially geared to the small business. You can be a solo-preneur and get great value from Mailchimp.

    With anything there is a learning curve, and as such there are plenty of videos and tutorials and regular emails to help you get the most of of the tool. As with anything you have to take the time and have the patience to learn and take advantage of them. If you are unwilling to do that then you will always be at a disadvantage. Reading your note, you have a complaint about every single one of the services you’ve listed. For what it’s worth, it’s not really up to the tool to give you the return on investment they are simply tools. A newsletter, while you can include images, is primarily for establishing a relationship and rapport with your readers. Frankly you would be better off setting up a decent website and embedding your images there than trying to put them in an email (where most people have images turned off anyway), using your email to link to the images on your website. Etsy isn’t a replacement for a website – it owned by someone else and you have no control over what they do. Etsy is there to make money for Etsy, Like FAA is there to make money for FAA. You have to take a closer look at what it is you are doing and your long-term objectives. You don’t need to be skilled in online marketing. You DO need to take a step back and think of who you are trying to connect with and customise more from their perspective. Best of luck!

    • says

      Thanks Nicky for taking the time to reply to Tanya. You make some excellent points. Being an artist who expects to be paid for making art puts you in business. Any business worth running requires an investment in time and money. Free tools are great, but you and Tanya point out, they come with limits. If it is overwhelming from a time or money perspective, just start with one thing and master it. Nicky’s suggestion of building your own website is exactly where I would tell you to start as well. Your own website with your own domain name should be the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. Build that up and go from there.

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