Email Marketing for Artists | Newsletter Design Tips | Part Three

Effective Email Marketing for Artists Design Is Essential

Effective email marketing design is essential!

Understanding and using email marketing design techniques increase your readers’ interest. Effective design will keep them reading your message.

Previously, we have talked about the importance of building your email marketing list, and covered options for different email marketing services. Now we turn to email newsletter design.

Newsletter Design Tips

While design, content and subject lines are closely related in email marketing for artists, there is too much information to cover those topics in one blog post. Today, we will go after email newsletter design and jump on content and subject lines in future Art Marketing News blog posts devoted to email marketing for artists.

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Start with a Pre-header

Email open rates differ. You will not have every subscriber opening and reading your email. Some will open, but not read the entire contents. A pre-header is the first line of copy above the body of your email. It displays in some email programs, such as Outlook, and in most mobile email readers.

As a secondary subject line, a good email marketing pre-header will enhance the open rate and click-through rate for your email marketing messages. It appears just after the subject line in an Inbox. For your readers, it briefly summarizes what the email is about before they open it.

Use Headlines and Images

Use headlines with header tags, such as h2, to break up blocks of text. Many readers are skimmers. You can give them the essence of what your email message contains by moving them through the copy with headlines. Keep your headlines short, informative and punchy.

If it makes visual sense, use a headline that relates to the second block of text, rather than the first just below it. You won’t lose readers by doing this. In some cases, it intrigues them to keep reading to discover the copy to which the headline relates.


In email marketing for artists, images help tell your story visually. Images brighten your copy. They help your reader more easily understand what you are saying in your email marketing message.

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Always use the Alt-tag option on your images. ALT attribute text is the short line of copy that shows if a viewer hovers over the image. It also displays if your recipient’s default is set not to display images in their browser or a mobile device.

Alt-tags are great selling tools in email marketing for artists. If you don’t change the picture default name it might show something like, DSC-12115.jpg, which is boring and useless. With image alt-tags, you add context and have a chance to tell your story more elaborately. Make your tag descriptive or a call to action, or both. “Get 25% off all images from the Waterfront Series until (expiration date.)

Make your images the right size for your content. Don’t use huge images directly from your camera or smartphone. Use Photoshop or some other photo editing software to compress the image for web use. is an online slimmed-down program similar to Photoshop.

Many of the images I use on this site are created using I heartily recommend it for the price (free for many designs, or $1.00 per stock image), and for ease of use. It offers standard templates for many social media and other frequently used shapes. Its Design School is a great way to learn how to make images that look professional. Graphic design requires different skill sets than fine art. Take advantage of this very useful resource. It’s been a blessing for me.

Content Blocks

Use short content blocks. This helps your design for the short attention span of most email readers. Try to use only two or three short sentences in each block. Using bullet points and numbered items is useful in making your copy easier to read. They increase your results.

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Call to Action and Links

Your email marketing newsletter is a sales and promotional tool. While it does not hurt to be friendly and sociable, that is not the point. Make sure you have a Call to Action designated for your newsletter. Yours might be:

  • Announce a Special Offer.
  • Invite to a Show or Exhibit.
  • Purchase an Artwork Direct from You.
  • Invite to a Gallery Opening.
  • Take a Survey.

Your Call to Action can be a hyperlinked image, or a text link, or both. Use text links to promote your reader’s attention, or to direct them to something you are writing about. For instance, if you visited a local museum link to it in the copy about it. Or, if you have an image of an artwork for sale on your website, link to the order page.

Design Elements

Pay attention and you will observe greater use of white space in graphic design everywhere, including email marketing. See how grocery flyers are less crowded with items. Most fonts are flat, without shadows, bevels and other Photoshop trick. Make sure you use fonts that simple and easy-to-read.

Use personalization sparingly and where appropriate. Incorporating a person’s name makes your copy friendlier, unless it is overused. Then it becomes salesy and a big turnoff. In most cases, just use the first name, or sometimes last name. People do not want to see their address or phone number in your email marketing copy.


If you have various sections, or your copy is lengthy, then use the page navigation as part of your email marketing newsletter design. Navigation helps your reader easily jump to the part they want to read. Anchor text is another way to help your readers navigate your newsletter.

These are the basics of successful email marketing newsletter design. Learn to incorporate them into your email marketing efforts, and you will begin to see growing interest in your newsletter. This will translate into more conversions to sales, better open rates and click rates for your newsletter.


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Artists Newsletter, Marketing, Marketing Design, Marketing For Artists, Newsletter Design, Newsletter Design Tips

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  1. Hi. There is another pet peeve I am surprised you did not touch upon and yes people still do it. ALL CAPS FOR MENUS OR PARAGRAPHS. Yeah that felt horrible, sorry.

    Are doing what not to do chapter?

    1. Thanks for the comment and opinion. All caps can be effectively used in some graphic design. In general, I agree it should not be used, or sparingly at best. I hadn’t planned a what not to do chapter. If I do, your comment and observation will be included.

  2. I love using Mailchimp for my newsletters…the stats are always interesting. Altho MC says I have a higher opening rate than average, it always seems to be the same people who open my newsletters…even with snappy headlines! I’m perplexed how to get others to open my newsletters?

    1. Hi Kathryn, Thanks for your comment. The subject line often holds the key to getting more email opened. For better results, include a benefit in the subject line. There is more to it than that, but you need to start there. I will address the subject line in a future post.

  3. Thanks for posting this useful advice. I’m just getting started, and I would probably gloss over alt tags for email newsletters if I hadn’t read this, as one example of what’s useful to me. I know alt tags are important for web pages SEO, but it didn’t occur to me about their purpose in an email. Unfortunately I missed the webinar! Next time… ok thanks again

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