Email marketing for visual artists is the best tool for artists to communicate with their buyers and sell art online.

— Barney Davey

Email Marketing Is the Best Tool for Visual Artists.

Email marketing is the most efficient and profitable way to market your art online. Mastering email marketing is a lifetime improvement skill that gets better. Today, we are looking at email marketing sequences for artists.

Sequences are at the heart of your business. They attract attention, tell stories, and ask for orders, referrals, and reviews or testimonials. Automation runs an autoresponder series to your clients and prospects based on the tags you give them. The series uses personalization to communicate with your readers based on their tags. Customer, prospect, and vendor are basic tags. You go from there to gather even more valuable data.

About Email Marketing Sequences for Artists

Recently, a member asked about email sequences, which I’ll get to shortly. For clarity, here is a brief explanation of email sequences for artists. Several terms for email marketing sequences essentially mean the same thing. They include drip campaign marketing, autoresponders, email marketing sequences, and other variations.

Email marketing sequences are integral to an overall marketing campaign, including traditional and digital marketing plans working off traffic promotions.

Trigger-based Email Marketing Sequences

Most drip campaigns, aka email marketing sequences for artists, begin when a prospect triggers the process by taking a specific targeted action or interacting with content.

How to Find Art Collectors: A Trout Fishing Analogy
How to Find Art Collectors: A Trout Fishing Analogy



Examples of Trigger-Based Actions in Email Marketing:

  • A collector requests information about specific artworks.
  • Opt-in to receive a lead magnet or a free download.
  • Submit a request to join an email list, e.g., a newsletter, waiting list, reminder for sale, or event.
  • Abandons a shopping cart.
  • Joins a list.
  • Clicks a link in an email, a form, or a website.
  • I bought artwork.
  • Reached a milestone.

Time-based Email Marketing Sequences

Some email marketing sequences for artists are time-based emails. They send a series at predetermined times and dates. Holiday and studio show promotions don’t require a trigger to start a sequence. Instead, the full effects happen as artists evolve their email marketing and combine trigger and time-based sequences.

Types of Email Marketing Sequences for Artists

According to this Active Campaign blog post, Email Sequence: What It Is And 5 Sequence Ideas to Help You Boost Your Revenue, the five most essential types of email sequences are:

  1. Welcome email sequence.
  2. Onboarding email sequence.
  3. Abandon cart email sequence.
  4. Repeat the customer email sequence.
  5. Re-engage the email sequence.

How to Market Art Automatically Using an Autoresponder Sequence

I have an extensive blog on marketing art using an autoresponder sequence. It is a worthy read and an excellent companion piece to this post, which focuses on the question of creating email marketing sequences for artists.

An Art Marketing Subscriber Question about Email Marketing Sequences for Artists

Here is the question:

Does anyone else write draft emails on Mailchimp (or whatever you use instead?)? Then, decide if you need a complete strategy and a monthly/quarterly plan using a set of email series sending people to a page on your website. Wait for it…NOT YET PERFECT FOR HOW YOU WANT TO SELL YOUR ART. So, you give up and do nothing. Barney, do you have any PDFs that talk about artist email campaigns to sell art and not angst over them so much as to cause paralysis by analysis?

How to Find Art Collectors: A Trout Fishing Analogy
How to Find Art Collectors: A Trout Fishing Analogy



Replying to the Question

First, I applaud you for asking about automated email marketing sequences for artists. Second, I think you can simplify your process. A specific goal and a relevant action are both necessary for an email sequence to function at its best. Start with easy sequences, like a three-part welcome series, and build on that experience.

Mailchimp is getting better. But it will never work as well as Convertkit or Moosend, both free for the first 1,000 subscribers. Moosend includes marketing automation on the free platform. Convertkit requires a payment plan to get it.

To create a three-part welcome email sequence, Google “email welcome series examples” to find ideas. Your highest open rates are with new subscribers. Use those first emails to introduce them to your world while their interest is high.

Let them know they will receive a series of x emails before they revert to your regular schedule. It is a little kindness and gesture from you. Now, your readers know what to expect and will welcome your messages.

The Complete Guide to Email Drip Campaigns

Among the many reasons I recommend Convertkit is its intense focus on creators. They are carving toward ownership of that segment of how Apple went all-in after graphic designers and digital artists. The Convertkit blog has an excellent resource that goes deep enough to inform you about drip campaigns and help you make wise decisions about your email sequence setup.

The five types of email sequences include:

Welcome, Email Sequence.

Since 74.4% of email subscribers expect a welcome email, you must take the time to introduce who you are, what you do, and how it is relevant to your target audience.

Onboarding email sequence
Once someone makes a purchase from you or becomes a client, you will want to send them an onboarding email sequence. This can be much easier than manually sending duplicate emails to your clients or customers whenever someone buys something from you.

Abandon Cart Email Sequence.

This email sequence can benefit digital and physical product creators who want to re-engage potential buyers who left items in their shopping carts. Since 75.5% of shopping carts are abandoned, it’s no surprise that many marketers turn to email marketing to increase their conversions.

Event email sequence.

Are you hosting an in-person event, like a conference or a live workshop? If so, you’ll want to create two separate event email sequences to prepare for the big event.

Cold subscriber re-engagement email sequence

What are cold subscribers, and why should you care about them?

We define cold email subscribers as anyone who hasn’t opened or clicked an email in the last 90 days and has been on your email list for at least 30 days.

You don’t want a list of cold subscribers who never engage with your email. Not only are you paying for email subscribers who aren’t going to take action, but you are also hurting your open and click rates since it reflects a skewed percentage.

Event Email Sequence.

Are you hosting an in-person event, like a studio show or a live workshop? If so, you’ll want to create separate event email sequences to prepare for each event.

Convertkit’s training provides helpful examples with lots of valuable details and suggestions. For example, you can easily use it to build highly effective email marketing sequences for your art business. And while you will want to update them occasionally, it’s done mostly once for these sequences.

Building & Segmenting Your List with Pop-ups.

You may have negative associations with pop-ups, which is understandable. When misused, they are annoying. But when employed with care, they are highly effective in helping you grow your list and segment subscribers.

With a pop-up program like Convertbox, which I use and recommend, you can control who sees your pop-ups and what triggers them. You can use exit intent, scroll depth, time on the page, or a combination. In addition, you can exclude subscribers with tags indicating current subscribers or include them for special subscriber offers.

Here is an example. A site visitor is on your “Sunset Series” page. You can set up a Convertbox pop-up to only show to subscribers who are not buyers of any Sunset Series images.

Your pop-up can ask them to click a button to show they prefer originals, prints, or both. The button can redirect them to a page with originals, images, or combination offers. For example, a Convertbox pop-up can show them a video on the form, ask for their email and contact info, or click buttons that redirect and add tags that show their preference for your work.

This is one example of the unlimited types of use you can get from Convertbox, which is still open for a one-time price, lifetime deal.

On the left, you see pop-up styles. On the right is a center-modal example. Use it to make an offer, like seeing the video or receiving a PDF download. You can ask questions; as you can see, I made three options:


When you use the answers to personalize your messages, it improves your client relationships and boosts sales.

I’ve used it for years and am very happy with how it works. And how the developers keep improving the product. The customer service is as good as you will find on the internet for any product. So if you buy it from my affiliate link, I will gladly help you set it up.

The Value of Email List Segmentation

Segmenting your list allows you to talk to subscribers based on their known interests. Tags with sculpture interest will get a different message in their email than someone who is a portrait commission prospect. Convertkit has published the essential guide to email segmentation.

Free 6-part Email Welcome Series from Active Campaign

Active Campaign is another recommended email service provider, primarily due to its marketing automation and application of email sequences. It’s Welcome Email Series: A 6-Email Welcome Sequence You Can Steal post offers a free download. You can get an example of a of a welcome series here.

The subject line is the most crucial part. That’s because it’s a wasted effort if subscribers don’t open your email. Most email programs provide open rates and averages. If your open rates are below expectations, tweak and test to improve. If you are starting and don’t have an extensive list, tweaking is not helpful. So, you need 100 results to get valuable results.

Click Link Trigger Example

A link in an email can trigger another sequence. “Click to learn secrets from my “Sunset Series.” Tempt readers with your tips on finding the perfect place to view sunsets. I’m making that up, but you get the drift—plant intrigue and curiosity. Then, follow up with information about the series.

Email Marketing Sequences for Artists’ Timing

I suggest using a Fibonacci sequence as a sending schedule. Use the sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 as an interval day. The numbers are the first in the Fibonacci sequence. The sequence uses the sum of the two previous numbers to create the number to the right.

Fibonacci is the Golden Rectangle formula equation found in art and nature, if there is no sale by the 34th interval, I suggest a re-engagement series.

You can wait a week and then send an offer to re-engage. Suggestions include a freebie or special invite for the “Sunset Series” Or the next in line, such as the “Sunset Series Point Reyes.” If they continue to open your email, keep sending it to them. But, of course, you never know where the tipping point is—that moment when a prospect turns into a buyer. So, please keep them in the loop since your only cost is content and maintenance.

Engagement Series

Link clicks are the usual method of kicking off an engagement sequence. Use engagement sequences to promote a product or service. For example, an opt-in to a list or a link click triggers most engagement sequences. They can go on indefinitely for subscribers who open the email. The only stop trigger is a subscriber purchases art related to the sequence.

Start with an onboarding sequence to welcome and indoctrinate them when they buy. You can move new subscribers to re-engagement sequences to find additional interests. Unfortunately, not all your buyers know everything about your artistic offerings until you tell them.

Your emails do not need to be copywriting masterpieces. Instead, you can modify examples from free swipe files by web searching. Or you can hire a copywriter to craft a series for you. Your emails do not need to be lengthy. Keep them interesting and concise. Add storytelling elements and personal insights to keep your audience’s interest.

The Money Is in the Long Haul

Selling art is a long game because even qualified buyers only buy infrequently.

Think about our version of my imaginary “Sunset Series.” You change minds and build desire, which speeds up buying decisions. Then imagine you have three or four successful series—marketing funnels that you have honed and polished over time. They are pulling in sales predictably. Besides adding to the series, your other job is to build your list. Keep finding ways to intrigue your targeted audience’s interest in a series, and refine your marketing as you go along.

Abandon Cart Series

I also recommend Moosend as an email marketing service. This post is on its blog; The Best Abandoned Cart Email Examples To Use Right Now + 5 Winning Practices. You work hard and invest your marketing dollars to get a prospect into your shopping cart. And sometimes they leave without purchasing.

An abandoned cart series can save some of those sales. Things happen. A distraction happens before they can finish the purchase. For example, they might be on a small device or an unsecured Wi-Fi network and want to wait for a future time to complete the transaction. Or they might need a little encouragement and reminder to complete the transaction. Your abandoned cart series will go to work to help you recover lost sales.

Email Marketing Tips for Artists

Here is a freewheeling broadcast with my friend, Jason Horejs, with our best tips and techniques on email marketing for artists.

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  • What title do I even search if I’d be looking to hire someone to set this type of emails up?
    I don’t feel I have the time or interest to develop it all.
    However I don’t know how to search for someone who’d be capable of doing it for me.
    Thank you for the post, it stills feels like overwhelm.

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