Email marketing is not something you want to do on your own. Although, you can find software packages to manage an email list and send bulk mailings from your own server, it is not advisable. For time, expense, results and legality, email marketing for artists is not a good fit for as a DIY program.
For success in your art marketing efforts, you need an effective email marketing program. Fortunately, there are many affordable and free online email-marketing services available. There are so many options it makes choosing the best one for you a challenge.
Virtually all e-mail marketing service companies offer affordable, easy-to-use bulk e-mail services. You can use them to communicate with collectors, fans, dealers and prospects with a professional and legal system.
Paid email-marketing service providers base rates their rates on the number of e-mail addresses in your mailing list. The average plan runs between $15 and $20 a month for a list size of up to 500 with unlimited mailings within a given month. Compared to the cheapest bulk mail rates, email marketing is a bargain.
You can do better with free email marketing services. The two I recommend are Mail Chimp and FineArtAmerica.com. Mail Chimp offers a free plan for up to 2,000 addresses. You can send up to 12,000 emails every month. It is the program I use to collect opted-in email addresses and to send Art Print Issues blog updates.
FineArtAmerica.com is a free online marketing, print-on-demand and complete fulfillment resource for visual artists. I wrote this post about it last year: Fine Art America | Artist’s Ally | Entrepreneur’s Inspiration. If you want to learn more specifics about FAA’s email marketing services, click here.
The FAA service is particularly useful to help you promote your work listed in your online gallery and on the free website that is also available for those who pay the nominal $30 per year upgrade fee. With its easy-to-use formatting, it is an effective way to help you promote your work on the FAA site.
Using Mail Chimp, in addition to FAA’s email marketing services, gives you additional powerful features. These include list-building services such as opt-in forms, buttons and links. You also can send auto-responder and drip campaigns.
These are practical ways to send an automatic single response, or a series of timed responses to your subscribers. We will discuss how and when to use these features in a future post.
If you are lucky and diligent enough to grow your list beyond 2,000 names, you can upgrade to a paid service from Mail Chimp. Some other paid providers to consider include:
These are just a sampling. Ask around in your art marketing circles, or do your own online research to find even more services. It is best to settle on the one you think will work for you. Having to import a subscriber file from one service to another can present problems.
Using e-mail marketing services to drive traffic, create interest and make sales is cost-effective, and efficient way to promote your business and develop a growing, loyal fan base.
In the first installment of this series, Email Marketing for Artists | Building Your List | Part One, you learned ways to build your list. In future posts, we will answer questions about how often to send, what to include and much more. Stay tuned!
It was preceded by the introductory post: Email Marketing for Artists | A New Art Marketing Series – Get the Most from Email Marketing