There Are Many Ways to Use Convertkit to Market Art Automatically With Email Marketing
One potential highly effective strategy is to send a sequence of automated emails using autoresponder software supplied by an email service provider (ESP), such as Convertkit. With it, you write a series of emails that the autoresponder program delivers automatically on a predetermined timetable. Convertkit is recommended along with three other ESPs in the Definitive Guide to Email Marketing for Artists.
Use Email to Build a Brand, Grow Awareness, and Sell Art
You can market art automatically using a sequence to build interest in your brand, grow awareness for your art, and engage your audience to eventually sell your art. The sequence activates when a new subscriber opts into your list—usually in return for a lead magnet. The opt-in’s action tags the subscriber, which triggers your ESP to start sending an automated series of personalized emails sent on specific days and times, according to a schedule you set.
Why an Autoresponder Sequence is a High-Value Strategy
Once set up, autoresponder sequences require little effort, which gives you time to focus your marketing efforts elsewhere. The email series it sends introduces your new subscribers to you in a friendly and convenient manner. They build on previous emails, and you can and should test them to make incremental improvements to learn the most efficient ways to automatically market your art.
The problem with broadcasting to an entire email list is the list contains both long-time and brand-new subscribers. As a result, your messages are generic by design. With an autoresponder sequence, you send segmented, targeted emails that can refer to previous messages, thus building on ideas introduced earlier.
You can’t create continuity and growing interest from your previous messages when you broadcast to your entire list because new members will not have read your earlier emails. And you can make your messages specific to the reason your subscriber chose to opt-in. For example, they responded to a social media post or ad offering a free download of “Enchanted Forest” images. So, your copy mentions the pictures in the download and provides interesting tidbits about them.
The Power of Autoresponder Sequences
Autoresponder sequences not only market art automatically; they are influential because they are consistent. You deliver the same precise message to every person tagged and segmented for the series. Because you can tweak, improve, and optimize your sequence over time, it will continue to get better and more effective. If you find people aren’t opening or reading an entire email, you can make small changes to improve your engagement and open rates. It is a recurrent process, which means you keep making changes and testing to see how the changes influence your results. In other words, you can tweak your formula to optimize it until you perfect the sequence to make it perform to your expectations.
Autoresponder sequences are also advantageous because they are predictable. Once an autoresponder sequence begins, it will be delivered simultaneously on the same designated day every time. Your audience will learn what to expect from you and will enjoy high-quality content that arrives reliably.
One of the keys to successful email marketing is automation. Now you don’t have to write every message manually. Write to them once, set them in motion, and the autoresponder software does the rest.
Some Things to Consider
When creating your autoresponder sequence, keep these things in mind. Autoresponders work differently from other email messages, so you need to approach using them another way.
By way of illustration, when creating an autoresponder sequence, you make it 100% evergreen. In internet marketing, the term ‘evergreen’ means a piece of content is just as relevant and exciting in the future as it is today. For that reason, news stories are not evergreen, and neither are any stories that reference items in the news. However, any series that imparts advice and ideas without reference to current events and dates can work well.
Blend Broadcasts or Keep Them Separate—You Have Options
Your autoresponder sequence and regular email marketing need not be mutually exclusive. You can start a welcome series to introduce new subscribers to your messages, and during the sequence, you can also send them broadcast emails that go to your entire audience. That said, many marketers make it a common practice to put a “Do Not Disturb” tag on subscribers in a sequence. The tag automatically filters them from receiving other broadcasts or sequences until the current series is completed. The tag comes off when they buy the art promoted in the series or the sequence ends.
As you can see, depending on your marketing preferences, you can send autoresponder sequences with your broadcast messages interspersed between them. This way, you can combine the benefits of an autoresponder sequence and the benefits of a unique newsletter or general information types of messages. The best way to decide what to do is to test. Testing every aspect of your autoresponder emails is a unique feature that will pay dividends over and over.
How to Write the Perfect Autoresponder Sequence
Tease Your Next Message with the Cliffhanger Strategy
A sometimes-overlooked strategy is to tease your next message. For example, include a note at the bottom of your current message saying, ‘be sure to tune into the next email for XXX.’ Your teaser builds anticipation for what is coming and gives your messages a sense of urgency and importance to open and read the next email as soon as it arrives. Broadcast news and serial television programs are masters of “Stay tuned for what’s coming next.” They use the cliffhanger strategy to keep viewers interested and eager to learn more.
Always Provide Value
Providing value is an essential part of any email marketing campaign. It is crucial to include a tip, an actionable idea, or entertain your reader—or some combination of those features in your campaigns. You want your audience to look forward to your next message because they took value from the previous one.
Keep Your Promises. Maintain Continuity.
You likely made specific promises on your landing page telling your audience what they would learn and why they should sign up. Ensure that you deliver on those promises in the actual content by doing what you said you would do. You want your readers to feel more informed because they read your email and demonstrate you are good for your word. Your email messages should be similar and familiar to the look, tone, and feel of the social media posts and advertising enticements you used to get your reader’s initial attention.
Giving your email a conversational tone helps build relationships with your audience and possibly keeps them from spam filters because they get opened. Human interest is the mother’s milk of all highly effective communications. The more you include personalization from you and about your readers, the more they are drawn to your copy.
Get the Welcome Message Right
The critical email in your autoresponder sequence is your welcome message. That’s because as new subscribers join, the welcome email gives them a taste of what is coming in the rest of the series. Nailing your welcome email is incredibly important because it has the greatest odd your new subscribers will open and read it. Make it a point to use it to set the tone for all that is to come.
Your welcome email shows what lies ahead as it arouses your reader’s interest in your future messages. Letting them know the timeline and the subject structure encourages readers to actively seek your messages and keep them from being unopened and unread.
It is advisable to show gratitude in your welcome email, which is a terrific way to build trust. Invite your readers to reply if they have questions or want to start a conversation. These simple actions show you as a real person, which is a challenge when sending autoresponder emails.
Consider Getting More Advanced
Autoresponder sequences don’t have to be the same for everyone. If you have a modern autoresponder tool, you should use its more advanced features and options. For example, how about creating an autoresponder sequence that changes depending on how well engaged the user is? With this approach, you can market only to subscribers who are highly involved.
A great way to use your autoresponder sequences is to offer upsells. You can do this either with a secondary autoresponder sequence or one that responds to cookies that indicate when a reader has viewed your checkout page. Using tagging features allows you to capitalize on a sale with a quick offer while the reader is in ‘buy mode.’ Examples of upsells are framing for prints, additional prints in smaller sizes, gift cards, discounts on commissions, and more.
How to Sell from an Autoresponder
While utilizing your autoresponder series to sell your art is smart marketing, it is easy to get your message to sell your art wrong in using it. Wrong happens when you get forceful or come on too fast in trying to push for a sale. Doing so will upset your audience and lose subscribers. You can ask for the order, but make sure you have built enough trust, so you have implied permission to make the offer.
You need to make sure that your autoresponder series builds faith and provides value first. Think of this as a transaction where you are earning the right to sell to your audience. Suppose you have provided lots of free, high-quality useful information. In that case, your readers will usually be happy to consider buying from you – or at least to think about your offer.
It would be best to make sure that you don’t announce your artwork unexpectedly. Instead, weave it into your narrative gently to warm your audience up to the idea first.
Use the AIDA strategy, it is an acronym for ‘Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.’
For example, in your second email after the welcome message, aim to provide a high-value tip and mention you have useful ideas or something intriguing coming relating to X. In your third email, provide another tidbit of helpful information or a valuable piece of advice, followed by a slightly longer section on your artwork and why it is unique. The fourth message can include a shorter tip, followed by an exciting description of your art and what makes it desirable.
A call to action is the goal of your final email. Write it to sell your art and encourage your audience to act while they have an interest. Get all this right, and you can effectively sell without putting off your audience.
Sending Autoresponder Emails Is Like Building a Friendship or Dating
While there is much more to sending autoresponder emails, this lesson gives you a better understanding of how they work. Think of the sequence as like how real-life relationships evolve. We start with simple introductions, usually followed by small talk. If things go well, and both parties remain interested, the conversation and interaction get more personal.
You want to progress your email sequence in the same way. Even though it is more of one-way communication, you still want to evolve the relationship until you legitimately earn the right to ask for the order.
You don’t have to be perfect at first. It’s a sure bet you won’t, but don’t let that stop you. Realize you can use testing to improve every aspect of your communication continually. Just like building real-life relationships, it takes time. If you are in the business for the long haul, this is your best method of ensuring the work you do as an art marketer pays for you.
There are many choices for email service providers that include sending autoresponder sequences in their package. I recommend Convertkit. It is free for the first 1,000 subscribers, which allows you to learn the software and build your list before spending any money on it. When you are ready for automation, you can upgrade to a paid version to get all its powerful features. It will be worth the extra cost.
I like Convertkit because it is designed to help creators sell their works. Whether visual artists or course creators, authors, or bloggers, its focus is on those who create value for others. The support staff is incredible, and the ongoing training and encouragement from the management are the best in the email marketing industry. This “How To Build Automations That Make Your Subscribers Fall In Love” article is an outstanding example of the support and training you get from Convertkit.