So many artists struggle with what to send to their email subscribers, at times myself included! Some artists won’t even start an email list because they just don’t know what they would send. But that won’t be you, with these email newsletter ideas for artists!
The truth is, there are so many things artists can email their subscribers about, and yes, they really do want to hear from you. What can you share? Well, some email newsletter ideas for artists include things like: new work, upcoming shows, sales, behind the scenes, mentions in the press and/or on other blogs, and more! (And I’ll get to that “more” part in just a bit…)
But first, let’s break it down: why would you want an email list of your patrons and/or potential patrons?
First and foremost, these are people who have essentially said, Hey! I love your work! I would like to own some (or more) of it! So when you do email them, they will be happy to hear from you. You don’t have to worry about coming across as “sales-y” because a person who is thirsty wants ice water, and the people who give you their email list want to hear from you!
And because of that, they are much more likely to buy from you, too!
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So let’s start with 12 Email Newsletter Ideas for Artists
1. The Welcome Email
The first email you should send them is a welcome email with some sort of deal, discount, or call to action. Brand new subscribers are much more likely to buy! In fact, according to Easy-smtp, “welcome emails have 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails.” Three hundred and twenty percent! As you can see, this is definitely an important email to get right!
2. New Work
If you’ve created new work, always share it with your email list first! This is a great incentive for fans of your work to subscribe, and to stay subscribed.
3. Upcoming Shows or Events
Do you have any art shows or coming up? While everyone on your list may not be able to attend, those that can will appreciate the notice. And those who can’t will regard you differently, knowing your work is being shown and sold at these types of art events.
4. Sales, Discounts or Specials
Are you offering a sale or discount? Let your email subscribers know about it first! You could even offer them a slightly better deal simply for subscribing. Is your sale going to be for 15% off? Give your email subscribers 20% off as an extra incentive and gift.
5. Behind the Scenes
Share some of your process or “behind the scenes” of your art-making practice. People who love art are typically captivated by an artist’s space, and they love to see your studio (even if it is messy… you’re an artist after all!)
6. Work in Progress
This is another thing art fans love to see: your art work in progress. I’m an artist, and I love to see it, too! It’s fascinating to see an artist’s process and methods. You could share one piece, from start to finish at different stages (and then offer it for sale, of course!)
7. Mentions in the Press
Any time you and/or your work is mentioned in the press, on a blog, or when you’ve been a guest on a podcast or TV show, mention it! Your readers will love to help you celebrate those wins.
8. About You
Yes, you might have an “about me” page on your website, or your bio on Etsy, etc. But in this email you can get even more real and authentic to your readers. (Plus not everyone reads your bio page on your website.) You can share with them about your art school experience (or lack there of), how you got into the art you make, why you make what you do, and even some more personal tidbits of your life, if you’re comfortable sharing those. The more your readers know about you, the more they will actually feel like they really know you! So don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and authentic.
9. New Blog Posts
If you blog about your art, share those posts in your emails, too! As much as we love to think that people will bookmark our blogs and come back to read them regularly, they most often won’t! So a friendly announcement about a new blog post is an excellent thing to share.
10. Testimonials & Photos of Your Art in People’s Homes
Every once in awhile you can collect some new testimonials from other patrons about your art. I love it when people send me a photo of my art in their home or space. I ask if I can share the image (in my newsletter and/or on social media) and I’ve never had someone say no. If you can combine the two, even better!
11. Other Artists Who Inspire You
You are likely influenced by other artists, and/or have favorite artists (living or dead) of your own. Sharing these artists with your readers gives them a better idea of who you are as a person and an artist. And if you’re sharing living artists’ work, it’s really a sweet way of “paying it forward” or sharing the love, so to speak.
12. Show People How to Live With Art
Some people are intimidated about buying art, because they’re just not sure how to hang or display it. You can talk about gallery walls, framing art, unique ways to display art, or, if applicable, talk about ways to live with your art that aren’t a 2D image, hanging on a wall. For instance, I sell some of my art on clothes, pillows, duvets, rugs and more.
So there are 12 email newsletter ideas for artists, and if you email once a month, you can just recycle those ideas yearly. But if you’re looking for even more ideas, checkout my post, 52 Blog Post Ideas for Artists, because many of those ideas could be easily used as emails, too.
Some additional thoughts on Email Marketing for Artists
A few more things I want you to keep in mind while writing your artist emails:
- Always make sure you include a link back to your shop or website. Even if you’re not including links in the body of your email (which, I think you always should!) be sure to, at the very least, include a link to your website in your email signature.
- Keep a regular email schedule. This one is the hardest for me, as well as many artists I know. But keeping a regular email schedule (whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly – though I suggest at least monthly) helps create trust from your readers.
- It’s also a good idea to invite people to follow you on social media. But only if you’re actually active on social media! It’s frustrating when you’ve linked, say, your twitter page (in an email or even on your website) and you haven’t tweeted since 2016. Or you invite them to follow you on Instagram and your last post was about a Christmas sale – from last year!
- Include images in your email. Art is visual, so it only makes sense to include images in your emails. Most email service providers offer an easy way for you to do this.
- Always give subscribers an easy way to unsubscribe. Again, most email service providers (my favorite is ConvertKit) will have this built in for you. But if you’re DIYing it by just sending it from Gmail or whatever, please make sure there is a way for them to unsubscribe.
- Speaking of Gmail, if you are sending out your emails from Gmail (say you only have a few people on your list) make sure, for sure for sure, that you always use the “Blind Carbon Copy” to all subscribers. That way they cannot see everyone else’s email that is on your list.
How to Send Your Art Newsletters
Yes, there are email service providers out there that offer their service for free up to a certain number of subscribers (like MailChimp which is free for up to 2000 and/or 12,000 emails per month). But I believe that, as an artist, you’re also a business owner. And, besides selling your art, your number one goal should be in building your email list. It’s the most valuable platform you have online because you own 100% of it.
That said, I think it’s important to have skin in the game, as well as use the best and more user-friendly email newsletter service provider around. And that, in my opinion, is Convertkit.
Now, the reason I believe it’s important “having skin in the game” (or paying monthly for your email newsletter provider) is because it will (hopefully!) motivate you to take building your email list very seriously, and sending emails out regularly not only easy, but something you’re driven to do.
I’ve found ConvertKit to be robust in features (I love the ability to automatically tag anyone who has purchased art from my shop!) but also very user-friendly. It’s both easy to set up (and you don’t even need to own a website – they can host the sign-up forms for you) and use (the interface is basically self-explanatory!) Plus, right now you can try it out for free for the first 14 days, and see if you love it as much as I do.
So there you have it: not only did I share 12 Email Newsletter Ideas for Artists, but also some important things artists should remember when sending out email newsletters, as well as how to send them out. Questions or feedback? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
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