This post is by Clint Watson, former art gallery owner and founder of BoldBrush, known for FASO Artist Websites, the leading provider of professional artist websites, the $38,000+ BoldBrush Painting Competition and the free daily art marketing newsletter, FineArtViews. As a self-proclaimed “art fanatic”, Clint delights that BoldBrush’s downtown San Antonio, Texas office is full of original art, as is his home office. You can connect with Clint on Twitter, Facebook or his personal blog at clintavo.com.
When it comes to email newsletter marketing, many artists seem at a loss for what to actually send.
Most artists, however, have far more than most businesses to send. Let’s face it, a new beautiful piece of art is far more inspiring to see in your inbox than an announcement of the latest changes in terms and conditions of your credit card.
With that in mind, here are some content ideas to get you started.
- Your Latest Artworks
Send images of your latest artworks – and the story behind those works. What inspired you? Why did you create it? When sending announcements about your latest artwork, it’s most effective if you first offer your best fans first chance to see and possibly purchase the new artwork. Then send a second announcement to everyone else. This is the most important thing you should be sending. In fact, it’s so important that in the FASO Art Marketing Platform, we’ve automated it as much as possible.
- Exhibit announcements
- Exhibit invitations
- Announcement of an upcoming workshop or class
- Older works
If you don’t have anything new then feature something older and especially add the story of why you created the work. What was your inspiration? Again, keeping regular communication lines with your fans open is so important that we’ve automated this idea at FASO with what we call “Promote Mode.” Our new art alerts automatically sends alerts of your new pieces. When you engage “Promote Mode”, we send older pieces as an alternative if there hasn’t been any new art uploaded in a few weeks.
- Works in process
People love seeing how art is created. As Austin Kleon says in his book, Show Your Work, “There’s the artwork, the finished piece, framed and hung on a gallery wall, and there’s your art work, all the day-to-day stuff that goes on behind the scenes in your studio…”People really do want to see how the sausage gets made.” That’s how designers Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt put it in their book on entrepreneurship, It Will Be Exhilarating. “By putting things out there, consistently, you can form a relationship with your customers”
- The business of art or the struggle of being an artist
This idea is especially effective if other artists follow you, and you teach online, offer classes, or lead workshops.
- Outline your recent successes or failures.
- A tour of your studio, and interesting moment or story from your studio
- Highlight other artists works that inspire you
Although, I generally don’t recommend artists focus too much on a search engine strategy, if you post articles about other artists who inspire you to your blog, you might pick up some search engine traffic from people looking for the other artist. Highlighting your influences isn’t just the right thing to do, it could lead to new fans on your website. This could be especially effective if your style is similar.
- Photos of you taken while hanging a new exhibit
- Before and after photos of a piece while in different stages and when finished
- Announcement of blog posts.
Tell a story on your blog and email the first few paragraphs with a call to action for your fans to “read the rest of the story” on your blog.
- A very inexpensive “tripwire”
This is a bigger topic we will cover at some point separately. It’s well known among marketers your most likely purchasers are those people who have purchased from you in the past. A “tripwire” is something very inexpensive designed to get people to buy something from you. This should ideally be below $50. It could be a small inexpensive, print, a tiny original, or something that is $50 or less. Since past buyers are more likely to become future buyers, this could greatly increase the effectiveness of your newsletter list. I recommend this method over “bribing” people to join your list with a popup and “free gift.” Ideally, you would offer the “tripwire” relatively soon after someone joins your email list.
I hope these ideas have stimulated ideas for your own newsletter!
For my latest thoughts on art marketing, art sales ideas, and insider announcements about new FASO features we are working on and releasing, you should Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. That’s where I publish ideas and opportunities in real time. Be the first to know.
Until next time, please remember that Fortune Favors the Bold Brush.
BoldBrush/FASO Founder & Art Fanatic
PS – What types of content have you found is most effective in your own newsletter campaigns? Please hit reply or leave a comment and we’ll update the post with your great ideas.