12 MayAction Step: Email List
Jeda Villa by Jan Wils. Painting.
One important thing many artists forget is keeping an email list. It’s super-important to not lose contact with previous customers or interested people who have yet to purchase from you. The easiest way to do this is to get their email address and send them a newsletter every once in a while. But there are some important rules to follow with this action step!
1. Ask permission. It’s not legal in most countries to use someone’s email address for marketing purposes without their permission. And it’s just polite to ask! So make sure you get their OK before you send them anything. (If they sign up through a form or ask you to add them to your list in writing, that’s considered permission.)
2. Accessibility. Make it easy to sign up. In fact, make it impossible for a visitor to your shop to not know you have a newsletter. Put an opt-in box on your homepage and in your sidebar. And in your purchase confirmation email, ask if they want to join your email list. If you’re on Etsy, make a note of your list (and how to get on it) in your shop announcement and your message to buyers. Consider even putting a quick word about it in your item descriptions and profile.
3. Organize. Keep it simple and separate from your personal email by using a third-party service (many of them are free!) to keep your list of email addresses, send beautiful html emails, and create a pretty opt-in box for you to use on your site. I use Mad Mimi and have heard lovely things about Aweber and Mailchimp as well.
4. Frequency. You want consistency here. A good rule is to start with fewer emails so you’re positive you can manage the work load. Never send fewer than one newsletter each quarter. Never send more than three newsletters a week. My favorite frequencies are once a week or once a month.
5. Pictures! You’re an artist. Show off your work!
6. On Topic. When you’re trying to figure out what to say, remember my blog ideas for artists. The same goes for newsletters. But give your newsletter subscribers a little something extra. They asked to be on your list, so they want to be rewarded. If you have a blog and you posted recently about your studio space, mention that in your newsletter but also show them a picture of your favorite art supply store or that place you always go when you need inspiration.