A lot of artists put off creating an email newsletter because it feels daunting. How do you set one up? How do you make it look nice? And what do you even talk about when you send one out?
Today we’re going to tackle that last one. But I also want to make sure you have somewhere to write these emails, so I’m going to recommend Mad Mimi. They are a great starter email marketing provider because they’re free up to a certain number of subscribers! They also have an easy-to-learn interface, lots of features, and great customer service.
But what will you write about in those emails?
You should think of your email list like a place to keep in touch with people who love your art.
So it shouldn’t be all selling all the time. I actually suggest only directly selling in 1 of every 5 emails you send out. So make sure the main topic of those other 4 emails isn’t about a new piece they can buy or a sale you’ve got going on.
It’s become pretty antiquated to do a newsletter-style layout with a sidebar and different sections. So don’t feel like you’ve got to come up with a lot of content.
You want to choose one main topic for each email and put as little extraneous info as possible. So you might send an email about a new piece you’re working on. This email could start with your logo, then a photo of your work-in-progress, and then a little text about what inspired the piece or how you’re progressing with it. You can finish off asking them to reply with a story about their experience with whatever inspired you if you want to give them something to do other than passively read. And then you can have links to your portfolio or your social media accounts set up like the footer of a website – out of the way and clearly something standard that you put on all your emails.
This structure would allow the main focus of your email to be on your work-in-progress, but to still have easy ways for your subscribers to get to your website and to interact with you.
You can talk about lots of different things in your emails! These are similar to the things you would post on your blog, but you want to be a little more intimate in your emails. These people have decided they really want to follow along with you on your artistic journey. They’re special. So you want to treat them that way. Give them a little extra depth.
So when you write a blog post about a new piece you’ve just finished, perhaps your email that month is a picture of the piece and some extra photos of details of the piece or more information about how you created the piece or what it means.
You might get to know (or maybe you already know) your target market enough to start predicting what type of extra content they’d want.
Go for the things they respond best to, of course.
So let’s get back to topic ideas! Here are a few great ones to rely on:
- New Pieces
- Behind-the-Scenes of Your Studio
- Events & Exhibitions
- Creative Blocks
- Artistic Experiments
- Art-Related Ideas
That last one can be fun to play around with. These are things that relate to art a bit, but aren’t actually art. So maybe you show off your favorite type of frame or a new way to hang art that you love. Or perhaps you show some photos of the art on your own walls or a list of your favorite galleries. Get them excited about art in general or help them fix an art-related problem. And don’t be afraid to tiptoe outside the art realm – most people who are interested in art are also interested in interior decorating. So there are loads of topics you can come up with.
I recommend keeping a spreadsheet of each date and the main topic.
You can always pivot if something timely comes up, but you don’t want to be struggling to come up with a topic idea each time you sit down to write your newsletter.