I bet you hear a lot about opt-in offers, lead magnets, or incentives to get people to join your email list. You hear about them all the time for two reasons: 1 – they make everyone involved feel good (it feels good to give or receive gifts) and 2 – they are the big driver of email signups for service-providers.
You are not a service provider.
Since you offer products, not services, you don’t really need an opt-in offer. People are likely to sign up just because they want to see when you’ve got new art. That’s plenty exciting for them and a good enough reason to get you in their inbox (so long as you don’t email too often or make it feel too promotional).
Before you consider creating an opt-in offer, start by making sure the text surrounding any opportunity for people to join your email list is honest and enticing. Don’t ever say “sign up for my email list” or worse – “sign up for my newsletter”.
Think of that from their perspective.
There is nothing exciting for them about signing up for something or about getting a newsletter (ugh!) or more email in their already overloaded inbox.
But instead tell them honestly what they’ll get from it, which is definitely exciting. Like so:
Can I send you an email to give you the first look at my new pieces?
Get the first glimpse every time I finish a painting!
Catch exclusive peeks inside my studio!
Sold? Never miss out on a piece you love again.
See how all of those feel more energetic and enticing? Engaging and exciting? Other E words…?
This is framed from their perspective.
That’s the sort of thing they want to hear from you. And if you tell them that’s what you’re giving (and give it of course) they are going to want to sign up! This is the absolute first step in building your email list – making it desirable to join it.
But once you’ve done that, you can consider an opt-in offer.
Opt-in offers that actually work are:
This one is hands-down the best deal for getting people to buy. Studies show that people are more likely to choose free shipping over a discount code for the same product even if the discount code would make the total purchase less expensive than the free shipping. People LOVE free shipping.
If you can make this a meaty amount, like at least 20%, you can make people more likely to purchase something within a few days of joining your email list. Once they have the discount code, it feels like not using it is actually a loss, so they want to purchase something.
Free Hanging Service
This only works locally, but it’s a really powerful way to get people to buy original wall art. When a customer is considering a purchase, it’s not always money that gets in the way of them buying. Often it’s convenience. Can they figure out where to put it? How expensive will it be to frame and will they know what frame to pick? Will it be hard to hang it level? It can be really stressful to buy art. If you wipe away that stress, you get customers for life.
Digital “Wallpaper” Suite
These are pretty easy to create and a surprisingly big hit with art lovers. Just create .jpgs in several sizes to fit different cell phones and desktops. I recommend using just one piece. If you have fun making them, you can sell the wallpaper suites for other pieces as nice, inexpensive ways for customers to try out your art in their lives. Make sure you leave your signature on them, though!
Use an older or smaller piece as a gift they can print out and frame themselves. A good size would be a 4×6″. This should be a piece you don’t sell prints of anymore or if you do, it’s really old and you don’t mind if it doesn’t sell. It’s a good way for fans to try your art on their walls before deciding they really want a beautiful original. It’s a great opportunity to get their address so you can mail physical promos to them. Physical mail is actually more effective than email, but most people are reluctant to give their mailing address. If you promise to send them a free print, they’ll get more excited.
Good old exclusivity is the biggest driver of desire ever known to humankind (maybe I’m being dramatic?). When you’re told that not everyone can have something, you automatically want it more. If you can provide something to your email list that no one else gets, even if it isn’t free, that is an offer people can’t refuse. Consider only signing prints for subscribers or offering framing or hanging advice only to subscribers – even if you charge extra for it. My subscribers get access to a one-hour session I don’t offer anyone else, and at a steep discount too. It’s pretty popular because they know I don’t let just anyone sit down with me for only an hour, they usually have to buy big packages of sessions.
Don’t forget that you need expiration dates for the first two – free shipping and discount codes – and maybe the third.
You want to give people an impetus to purchase soon after signing up, not a reason to wait around because the offer is always on the table.
Most of these can be done in person too, not just on your website. Have some business-card-sized discount codes printed up with your website address and a picture of one of your pieces. Or use postcards with the printable on them and sign the back in person so they can just frame the postcard. Chat with them some and get them excited about receiving your emails.
Don’t make it feel like they’re talking to their next used car salesman trying to load them up with promotional materials, make it feel like they just met a new best friend.