I see it a lot. An artist launches their website or their Etsy shop and they are really excited! Maybe they even do the promotional work that’s necessary to get noticed and make sales. But they end up disappointed. It just didn’t go as well as they thought it would.
And then there are artists who have been at it for a while now, but they are never sure if their stats are up to par. They don’t know whether their marketing is working or not because they have no expectations to compare the numbers to.
So I want to curb both problems today, by just coming out with it and telling you what you can expect.
First, overnight success doesn’t exist. Even the artists that get swept up by a big-name gallerist or collector put in some work before that gallerist or collector knew they existed. And so it will be for you too. You will not get success handed to you on a pretty little platter the moment your site goes live on the wide expanse of the internet. The internet isn’t magic.
What will happen, though, is that if you put in the work you can expect a certain level of results. This is usually called “conversions” in the business world. For instance, if you are at an art fair and 100 people come to your table, but only 15 purchase, your conversion rate is 15%. That’s actually a really high conversion rate, so most likely the people at the fair were your target market.
But let’s talk about the online world, since that’s less familiar to most people.
The number of people who visit your site is almost entirely dependent on how much you promote your site. Throw the site up there and ignore it? You’re looking at 5-10 visitors a week – random people who found you in the depths of the internet or people who know your name and googled for you specifically. To get more visitors to your site, promote it more. Websites, blogs, online magazines, social media, forums for your target market, etc.
Of those site visitors, typically around 2-5% will sign up for your email list, depending on where you place the opt-in form, what it looks like, and what it says on the form about what they’re signing up for… and whether those site visitors are in your target market.
I know that sounds low, but it has to be a perfect fit for someone to give you their email address.
Of those same site visitors, 1% are likely to buy if you have a normal site. If you have a shop, like Etsy for instance, that number is usually higher since the shop is optimized for making sales and almost nothing else. This is almost entirely dependent on whether the site visitors are in your target market.
In your email, you can usually expect about 35-45% of your subscribers to open each email. These people might be different each time or many of them may be the same. Lots of people will open every email, and lots of people won’t. Opening has to do with your subject line and whether the person likes the content you typically put in an email, as well as whether they recognize the name in the “from” field.
And you can expect 10% of your subscribers to purchase from you, or thereabout.
Your subscribers are much more likely than site visitors to purchase from you because they have gotten to know you a little more and are reminded of your frequently so that when they’re ready to purchase you’re there. It’s also more likely that people who will eventually buy will join your email list.
Aside from being able to compare numbers, the takeaway here is to not just promote everywhere but to promote to the right people for the optimal number of people joining your email list and buying your art.
So how do your numbers match up? I’d love to know in the comments.