As an artist, your creative journey is filled with emotion and self-expression. Sharing the process behind your masterpiece with the world is not only an invigorating experience, but a necessary one if you hope to turn it into a career. The path to artistic success involves more than just showcasing your artwork on social media platforms. Today, let's talk about the transformative power of building an email list and explore the many benefits it offers to artists.
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Do artists need an email list?
Yes, artists definitely need an email list. Building and maintaining an email list is a crucial component of a successful online marketing strategy for artists. It allows artists to directly connect with their fans, promote new releases, announce upcoming events, and engage with their audience on a more personal level. An artist's email list can help lead to increased visibility and potential sales opportunities.
Email Lists vs Social Media
Creating art is a personal and intimate process, and connecting with your audience should be a top priority. While social media is a vital tool for artists, offering broad exposure to a large audience, it can sometimes be impersonal and subject to unpredictable algorithm shifts. An email list, on the other hand, allows you to establish a deeper bond with your followers.
By utilizing email marketing for artists, you gain direct access to your subscribers' inboxes. This approach bypasses social media algorithms that might limit who sees your posts, ensuring that your art reaches the people who truly appreciate it. Email lists offer a more targeted and personalized way to engage with your fans, providing a platform to share not just your artwork but also the stories and passion behind it.
Think of your email list as a canvas where you can paint your art story. Email allows you to share the stories behind your creations, your artistic evolution, and your triumphs and challenges. It enables you to nurture relationships, build trust, and provide valuable insights into your creative journey.
How to grow an engaging art community through an email list
Enticing Sign-Up Forms: Your website should boast captivating sign-up forms that entice visitors to become part of your art community. Try to write compelling reasons and perhaps offer glimpses of the exclusive content they'll access as subscribers.
Heartfelt Content That Inspires: Remember, your emails should be more than just promotions; they're your artistic diaries. Talk about your creative process, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and heartfelt stories that resonate with your audience. If you teach, provide valuable art tips and tutorials that nurture their own artistic pursuits. Think of your newsletter as your life's story, with each email being a chapter of that journey.
Strategic Timing and Consistency: Schedule your emails strategically to maintain regular contact without overwhelming your subscribers. Delivering content at optimal times enhances open rates and engagement.
Interactive and Inclusive: Engage with your audience through interactive content such as polls, surveys, and Q&A sessions. Encourage their opinions and make them feel like valued contributors to your journey. If you are sharing a new painting, ask them how it makes them feel or encourage a reply.
Personal Touch: Address your subscribers by their names and segment your list based on interests. This means that you must ask for their first name and email in the signup forms.
Giveaways: Give your community reasons to be excited with a giveaway that's exclusive to your email subscribers.
Feedback and Testimonials: Request feedback on your artworks and showcase your favorite testimonials from satisfied collectors. Authentic feedback builds credibility and strengthens your artistic bond.
How often should artists send email newsletters?
Artists should aim to send email newsletters 2-3 times per month, given they have something of value to share. Consistent communication through email is essential for keeping fans engaged and informed about the latest updates, new releases, and upcoming events. Sending newsletters at this frequency strikes a balance between staying relevant in your audience's minds without overwhelming their inboxes. This strategy can help grow a loyal fanbase.
I've often heard from gallery owners and art professors that you should only be sending out quarterly emails as it becomes annoying otherwise. Ignore this advice! This is why I say, given you have something of value to share. If you have something compelling and important to you that you want to share, then share it! The fans who follow you just don't want to be sold to on a constant basis. So, make sure that what you are sending out is meaningful and adds to the story of your artistic journey as a whole. If you don't feel you have anything to share, then hold off on sending out an email until you do.
Offer incentives to encourage email signups
Exclusive Artwork Previews: Grant subscribers early access to your latest creations or sneak peeks of upcoming collections before the public release. This will help lead to devoted fans.
Limited Edition Prints: Offer exclusive or early access to limited edition prints, giving subscribers a sense of belonging to an elite art circle.
Special Discounts and Offers: Showcase your appreciation by gifting exclusive discounts or coupon codes for certain prints or artworks.
Art Guides and E-Books: If you teach, craft valuable resources, such as art guides, e-books, or tutorials, to enrich their artistic pursuits.
VIP Art Events and Workshops: For artists who follow you, give priority access or discounted tickets to exhibitions, workshops, or online events you host.
Use automation to welcome new subscribers
Many email newsletter platforms allow you to use automation. This enables you to create a welcome series of emails that new subscribers receive over the course of several days to a week. Though not necessary, it's important to craft several emails that your new followers will receive so that they get to know you as an artist and get caught up with your work prior to receiving your regular scheduled newsletters. By using this approach, you'll weed out anyone who doesn't really care about your artwork and grow a list exclusively comprised of dedicated fans and followers.
You must tell tales of creativity, emotion, and aspirations in order for your email list to become the missing link between your audience and your artwork. By following the strategies and incentives we've covered, you'll grow an art community that cherishes your work and brags about your artistic achievements. So, get out there and tell your story.
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I'm Chuck Black, landscape and wildlife artist based in Southwest Montana.