On the list of art marketing tasks, newsletter writing might be one of the most dreaded. Most artists understand that newsletters are a vital component of any art marketing strategy. In fact, marketing research shows that email marketing is far more successful converting viewers into buyers than social media.
But, when we sit down at the computer and face a blank page, it can be overwhelming. Newsletter writing can feel like a huge task that is more easily accomplished with a quick social media post. But is that really the most effective way to nurture our relationships with art collectors?
Facebook is an important marketing tool for your business, but when you’re looking for the most direct way to reach and interact with your audience, it’s best to turn to email. Why? According to Forrester, people are twice as likely to sign up for your email list as they are to interact with you on Facebookconstant contact.com
The easiest and fastest way to get through your newsletter writing task is to know ahead of time exactly what should go in every newsletter. Once you have decided that, you can set up a template and add the various components at any time. The following are five elements that should be in every artist newsletter:
You’re featured content is the main point of your newsletter. It is your opportunity to personally connect with your audience. You can make this section feel personal by writing this section as though you are writing a note to a favorite collector about a topic is on your mind as an artist. The topic should be an insider story that feels exclusive to your news letter. Perhaps you’ve mentioned the topic on your website or social media, but your newsletter provides more details or context not available elsewhere. Keep it short, but entertaining or educational.
Your featured content topic should be something that is relatable and helps your reader understand your motivations and artwork from a different angle. Of course there are probably 1000 topics you could choose that would be completely appropriate, but just in case you have writers block, here are 12 featured content prompts (one for each month of the year):
- Describe a situation, place, event or conversation that inspired you to get into the studio this month.
- Tell us about a post that came across your social media feed this month. It can be the work of another artist, and inspiring quote, or a controversial news item. How did it affect you and what lesson did you take from it?
- Describe the best ways to care for and exhibit your art pieces. This can include the best lighting options, the best rooms or environments for your art, and how to clean your art.
- Tell us about any handmade tools or equipment you created for your studio practice. This is does not need to be a tutorial, unless you want it to be. Instead, tell us about something you innovated in order to create your unique art.
- Create an artist bio for your studio pet/mascot. Give us the name, age, photos, and studio duties. Tell us a little bit about how your mascot inspires you, affects your mood, or disrupts your studio time.
- Remember Bob Ross and his happy accidents? Tell us about a piece of art that was an accident but worked out into something interesting any way. For that matter, tell us about a piece of art that didn’t work out and how you handled it.
- Tell us about something that brings you down, and how you resolve it. Part of being an artist is shining a light on the reality of humanity with all of its challenges. Don’t be too morose, but don’t be afraid to let your readers no that an artist’s life is not “Pinterest Perfect.”
- Tell us more about your day job (or your previous day job.) Do any of its aspects find their way into your artwork? Is your artwork a way to escape the daily grind?
- What does a typical day of your artist life look like? Do you have a routine, is your studio time sporadic, do you regularly meet with other artists? Do you need a cup of coffee before you start?
- Review a museum show, art show, or art book you recently visited or read. Tell us why the show or book attracted you and why you were (or were not) impressed. What did you take away from the show or book? What do you wish was included but was not?
- Tell us a little bit about your dream studio or a piece of studio equipment you wish you had. How would it change your work or the way you work?
- Since December is full of holidays, describe how you will celebrate the holiday. Alternatively, describe a favorite holiday. Why is it your favorite?
Your New Work
Your newsletter is your way of staying in touch and is an excellent opportunity to introduce new work. Be careful though, if you are including images of new artwork, make sure that they are formatted as a small file. Typically, 2“ x 3“ at 72 dpi Is an appropriate file size for a newsletter. Remember, if your news letter is too large overall, mini email servers will bounce your newsletter. This means that your intended recipient will never even have the chance to see it.
If you have scheduled any new shows, gained any new representation, or received any accolades or awards since your last newsletter, make sure to mention it. Don’t assume that people have already heard about your events and awards through your social media channels. Remember that not all social media posts make it into every fee, and even when they do, most social media posts are not read. Remember, Your newsletter is your chance to tell the world how you’re art is doing. It’s completely appropriate to sing your own praises, even if it feels a bit like bragging.
A SHORT Biography or “About Me”
Perhaps the most important reason for sending a consistent newsletter is to develop a personal connection with your audience. Your audience receives news letters and emails from a slough of marketing professionals. It can be difficult for them to remember why they’re receiving your newsletter. To help them, add one or two sentences that remind people who you are, and how they can get in touch with you. This clarifies who is sending the e-mail, and reinforces your personal connection with your readers with every newsletter – especially if you include photograph of yourself. Don’t forget to include your contact information, studio address if it’s public, as well as your social media links.
A Call to Action
“A call to action” is marketing speak for telling your readers what you would like them to do next. Do you want them to attend your show? Do you want them to link to your website and shop your art? Do you want them to take your class? Make it clear to your reader what they should do next and provide them with the information they need to do it.
Remember . . .
Keep in mind that there are legal rules that every newsletter must comply with that also apply to artists. For example, every newsletter must include a link that makes it easy for a subscriber to unsubscribe. This article is not intended to cover all of the legal aspects of newsletter sending. However, the easiest ways for artist to comply with applicable laws is to sign up with a newsletter service provider such as mail chimp and mailer lite. These services provide free newsletter services that can be upgraded as your list grows. In addition, they provide pre-formatted templates that will assist you in keeping your newsletter compliant with laws in your area.