The past few weeks have been difficult for all of us as we navigate a temporary "new normal".
One of the most challenging aspects of the pandemic is that the future is unknown. When will shelter-in-place restrictions be lifted? When will art fairs, exhibitions and openings resume again? And, how do we operate our art businesses during these uncertain times?
There are many questions that arise around how you can move your art career forward.
- Do you continue email marketing with a newsletter?
- What type of content is appropriate to communicate about right now?
- How often should I be sending communications?
On top of everything else going on, it can start to feel overwhelming.
But, we can and should continue to connect with our audience and collectors during this time. It’s not a time to go silent. In fact, people are looking for connection and communication, and they might be wondering how they can support you!
We’ve put together a few email templates that you can use as a jumping-off point to get your message across effectively and with compassion.
Remember that your clients and collectors are going through the same experience as you right now. The best approach to email communications right now (and always) is to be honest, transparent, and personal.
Use these scripts as a guide or as a source of ideas. Add your own voice and change it up to make it feel authentic to you and your artwork. You will notice that the email templates follow a similar structure that is made up of the following parts:
A concise and attention-grabbing subject line. A good subject line is what stands between your readers actually opening your email, letting it sit unread, or getting reported as spam. A subject line can make or break your email marketing.
A personal greeting. Always use your own voice and make the email sound like you are writing to a friend.
A clear message in the body of your email. Emails should be as concise and short as possible, while still getting your message across. You have just a few seconds of attention to get to the point. Don’t be afraid of short lines to emphasize something.
One call to action. You don’t want to overcrowd your email with too many links. Choose one main objective of your email and only link to that. Is it to get your readers to look at an online portfolio? Link only to this near the end of the email.
Follow Can-Spam laws. Make sure you are in compliance with all emailing and newsletter laws regarding identifying where you are mailing from, how they got on the list, an unsubscribe link, any affiliate information or sponsorship information.
A Message of Thanks Email
A message of thanks can also be a great way to touch base with your clients and art collectors, show up in their inbox, and let them know you appreciate their continued support.
You can send this email to recent buyers or to your patrons that perhaps haven’t purchased recently, but have supported your work in the past.
Subject line: Your support means the world to me
Your support has carried me through
Thank you for your support during these times
I hope you are staying safe and happy. I have been [a short line about what you have been up to] and reflecting on the people who make it possible for me to continue this work.
This is just a quick note to say thank you.
I know these are difficult times for all and I wanted to say thank you for your continued support. Because of you, I have been able to [example of new project or something you are grateful for].
It’s people like you that will help keep the arts afloat so that we will have a vibrant world full of culture to return to.
Thanks for all you do,
P.S. – If you are interested in checking out the work I have been making during quarantine, I created a private viewing room for you to see what I’ve been up to. I’d love to get your feedback. You can view the new works here [link to private viewing room].
The Change of Events Email Update
Many artists are having to look to online events, openings, and workshops as art fairs, galleries, and public spaces have closed for the foreseeable future. Let your regular buyers know about the change in events and inform them of what you are doing instead.
Subject line: I’ll miss you at [name of event] this year
It comes as no surprise that [name of event] has been canceled this year for the safety of all the artists and the art patrons.
While I’m disappointed not to see your face in person this year, I know this is the responsible course of action.
In light of this, I have created a few alternative online events. I hope you will join in me in one of the following ways:
Join my virtual event [details about what you are doing]
Check out my works that are available for purchase [link to Public Profile or website]
Attend a workshop that I’m hosting [link to workshop]
Send a gift card to a friend [link to your web shop]
Thank you so much for your continued support.
Wishing you health and happiness,
The “New Work is Available” Email
While the economy is affecting many people around the world, there are still people that want to and are able to support your artwork. Letting them know what you are up to and what you have available, in a low-pressure and non-salesy manner will leave the ball in their court. Many people are looking to support independent artists during this time, they just need to know about how to do it first!
I want to say first and foremost I hope you are doing as well as possible during this global pandemic. These are some difficult times, and I sincerely wish you the very best in staying healthy, happy, and safe.
As things have been shaken up, my plan is to [what you are planning to do].
I genuinely appreciate your support and interest in my work over the years.
With that, I am happy to share [new project description]
These works are now available and those on the email list have the first opportunity to purchase this new work.
[Image of one or two works]
[ URL to a Private Viewing Room]
Again, thank you for your support. I am more grateful than it is possible to express in an email.
Stay safe & healthy,
The “Asking for your Input” Email
People love to feel like they are involved in your process. Having some input or posing a question to them will help them to feel invested in the outcome. If you have a question that you feel comfortable posing to your audience, you can ask them for input on a certain aspect of a work or take a poll about what to make next.
This quarantine has gotten me thinking about [revisiting an old series, starting a new work based on … ] I wanted to give you a glimpse of what I’ve started and get your feedback.
I was inspired to start/revisit this work when [talk about inspiration]
Take a look [Link to portfolio pages with descriptions about each artwork]
What do you think? What’s been inspiring you lately?
I’ll let you know when the work is finished, or you can follow along with my progress by following me on Instagram [link your handle] or Facebook [link your handle] (if you aren’t already).
Hope you are staying safe and happy,
The “Peek into my Home Studio During Coronavirus” Email
Another way to strengthen a connection with your audience is to give them a behind-the-scenes look at where you create your artwork. For you, the simple things like your tools or brushes and set up might seem mundane, but for someone else, it's a peek into a different world.
Showing your audience a corner of your studio, the family cat sleeping next to your easel, the messy sketches littering your desk or the view you see each day when creating is a great way to remind them of the person behind the work.
“A virtual studio tour of my makeshift home studio”
“Take a peek into my new home studio”
Things sure look different around here. Over the last few weeks, I’ve adapted my studio into my [garage, kitchen, living room] and I wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the new workspace.
It’s not perfect but I’ve been embracing [something positive you have been embracing….]
I’ve actually been able to create [what you are working on now]
Here’s a peek:
[Images of your studio including details, fun images, images of pets, images of kids in the studio … whatever feels most authentic to you]
If you want to see more of the work I’ve been creating from this new space, I invite you to take a look at my portfolio [link to your Artwork Archive Public Profile].
Sending you a distant hug,
The “New Technique I’ve Learned in Quarantine” Email
Depending on your chosen medium, you may have had to get creative in quarantine. If you were used to working in a group space with access to large equipment, perhaps you have scaled back and adapted to your new situation. Perhaps in response to the times, you created a line of smaller works that catered to a larger audience at a smaller price point.
Everyone is working to adapt to a changing situation right now. Letting your audience know how you are adapting can create a sense of camaraderie. Let them know what your challenges have been and what you are working on to overcome them. Transparency is key. They will want to support your journey.
“The silver lining to this quarantine”
“What quarantine has taught me”
Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
Well, being away from my normal tools, material, and equipment has definitely forced me to get even more creative. What I’ve learned from this is [something you’ve learned].
I’ve spent the last few weeks adapting my creative process to what has been available to me, and I have to say, I’m pretty excited about the results.
Instead of working with [what you mainly use], I’ve been working with [a new material/technique/process you have used].
I documented the process along the way and wanted to share some of the steps I took to create it since it was an interesting learning experience.
[images of your process or link to blog post on your public profile.]
And, for the final reveal!
[images of the final works]
If you are interested in seeing more, I created a collection of works from this series that you can find here [link to a collections page on Artwork Archive].
I hope you and your family are doing well,
The “Personal Story that Happened During Quarantine” Email
Not every email in your newsletter has to be strictly about your artwork. In fact, it shouldn't be! By sharing personal anecdotes every now and then, you are able to create a more authentic connection and brand identity with your audience. That way, when you do send an email about your artwork available for sale, they will know the person behind the work.
“Lessons I’ve learned as an artist during Shelter-in-Place”
“Strange things are happening every day”
“I had a quarantine fail as an artist”
I hope your time at home has going ok and you and your family are safe (and not driving each other too crazy).
Things around my house and now home studio have definitely been shaken up and it has made for some interesting times trying to be a full-time artist and [your other obligations or things you do now].
This week, [share a funny/interesting/enlightening/redemption story].
[picture/video of event]
Are you having similar experiences during this time?
If you have, know we are in this together.
PS- Here are some of my favorite books/podcasts/movies etc. I’ve been enjoying during this time.
Communicating and connecting over email is more important than ever
Because we can't communicate in person at the moment, email is one of the most direct ways to connect with your fans and let them know what you are up to.
Use these templates to get started and let us know if you have other templates that you use in the comments!
Above all, make sure you are communicating in a way that feels authentic to your voice, keep it concise, and include links to your public profile and private viewing rooms. If aren't using Artwork Archive already to showcase your artwork, you can give it a try complete free (with no automatic payments) for 30 days.