Newsletters can be incredibly powerful tools for artists. Debra Joy Groesser sells a painting off every monthly newsletter she sends out. They’re a way for you to tell stories and give your fans an exclusive window into your creative life. But, come off too sales-y and people will unsubscribe in droves. Come off too dull and you’ll send people to sleep. Strike a winning balance with these nine topics!
1. Host Giveaways
If you’re hosting a giveaway — and who doesn’t like those? — create it for your mailing list. They’ll feel extra special it’s only available to them and it’ll be a chance for you to create some buzz around your brand. You could have them enter by sending a title idea for your newest work (include the image and directions in your newsletter). Whoever chooses the best title wins and gets a free print of the artwork. Get creative and have fun with it!
2. Channel Your Inner Bob Ross
Artist Debra Joy Groesser makes sure her newsletters aren’t all about her and always adds in an educational component. She’s done step-by-step demos or given her fans an inside look at what goes into a commissioned portrait.
“I make sure it’s not all about me. I want to write something that my readers will be interested in.” -Debra Joy Groesser
3. Create a VIP Artwork Club
It’s fun to treat your newsletter list to some exclusivity. Make them feel like VIPs and give them first dibs on all your new artwork. Let them know it’ll be available just to them for a limited amount of time, such as a week before you list it anywhere else. They feel appreciated and the time limit offers a subtle sense of urgency for them to purchase your artwork.
4. Include Artist Life Snapshots
If you're at your wits’ end about what to write, bring out your camera! Newsletters aren’t all about words, and time and time again images trump text for keeping people interested. Take snapshots of your studio, works in progress, your beautifully messy palette, your clay splattered apron, or your rough sketches.
5. Mention Residencies or Art Trips
Finished an amazing residency in the Petrified Forest, AZ like Lisa McShane? Taken a trip to Venice and painted by the Grand Canal? Tell your mailing list! Who knows? They might adore Venice and want to get their hands on your rendering of Santa Maria Della Salute church. And, it’s always fun for people to see some travel photos–just not too many.
6. Extend Exclusive Invitations
It’s always nice to see art in an exhibition space, rather than online. Give your mailing list the A-list treatment and extend a special invitation to your next show. You could even have them respond and enter a raffle for a free print. Then you can choose the winner at the event.
7. Share Your Artwork Archive Public Page
Keep your mailing list updated on all your available work! Your Artwork Archive Public Page is a wonderful way for your fans to see everything that’s available to purchase. It’s as easy as adding your unique Public Page link to your newsletter.
8. Reveal Your Latest Inspirations
Art lovers enjoy learning the stories behind artworks. Let them see the world through your eyes and share what inspired your latest collection. There is always more to a piece of art than the aesthetics. Let people in and allow them to connect with your art on a deeper level.
9. Showcase Social Proof
Is your art hanging in a gallery, did someone just buy your artwork, did you just win an art show? Tell your mailing list! People desire artwork even more when other art lovers want or value it. If you’re worried about your buyer’s privacy, keep the details vague. But, still show an image of the piece and maybe mention the city the collector is from. If your buyer agrees, you could even include a photo of them with their new artwork.
Read more about social proof in 7 Ways to Convert Your Art Buyers to Superfans.
Need More Ideas to Switch Things Up?
Marketing whiz Mckenna Hallett is brimming with even more ways to share your artistic life with your fans. Here are a few of her many ideas to discuss on her newsletter: “before and after art [photos], visit a local art show, before and after a re-hanging at a gallery, an opening – yours or anyone's, your favorite classical artist and what is inspirational in their art”. Read more in the comments section of Alyson Stanfield’s wonderful article Conquering Newsletter Anxiety.
Not sure how to set up an artist newsletter? Read Cory Huff’s Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Artists.