Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Customer Relationship Management — made easy for artists.

It can be a struggle to keep track of all the moving parts in your art business—especially when it comes to the professional relationships you develop throughout your entire career. How many paintings did this client buy? Who did I share that inventory report with? Where did I file that updated commission contract? Wait, did I send the client the updated contract?

Artwork Archive has developed a fully integrated CRM tool that is intended to help you build new relationships, strengthen existing ones, and generally work smarter when it comes to growing your art business.

Typically, CRM stands for ‘Customer Relationship Management.’ However, when you’re running an art business, ‘customers’ are not the only relationships that are important to maintain.

At Artwork Archive, we prefer to think of CRM as ‘Contact Relationship Management’ where you don’t just manage customer relationships, but also collectors, gallerists, advisors, shippers, etc.

Below, we’ve outlined specific ways to use CRM as an integral part of your day-to-day workflow.

How to use CRM to build new relationships

Let’s say you meet a collector at an art fair. They’re interested in your latest body of work and want to set up a time to visit your studio. This could be the start of a very profitable business relationship—but only if you take the proper steps to foster that connection.

With Artwork Archive’s CRM, you’re able to create a contact record for your prospective collector immediately via your smartphone. No need to scribble things down in a notebook or on a piece of paper that could easily get lost.

Simply "create a new contact" and enter all their information without missing a beat. Use "Notes" to include distinguishing features—including when, where and how you met them—what artworks they've inquired about, and any other important details about who this person is and why you should nuture this relationship, as shown in the image below.

In this example, the collector wants to come by your studio, but needs to check their schedule first—could you kindly follow up with them the following week, after the fair? With the CRM tool, you’re able to set reminders about a specific person directly from their contact record and note any pertinent details, so you'll never miss an imporant opportunity, even during the chaos of a busy art fair.

How to set a reminder for a specific contact:

  • Click ‘Contacts’ in the left-hand menu. Then, click into the Contact Record that you want to set the reminder for.
  • Click ‘Add Reminder’ at the top of the Contact Record.
  • Enter both the date and the note you want to be associated with the reminder.
  • Be sure to click ‘Save’.

Your reminder will be added to this contact record and is automatically integrated with your Schedule feature. Reminders will also be automatically listed in your contact's individual record for reference.

You are also able to sync your reminders with your smartphone, Google calendar, or Outlook by clicking on the ‘Calendar’ icon to the right of your reminder—almost like having your very own executive assistant.


How to use Artwork Archive’s CRM to strengthen existing relationships

Continuing to grow your customer base is important for ongoing success, but it's also true that strengthening relationships with your existing clients is one of the critical drivers for sustainable growth in the arts.

With Artwork Archive, everything is relational. All contacts are linked to their respective invoices and documents/reports, so you’re able to seamlessly track everything you have shared with a specific person. From various Reports to Private Rooms, everything you share with a contact will be recorded on their individual contact record.

How to share a report with a contact:

  • Once you’ve generated a report in Artwork Archive, you will be redirected to the ‘Reports’ page.
  • Find the report you’d like to share. Click the blue arrow next to the report’s title, then click ‘Share’
  • Find the existing contact you’d like to send the report to. Write a brief message to explain what it is you’re sending and personalize your email, then click ‘Send’.

You’re also able to share with an entire Contact Group. To do so, select the existing group from the ‘Groups’ drop-down menu. Once the report is shared with that group, a Share Record will be recorded on each individual’s contact record.

Every time you share a report, the Share Record will be notated on the 'Reports' page next to that report under 'Info.'

You will also see all Share Records associated with a specific contact. This includes all Reports and Private Rooms shared with that individual, even if you shared certain reports with an entire group at once.


In addition to tracking shared reports and Private Rooms, you’re also able to see a specific contact’s Purchase/Acquisition History as well as any Additional Files (such as proposals, contracts, etc), as shown in the image below.

Keeping track and staying on top of this information doesn’t just help you stay organized, but also empowers you with the analytics you need to keep your existing customers feeling appreciated and engaged, which is critical to drive sales and increase your revenue. 

How to use Artwork Archive’s CRM to work smarter

With Artwork Archive’s integrated CRM tool, you’re able to manage and organize your contacts efficiently. Contact Groups allow you to categorize the different relationships you have made throughout your art career and send groups customized communications.

Let’s say the collector you met at the art fair has become one of your best clients. It would benefit you to group her as such. For example, adding this contact to a group called ‘VIP Collectors’ will allow you to send this entire group new pieces, or exclusive deals that strengthen those relationships even further.

How to add a contact to an existing group:

  • Click on the contact record. Then, click the ‘Edit’ icon. Once in the ‘Edit Contact’ window, select your desired group from the ‘Groups’ drop-down menu.
  • Be sure to click ‘Update Contact.’
  • Now, every time you filter by ‘VIP Collectors,’ you’ll see all contacts who fall under that category.

In addition to filtering by Groups, you’re also able to filter by Relation—as shown in the image below—and Location. This will enable you to quickly let a group of collectors know you'll be in their area for an artist lecture, or that you'll have works on view at a gallery nearby. 

Automate tasks with CRM

Every time you register a sale, the system automatically classifies the buyer as a ‘Client’. This enables you to sort through your contacts by who has purchased your work in the past and quickly compose messages to entire groups of buyers. 

Knowing which contacts have purchased work, and which have yet to, gives you important information about the next steps you need to take in order to make sales. Become more efficient with your outreach and marketing by segmenting your contacts and delivering customized messaging.

In addition to building new relationships and strengthening existing ones, having the right integrated CRM helps you work smarter—that means spending less time tracking down vital information and more time in the studio doing what you love.

Ready to streamline your studio communications and increase your sales? Try Artwork Archive free for 30 days.