Email Marketing Tips for your Next Art Show

Artwork Archive | December 16, 2020 (Updated April 12, 2021)

Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at UK Writings and Academized. She writes articles for online publications such as Boom essays.
As a tech enthusiast, she blogs about the latest trends in technology, computers, and social media. And, as a project manager, she has overseen many writing projects nationwide.

As an artist and owner of a small business, we know that you’re juggling a lot of tasks.

It's likely that you are working on your art in the studio while also working at your business to promote your art. With so much information out there about what the best marketing tools to use are, it can be hard to decide what’s best for you. There are always new trends in marketing, whether it be the latest social media trend or the latest SEO practices – but one of the best ways to market your art is a tried and tested way, email marketing.

If there is one thing that you spend your time on in marketing, make it your emails. This is because a well-designed list of email subscribers is much more valuable than any other list you can have—from social media to direct mail.

Email is a means of reaching out to people who have already expressed an interest (because they signed up for your newsletter), and it’s a fantastic way to keep your art fresh and brought to the attention of your customers and interested, potential customers. Moreover, 100% of your email subscribers will see your email, as opposed to social media pages in which algorithms are constantly changing and it’s never guaranteed that followers will see your new posts. Finally, email feels personal – it’s a way to build your voice, communicate how your art is special, and build a connection with you and your audience.

As an art business, your work is already engaging, creative, and includes some form of a story that resonates with potential customers. How you choose to market these elements in your email newsletters is up to you!

Here are some top tips for maximizing your email marketing for your upcoming art show.


Announce your art show

This may seem obvious but ensure to announce your show over your email newsletter. Your lists will usually be made up of people who have attended your last show, shown interest in the art you sell or are your friends and family. Whether this is a list of 100 or 1000, make sure they receive an email with all the key details – the time, location, and dates of your show! Inform them in the email about the content of your show, and what they can expect on the day. Send a few emails in the lead up to the show but be wary of spamming them with too many emails.

You can add a calendar file, which readers could choose to export to their desktop or smartphone calendar to remind them an hour or so before the show begins.


Use the show to collect new email addresses

There is no better way to begin to build your email list than to ask the guests of your art show to sign-up in person.

“This could be via strategically placed email sign-up lists around the gallery, or by physically asking people to sign up when introducing your show. Think about it: these people are already clearly interested in your art, so take advantage of this by encouraging them to stay in touch!” says Trish Johnson, a marketing strategist at State of writing and Paper Fellows.

For an online show, you could inform people of your newsletter towards the end of the show, allowing them to give out their email address only after they’ve seen what you have to offer.


Share interesting content about your artwork

Once people are signed up to your email list, you don’t want them to forget about you – as well as sharing the details of your upcoming shows, be sure to send some interesting content about your work. You could share the process of making your art, materials used, or new products that are for sale.

Remember that stories resonate with people – so share the story of your art and your personal journey, share a behind the scenes video … the options are endless!

An online live stream or video from your phone is great for sharing updates, offering your fans the best-guided tour of your studio possible. You can walk around with the camera, physically zooming in on and concentrating on more important aspects.


Automate your emails to art collectors and clients

Since you’re likely busy in the studio and with physical marketing, it’s a good idea to automate your email newsletters so that you can concentrate your efforts elsewhere. “There are tons of great paid email service providers out there, like MailChimp, which take a little bit of time to set up and plan but then run smoothly without you doing very much,” explains Judy Crott, an email marketer at Oxessays and Essayroo.

You can set up automated emails to welcome new subscribers, follow-up with recent purchasers, reach out to the most engaged subscribers, and more. You can also automatically send new blog posts and social media posts to your subscribers.


Offer Incentives

People love freebies. This isn’t really a freebie, because you are asking for an email address and possibly a mail address in exchange for this freebie – it serves as an incentive for people to sign up! This can be anything from a screen saver to download at the end of your live stream, a special discount, or a postcard with your artwork on it. 


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