When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. (Applies to your email marketing plan.)
– David Ogilvy
An email marketing plan is very effective, but it’s still a numbers game. You probably don’t send enough. There are many reasons, and I get the why of them, but you can do better with the same effort or less than now.
Sending once per month is risky because you can fall out of touch. A few misses on opens, and months have gone by with no connection between you and important clients, friends, and subscribers. I recommend weekly, but I realize it’s not practical for most artists, so I split the difference and suggest sending twice monthly with occasional blasts. You can keep to that schedule if you follow my advice. (For more insights into creating an email marketing plan, check out the Definitive Guide to Email Marketing for Artists.
These tips assume you are not personalizing the content in your email marketing plan. It’s possible but also next-level stuff. And it works best if you master a basic system, as in this discussion. The trick is to use templates and a content schedule to control your time. A plan with dates and topics determined helps overcome reluctance towards writing copy or creating graphics.
When using email templates, you don’t’ waste time designing individual emails. There is much to be said for consistency. Readers become familiar with your layout and style and are familiar with navigating your content, which helps them like it. And they also will recognize your pattern of sending.
My idea is to send one longer email with five or six sections max with branded header and footer. Then make the second monthly email short and sweet. Use two or three max sections and keep them short. Use a quote, a moment of inspiration, or admiration for anything (What amazed you today?) Update on long-range works or projects. News about you as in shows, sales, in-studio hours, etc. And then something about you, your house, your city, region, or state, that is a point of interest, or even better, a quick tip for cooking, music, gardening, rock climbing, beachcombing, etc.
Here are ideas for topics for various sections of your artist’s email newsletter to include in the templates: you create for your email marketing plan:
- News items about you, your go-to subject matter, local events, etc.
- Works in Progress – updates on artworks and projects waiting for completion.
- Inspiration can come from anything that arrests your attention. It can be something beautiful you see in nature, a quote, artwork from the ages, or music you love.
- Inside the Studio – Write about using a paintbrush with a single hair or discuss why Northern light is so desirable. Photograph a tube of paint and tell why you love Cadmium Blue or show how you ship your work.
Little tidbits with insider facts are fascinating to many people, especially those who are prime to become collectors. You have an unlimited number of items that you use, store, and wish for. For example, tell us why your French easel is so helpful. Or how you pull a setup together to compensate for the lack of one. And that brings up another idea. Give insight into the challenge of being an artist. You are not looking for sympathy but for understanding and acknowledging the challenges artists face.
Spotlight – feature an artwork. It can be an original fresh off the easel or a print from your Print-on-Demand ecommerce store. Showcase your ecommerce site by mentioning the latest trends you are seeing in your business or the overall art business. Or from art reviews, new art-related products, and so forth. If you sell services, such as consulting books, or online classes, include a weekly mention with a list of new services and special offers. This idea is just one of the many easy ways to do it that works.
And those are a few ideas for your monthly newsletter. Keep in mind that your ideal buyer probably shares many interests with you. Success hinges on having a plan that outlines the content of your emails. The project keeps you focused and on track to cover your most important messages. It takes research and planning, but organizing and prioritizing are worth it. You are using a plan and templates to get more done in less time and without stress.
Most new email marketers have no plan. Instead, they write their first email, reread it, modify, or delete and rewrite it because they sat down with no clue what they should write about or why. So there is a better way.
Block out the time for the project. It needs your undivided attention to create a plan for each email with dates and topics determined. The goal is the key to simplifying the process and makes pulling it together easy. Keep your readers in mind when you write. Use language like talking to an old friend who knows you but not much about your art business. Think about how your readers will react to your subject line because it is the most crucial part of any email. Subject lines get emails open which is mission-critical to your plan.
There is no getting around that it takes time to become familiar with managing your project. At first, you might feel it takes too much time to write and design. But the more email you create and send, the easier the tasks become. You will instinctively know what steps to take to create an email marketing plan as efficiently as possible. So please don’t allow boredom to set in. Instead, take a break, get some help, and find inspiration, but never quit because you are working on the lifeblood of your art business.
The needs of the person receiving the email should be the focus of the email. Before you start writing, you need to understand who they are and what they want. When creating an email, it’s a good idea to put yourself in their shoes. Think about what it would be like to be in their situation. What will make them respond? What can you do to help them?
They’re not always looking for art to buy, so you must use your creativity to engage them with other shared interests or introduce new items and ideas. You can develop ways to make your email stand out by using different sections and topics, as discussed here.
Always include calls to action. Adding social sharing features to your email is recommended. Social sharing lets you share your email with others. It helps spread the word about your campaign and increases the chances that people will get involved.
If you want to be inspired, you can find inspiration everywhere. Take some time to look for it. One of the most critical aspects of building a brand is to have an identity. When people know who you are, they can tell if you’re authentic or not.
A strong brand has a consistent message. Your brand is your personality. Your personality is what people notice when they meet you, and it’s what they think about when they hear your name. It’s how you make them feel when they speak to you. It’s the way you conduct yourself in social situations. It’s the things you do that show you’re who you are. A good brand is memorable and straightforward.
Apple makes it easy to identify with its brand. They don’t try to be too fancy. Apple has a consistent message and a consistent visual identity. The most important thing to keep in mind when building a brand is consistent. You can’t change your message or identity every other week and not confuse your readers.