An artist newsletter can be one of the most powerful tools in an artist’s marketing toolkit. It’s important to put effort into building up your mailing list so that you can reach a wide audience of art lovers, so make sure to stay in touch with anyone who has expressed interest in your artwork. When you build a mailing list, you want to make sure your subscribers are art-interested, so that they will actually keep reading your content, following your career, and possibly purchasing your work. But, once you’ve got your mailing list how can you make sure your newsletter is going to hold their interest? Below are some tips for creating a successful newsletter that will keep your readers on board and engaged.
How Often Should You Send an Artist Newsletter?
A common mistake artists can make is to send their newsletters too often. The more you send, the less likely your readers are to click through. Your updates will become spam to them, and they’ll end up not reading your messages or unsubscribing. Of course, if you send your newsletter too infrequently, your audience may forget who you are and why they’re receiving these e-mails at all. The perfect middle ground will make your newsletter feel like a regular, welcome feature in your readers’ inboxes.
For most up-and-coming artists, one newsletter every 4-8 weeks will suffice, but there isn’t just one magic number that works for everybody. At Agora Gallery, we send our newsletters once a month. Before you decide, you need to consider:
→ How often do you have big news to report?
→ How often are you creating new artwork?
→ How much time do you have to dedicate to putting a newsletter together?
Consistency is key when it comes to mass mailings. If you send your newsletter once a week for a short period of time and then follow up by not sending another for several months, then you will appear unprofessional and disorganized. Regular updates make you seem busy and interesting, while irregular updates make people think you’re no longer working or that you have nothing interesting to report. Not a good reputation for an artist who’s trying to raise their appeal.
So pick your schedule and stick with it.
When you encourage people to subscribe to your mailing list, let them know how often they’ll be hearing from you, and what kind of things you include. That way, you’ll set their expectations correctly and there won’t be any frustration of the kind that can result from misunderstandings about what’s involved. You don’t just want readers – you want eager readers, people who want to receive what you’re sending. You can help make sure that your mailing list is made up of these types of readers by explaining beforehand what’s involved.
Your Artist Newsletter Content
Content matters from start to finish – from your subject line to the final proofread. Newsletter content doesn’t just include text: it also includes the images you use. Both are crucial in getting your message across and developing your connection with clients and other artists.
What to include in your artist newsletter:
Once you have the frequency of your newsletters decided, you can use the time in between emails to keep a look out for items of interest. Just remember, don’t cram too much in. It’s a newsletter, not a newspaper. You don’t have to update your readers on everything that has happened since you last sent an email; pick out the most interesting points, with a bias towards good marketing material.
Along the same lines, don’t have long paragraphs in your newsletter. These can be useful in different contexts, but a newsletter, which people often skim, is not the place for it. Use bullet points, and keep the newsletter to short items or teasers – you can always send readers to your website or blog to learn more, leading traffic to the sites you care about.
Stay in touch with us! Our Newsletter is packed with inspiring stories, art tips, and Agora Gallery’s latest exhibition announcements.
Picking the content for your artist newsletter
Always think about topics from the perspective of the reader (who will often be distracted while skimming your newsletter) and choose what they will want to hear. In other words, focus on your target audience – and target them.
Often, you will have a clear message that you want to convey through your artist newsletter – to buy your art as a holiday gift, to attend your opening reception, and so on. Make sure that this is clear in the newsletter as the primary item, and refer to it again elsewhere. What is your call to action? Make it clear, and make it easy for readers to follow through with a clear, bright “Read More” button.
1) Feature a recently sold piece. Ask the buyer for a picture of the work in their space and a quotation. This is both interesting and adds a marketing appeal to your works.
2) Upcoming events. Be sure it include the date and address, and ideally a link to the event’s website.
3) “Special interest.” Perhaps you had some unusual experiences at a recent art fair, or gained some interesting insights at a workshop with other artists.
4) A biography/“about me” can fit into the periphery of your newsletters as part of your template, so it is included in every issue. This clarifies who is sending the e-mail, and reinforces your personal connection with your readers with every newsletter – especially if you include a photograph of yourself. Keep it short, though, so it doesn’t take up too much of your newsletter’s limited space.
All of these sorts of things can be useful for newsletters, as well as the news updates and exhibition announcements that you’ll want your readers to be aware of, so keep track of all possible updates when you think of them. Write them down somewhere you can reference when it comes time to compose the newsletter.
Engagement and Tone
You want your readers to enjoy reading your artist newsletter. The tone, therefore, should be friendly and enthusiastic, sharing your delight in your work and your career. People subscribe to artist newsletters because they want to know the personal side of the process, so play up that personal element. It’s okay to be colloquial, but don’t sacrifice grammar and spelling: remember, it’s still a professional document.
Newsletter Subject Lines
It is recommended not to go over 50 characters for the subject line of any newsletter, so make the most of it. Consider carefully what you want to say and which stories you want to highlight, and say it concisely. Remember, your e-mail username is displayed in inboxes, so you don’t always need to include your name in the subject. It may even prove useful to add “Artist” to your display name or e-mail address so you can save characters there, too.
Think of your subject as the one chance you’ll get to convince somebody to open your newsletter. Keep it clean, concise, and consistent. You may use your subject line as a ‘teaser’ for one of your stories. Questions or calls to action are also very eye-catching. Some examples:
- June News: Record Art Sales!
- Have you seen this sculpture yet?
- Check out the new studio!
… of course, you can’t go wrong with the tried and true, “June Newsletter.” Short, sweet, and to the point!
Always, always, always:
Proofread your newsletter! Go through every sentence carefully before you hit “send” to make sure that everything is correct and that there are no embarrassing typos. Your newsletter connects your readers to you as an artist, and represents your business – make sure that it shows you in a good light!
Design Your Artist Newsletter
An artist newsletter should be as visually appealing as the art it is promoting. The worst thing you can do in marketing your artwork is have your audience associate your brand with ugliness. Luckily, you are an artist, so you’re naturally endowed with a particular visual sensitivity. Here are some of the key points to consider when designing your artist newsletter.
Readability: Compose a template that is clear and makes the text easy to read.
- Your newsletter’s background shouldn’t distract from the text. Choose a solid color, and make sure there’s a high contrast between your text and background. (Pro tip: you can’t go wrong with black & white, as this will never clash with your artwork.)
- Include images to break up the text.
- Leave ample empty space so that nothing feels crowded.
- Don’t change your template too often. (Not only will it save you time in the long run, it’ll also help establish consistency and a “brand” that makes you instantly recognizable to your readers.)
Images are obviously important in breaking up the text, getting the message across, and making the newsletter look attractive and inviting to read. Just be careful to make sure that the images you choose are in a web-friendly size (never larger than 5MB).
Not a graphic designer? Not a problem. There are plenty of programs to help you compose and send out your newsletters. We can recommend ActiveCampaign, iContact, AWeber, Constant Contact, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, or Mad Mimi. They’re all very easy to use, so don’t worry about needing technical expertise. Many also include features that help you keep your artist newsletters out of your readers’ spam filter.
Now, these aren’t free, but many offer free trials so you can figure out which works best for you. For most emerging artists, the basic, least expensive options will cover everything you need. They provide templates to make customization easier.
However, if you are a graphic designer or coder (or you know one), you can always draw up your own template for yourself that you can reuse.
While consistency is important, however, you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment within your fixed template and design. You can make little changes for the season: a winter theme in December; hearts for Valentine’s Day. Or maybe something more personalized, to match the topics in the newsletter. These small personalizations will grab your readers’ attention, but they won’t detract from the “feel” you’ve established with your template and format.
Include buttons on your newsletter to make it easy for your readers to forward it to friends and share on social media. The header and footer sections are great parts to include links to your own website and social media pages.
In the end, your newsletter is your own. These tips will get you started, but the best part of a newsletter is the personal touch. So play around with it, and let us know in the comments how you fare!
Looking to develop your artistic career and build a presence in New York City and worldwide? Book an online career development consultation meeting today.