Connie Lippert, Order (Cocochineal Series). Wool hand-dyed with natural dyes, linen, 24 x 24 inches. © The Artist
It’s probably the marketing tool you use most. So much so, in fact, that you do it without even thinking. You dash off an email. You quickly hit Reply. Or you blast your list at the last minute before an exhibit opening.
Wait! Stop! Think! Are you communicating in a way that shows you in your best possible light? Or are you messing with a good opportunity? I ask only because, well, because I get a lot of email from artists. And I have to say, only about half of the messages I receive are done right. The rest are sloppy, inconsiderate, or lazy and are a waste of my time and everyone else who is receiving them. Email is a fantastic tool when it adheres to email etiquette. It’s a pain when it strays.
If you don’t believe me, start paying attention to what comes into your inbox. Then, armed with your research, set out to tweak your email habits. Here are seven things to pay attention to.
1. Personalize your email. Address the person to whom you are writing and sign your name. I continue to be amazed by people who don’t do this and expect a response from me. Another way to personalize your email is to use the email account that comes with your Web site URL. Your own .com address is much more personal than a Hotmail, Gmail, or AOL account. You don’t need to be promoting those other companies, you need to be promoting yourself.
2. Stop sending boring email messages. Honestly, an email that says “I have new work on my Web site” or “Come see my show at this-or-that gallery” is not enticing. Give me some meat! Make me want to attend. (See pages 148-49 of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! for more on this.)
3. Add a signature block to every email message that goes out. This is the block of text that is added to the end of your message, which has your name and contact info. You can also add a current event or honor in this block.
4. Make your links hot by adding http:// in front of every URL you put into an email. Without this, your links aren’t clickable for everyone. Why would you make it difficult for people to click through to your site?
5. Don’t add people to your email list who haven’t requested to be added. It’s against the law. No, you won’t get in trouble for your small infractions, but if the recipient has no idea who you are, your email might be considered an annoyance.
6. If you want to announce something, put it in the body of an email. Putting all of the information in an attachment means you are relying on the recipient to open it up. Do you open all attachments that you receive?
7. This last one is HUGE. See what it is on the Art Biz Blog.
Email is an amazing marketing tool–when used correctly.
THINK ABOUT THIS———-~>
Have you strayed from email etiquette?
Tweak your email habits. And I really mean habits! Don’t wait for the big important email to go out. Go over the seven items above and start making changes in your every day email. When the time comes that your email needs to rise to the occasion, no problem! It’s a habit and you wouldn’t
dream of sending out anything less than your best effort.
Don’t forget to check out #7 on the Art Biz Blog.
Want to share your tips or experiences regarding email messages? Tell us on the blog or just listen to the podcast at Art Biz Blog.