Excuses for using regular mail

In this week’s Art Marketing Action, I encourage you not to give up on using old-fashioned snail mail. In this, my 1400th post!, let’s look at some of the mail pieces you can send.

Shirley Quaid, Chasing the Sun

©Shirley Quaid, Chasing the Sun.

Postcards with your images on them. There are good reasons postcards are so popular with artists. It’s inexpensive to produce large quantities of 4-color postcards and postcards are cheaper to mail than folded invitations or announcements. But let’s not forget that postcards don’t have to be opened. A full-color image of your art on the front of a postcard can capture the interest of the recipient even though it might be swallowed up in a stack of mail.

Note cards with your images on them. Of course you’re going to send loads of thank-you notes, but you’ll also be sending “It was nice to meet you” notes, “Happy Birthday” notes, “Thinking of you” notes, and more. You need note cards with pictures of your art on them. (If you have a favorite source or idea for these, please leave it in a comment.)

Articles about an accomplishment. Did you get acknowledge for something or have your art featured in a newspaper or magazine article? Make a bunch of copies and send them to your best collectors and best prospects.

Articles of interest to the recipient. If you have a good relationship with your buyers and collectors, you know what their interests are. When you come across something that makes you think of them, copy it or cut it out and put it in the mail with a “This made me think of you” note on top of it. There’s lots more of these ideas in the Cultivate Collectors class (which begins July 8).

Gifts. This almost goes without saying, but sending a gift to someone important to you is never a bad idea. It doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money. If it makes someone smile, laugh, and have a better day, you’ve done good work.

Catalog or brochure. If you’re promoting a new project, new idea, sale, or new line, spell it out in a mailer. When done properly, these aren’t inexpensive, but you don’t need to send it to your entire list. Send it to a selective group of top prospects. Read more about this.

Portfolio. Not too long ago, artists were sending out portfolios like crazy to galleries. These pieces–often stuffed with a sheet of 35mm slides–were outrageously expensive. Think of how much easier you have it these days! Not only do you not need to send these, but galleries don’t want to see them. Gallerists say they don’t have a place to keep all of them that come along. BUT, from time to time, you’ll be asked to send a portfolio in the mail. Get it ready with your résumé, bio, statement, CD of images, prints of selected images, articles, and whatever else you need to show off your art. (See pages of I’d Rather Be in the Studio!)

CDs of your art. This is fairly common these days, but shake it up a bit and personalize your cover, mailer, and add a handwritten note that entices the recipient to open it up.

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