Greeting Card Service for Your Subscribers

Service businesses are giving away all kinds of free reports when you sign up for their newsletters.

I give away a free download titled “Rock Your Art Career: 23 Actions for Big Progress” when you sign up for the Art Biz Insider Newsletter.

But you, the artist? It’s harder for you to think of something to give away that would 1) be of value to your subscribers and 2) cost you next to nothing.

I have the answer. At least it’s the seed of an idea. It’s up to you to make it brilliant. It’s up to you to delight your subscribers.

Artist Greeting Cards

So many nice subscribers, students, and clients send me beautiful greeting cards with their art on the front.

Create a Greeting Card Service for Your Subscribers

Imagine this pitch on your website or blog.

Sign up for my monthly newsletter and I will send a handwritten greeting card on your behalf to anyone in the world. Choose from 3 designs and customize your message with up to 50 words.

Get Your Note Cards Made

If you’re going to do this, you need a stash of note cards on hand. They should have your best art on the front and a full credit line under the image or on the back.

Be sure to include your website URL, blog URL, and social media info. You never know how people will want to connect.

Create a Sign-Up Form

After subscribers sign up for your newsletter, they’ll need to let you know where to send a greeting card on their behalf. This is a lot easier for you to handle if you create an online form rather than relying on back-and-forth email messages.

Create a custom form using a WordPress plugin or, my favorite, Wufoo. The form should have a place for the following three items:

  • Recipient’s name
  • Recipients street address, city, state/province, postal code
  • Personal message

Set the form to be emailed to you when someone fills it out and get ready to start sending those greeting cards.

Reap the Rewards

If you received 10 new subscribers a week, that’s a lot of greetings to send out into the world. But I can’t think of a better way to spend your time.

If you’re sending 10 a week, that means you’ll have 520 additional subscribers in year! That’s 1040 new eyeballs for your art.

You’ll be making 520 new subscribers very happy and you’ll delight the 520 people — the recipients of your cards — who don’t yet know you.

And you thought you had nothing to give.

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21 comments to Greeting Card Service for Your Subscribers

  • This is a terrific idea, Alyson! I like the combination of virtual and physical — online form and old-fashioned snail mail. And the opportunity to expand each single connection to two.

    Thanks for your creative ideas!

    • I’m glad you like this idea, Leslie. I thought of it during a discussion in the Artist Conspiracy and thought of how much fun you could have doing it. Marketing should be fun!

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alyson B. Stanfield and Vickie Porter, Clare Bolton. Clare Bolton said: Greeting Card Service for Your Subscribers – http://bit.ly/fvn8Vk this is a great idea for fine artists…. [...]

  • thank you Alyson ~ I like this idea too ~ funny, I have been trying to think of a way to give more away without it costing a lot of shipping ~ since free prints and charms are great but there is always a shipping cost for me :) ~ this is a fun concept!
    Thanks again!
    Sincerely, Katie

  • Brilliant, Alyson! Terrific idea… I’m interested in offering something like this when I order my next batch of cards. Off to peruse your site some more now… love reading your newsletter and “I’d Rather Be In The Studio”! Keep the gems coming! :)

  • Great idea, Alyson!

    If I may be so bold as to use the comments area here to offer my services… (hope it’s ok!)

    If anyone wants to go all out with a custom form, I’m both an artist and a website developer, and I have sort of a unique specialization with contact forms. I wrote a very popular article on nettuts a couple years ago (link here: http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/javascript-ajax/submit-a-form-without-page-refresh-using-jquery/ – note there are 444 comments!) and this has resulted in my getting a lot of requests for help with contact forms. I never saw that coming, but what has happened is that my helping people with their custom forms has turned into a nice little side business!

    So I thought I’d throw that out there. I like doing custom forms, but even better if I can provide a helpful service for fellow artists! I can be contacted at eric @ ericdgreene.com if anyone is interested!

  • After a couple of years writing a newsletter to my subsribers I decided to have a fun contest with the prize being one of my paintings. I live in Costa Rica so I posted a photo of an unusual fruit and the first person who guessed it correctly won my painting. If you are curious about the fruit, check out the “Pura Vida Costa Rica” icon on my site and scroll down to the bottom.

  • I am a graphic designer and artist and I absolutely love this idea. I am thinking about using some of my photography for cards. Here are some of my ideas.

    http://feliciafollum.blogspot.com/search/label/Photography

  • Hi, I just signed up at the Wufoo form site and created the form. That was easy. Then I went to my fineartstudionline account and edited the new email newsletter subscriber message with the offer and URL to the form.

    Question is, how do we control one card per new subscriber? The URL, once known, is directly accessible. Or if the same person asks for another card, is that the time to say, “Yes, and it will cost…”?

    • Peggy: On the site, make it very clear that 1 per subscriber. And keep track of it. And, yes, charge $5 or 10 next time someone wants it.

      In fact, if it’s something you want to get into, you can mention it on your site. “1 free card sent anywhere in the world, $10 per card thereafter.” (You get the gist.)

  • Hi Alyson, this is a great idea! I have some cards already and have now ordered labels for the back of them with my website etc on.
    I love this idea because it has such a personal touch and it is a wonderful way to connect with people.
    Sometimes it’s the small things that are the most powerful.
    thanks for sharing this tip.
    ps, I’m about to sit down and read ‘I’d Rather be in the studio’ again (for the fourth time) :)

  • Hi Alyson,
    yes, I do agree with above comments and think this is a brilliant idea.

    It’s such a shame that everything these days is done mostly via email and even ecards. Isn’t it just so exciting to receive something by snail mail. I am an artist as well and apart from my usual practice of making art for exhibitions I also make greeting cards , each one a bit different. I believe receiving something special like a handmade greeting card is great. Especially when they are too precious to end up in the bin or maybe even in a frame.

  • a different twist to your idea would be to offer to write a letter to a soldier for each sign up
    the wounded warrior website has–i believe- a form to sign up to write a letter–there are many soldiers on the list that would like to receive mail

  • Just a follow up on this idea.
    My offer was posted on about six ‘Freebie’ websites in one day, without my knowledge or approval. They had picked up on an old blog I had written that still had a live link in it. The offer had actually been removed but the sites didn’t check with me. It went viral and I received hundreds of requests for cards. tI was a nightmare! I had to trace all those websites and say the ‘offer had expired, stock exhausted’,
    I have honoured 50 of these free greeting cards. It would have cost me about $1500 to print and mail all the cards from Australia overseas to the USA, where they were to be sent.
    I sent out a email Newsletter to everyone, explaining the situation and apologizing. It made me feel terrible, like I had tricked these people into signing up for my NL
    I received an abusive email from one guy, very upsetting.

    I would recommend that if anyone puts this offer on their website that you put ‘limited to the first 50 applicants’ or something similar. Just to be on the safe side!

    • Olivia: I’m sorry this happened to you and that I didn’t think of mentioning an expiration date in the original post. But there really shouldn’t be an expiration date on mailing list sign-ups.

      Did all of these people sign up for your list?

      I doubt there is any way to stop a site from publishing such an offer, which is too bad.

      But let’s be creative so that you don’t have to let this one experience ruin everything. What if you added something to the page that said “This offer is void if it appears on any other websites without my permission” ?
      What if the offer only applied in Australia?

      As for the nasty guy, brush it off. I know that’s easy to say, but some people just have nothing better to do.

  • Hi Alyson,
    I managed to remove the Wufoo.com form before it got over 50 applications for the greeting card but I had about 240 people sign up for the newsletter before I could post a message on those websites.
    I have just put it down to experience! and tried to turn it around for the best :)

    I had some lovely messages from some people; one said ‘I would make someone’s day special’ when the recipient received the card.
    I decided to send out 50 cards which cost me about $250. I chose ones that were for other people. Some sign ups wanted a card sent to themselves, but the whole idea behind it was ‘to give’.
    I also personally contacted some people that left a kind message on my website admiring my art and thanking me for the offer.
    I offered to extend the offer to them, as they had been thoughtful enough to leave me a comment.
    I decided I just need to make the best of the situation.
    Yes, I deleted the nasty guy. Us artists take things to heart!
    It’s still a great idea, thanks for your reply, have a wonderful Christmas :)

  • I already do this with my Send Out Cards account you can learn more about the system as how it is useful to artists at my site. http://jeanscoastalart.com/art-cards/ check it out and if you already know someone connected with the company call them! they are already 5×7 and archival quality. I send them as thank you’s for my Etsy clients.

    Jean

  • Hmmm… this is interesting. Gonna have to percolate on that!

  • [...] week I received a post card as a thank you from Alyson Stanfield – who runs the ArtBizBlog – an essential for your marketing information. This was a hand-written thank-you as a result [...]