Eureka! The Purpose Of Your Newsletter

Eureka! The purpose of your artist newsletter.

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about why artists should publish newsletters. I’m delighted that people read it and remembered its basic premise: that artist newsletters aren’t for making sales.

However, I’m troubled that some of that article has been misunderstood, or perhaps I left too much room for misinterpretation.

It’s time to set the record straight on artist newsletters.

First, a definition. A newsletter is an email sent on a regular schedule, which probably has regular features. Mine has a personal note at the top, a client testimonial, a featured article, and a featured product.

Every time I sit down to write my newsletter, I know that I have to fill in these areas before it can be sent.

My newsletter is sent weekly. You don’t have to do this. Monthly might work better for you.

But a newsletter has a regular schedule. It’s reliable. It’s a promise you make to yourself and your art. It’s also a promise you made to people when you asked them to sign up for your list.

When you ask people to sign up for your newsletter, they know they’re going to get it when you promise it.

Purpose of a Newsletter

The primary purpose of your newsletter is …

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Content Crimes: How You’re Misbehaving Online

content-crimes-300

As I wrote last week, you could waste a lot of time online if you’re not paying attention.

Let’s look at this subject a little closer so that we’re not just looking at where you’re wasting time, but at how you’re harming your art career goals.

My friend, Cynthia, calls them content crimes. Nobody is going to throw you in jail for committing these transgressions, but you might check yourself into rehab when you decide to do something about it.

Here are the top 4 content crimes you might be committing.

Content Crime #1: You’re inconsistent.

You sent a newsletter for a few months and then nothing. Nada. The big zippo.

You tried blogging for a while … um … whenever you felt like it.

You heard that artists were selling art from Facebook, so you built a business page and put a few pictures up. It’s just not working for me, you claimed. Waste of time.

If you are truly excited about your art, you’ll share it repeatedly, even if you think nobody is listening, because you believe in yourself. You don’t give up.

If you do give up, I’m led to believe …

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Rx for Sloppy Newsletter Syndrome

Rx for Artist Newsletters

There’s an epidemic going around.

Don’t panic. If it strikes, you won’t need to rush to the ER or be quarantined. But you will need to take immediate action.

Your physical health isn’t in peril, but the health of your art business is at stake.

The epidemic is SENS – Sloppy Email and Newsletter Syndrome. Let me explain the symptoms so you can self-diagnose.

Symptom 1: Missing Name

This is the most destructive of all the SENS symptoms.

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This Is Only A Test: Marketing Experiments to Improve Results for Your Art Business

Painting by M. Jane Johnson

You are undoubtedly investing a lot of time and resources into your art business: websites, blogs, social media, newsletters, postcards, and more. As an entrepreneur interested in earning money from your art, you want to understand what’s working and what isn’t.

©C. Tanner Jensen, L’Air du Temps II. Oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches. Used with permission.

Every marketing effort should be a test. Nothing on your plate should be considered sacred.

You aim for increasingly better results. Test it!

What brings you the most clicks? What has given you the most shares on Facebook? What did you send that encouraged immediate responses from recipients?

Here’s a list of numerous things you might want to test to improve your results.

Online

Your goals: more visitors, more page views, more time on your site, more sales.

Increase the size

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Afraid of Sending Too Many Emails to Your List?

©2013 Nadia Nadege, Caminus. Mixed media on wood, 42 x 62 inches. Used with permission.

You have a lot going on. Back-to-back-to-back exhibitions, openings, and events.

How do you make sure the people on your list receive invitations without bugging them too much?

©2013 Nadia Nadege, Caminus. Mixed media on wood, 42 x 62 inches. Used with permission.

Building on my recent article about a schedule for your marketing tasks, I thought it might be helpful to cover a schedule for email – specifically for those times when you have a packed calendar.

Newsletter Content

Your newsletter or ezine is sent on schedule no matter what. If you promise monthly, you send it monthly, which, by the way, is a good timetable for most artists.

Your newsletter is for keeping your name in front of your list and building a relationship with the people on it. Most newsletters have multiple articles or sections, including

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Conquering Newsletter Anxiety

williams-shirley-email

Most artists start an e-newsletter with good intentions of staying in touch with their list.

They imagine a monthly newsletter with regular columns, special features, and a calendar of upcoming events. It starts out good enough, but then something goes wrong for some artists.

Shirley Williams recently sent opt-in requests to her list in order to comply with Canada’s anti-spam legislation. After I confirmed, I got this delightful reply. I thought the “VIP List” was a nice touch at the top.

It goes a little like this . . .

One newsletter goes out and contains every possible bit of information the artist can come up with. When it’s time for the next issue, the artist has nothing new to share. She gave all she had in the last issue.

She decides: It’s cool to skip an issue or

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Why Artists Publish A Newsletter

The imaginary conversation in this article was inspired by a question in Art Biz Bootcamp from Liz Kalloch.

Let’s talk about anything you want. You start. . . I want to talk about my newsletter. I hate receiving other people’s newsletters when they’re mostly “buy stuff from me,” so I’m looking for other options to make my newsletter valuable to recipients. Ultimately, the purpose of my newsletter is to create sales. . . Whoa. I was with you until that last sentence. Your artist newsletter isn’t for making sales.

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Untangling Blogs and Newsletters

© Bonnie Jean Woolger, Ink drawing. Used with permission.

Have you wondered why you write regularly on your artist blog and send a newsletter? Seems like you’re duplicating effort, right? You’re tangled up in knots because you can’t see the difference between the two or the value in having both. Let’s see if I can help untangle this mess for you.

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Coordinating Your Marketing Efforts

Sara Drescher Braswell coordinates her marketing efforts across platforms.

Artists everywhere are throwing their arms up in frustration. Sure, it’s great to have free self-promotion tools on the Internet, but . . . Dang! . . . enough already! Website, blog, newsletter, email, Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest. The list just keeps exploding. How do you keep up with it all? The answer is: You can’t!

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A Simple Structure for Creating Content

If you’re looking to expand your online presence and influence, content creation is paramount. Here’s a simple 2-step process to follow in creating a content structure.

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