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 of the image. Decrease the size of the

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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 an upcoming calendar of

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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 two. So she waits for

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Why You 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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Why Most Artist Newsletters Stink (and What To Do About It)

Three words that can revolutionize artist newsletters: Focus! Focus! Focus! The mission of your newsletter should be to engage people and to forge a stronger connection between readers and your art.

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Eye Candy in My Inbox

Take a look at how the newsletter from the American Craft Council so visually appealing. Then consider how your art is visually laid out on a page. How do your colors, fonts, and images relate to one another? Squint your eyes. Is the art the most important element in the message?

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Artist Newsletters < Deep Thought Thursdays

A few months back, Laura said that she felt the idea of newsletters is “broken.” Since I’ve been wrestling with the format of the Art Marketing Action newsletter for a few months now, Laura’s comment got me thinking. Are newsletters still of value?

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