Images in Your Artist Signature Block?

With regard to branding your emails, I received this email from Brian Kliewer:

I just got your newsletter about "Branding" emails. Great advice. I’ll have to look into getting my email address linked to my site. But one question I would have would be about embedding images in my "signature".   I have had success with it before but would you advise for or against this practice?  SPAM filters are what I’m wondering about.
Brian Kliewer, Artist
668 Main Street
Rockland, ME 04841

Landscapes -Seascapes-Portraits


"Aldermere Clan" 24"x 48" oil on canvas – sold

Ask about my FREE Belted Galloway screen saver (PCs only)

Brian’s email looked much like that above. Very handsome and nice to open in my Entourage program. However, keep in mind that these images come as attachments and not everyone is keen on getting attachments if they don’t know you. Bottom line: You take a chance. I happen to like them, but I’m highly artist-friendly (as you know!) and I love to see new work.

Nancy Moskovitz also uses an image in her signature block, as she noted in the comments on the previous post.

Brian later wrote and asked about adding the artist statement at the bottom of emails–wondering if it’s a good idea. My gut feeling: no. Really, the fewer words the better in your signature block. No one has time to read a statement and wouldn’t you prefer they spend time looking at your images or clicking through to your website? I’d leave off the statement and, as always, err on the side of brevity.

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12 comments to Images in Your Artist Signature Block?

  • Laura

    Yikes! This is a pet peeve of mine. I HATE receiving email with unsolicited images attached. Emails like this are slow to load and sometimes even crash my computer. If you were to send me an email like this I’d trash it upon receipt and ban you from my in-box. Stick to the simple. If you include a link to your site in the body your email there’s a darn good chance I’ll check it out as I’m always curious about artists’ websites. Great photo though!

  • I SO agree with Laura! Any emails with attachments from unknown people get trashed immediately. But, if you include your website address I almost always will look at it. Other problem emails are those without a subject line or any salutation. I get so many emails that don’t even bother with “Dear Ms Thumm” or “Hello Karen” but just launch into a question wanting a response from me, usually amateur artists asking for advice. Sometimes they demand it! I don’t mind informality, but it can be taken too far. You’d better use proper punctuation, capitalization and grammar for me to take you seriously. Include a “please”, and, when I take the time to respond, a thank you would be nice… So, maybe a newsletter on the proper etiquette of seeking advice from other artists would be a worthwhile thing.

  • Well, if it’s done right, no computer will be “crashing”. Mine is 25KB in size or less and “web ready” allowing for an almost instant view…and it’s not an attachment as in, an attached file…it’s embedded within the email itself. I use it as my online business card. However, if I’m emailing someone “cold”, I often use a stripped down version with no embedded image.

  • Just to follow up…the photo in question is actually 14.3 KB in size. Tiny and very quick loading.

  • Brian, some email programs won’t download the embedded images, but have them as attachments. In other words, they don’t show up exactly as you would like. But, you’re right, 14.3 KB is small, indeed, and shouldn’t cause any crashes anywhere.

  • Thanks, Alyson… I understand about the image being converted to an attachment. I’ve received emails from others that way. My friends (non artist friends) send me emails with embedded “signature” images all the time. No big deal at all to me. And while on the subject of attachments, if I ever got one that was 14.3 KB in size, I would hardly be worried about what it might do. But I digress.

  • Please remember that not everyone has high speed internet service. Those of us in rural areas must largely depend on dial-up. Fancy stationary even comes as an attachment. (I am among the fortunate few in rural areas with high speed and only very recently.) I am in total agreement with Karen and Laura-leave out the pics. Even if they are tiny, they present a problem for dial-up users. No one wants to take a chance on a virus these days either.

  • I’m on dial-up myself and the picture loads quickly. That’s what I meant by “web ready.” It’s straight off my web site. As for viruses, with ISPs scanning as they do these days, I don’t worry about them coming in my email. There’s a much greater chance of picking something up while web surfing. I have my own anti virus software in addition anyway, and always keep it up-to-date. So that “problem” is negligible at best. Having said that, I don’t SPAM people, so they’re not going to get an image “cold.”

  • Meant to add this…sorry. I don’t SPAM people with images in my emails, no. But I sure GET SPAMMED by picture frame companies, art supply companies, galleries and even artists themselves WITH EMBEDDED images all the time.

  • Laura

    Brian, Two questions for you: 1. What benefit do you get from imbedding images in your email? 2. Does this benefit outweigh the possibility of turning-off an undetermined percentage of your email recipients? Laura P.S. I’m tech savvy. I’ve got a high-speed internet connection. Even so, graphic intensive emails have a way of bogging my five-year-old chugger of a laptop down. It’s not that I worry about imbedded images. They just annoy me.

  • Laura, Answer to question 1. If someone casually contacts me, by that I mean… doesn’t check out my website, they get an embedded email back. The benefit is obvious. I’ve sweetened the pot, so to speak. Remember, I don’t send them “cold”, meaning they don’t get them out of the blue. Actually, I’ve just answerd both questions. A minute 14.3 KB picture is hardly “graphic intensive.” Up until recently, I was using a five-year-old computer myself. And I tested the emails by sending them to myself to see how quickly they download. The answer was almost instantly even on my dial up connection and old computer. I run two websites msyelf, so I know a little something about it. And yes, I am maintaining two websites on a dial-up connection, believe it or not. It can be done. But I will probably swicth to a faster connection in the near future. As for being annoyed by them, that’s fine. I won’t send you one. If a person who contacts me isn’t going to check out my site, and that does fact, I just got an email back from a guy who hadn’t seen my site… So he got an embedded email. The result? Quote: “Today was a hectic day and I didn’t notice that I was talking to an artist. I visited your web site and looked at your paintings. You’re amazing! I just love your oil paintings!” So it does work. Of course there are threats online. But there are threats everywhere. I’m not going to hide. In fact, I know artists who refuse to put there work online for fear of piracy. And then there are those who have elaborate security on their sites to stop copying. Well, I’m here to tell ya, it can’t be done! Period. It doesn’t matter if your site is set up to disable right clicking or not. Overlaying transparent GIFs? No problem. If a person has the know how, they’re going to take your things if they want it badly enough. If they do want it that badly, at least it’s out there… you never know where your next sale might come from. But this is another subject. I just think the Internet is to be USED, not feared. Respect it, sure…and take the necessary precautions…but by all means USE IT! I probably won’t post on this subject again. I think I’ve made my point. The subject of piracy might make for an interetsing discussion, though. Alyson? I’m new here so maybe it’s already been discussed. Brian

  • Sorry for the typos…it’s early here..not quite fully awake yet. Brian