You were told you needed an email list, so you asked people to subscribe. And they did.
And then they just sat in your system. For months. Never hearing from you. Your list has gone cold.
You’ve realized the errors of your ways and are now ready to commit to staying in touch with your list on a regular basis, but you wonder: Will they remember me? What will they think if I just start contacting them after all this time?
You’re right to be concerned. It’s not very nice to call on people only when you want something from them.
That’s why regular emails – regardless of whether you call them newsletters or not – are so valuable. They keep your list warm.
If you are ready to pay attention to your list on a regular basis, you have a little bit of work to do. You’ve got to reintroduce yourself to your list before you ask them to attend an opening or to buy your art.
You must be clear that you are committing to an ongoing relationship with your list and intend on keeping your promises.
Once you have that clarity, here are a few suggestions for reestablishing your relationships in a new email or two.
Tell It Like It Is
Don’t say, “I’m sorry you haven’t heard from me,” and leave it at that. Most people on your list haven’t really been waiting to hear from you, so the apology isn’t necessary. They’re more interested in why you’re writing now and what your future intentions are.
Remind them who you are or how you met and what you intend to do from this point forward.
You were nice enough to sign up for email updates about my art and then you rarely, if ever, heard from me. As a reminder, I make . . .
or As a reminder, we met during . . . [ if you know the context ]
I just wanted to give you a heads up that I have recommitted to sending an email update every month. I would love to share my work with you and you don’t need to do anything to make that happen. But if you ever want to unsubscribe, there will be a link at the bottom of any email for you to do so easily.
I appreciate your faith in my work and look forward to staying in touch.
If you have a sense of humor, anyone on your list could use a little chuckle. But you have to make sure it’s a good fit for you, your art, and your brand.
The dog ate my keyboard! I meant to send an email update earlier, but I’ve been sans keyboard and busy with canine vet visits.
Inserting an appropriate photo of Fido would be a good touch here.
Give and Then Give More
Nothing warms people up to you more quickly than a “gift” from the heart. I put gift in quotes because your present doesn’t have to cost a thing. It only has to be authentic.
Think about the people you are reaching out to. Home in on a few of them whose names you know and are special to you. What might they need right now?
What information would help them? Do they need to know about collecting? Or were they students that would benefit from a process or materials update?
You can deliver information in a short email with a link or as a downloadable document.
What stories can you share to brighten their day? What behind-the-scenes secrets would make them feel more connected to you?
After you have told it like it is, add one of these gifts to your message and consider sending a second or third email with additional gifts.
Have you ever had to warm up a cold list? How did it work out?