Vary Your Marketing Message

Your art exhibition, class, workshop, or event has so many facets that there is no reason to send repetitive emails and social media posts for your promotions.

You never know what it is about your work or offering that will be of interest to your audience. Hitting a different angle with each message makes it more likely you’ll pique the interest of followers.

Below are ideas for doing just that. Many of these suggestions lend themselves to emails, while others could easily be adapted for social media. Use your noggin to decide.

Exhibition or Art Event Promotions

There is much more to your art show than the title, dates, times, and location. And you don’t have to dig too deep to unearth a new perspective.

  • Rotate images of your art with short 2- or 3-sentence stories for each. People are more likely to get excited about a show when they know what they’ll see and the stories can help sell the work.
  • Mention other artists who will be in the exhibition and why it’s an honor to show with them. Explain what your art has in common with theirs.
  • Discuss the history of the juried show you’re in and why it’s valuable to be part of it. The purpose should come back to you.
  • Offer suggestions for nearby galleries or places to dine. Add your personal slant on these establishments: “Don’t miss the green curry!” or “The back gallery is showing X, who was featured in last year’s Whitney Biennial.” This is especially helpful for people who are coming from a distance and want to make the most of their trip.
  • Relate a particular piece in the show to
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Mastering Subject Lines in 49 Characters or Less

Email messages are the steam engine behind much of your marketing these days. They’re cheap, they’re fast, and . . . they’re completely ineffective unless recipients open them and act on the message.

Recipients are tempted to open messages, in large part, based on what they encounter in the subject line.

Your subject line is almost more important than the content of the email. If the message is never opened, you might as well have not sent it.

To the point: The purpose of your email subject line is to get the recipient to open the email. It’s not a space-filler and should never be an afterthought. You can’t take a subject line for granted. Follow these 7 tips for better subject lines.

1. Make it personal.

Think about your subscribers and readers. Which ones are your strongest prospects? Which are your loyal collectors?

Write directly to these people as you’re crafting your message and your subject line by opting for the words You and Your over Me, My and Mine as much as possible. Write to them in a conversational, authentic tone.

The words You and Your are powerful. Did you notice how many times I’ve used them in this article? I’m writing to you, not for or about me. Examples of You-centered subject lines include the following.

  • It won’t be a party if you’re not there
  • Can’t wait to show you the 3rd photo from the left
  • Picture yourself sipping wine and looking at art

2. Be specific.

Don’t use the same subject line for every email to your list. If we see the subject line News from Diane Jenson’s Studio every month in our inboxes, we begin to think it’s the same message over and over again.

You want readers to know that there is unique content in each message. Using the same subject line for every email masks the value of the individual messages.

If you’re promoting a particular event in your email, use the location of the event in the subject line.

  • Just 1 of 82 artists in Breckenridge next weekend
  • Chocolate and art in New Orleans Nov 5

Or use the title of a specific work instead of simply acknowledging “new work” in general. These two examples use titles from real-life artwork.

  • Cake on Cake—the fat-free version
  • Dazed and Confused? There’s a painting for that

3. Use numerals instead of text.

The number 50 has more of a visual impact than the word fifty. Note, however,

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Why Nobody Came to Your Show

It doesn’t take a genius to understand why nobody came to your art show.

Let’s set aside the bad weather, natural disaster, flu epidemic, or major tragedy in the community. And not count people who are out of town or live too far away, or those who have tickets to the theater or are nursing a sick child.

We’re going to focus on the able people on your mailing list who would be most inclined to come out and support you. Except they didn’t.

The reason they didn’t come is because you assumed too much.

Let’s look at 4 ways this might have played out.

1. You didn’t tell them about it.

You assumed the venue would get the word out.

Oops! You’ll never do that again. Venues, regardless of the type of venue, have an entire program of artists and exhibitions lined up. Sorry to break this to you: you are but a small fish in their big pond.

What’s important to you isn’t always critical to them.

You can’t rely on the venue to get people to your exhibition.

2. You relied on a social media post.

You assumed people would see your invitation on Facebook.

You can’t post an invitation once or twice to social media and expect results (especially these days). I don’t know about you, but

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How To Start Your Email List

“How do I start a mailing list?”

It’s a question that I’ve been asked numerous times in the past few weeks. Hmmm … Where to begin?

One thing is for certain. “Start an Email List” is an overwhelming project that might stop you before you’ve even started. Instead of looking at it as a whole, break it down into steps to make faster progress.

Here are the steps to take. They aren’t numbered because you can skip around until you get to the “Finally” section.

(If you have a mature mailing list and you don’t need these steps, please don’t go anywhere. Jump straight to the end and share your experience with others. Your insights and encouragement are sure to be valuable to someone else.)

Start With Who You Know

Make a list of everyone you know who might want to hear about you and your art:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Neighbors
  • Colleagues at a day job
  • Other artists

Don’t discount anyone because you believe they’ll never buy your art. You never know how they can support you until you bring them into your art life.

Save the following information for each person:

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Test Your Email Marketing and Track Your Results

Megan Carty, Cundy's Harbor

In marketing your art, there are no absolutes. Everything is a test.

Is it better to send your newsletter on a Tuesday or on a Friday?

Will you get better engagement from posting to Facebook at 7:00 a.m. or noon?

Are your Instagram followers more likely to engage with you once or twice a day?

In this article I’m going to focus on email testing. Next week we’ll look at social media testing.

You’ll get a host of different answers if you Google “best time to send an email.” Test them! Track them!

In order for you to understand what works best for you, you have to track your results.

I’ve been testing foods lately to see what is right (and wrong) for my body. I track my weight, basal body temperature, sleep, water intake, and more to see what causes inflammation for me.

Yep, it’s a lot of work to track all of this, but the payoff of optimal physical and mental health will be worth it.

Likewise, your email marketing goal is optimal results for your efforts. You’re looking for more sales, sign-ups, registrations, click-throughs, or engagement. You might also be seeking a higher open rate.

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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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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

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Instant Relief from the Pressure of Pitching Your Art

wand

Poof! That’s the sound of the pressure vanishing like magic. That pressure of trying to hit a home run when you contact someone about your work. Maybe it’s an email to an interior designer, a meeting with an art consultant, or a letter to a gallerist. You want them to show your art, buy your work, or represent you.

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How to Be a Joy to Work With

Helen Hiebert paper weaving

What makes someone want to work with you? Sure, it might be your art, but there are a lot of talented artists out there. If you don’t approach your business with the same professionalism you give your art, you are likely to be passed over for other artists. Based on my conversations with heads of arts agencies, curators, and gallerists . . .

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5 Cures for the Email Blahs

Jill Rosoff does a good job sending solo emails for events such as this watercolor workshop

Email has become indispensable for marketing, but sometimes we can’t see what’s right under our noses. If you are in an email funk and not seeing results from what you’re sending, consider these five remedies. 1. Understand the difference between newsletters and solo emails. A newsletter is usually a regular update (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) that has consistent features.

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