Creating an artist newsletter is a great way to get your artwork, gallery, art magazine, blog or publication out there and known by your community.
Even better, email marketing is cheap, effective, and easy to do if you have the right tools—and with today’s email software you can even instantly see who is opening your emails and how many people click on your links.
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The two email services I recommend for artists are aweber.com and mailchimp.com. Why? Both offer easy-to-use tools and templates to set up a professional-looking newsletter.
So how to you create a winning art newsletter? Here are my top tips:
1. Keep it simple
Most of all, your email newsletter should contain a balance between images and text, be clearly laid out and not bombard the recipient with too much information. Just a short summary and details of location and opening times for events is all that needs to be in a newsletter.
Your readers will be turned off by too many words in a single newsletter. Keep in mind when you write each piece that these will be skim-read by your recipients, so keep to the point with simple direct language.
2. Use (and re-use) a consistent email design
Choose a color, font and banner design that fits your gallery name, website header or logo. If you don’t have one, then now is the time to create an identifiable visual brand that identifies you or your organization.
It is very important your reader recognizes whom the newsletter is from by the color and layout each time it arrives in their inbox. Look at established artist newsletters for examples.
3. Choose an e-newsletter service
Both Aweber and Mailchimp are great platforms with a range of templates, layouts and customized options.
My personal favorite is Mailchimp—it’s a great choice for art newsletters for the ability to move around images and text. The Mailchimp templates are ideal for promoting an art exhibition with ultimate visual impact for your inbox.
4. Assemble a mailing list
Before you email your first newsletter, you need some people to email it to! Most e-newsletter services generate a “signup page” for you (or a “drop-in” signup form) which you can add to your website or blog and encourage people to add their email address.
Even if you don’t plan on sending out a newsletter anytime soon, you should use this feature to start collecting email addresses. I guarantee that when the time comes, you’ll be glad you have a list handy!
You can also manually add people who want to be on your list through the system—I like to have an email-signup sheet and pen at any art events I attend.
The one important thing to remember is that you should never add people to your list without permission. This is called spamming, and it’s illegal.
5. Create your first e-newsletter
Both mailchimp.com and aweber.com have easy to follow templates that take you through a step-by-step process. You will need about 15-20 minutes, have all your images ready to go and your text formatted. It will also set up an email signature for you to give a professional look to your newsletter.
6. Send it!
Once your newsletter is ready to go, and you have created a mailing list, the software does the rest for you!
Be sure in your first newsletter to introduce your readers to this new publication and let them know how often to expect it in their inbox. Add that you are welcome to suggestions for relevant content and to make any changes to better suit the information they require. This way, you can be confident that you are not bombarding your readership with unwelcome or irrelevant content.
Good luck setting up and running your own artist e-newsletter!