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Selling Art by Email, Part 4: What I’ve Learned from Artwork Reveal

Now that the first few issues of Artwork Reveal are behind us—five, counting this month’s issue—I feel like I’ve learned a few things that might be helpful to those of you who are also using email to promote and sell your art.

NOTE: If you’re not familiar with Artwork Reveal and have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, take a look at June’s issue below.


As always, we included artwork from several PRO members at Foliotwist (all PRO members are eligible, but not all participate each month) as well as some pieces by selected EmptyEasel artists. The layout is simple and clean, and really presents a minimum of information, letting the artwork speak for itself.

Now, while our email list is still fairly small, we’re excited about how it’s already doing good things for our artists. For example, one artist from that issue got over 45 clicks to her website—just from a single email, that we sent out for her! That’s the power of an email list.

But I’m guessing you already know that email lists are important. . . that’s why you’re here. :)

So, whether you’re just starting out and you’ve only got a few subscribers (hey mom, hey dad!) or you’ve been growing your fan base for years, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far:

1. More images means more clicks

With Artwork Reveal, we feature a rotating group of artists each month. Sometimes there are more artists participating, sometimes less. What I’ve noticed is that there’s a specific correlation between the number of images we include and how many clicks our artists receive.

In short, the more artwork in the email, the more people click.

Logically, it makes sense. . . when your subscribers get to see multiple pieces of art, instead of just one (or none!) the odds are a bit better that they’ll connect with one of your pieces and click through to find out more.

Your own mileage may vary, of course, but if you’ve been skimping on the images in your eNewsletter lately, try packing it with more than normal. You might see a big jump in visits as a result!

2. Writing skills aren’t that important

I’m used to writing (and editing) for EmptyEasel, but an art newsletter isn’t really focused on words at all. In fact, we’re one of the few industries where your “newsletter” might not need to have much “news” in it!

People want to see your art and hear about upcoming shows or events that you’ll be participating in. That’s about it! Don’t let your not good wording at things inability to string words together keep you from starting an email list. You can do it, trust me!

3. Unsubscribes happen – don’t sweat it

The bigger your list gets, the more people will unsubscribe. And even with a small list, you WILL have people unsubscribing.

You’re going to wonder, “Did I do something wrong? Did they hate my art? Why did they leave???”

The truth is, people leave for any and every reason, and most of it has nothing to do with you. Maybe they’re cleaning up their inbox; maybe they subscribed by mistake; maybe they just don’t have any money to spend on art these days. The possibilities are endless, and ultimately, it doesn’t matter.

You know what always makes me feel better? Finding a way to get new subscribers to replace the ones who left. :)

4. An eNewsletter ALWAYS takes longer than you think

I’ve had some late nights wrestling with the Artwork Reveal issues. You’d think it’d be simple, and actually, it IS pretty easy in general. I’m just a bit of a perfectionist, and with Artwork Reveal, I’m also trying to bring together 20-30 works of art and display them in a cohesive manner.

Your own eNewsletter should be a lot simpler, but my guess is, if you want to do it right, it’s going to take a little more time than you imagine. There are always images to resize, prices and titles to decide upon, links to check and double-check. . . and if you rush it, that’s when the mistakes happen.

My suggestion is to just give yourself another hour or two to get your email newsletter in order. It’s always worth it!

Want to read more about creating a successful newsletter for your own art business? Check out part one, part two, and part three of this series!

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

As many of you know, last March we launched a grassroots artwork discovery and sharing service called Artwork Reveal. (Here's the original post, if you want the full details.) The basic idea behind Artwork Reveal is simple. . . anyone interested in discovering new artwork can. . . read more

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