Which email will be opened more frequently? The one with the subject “Art-News in April” or the one with the subject “Exclusive Special Edition by Artist XY”. The answer is quite simple? It is of course the second one!
A newsletter is a strong art marketing tool to convince potential customers to buy art.
And to motivate existing customers to repurchase art. This is called “retention” in marketing jargon. In e-commerce, the industry I originally come from, retention is a huge issue. For a simple reason:
Gaining new customers again and again is not only expensive (advertising costs), but also incredibly demanding.
On the other hand, existing customers have already given you and your art gallery their trust – so you should definitely take advantage of this in the marketing of art!
My experience in e-commerce is that a good newsletter can significantly increase sales in a predictable manner.
You get valuable insights into the behavior and needs of your readers and customers – and can adjust your offer accordingly. The same applies to good art gallery marketing and a good art newsletter!
Here are my 8 tips for performant art newsletters:
1 – Know your goal
What is your goal with sending the art newsletter? Do you want to invite guests to an opening or sell a specific painting? Or do you want to ask your subscribers some concrete questions to get to know their needs better (a great tool I have successfully used with long-term customers)? You should always keep the goal of your art newsletter in mind when creating it and prioritize the content accordingly!
2 – Choose a good subject
The opening rate of your art newsletter is half the rent – and your invitation to the reader to open and read the newsletter. If a reader opens a newsletter in his inbox, it means he is interested in its content.
A good opening rate is around 20% depending on the industry. If it is lower, you should think about your subject line! Does the reader understand what it’s about and does the subject meet his needs / interests, he will open it.
Is your art gallery offering a special edition for the Christmas season? Is your subscriber invited to an exclusive preview? Great, write that in the subject!
A newsletter subject like “Art news from Cologne” or “Gallery News” is too general. General emails are usually deleted before being opened in the face of the newsletter flood one receives daily.
By the way, personalized subjects work particularly well. Subjects with emojis are also eye-catching and increase the opening rate. Of course, the subject must also match the image of your art gallery or your brand as an artist.
3 – Keep it short and to the point
We are flooded daily with huge amounts of information through digital media and our attention span has become short. Accordingly, we now dedicate only a little time to reading a newsletter. The contents of your art newsletter should therefore be short, it is best to mention your goal in the first section: invitation / offer, etc.
Set the text out, in each paragraph it should be immediately clear what it is about. Do not hesitate to bold or highlight important keywords so they are better recognizable when scanning the art newsletter!
4 – Don’t forget the call to action
The call to action is what I most often miss when reading art newsletters. Unfortunately! The “call to action” is the specific request to take action. Coming from e-commerce, I know that it is crucial for the purchase or feedback of your subscriber.
Challenge your reader clearly and unambiguously to take action: sign up for the opening / purchase an object / request an object. See the example from Artsy above, in good newsletters the call to action is already in the subject line.
And here I have to repeat myself: every day we receive thousands of information, we have become lazy and overwhelmed – clear calls to action help! A button with the call to action in a color that stands out from the newsletter works best.
5 – Use images
An art newsletter without images doesn’t work. Thanks to social media, we are used to consuming image content, ideally moving images. So be sure to use images – especially in the art industry it makes sense!
Be sure to use your logo in the newsletter for quick recognition and link it to your website.
Attention: Make sure the images are saved in web format and embedded in the art newsletter, at 72 dpi. Otherwise the image file is too large and the newsletter can be classified as spam or not opened correctly.
6 – Set links correctly
Don’t forget to link text and images in the art newsletter. This ensures that the reader can click on your website and do what you have set out to do.
Later you can trace (track) which link was clicked how often – important information to draw conclusions for future newsletters.
Also make sure to set the links “correctly”! For example, an image should not link to your homepage, but to the relevant landing page, i.e. the subpage on your website that is about this image / art work / object. I experience it again and again that links are set incorrectly and mislead the reader – they then break off irritated and surf on another site. You definitely want to avoid that!
7 – Pay attention to mobile readability
Newsletters are usually read today from a mobile or tablet. I still experience it regularly that gallery websites are not optimized for mobile devices. Even with newsletters it can happen that the design is not suitable for mobile devices.
8 – Tell a good story!
I cannot emphasize enough that, whether it’s in your art newsletter, on your gallery website, on your social media channel, or in a regular sales conversation…good storytelling is key to good art market marketing and successful art sales.
We remember stories – and we remember personal stories even better.
Include yourself, your team, or the artists you work with in your storytelling! You don’t have to share anything from your private life, but perhaps you could share about a special art event you recently attended, or an exhibition that you particularly enjoyed. Or even better: make a personal connection to the call to action in your art newsletter, which is meant to achieve your set goal.
Why do you particularly like the work that you are offering your art customers in the current newsletter? What did you think when you first saw the work? What does the artist say about its creation – can you share a good anecdote?
The perfect addition: perhaps there is a photo of you in the studio, or alongside the work that you want to sell in the newsletter – visual language enhances good storytelling! I know, not everyone likes to use a photo of themselves in a newsletter, as it can be intimidating. I myself am camera-shy and try to avoid showing myself whenever possible. However, I know that this is not ideal: the Instagram algorithm loves photos with people in them. But we can discuss that another time. The same goes for newsletters.
Whatever you decide – whether or not to include photos of yourself:
Bring a personal touch to your art newsletter!
Even if it’s just a personal greeting and a warm farewell with your handwritten signature. Only then can you build a long-term relationship with your customers and subscribers, and strengthen your sales.