Just like the famous porridge, your marketing efforts to your collectors and fans need to be just right. Not too hot and not too cold. You won’t always get it right, but here are some tips to avoid getting it completely wrong.

Time and Place

There is a time for pushing your agenda and there is a time for it to be all about “their” needs. Having just received another email from an artist I follow, I am compelled to YELL: Stop sending emails with more than one (maybe two) announcements.

In the email I am using as an example, there was

  • An offer for a discount for Valentine’s Day
  • Announcement of a new art exhibit
  • The announcement of an upcoming open studio (in a month!)
  • And the announcement of a new blog entry

That, my dear friends, is too much. That takes the “special” offer of a discount and dilutes its value. The only link in the entire email was for the discount, but by the time you got to the bottom of the email (several swipes!) if you were interested in the other news, you had no way to get more info.

This is a hot (overheated) email that should be three or four separate emails.

On the other hand, some of you reading this haven’t sent an email in way too long. You are suddenly filled with “news and other stuff” that needs to be shared and so you create something similar to my above example. You turned to a “cold list” of collectors and admirers and instead of sharing just one really cool thing, you unleash a torrent of news.

In my example, the special pricing for your subscribers is worthy of its own email notice. So is the exhibit. As is the open studio. And of course, every time you blog, that gets its own email.

TMI is a problem – keep it simple

Keep the momentum alive by sending them an email with a single-minded purpose and do whatever it takes to get them to your website. An email invite for a special pricing event for “subscriber’s only” for “three days only” will almost always result in a sale. Sending an email that just says “special sale” with no link to the shopping area of your site, is wasting your time and theirs. A button inviting subscribers to “Visit the Site” is not the same as “Shop Now”.

So whatever your message is about, it should always be about getting people to your website. So if you have a new piece of art to share, that’s the thing to send them to see. Create a full page devoted just to that new artwork if possible. If you have a new blog post, then send them to the new blog post.

Too little is your worst enemy

Not staying top-of-mind is likely the biggest error you can make in your business. I know it’s not easy, but you MUST get your email marketing up, running, and consistently reach out to your subscribers.

Unless you had been traveling in a third-world country with no internet the past few weeks, you know by now that in mid-January Mark Zuckerberg announced very serious changes to FaceBook. And so, if “too little” is your worst enemy”, then Facebook is increasingly not your friend for growing your sales and finding more homes for your art. The already very stingy reach just got stingier. Didn’t seem like it could go lower that is was, but it did.

Use it and lose it

Mr. Zuckerberg can cover his tracks and claim he wants to make it a personal sanctuary where you can stay in touch with friends and family, like “back in the day”, but he is 100% in control. He will probably just price the ads at a rate you and I would never want to consider to make up for lost revenue. And, don’t think you won’t still see ads. They will just be bigger players – corporate level money at play.

As for you, me, and the rest of the very small businesses? Take back your control. Reduce your time spent on all the social media channels (and certainly save your ad money for better strategies) and start putting energy where you can control your message: Email Marketing. It works if you work it.

Success comes with a little as a once-a-month message. Extra news can become a few extra “announcements” added here and there throughout the year.

Please share your success in the comment section. What works for you in your email marketing?

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