I've been harping a lot lately on why and how you should build your email list and now you are probably wondering: "What the heck am I supposed to send emails about? I'm no email marketer. How is this going to make a difference for me?"
Lucky for you, today is the day I'll give you some ideas to jumpstart your new creative writing project: emails.
Do your best to make it enjoyable! Think about these emails like they are a creative project. Use your sketchbook to write down ideas, draw a few doodles and get in the zone. If you don't enjoy the process, you won't continue writing and that email list you worked so hard to build will be pointless. The more fun you have with it, the more your list will be able to see layers of your personality and start anticipating the emails popping up in their inbox.
So go ahead and mix in some of that creative juice you have flowing when you are starting a new art project.
Email ideas to get you started
Show your audience some love and make them a little present. Maybe its a new wallpaper for their computer. Make a timelapse video of you creating a piece just for subscribers. Write them a poem. Teach them a process you use they might enjoy doing on their own.
Share your struggles and wins
Everyone likes to connect with the person writing them. Would you rather receive an email from a friend that has a todo list of all the things they're doing now, or an email that opens up and shares their feelings about what they are working on? Don't be afraid to show struggles - that means you a real person. When you overcome them - share a celebration!
Thankfulness is a quality no one will ever fault you for. Tell them how thankful you are for the beautiful day (and describe it!). Tell them how thankful you are that they are in your life. Tell them you are thankful that you earned enough commissions this month to get that car fixed!
Sales notifications or discount codes
This one can get boring pretty quickly, so don't overdo it, but two or three of these per year (strategically timed!) can go far. Think Christmas, your birthday (unless your advanced email software can do their birthday) or in the spring when people are spring cleaning and looking to change up the environment they've been staring at all winter.
Sneak peeks of in-progress work
Give your list a sneak peek of your fall collection. Show them a teaser of a big piece you are working on or the sketches you created before you started the piece.
The process you used to create a piece
Document a piece from start to finish with your journal and photos. Share the whole thing or curate the most interesting parts. Don't have time for that? Make a two minute video of you working on a piece and explain what you are doing or how you are doing it or why you do it that way.
This could be a teachable moment if you have a creative-minded audience, or it can just be you sharing more about you and how or why you work the way you do.
Story behind a piece or series
What inspired you to create your latest work? How did you come up with the idea in the first place? What twists and turns did you have along the way?
How to guide: share your knowledge
Do you know something your audience might find useful? Do you have a process for hanging a wall collage? Do you know all there is to know about framing prints? Do you have a morning routine that makes your creative work easier?
Think about all the little things that you are good at and make a list. Compare it with your target audience and ask yourself which things they might be interested in learning.
Link to a video or an image (or playlist!) that inspires your work
Did you just find an amazing video that really spoke to you? Send it to your audience. Chances are that they will love it if you do.
Did you take some beautiful foliage photos that you will be drawing color inspiration from in your new work? Did you find another artist who uses a technique you would like to try? Share!
How Often to Send Emails
The goal here is to create a dialogue with your audience so they feel like they are getting to know you and what makes you tick.
With that said, you don't want to email them everyday (that may be a liiiittle much) or wait so long to send an email that they forget who you are.
I recommend at least once a month, but up to once per week. This really depends on you. Are you a sharer, or do you dread coming up with something to say? If you are in the introvert category, try to push yourself a little out of your comfort zone.
The more interaction you have, the more memorable you become.
Have you ever signed up for a newsletter, gotten lots of emails up front, and then never heard from them again? How would you feel if they genie-poofed back into your inbox and asked you to buy something? I bet the answer is, "I'm not really interested in you anymore. Can you stop bothering me?" Don't be that guy!
Pick a schedule and stick to it. You can always start with a monthly newsletter and work your way up to bi-weekly, but don't let your monthly emails creep into bi-monthly emails. Once you've lost their attention - it is gone forever.
Put the newsletter in your day planner or phone calendar a few days before it needs to go out so you have a little wiggle room to get it done.
Write Down All of Your Ideas
Keep a running list of ideas to email out to your list so when the time comes, you aren't struggling with what to write. Every time something pops into your head - write it down (in the same spot). Right then. I use the Evernote app on my phone, but you do what works for you.
You'll come to value this list with some fiercity!