Why You Absolutely Must Have an Email List

By Jessica Craddock

Dec 16

An artist in today's world wanting to make a full-time living without an email list is in for a rocky climb. If you are crossing your fingers that multitudes will consistently find your art, like your art AND buy your art for what it is worth, let's hope you are the type of person that walks away from vegas with thousands of dollars and a new car. 

But hey, it's happened before. And people have won Mega Millions, too.

Let's try to up your odds significantly, shall we?

An email list offers the greatest return on both your time and money investment. With Mailchimp, you can invest $0 until you have 2000 subscribers. That just leaves sweat equity!

Direct contact when you feel like it

Let's say you have a really cool event coming up. Or a great new piece of art you are hoping to sell. How would you get the word out, now, before having an email list?

Maybe you would post it on social media? That's not a bad idea if they are online when you post and the Facebook or Twitter fairies deem your post shareable.

Maybe you would post it on your website? That's not a bad idea either, if your fans check your website everyday.

Once you are invited into an inbox, you are available when your reader is.

Lifehack estimates the average person checks their email between 6 - 20 times per day. Thats a lot of chances that your email will get read!

If you aren't convinced, check out these statistics from MailMunch:

  • ​If you have 2000 Twitter followers, 40 people will see your tweet.
  • If you have 2000 Facebook fanpage subscribers, 120 people will see your post.
  • If you have 2000 email subscribers, 435 people will open your email. In very effective campaigns, that number could reach 900.

​Already Interested Customers

Having an email list means you have a pool of interested customers at your fingertips.  An email address is a very personal thing - like a phone number or address. If you are given the key to their inbox, it means they want to hear from you.

This doesn't mean you should spam their inbox, but emails that provide insight or value are only going to solidify their desire to hear from you more often.

Stop Losing Leads

It takes an average of five touches for the average person to decide to spend money on something they want.

This means if you had a visitor to your website who liked a piece, but didn't decide to buy, you've lost them unless you captured their email address.

If you have their email address you could send them a coupon, tell them the story of why you became an artist, share a behind-the-scenes method you use and ask them to join your favorite social media channel where they will see a few posts. You continued the conversation instead of letting a lead go cold.

Every communication keeps you fresh in their minds and increases the chances of you making that sale.​

Build Trust

Every email you send should convince your customer that you are a professional. You do this by adding value to their inbox. Tell an interesting story. Show them how you make a piece. Offer a digital freebie. Turn that could-be customer into a fan who looks forward to reading everything you send. Don't forget to check for typos and a nice signature to the bottom.

If they learn to value what you freely share, that artwork they've been eyeing starts looking more and more enticing. 

Related: Marketing 101: The #1 Reason People Aren't Buying Your Art​

About the Author

I’m a mentor for intuitive visual artists to sell more work, more consistently, at higher prices — with better work/life balance. Founder @ The Artist Market Co.