Social Media: Email: Building an Effective Email List

So now that you understand email terminology and have decided to begin using a commercial email service you will need people to send those emails too. Building that list is easy and it will grow quickly if you make collecting emails a part of your daily business practice of making art. Here are some ideas of how to go about it….

First let’s talk about Content….

Create Remarkable Content – engage your readers to the point where they just can’t wait for your next email. That they will be on the edge of their seats. TIP: Remember that you are sending an email to one person, an audience of one. Address each recipient as if they’re receiving an email from a friend.

Keep Your Content Simple – make sure it’s easy to understand and that there is one direct message or call to action in every email. Also keep it visually simple as well. Your website should be visually simple too. Make sure they are visually compatible. TIP: Be specific and don’t worry about being cool, using texting language or emotions (those funny symbols like smiley faces). Spell things out, be clear and concise and you’re sure to watch your email list grow quickly.

Send Emails Regularly – Your email subscribers will expect to hear from you. That’s why they subscribed to your emails in the first place. Don’t worry about sending SPAM. If you are asking people to subscribe then you will not be sending SPAM no matter how frequently you send it. If you don’t send email enough you may lose people and you may actually get a lot of bounces from invalid or no longer used email addresses. Remember that you always want to keep your emails and your list fresh.

Use Short Engaging Subject Lines & Vary Them – write something that will make them want to open that email. The trick is to make it sound good without sounding like SPAM. Email servers are very cognizant about subjects and will make a quick judgment. You also want to excite your subscriber. Make it fun and make sure there is something cool for them just waiting inside that email.

Now let’s talk about ways that you can capture those email addresses….

A Form On Your Website – commercial email services such as Constant Contact will have code that you or your website designer can plug into your website. It will create a little box with the words “Join My Email List” above it. Most people just put this on the home page of their website. They are missing a huge opportunity. Make sure it’s on every reasonable page of your website and make it easy to see.

Build a Page On Your Website Specifically For Subscribing – that You can send people to specifically to sign up on your email list for use on your print materials, that you can link to on social media and more.

A Form On Your Blog – see above but…. You can use the same code on your blog that you used for your website. There is usually a way to put .html code into your blog instead of a straight post. You can also ask your designer to do this. Some commercial email services will have different formats for blogs. Take a look at them and be sure you are using the one that best meets your needs.

Sign Up Form – When you capture someone’s email you have an opportunity to ask a few other questions. Never ask more than three. Remember that this isn’t a survey. You are trying to find out what they’re interested in. You can ask what kinds of emails they want to receive. Events, Announcements, Press Releases or Newsletters or All of the Above. You can ask what kind of art they like and how they found you. Use your imagination here but don’t overwhelm or chase away a potential subscriber with questions that might seem too invasive.

Collecting Emails Offline – There is nothing like face-to-face interaction. You should carry a small notebook with you everywhere you go and write people’s emails in them. Commercial email services such as Constant Contact have APPS for your smart phone that enable you to collect emails on the spot.

Print Materials – put a “call to action” in all of your print materials. For example you can use this sentence in 10 point type on the back of your postcard at the bottom. Join my email list. Visit: http://www.theartist.com/email.html

Voice Mail Message – believe it or not this is very effective. Don’t forget that the phone is a very important means of communication. You can create a greeting that says something like this…

“Hello. You have reached The Artists Studio [Your Name]. Please leave your name, number and message after the beep and I will get back to you as soon as possible. By the way, have you joined my email list yet? If you leave your email address (specifying upper and lowercase letters) I will add you. Thanks for calling. Have a nice day!”

Encourage Forwarding & Sharing– besides creating remarkable content you can add incentives for subscribers who forward your email and get people to join your list. Such as a free epostcard of your work or a screensaver of your work. Also make sure that those buttons to share your email are in every commercial and day to day email that you send.

Create An Offer – you can create an epostcard or a screensaver and send it to everyone who joins your list. You can add this offer to the Join My Email List form on your website.

Create a QR Code – I’m sure you’ve seen this everywhere. It’s a funny looking symbol/square that when you scan it with your smart phone it will take you to a place for more information. You can create this code and have it link to that page on your website where you can capture emails. You can then use this symbol on all of your print publications, your website, emails and anywhere else a phone can scan. You can find plenty of websites that will generate them for free online.

Sample QR Code

Sample QR Code

Social Networking – Post an invitation to join your email list on your social networking pages from time to time with a link to that web page that you’ve created specially for capturing subscribers.

Pinterest – Speaking of Social Networking…Link Images in your Pinterest account to that page on your website that you created specially for capturing subscribers.

Statistics – Watch the statistics in your commercial email service. They will tell you things like who’s opening your emails, who’s forwarding your emails, what they clicked and where their from. They can tell you even more but that depends on the service you choose. This information will tell you how to create better, more engaging emails.

Always remember that a subscriber is giving you gold! They are giving you permission to email them in exchange for their privacy. Treat that person who is subscribing like a really trusted and precious friend. Communicate with them that way, keep their trust and, most of all, get them excited enough to take action.


TARGETING YOUR EMAIL LIST

WHO SHOULD BE ON IT

Viewers, Buyers and Collectors

Fellow Artists
(Note that other artists are connected to
all of the above and may forward your email to them).

Arts Professionals
curators, gallery owners, arts consultants, art dealers

Interior Designers & Architects

Corporate Art Buyers

Business and Professional Contacts
Arts Council Professionals, Arts Organizations, etc.

Centers of Influence
Mavens, Connectors, people who will forward your email sand spread the word about your work. These are people whose followers trust them emphatically because they are “arbiters of fashion, culture and/or taste.”


OUR FAVORITE EMAIL SERVICES

constantcontactwww.constantcontact.com

Free Trial lets you send emails to up to 10 contacts for 60 days
They are the most popular commercial email service
because they’re been doing it since 1999 and they offer
many options such as social media integration, paypal integration
and more.

mailchimpwww.mailchimp.com
Tip: Mail Chimp is free until you get 2000 contacts

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