Here I’m going share why using an email nurture sequence is important for cultivating new relationships with prospective art collectors and various ways an art gallery business can put this strategy into practice.
If you have a mailing list signup form on your website inviting visitors to receive your newsletter, you likely have a lot of people on that list you don’t know. How can you build a better relationship with these people from the start, just based on an email address? You can implement an automated email nurture sequence that can help new subscribers get to know the gallery better and feel more comfortable reaching out to you.
An email nurture sequence is a fairly recent practice used by a variety of businesses today and is made possible because of new email marketing automation technology. Interestingly, I don’t believe I have ever seen an art gallery use this strategy. And I’m literally on hundreds of art gallery email lists.
What is an Email Nurture Sequence?
Think of it as a first date. Someone agrees to go out with you (by joining your gallery’s mailing list) and of course you want to make a good first impression and get to know each other. That is exactly what a nurture sequence is designed to do. It is a way for you and your subscribers to go on a first date through a series of 3-5 emails designed for your subscriber to get to know the gallery and encourage them to share more about their tastes and needs for art.
It is a powerful tool to introduce these new prospects to your gallery, artists, and services at an unintimidating, comfortable pace. It provides them with light educational content to build awareness about what your gallery offers and keeps them interested enough to keep opening your regular gallery newsletter. Towards the end of the sequence is where you ask them about their interests and needs by including a call to action, such as a survey or invitation to speak one-on-one. A nurture sequence is built in advance and scheduled to go out automatically when triggered by a new subscriber joining a mailing list.
Why Use a Nurture Email Sequence for Your Gallery?
You know it is so important for an art gallery to be continuously cultivating relationships with new art collectors. Your art gallery’s email list is one of your most valuable assets because it is comprised of warm leads for future sales. Your list was built from people who had a particular interest in something your gallery offered.
A big challenge for art galleries to overcome is getting people to stay engaged and ensuring they feel comfortable with reaching out to inquire about a piece of art or asking for guidance about incorporating art in their home, etc. You also want to make it easy for subscribers to understand if your art gallery is a good fit for their needs. When that happens, you get more qualified sales leads.
Is this strategy right for your gallery business? Consider if your gallery fits the following:
- Your collector based is made up of mostly older people who are downsizing and not purchasing art as often. You need to build strong relationships with a new generation of collectors.
- Generation X and Millennial art lovers are coming to gallery events but not purchasing due to a lack of confidence or knowledge about collecting art.
- You have a large email list, but open and click rates are low for your newsletter
With each new subscriber to your list, a nurture sequence starts to build those new relationships in a helpful and interesting way. You are increasing the likelihood of them attending an event, referring your gallery business to friends and most importantly, adding your artist’s work to their collection.
What is Involved Putting this Strategy to Work for Your Gallery?
Putting your nurture sequence together will require a little upfront planning and getting each email created within your email marketing platform and scheduled to go out in intervals. After that however, it is all on auto-pilot so you can get back to the day-to-day of running the gallery.
You want to outline your goals for this strategy. You probably already have some idea about why many subscribers join your gallery mailing list in the first place. Align your goals and your content to those reasons.
When planning what each email will focus on in the sequence, think about your gallery’s overall program, the value it offers to collectors, the service you offer and of course the artists you represent. Also think about specific calls to action for each topic. What action do you want your new subscribers to take with each email?
It is best to keep the majority of the content within your sequence evergreen. You want to be able to put the strategy in place and not have it be quickly outdated. So, this is not a place to highlight events coming up in the near future, but you could share key annual events your gallery does, such as a holiday show, annual small works exhibition or annual group show.
Getting your sequence to function properly depends on the email service provider you use. This type of functionality is usually called Marketing Automation or Nurture Sequence. Mailchimp, Constant Contact and other big providers will have good training and easy to follow steps for putting a sequence into the system.
If you are a Gallery Fuel member, I put together a checklist to walk you through the planning, creating and tracking stages. Also included are some ideas for email topics that might appeal to your subscribers and align with your goals.
Checklist – Gallery Nurture Sequence (PDF, File size 163 KB)
To the Point
If your art gallery business needs to find new ways to forge relationships with collectors, then a nurture sequence should definitely be added to your marketing strategy. There are so many people out there who enjoy art and can afford to buy it, but don’t know where to begin or feel intimated walking into an art gallery.
Your gallery’s email nurture sequence should be designed to overcome those apprehensions and build rapport. Keep your emails short with a relaxed tone. Each email should offer an opportunity to either contact the gallery, respond to a survey or click to your website to learn more on a topic. This increases the value to your readers and enables you to track success and better understand what kinds of calls-to-action are resonating the most.
This is a long-term strategy for your gallery to cultivate relationships for future sales. The intension is not to sell immediately. Remember the first date analogy and be creative with the kind information you share in your sequence.
Do you have questions about implementing this strategy for your art gallery? Ask me in the comments below.
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