Art gallery email newsletters have been an important part of the marketing mix for a long time now. However, so many are sent to prospects that are not as effective as they could be to produce real results. Here we will explore some of the three most common problems with gallery email newsletters and how to fix them.
Email newsletters are a cost effective and easy way to keep your gallery top of mind, foster trusting relationships, pack the house at an opening and sell art. It’s important to not miss any of these opportunities by sending poorly executed newsletters.
The most common type of newsletter sent is to announce an exhibition and opening. Second are newsletters sent to announce a new artist or new work in the gallery. Occasionally a gallery might send something to share a recent blog post or other gallery news. With any business, newsletters are far more successful if they are client centric. This brings us to the first problem.
Problem #1 – Most art gallery newsletters are not client / prospect centric.
If you constantly ask your email list to do something for the gallery, i.e. come to a show or consider this artwork, it can get monotonous to your readers. It can potentially show you are out of touch your collector’s and prospect’s needs and interests. As a result, your email newsletters may not get read.
While show announcements and highlighting new work are important, mix up your messaging. Make your readers curious about what you have to say when they see your gallery name pop into their inboxes. Here are few newsletter types to try.
- Highlight blog posts with helpful and educational information for a collector’s needs. This helps your collector feel more confident in their purchasing decisions.
- Talk about a recent studio visit with one of your artist and feature pictures of the studio and artist in their natural habitat. People love behind the scene looks. Sharing studio visits helps your prospects connect to your artists as people.
- Profile a gallery staff member, so your prospects can learn that your gallery is made up of some pretty cool people.
Regardless of the type of newsletter you send, always make it client centric. Strive to make your newsletters 90% educational and 10% promotional. A fresh topic and strong subject line can reinvigorate your mailing list and the results a newsletter yields.
It has become too common for a gallery to simply send a jpeg of an upcoming exhibition postcard with no link to the exhibition page or even back to the gallery website for more information. Newsletters announcing new work or an artist without a link to that artist’s page on the gallery website are also seen too frequently.
Newsletters need to be informative and encourage engagement to be successful. Some of the most effective gallery newsletters are filled with links to either learn more or take an action. In addition to directly linking to what you are talking about within the newsletter, offer an easy way to inquire about a work with a button that opens an email back to the gallery or drives to your contact page. You can do the same thing to allow people to RSVP for an event. When you collect RSVPs you have a way to send a custom reminder to those people who said they were coming or offer an alternative way to see the show to those who cannot attend opening night. Don’t forget to also add links to your gallery’s social media pages on every newsletter.
Your prospects are more likely to become collectors or attend an opening if you can get them on your site. Once on the site, make it worth their while with interesting information.
Problem #3 – Email Newsletters are not mobile friendly
It can be very frustrating opening an email on a mobile phone and it’s so small that it is unreadable. Those get deleted.
If you use an email service such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, their software takes care of that for you, but you still need to test it. Depending on your email design and layout, the results may still need to be tweaked. Make sure you are looking at your test emails on a smartphone as well as your computer. If staff members, or even friends and family, have different kinds of phones, add them on a test seed list to see how your newsletter looks on a variety of phones. Don’t frustrate your recipients with tiny text and images.
Keeping your newsletters client centric, entertaining and educational. Newsletters should be designed to make it easy for your gallery prospects to take the next step of either learning more or contacting you. This will keep your email list active. On average, an email list decays approximately 25% a year with subscribers either opting out or from email addresses that are no longer valid. If your list decays faster, making some of these changes to your gallery newsletters should greatly improve that issue.
Sending a variety of types of newsletters to your prospects is a smart way to keep readers engaged and nurture prospects along the buyer’s journey to becoming collectors of your artist’s work.
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