Running an art gallery requires a significant amount of time on sales, marketing, and administrative work. If you have a small staff, you may spend more time than you probably should on tasks that will not lead to sales. Technology can help make some jobs a little easier and boost results.
With pressure on you to sell more art to help support your gallery’s artist clients and pay the bills, you need to have the best tools. You want to work smarter, not harder, for each sale.
I want to recommend three ways to use technology to help you get more done in the gallery. I will also give you examples of how to apply them to running your gallery business.
- Re-marketing ad strategy
- Email marketing automation
- Gallery specific CRM Database
Investing time and money into some of these excellent tech capabilities will pay off if it allows you to spend more time cultivating new and existing art buyers.
Strengthen your gallery’s sales message through re-marketing
Re-marketing is a powerful technology that is not being utilized by most of the gallery sector. It is a marketing strategy component that can be used in different ways to create a more dynamic sales journey for prospective buyers.
Re-marketing is a strategic way to reconnect with people who previously visited your website or specific artist page, for example. Implementing re-marketing campaigns positions your gallery’s online advertisements in front of more qualified prospects as they browse Google or social media. It’s like your sales prospects get a little gentle reminder about what they were looking at on your website.
Amazon is the king of re-marketing. You’re looking at shoes on Amazon, and two days later, you see those shoes again in your Facebook feed. That’s re-marketing at work.
To do this, you simply add a little piece of code provided by the various platforms to your website. The code is usually called a pixel code, and it collects data to be able to deliver your message to more relevant people. Then create a series of ads that will run when appropriate to the re-marketing parameters.
So, what are the practical applications of re-marketing technology for an art gallery business
Imagine you are trying to promote an event in the gallery. You can create a social media ad that will target everyone who has been to your website in the past month or viewed a specific artist page over a more extended period, for example.
These are people who are already warmed up and more receptive to attending your event. Re-marketing is a great way to provide a more powerful punch to your marketing efforts, and it can be extremely affordable.
You can also re-market to people on your email list based on their behaviors. For example, you send an email announcing your new holiday selection of artworks. You can program a second or third email to go out to those who do NOT open the first announcement. Those who did open that first email won’t be bothered again.
Most email marketing services, such as MailChimp, Active Campaign, and Constant Contact, offer a re-marketing capability. Could it help move art buyers through your sales cycle or nurture a relationship? Try it.
Automate some of your relationship building with art buyers
Email marketing automation can be an incredible lead generation strategy and a way to stay in front of your prospective art collectors in a meaningful way. Email automation helps create a digital customer journey that can lead to better relationships and more art sales.
Let’s look at how your gallery might use this technology.
One email marketing automation strategy I wish more art galleries would start using is a welcome series. It’s done by creating a path for new leads to opt-in to your gallery’s email list and get to know each other better via email.
The entry point could be your signup form on your website and social media, new prospective art buyers from an art fair or gallery event, or inquiries to works of art. Once on your mailing list, they begin to receive a series of emails you designed to help them know your gallery program, staff, services, and artists a little better. The emails are scheduled to go out automatically.
This example is an automated way to begin building trust early in a relationship. A welcome email series is in addition to your regular gallery newsletter but can be powerful for planting the seed for a long-term gallery-collector relationship.
Sure, it takes some thought and time to create and set up, but the result can provide a truly unique experience for your new prospective buyers for a long time.
Adopt an art gallery customer relationship management database (CRM)
A CRM database that is designed for an art gallery business is really a must in my book.
The time you spend entering data into an inefficient system is time you could be spending actually selling and finding new art collectors. You know the saying….Time is money. Also, consider how much more effective you can be selling if you had all your communications with a client or prospective buyer, including detailed conversation notes, at your fingertips and in one place.
Imagine how much more personalized you can make your clients’ sales experience if you could sort and filter your contact database using tags and categories. Your communications would be more relevant to a contact’s wants and needs. That goes a long way in relationship building.
Over time, you will also accrue data that will enable you to make more strategic financial decisions about your gallery business. You will see where your best leads come from and invest more in expanding those lead sources. Art fairs and rent expenditures are two prime examples.
Art fairs participation can be too expensive not to recover those costs with sales from prospects met at a particular fair. Since art often has a long sales cycle, you may want to go back a year or two to see which contacts from the fair made an acquisition eventually.
Rent is another expenditure you may want to reconsider if most of your sales come from online channels. Perhaps pop-ups or temporary exhibit spaces are more fiscally sound.
An art gallery CRM database is a smart investment for your gallery business’s future. You want to have gallery sales staff appropriately trained on all of the system’s many features to really maximize sales opportunities.
To the Point
Successfully running an art gallery business requires time, energy, money, and smart usage of resources. Adapting and focusing on being as efficient as possible will go a long way towards your gallery’s longevity.
You can improve productivity by automating processes where appropriate. Re-marketing and email automation are a few ways to put some of your sales and marketing on auto-pilot.
If your gallery is currently keeping track of collector information in a non-centralized system, then get yourself a gallery CRM so you can access vital sales information anytime, anywhere.
Embracing new technologies can be intimidating, but here I hope you see how it can free up time to focus on projects that will lead to selling more art.