Marketing your art

Gathering a mailing list

As an artist you may wish to reach anyone and everyone, but mailings take time and money so it helps to target your audience.

If someone shows an interest in my work, I ask if they want to be added to my mailing list. Usually they give me a card or write down their address on a scrap of paper. It also is helpful to have a guest book out at receptions with columns indicating what information you want (i.e. address, email).

To be useful the list should be kept up to date and perhaps ranked in terms of how hot a lead it is. Needless to say, an invitation that comes back undeliverable will be of little use, so try to keep track of when people move and include a return address on mailings so the post office will send you a forwarding address if it is available. Tracking how hot a lead is more art than science, but for the purposes of illustration.

Here is my checklist:
  • The person knows me personally (+3)
  • The person shows an interest in my art (+3)
    • Do their eyes light up when they talk about art (+2)
    • Do they ask questions that show an interest in the work (+2)
    • Do they ask dumb questions ..."are you starving" (-1)
  • If I hand them a postcard image of my art do they
    • Look at the image(+1)
    • Take it home and put it on their fridge (+1)
    • Is it still on their fridge three years later (+1)
    • Fold it into a crumpled little ball to fit it into their pocket (-2)
  • The person has shown up at previous receptions (+2)
    • Did they show up at the last reception (+1)
  • The person has bought art in the past (+1)
    • Bought art from me (+3)
    • Bought art from others (+1)
  • The person has the means to purchase art (+1/2)Don't give this one too much weight, you never know who has money or who will refer you to a great client.
  • The person lives in proximity to the exhibition (+1)

With email there is little need to sort the leads by how hot they are, because email is basically free. But there are some important things to consider when preparing an email announcement and there is some follow up work to do it properly. If you don't do an email announcement right it can be treated as spam.







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