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  Tips and Techniques to Build Your Email List

Building Your List

When it comes to marketing, it’s easy to say that everything is important, but – besides crafting a consistent and impressive tone and style for your marketing – list-building is the key to your growth and profitability. How you go about it is every way you can imagine.

  • Ensure your email opt-in is prominent on your home page and other relevant pages of your website and your blog.
  • Offer something for free. You might recall how Hazel Dooney and Banksy both give free, high-quality digital downloads. It could be a three-pack of note cards, a mini print or a report you’ve done on some art topic, which will get you a snail mail or email address.
  • Start a blog with content that will build traffic over time. Have your email newsletter sign-up visible and easy to use.
  • Create a publicity campaign about your newsletter, your most recent work or your charitable activity.
  • Comment on another artist’s blog or site.
  • Write and submit articles for Huffington Post, Forbes and other national online publishers.
  • Join and participate in art-related or culture-related forums. (This is not to be confused with art business forums where you find other artists who are your best prospects for encouragement, but not for sales.)
  • Write about artists you admire or about art history or some other aspect of art that will drive traffic to your blog or website.
  • Ask your subscribers to share your newsletter, and then give them a link to tweet or add to their Facebook page.
  • Run contests that require entering an email address to participate.

Growing Your Email Marketing List

Capturing email addresses requires your ongoing attention. If you work to make it an ingrained daily habit, your list will grow fast. There are many opportunities for you to collect email addresses.

Your website, blog, newsletter, email signature and social media are among the most useful. With them, you can include an enticing web form or link to make it easy to join your list. All email marketing service providers offer web forms to enable quick, painless sign-ups to your list.

Just remember to ask for permission to add someone when exchanging information during in-person encounters. A good practice is to follow up immediately with a thank you, with a reminder to each one about that inclusion. Auto-responders are ideal for this purpose. I'll cover them in a later discussion.

High visibility opportunities for growing email marketing lists for artists are gallery shows, art shows and tradeshows. Also, presentations and public speaking give you an easy way to collect email addresses. Take the time to tell attendees what they’ll receive for subscribing so they’ll know what to expect from your messages.

At your art fair or festival booth, place a mailing list sign-up sheet on one of your tables. Use bright signage to attract attention. Include a link to your email marketing list form on your business cards, brochures, flyers and postcards.

Use a URL shortener to make an easy-to-remember personalized link. I use for my Art Marketing News email-marketing list.

Give a Little, Get a Lot

It’s a fact that if you give people something, they’re much more inclined to give back to you. Entice your email marketing list prospects with an offer or a gift. Some suggestions are exclusive discounts, offers to join your fan club with advance notice on new images and products, invitations to private-showing parties, free shipping, or free hanging/installation for local collectors.