Email marketing is essential to artists because it is at the heart of your communication with your prospects patrons and customers. The most effective selling is done through building relationships between the seller and the buyer. This is especially true in non-essential, discretionary purchases, such as fine art.
As we will discuss throughout this training, to make a sale you must first pass through the KNOW, LIKE, TRUST hurdles to develop a relationship. Well, it would be great for you to personally know every person who might potentially buy your art, it is not practical. Therefore, you need a system or method that will allow you to communicate with the larger group of people on a regular and personal level with them.
Email marketing is crucial because it is the only form of digital communication that you own and control completely. When you Market through social media or some other third-party provider of community and content, you don't own the relationship between you and the user who was reading your material. That relationship is held and controlled by the provider or publisher of the social media. In other words, you and I are users of Facebook. Facebook owns the relationship between itself and its users. To put all your eggs in the basket of any social media platform is the modern-day equivalent of digital sharecropping. You never want to build your farm on someone else's land.
When you do use social media, which is necessary and quite useful when used correctly, you are in a constant battle for the attention of your prospect and reader. An overwhelming number of highly distracting options can tempt them to take away their focus. There's a reason funny cat videos are so popular.
By comparison, when you send someone an email, you are not competing with other messages or baby pictures are from different funny, distracting external communication. It is as close to a one-to-one conversation as you can have without either being on the phone or is it in the presence of someone physically.
As you may have been reading or noticing, you only reach a small percentage of the people who have given you a like on Facebook or have friended you on Facebook. That percentage is said to be somewhere around 5%. By comparison, your email communication might be open by as much as 60% of the people who receive it. That would be a high number. Anything over 20% is considered regular or standard. When you get over 30%, you were doing much better than most marketers.
Selling art is a numbers game, as is most selling. That means to sell all the art that you want to sell you need to show your art to a highly targeted group of prospects and repeat buyers on a frequent basis. Email marketing allows you to establish a dialogue with it targeted potential group buyers to help you keep them educated, informed, and entertained through your message to them.
Since fine art is a discretionary item and only bought occasionally, you can't always expect every person on your list to be ready and open to buy. But, you don't want to stay out of mind during the times when they are not prepared to buy. This is where the power of email becomes significant and very useful for you.
In marketing, there's something called positioning. The premises that in the minds of buyers, only one person company or product can occupy the top spot in someone's mind for that category. For instance, I might say sports apparel, you might reply Nike. I might say a luxury automobile, you might respond Cadillac or BMW. By continuing to stay in touch with your customers during those times when they are not ready to buy, you are doing your job of keeping you and your art in the top position for Fine Art when those buyers do have a need to purchase new art.
Direct marketers use 4% as an average for making sales when they send out Direct Mail. That's a good figure to start with unless you have other sales data that you can rely on from your business. Getting 4 out of 100 potential buyers to purchase your work in the next 12 months is a reasonable goal. As such, you can extrapolate to say if you wanted to sell 40 pieces in the next 12 months all to your email list, you would need 10 * 100, or approximately 1000 actively engaged email subscribers to accomplish that goal.
Of course, every situation is different you may find that your list is much more responsive and that you can sell 40 pieces with just 500 people on a list. It comes back to building relationships and doing your best to be selective about who you attempt to get on your list. A small engage list is always going to be more effective than an extensive list of untargeted and uninterested potential buyers.
Here is a short video answering those questions. You can speed up the playback. Click on the gear.