Sending out emails or an email blast to friends, clients, and fans is a great way for artists to self-promote. Below are a few tips about what to include, what not to include, and how to respect people’s inboxes.
1. Don’t be shy
When you’re first starting to send out email blasts, you may not have a large list of people clamoring to get your updates. You should start by sending emails to existing clients or those who have an expressed interest in your work, but you can also send emails to family or close friends who you think might be interested. If you do this, make sure to follow the next point.
2. Include an “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of your email
A simple note at the end of your email makes it easy for people to let you know if they would prefer to not receive your email updates. It can be very simple: “If you do not wish to receive email updates from _____, please reply to this email with ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line”. Make sure to remove people from your list who have done this. If you use an automated list manager like MailChimp, this option is included.
3. Respect people’s privacy
Along with giving people the option to unsubscribe, you should NEVER share names or email addresses that have been given to you. This means that when you send out your email, you need to “BCC” (or “Blind Carbon Copy”) every person you send your email to. If your email provider requires that you enter in an email address in the “to” field (which will be seen by every recipient), put in your own.
4. Send emails regularly
Keeping up a regular schedule is good for you and your recipients. Sending out emails on a consistent basis will reflect your professionalism, plus your readers will be assured that you aren’t going to suddenly send too many or too few emails erratically. Choose a time-line and stick with it. Depending on your schedule and activities, 4 to 6 times per year is an appropriate amount to keep people informed without harassing them.
5. Sign people up
There are many opportunities for singing up new people to your email list. A few ideas: create a link on you website, ask people if they want to be added whenever you exchange business cards, have a sign-up sheet at your exhibitions or at events you are participating in, and also you can include a friendly note at the end of your email encouraging people to forward the email to people who might be interested in signing up.
6. Include news and recent happenings
The key information that you want to include in your email blast is your recent news and happenings, including: exhibitions, upcoming exhibitions, grants, reviews or press, public commissions or acquisitions, open studio times, or any news about your practice, such as a move to a new studio.
7. Include links
Always include a link to your website, or to any other relevant website (galleries you will be showing at, etc). Since you don’t want to include a barrage of information in the actual email, include a concise overview of your news item, and then provide a link for further information.
8. Include images
The best way to share your artwork is to actually show your artwork. Include one or two images of your recent works, installation shots of shows, or even studio shots so people can see what you’re working on.
Below are some links for further resources about creating and sending email blasts: