The most valuable tool in my art business isn’t my laptop, sketchbooks, or even this website. It’s my email list.
Having an email list is one of the most natural ways of selling your art online.
When I started my adventure selling my art online 10+ years ago, I once had 10,000+ people visit my art website in a single month and not one bought anything.
I learned that people have to get to know you before they’ll ever collect your art. In order for people to get to know you, you have to consistently connect with them once a week. As humans, we live in weekly cycles, if you can become a normal part of your audiences weekly cycle, you’ll sell more art.
Even if someone comes to your art website and loves your work, the chances of them ever coming back to your site are SLIM. This has nothing to do with you or your art, it’s just how people behave online.
The best way to become a part of your audiences weekly cycle is to share a weekly newsletter at the same time, same day, every week.
The best tool to help you manage and send these weekly art newsletters is ConvertKit.
Here are a few reasons ConvertKit will help your art business:
01 Grow your mailing list
ConvertKit makes it easy to create signup forms and landing pages on your website.
02 Send the right message to the right people
The longer you run your art business online, the more it will grow. You’ll have different art products, offerings, and segments of your audience.
For example, a typical audience for an artist can be broken up into these groups of people:
- People who just joined your email list
- People who’ve been on your email list for a while
- People who’ve already collected your art
Based on the actions of your audience, you can have ConvertKit “tag” each subscriber based on their specific actions.
So if a subscriber purchased a specific print or other product from you. You know not to send any emails to them where you are inviting them to collect the same product.
For the most part, I send one single newsletter every single week. I write it in a way that’s relevant to everyone in these different subgroups. But when you want to send a specific message to a specific subgroup of people, ConvertKit allows you to communicate in focused ways.
Here’s why you’ll want to send different messages to different people throughout your mailing list.
People who just joined your mailing list
Chances are this group of people doesn’t know too much about you or the work you do yet. They probably hear about you after listening to you get interviewed on a podcast or saw a quick feature of you on a blog and followed a link your website. Once they were on your website, saw your signup form, and joined you email list.
TIP: At a minimum you’ll want 2% of your new website visitors to signup for your mailing list. 10% is ideal. ConvertKit tells you the percentage rate of each signup form you have.
Now for people who just signed up to your email list it’s a good idea to send them a series of automated emails. A handful of emails that go out to over the course of a month telling your new audience the essentials about you and your work. The who, what, and why of your artwork.
People who’ve been on your list for a while
Once they go through your automated welcome sequence, you can have ConvertKit untag them as “interest: new” and put them on your regular weekly mail sequence by adding a tag “interest: weekly newsletter“.
Now every week they’ll get a new email from you about you and your art. Eventually, they’ll be ready for you to invite them to collect a specific product form you and they’re more likely to buy, because they are familiar with you. Chances are they’ve replied to one of your emails and you replied back. They know you’re a real person and you’re building a connection with them.
People who’ve collected work from you
Once someone purchases something from you, you can tag them “purchased: owl print”. Just so you know to never invite them to collect this product from you again.
I’ve found, people who’ve collected my work once are more likely to purchase something of higher value later. They’re also more likely to collect more of your work later too. Knowing everyone who has purchased will allow you to hone specific messages to this group of paid collectors. Maybe offering a different deal or making your message more focused to them.
Which brings me to my favorite benefit of ConvertKit automating your list.
Sending a weekly newsletter to your mailing list will change your life.
This doesn’t mean you should be staying up late the night before pounding your keyboard to meet your deadline. With ConvertKit you can automate and pre-schedule the way you communicate with your audience. I recommend having 6 weeks of your weekly newsletter already written and scheduled to send in ConvertKit.
As I mentioned, you can automate the messages that send to your new subscribers in an automated sequence. So when someone subscribes to your list for the first time, they’ll get all the essentials about you and your work. Maybe even inviting them to collect a product from you at the end of this intro sequence.
Angkor Wat in Cambodia
I’ve sold prints and originals online via automations in ConvertKit while exploring islands in Thailand and temples in Cambodia. When I haven’t even touched a computer or looked at my phone in weeks. This is why I choose to sell my art online using ConvertKit as the engine to make it possible.
For longtime subscribers I prefer to send automated 5-day email art launches. Where in 5 days I introduce them to a new product like a print. On days one and two I talk about the making of the print (the where, what, and why). On day three I invite my audience to collect the print with some sort of incentive that closes in two days to tap into scarcity and exclusivity. On days four and five I continue to talk about the print while having a clear call to action to collect the print.
ConvertKit lets you streamline how you share your creative journey and build up to art sales in a natural, storytelling way.
Everything in ConvertKit is intuitive. I don’t know any other software technology related product I can say that about. From creating forms, integrating them with your site, and segmenting. It’s all easy.
Once you start using it, you’ll be ready to send your first email in a matter of minutes. You don’t need to be code or design savvy to get started.
Designing your newsletters with ConvertKit
Simple, normal looking emails perform better.
People open, read, and respond to emails that look like normal emails. Emails that are over designed lose an element of authenticity. They have more of a brochure “sales-y” vibe.
Emails that look like normal emails (like the one you’re reading) get read. ConvertKit focuses on making your emails look natural on all devices.
Getting started with ConvertKit
Getting started at selling your art online requires a few minor investments.
Apart from getting a domain name, hosting for your WordPress art website.
A ConvertKit account is a great next investment.
Building your audience is one of the most important things you can do.