The numbers behind selling your art online

One of the biggest questions I receive from artists is:

“How many art sales can I expect to make online?”

Here is the rough math based on my online art sales over the past 10+ years:

  • If your art product costs $50 or less you can usually turn 3-7% of your email subscribers into customers.
  • If your art product costs $50 to $200 you can usually turn 1-3% of your email subscribers into customers
  • If your art product costs $200 to $1,000 you can usually turn 0.5-2% of your email subscribers into customers

The numbers of a simple online art business

If you can get 1 person to buy, you can get 5. And if you can get 5, you can get 10. It’s not magic or luck, it’s math.

  • $50 art product x 5 sales/ month x 5 years = $15,000
  • $100 art product x 10 sales/ month x 5 years = $60,000
  • $300 art product x 15 sales/ month x 5 years = $270,500

TOTAL: $345,500 in 5 years


TOTAL: $69,000 per year

How much you earn depends on a few things:

  • Number of people on your list
  • Quality of your relationship with the list
  • How good of a fit your art product is for your list
  • How good of a job you have don in creating an experience for your email subscribers

The curse of ‘announcing’ your art is for sale

A while back, when my email list was around 1,500+ subscribers I thought it would be easy to sell a bunch of art prints I had collecting dust in my studio.

So one night before I went to bed, I sent a quick email to my list announcing they were for sale. I went to bed that night expecting to wake up to a bunch of orders the next morning.

The results?

I didn’t sell a single print.

Here’s why…

I sprang the print on my audience before I built up desire. I didn’t get anyone excited, tell the backstory about the print, or create a sense of urgency to buy it.

I didn’t have a CONVERSATION with my newsletter followers about the print before I made it available for purchase.

I just “announced” it.

It was a jarring, spammy, and not a great experience for my audience.

This same mistake is made all the time by artists who are puzzled why their hundreds or even THOUSANDS of fans don’t drive meaningful sales.

If you don’t deliver any story to “build-up” prior to inviting people to collect your work, no one will buy your art.

Taking your time to share your creative process and behind-the-scenes is ESSENTIAL to making art sales.

When you take you time, your audience will never feel like they’re being “sold” to or spammed.

Your email list subscribers are simply following along on your creative journey through thoughtful emails you send to people who’ve subscribed to your email list.

To make art sales you have to have to know how to write, time, and send emails that invite your audience to collect your work in a chill and confident way.

Over the past 10+ years of using my email list as the sole source of selling art online, I’ve developed a collection of different email frameworks, sales funnels, and automations to make reliable art sales online.

But it doesn’t have to be complicated if you’re strategic and have a system.

I put together a free email training you can use to start and grow your art business.

Enter your email below to get your first lesson in a few seconds:

Get the 5 day email training on how to start and grow your art business

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