Newsletter Art Marketing Tips that Work!

This article is one of the last in our special art marketing series, “Thinking Outside the Frame”. These informative posts have been shared by working artists and galleries who are coming up with creative marketing ideas for selling artwork in this challenging art economy.

I am thankful for the talented working artists who have shared their resourceful ideas with Fine Art Tips. One subject we have not addressed is the importance of newsletters…

Properly utilizing an email list to have meaningful conversations with your followers is currently the most powerful online marketing strategy artists can pursue. ~Clint Watson

My good Twitter and Facebook friend, Brian Kliewer is at the forefront of original art marketing ideas and is successful with his newsletters. Brian, a self taught artist, is bright and has a natural knack at ‘thinking outside the frame’, he is always ‘messaging me’ a new tip to share with you…in fact, his ideas could fill a small book! After speaking with Brian on the phone recently, he gave me permission to share the following art marketing tip.

Here is one example of Brian’s creative art marketing strategy using his email newsletter:

A while back, Brian wanted to increase his art marketing business plan. Brian came up with a new project and titled it, “100 Paintings in 100 Days for $100 each”.

  • The idea was a simple 4 step process:
    1. Paint one small painting each day (in 100 days),
    2. Notify his email list of each painting.
    3. Post each painting on his website.
    4. Sell each painting first come first serve for $100.

The email newsletters were written in a friendly, conversational tone.  For each piece, Brian explained why he painted the subject, the location and what had inspired him. Prospective collectors replied to his emails which created more conversation which lead to sales.

Here’s an example of a listing:

99/100 “I’ve always thought of this place being in Lincolnville, Maine but it might actually be Ducktrap. Anyone familiar with the Lincolnville area of Rt 1 should recognize this scene. I love this house and how it sits right “on” the ocean.”

Here are some interesting facts Brian learned:

  • When Brian started this project he had only 84 people on his email list.
    • Brian built this list by commenting on other art blogs
    • Participating in forums
    • Adding friends to his list, and referrals from friends of friends.
  • At the end of the project Brian had 123 people on his list.
    • He had a few people who unsubscribed who did not want to get the email every day,
    • Most of the people who unsubscribed actually re-subscribed at the end of the project.
    • Next time Brian will duplicate his list at the beginning of the project so that people can unsubscribe from the special project list without unsubscribing from your main list.
  • Some email recipients forwarded the email and that resulted in new people subscribing to his list.
  • Brian’s work became more complex as the project progressed.
  • Fans of his project replied and made comments. They could see the growth in the paintings as the project progressed!
  • This project takes planning! Plan it out well, have a plan for what you are doing.
  • Have an email list be persistent and consistent in your use of it.

How Brian handled the sales:

  • Most people purchased the works through paypal, but Brian did accept checks.
  • Brian used the UPS store for shipping.
    • The paintings were small and were unframed, they cost $12 each to ship
    • The customers paid for the shipping
    • Total cost of the painting was, $112 with shipping.

We should all be encouraged by Brian’s newsletter success and how effective it can be – I know I am!  Currently, Brian is working on another project for selling his art. This time, it will be on Twitter…stay tuned and find out more about this next week!

Thanks for sharing your story with us Brian!

Share your art tip with us! Meet Lori on Facebook and Twitter!

More art marketing tips:

Easy Steps: Add a Newsletter Sign Up to Your Facebook Fan Page How Artists Can Use Youtube Video to Improve Marketing,

How to Sell Art on Facebook – One Artist’s Way

SEO Tips to Rank Your Facebook & Twitter Pages Higher on Google

Branding You: 5 Ways to Improve Your Professional Image

How To Reach Beyond Your Niche on Twitter

How to Best Copyright & Protect Your Artwork

Why You Need a Webmaster for Your Art Business

10 Important Things Every Aspiring Artist Should Know: Part 1

27 Comments

  1. This post was mentioned on Twitter by Baldwin Art Gallery. Baldwin Art Gallery said: RT @lorimcneeartist: Newsletter Art Marketing Tips that Work! http://bit.ly/9OiqBl #art #arttip

    • Lori McNee May 17, 2010 at 10:22 am

      I always appreciate Re-tweets on Twitter. Thanks for sharing this article with your following.
      Lori

      • Brian Kliewer May 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

        Thanks for the writeup, Lori. My subscriber list has more than tripled since this project closed, btw.

        Brian

        • Lori McNee May 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm

          Hi Brian…thanks for the follow up information to your great article! I am amazed at your creative marketing and think you are generous to share your tips with others. I look forward to more from you.
          Best – Lori
          PS…nice avatar – lol!

        • Lori McNee May 20, 2010 at 3:46 pm

          Thanks for the update Brian. Your ideas are really great and inspiring many other artists. I actually have an idea I might try soon…I’ll keep you posted!
          Lori 🙂

  2. chris May 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Lori,

    Another very informative article for everyone. I appreciate it and have just started our newsletter and will take some of these tips to increase our email list.

    Thank you,
    Chris

    • Lori McNee May 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm

      Chris…for a ‘non artist’ you are a dedicated reader – thanks for that. I appreciate your feedback and glad you liked this article.
      Lori 🙂

  3. Wendy Marquis May 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    LOve this article LOri! Very brilliant and energetic idea. I just reread your tweet to me awhile ago and realized i never responded. You said u wanted to link our sites. I would love to. But I don’t Know how! I would love to learn!

    • Lori McNee May 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Wendy – good to see you here. Thanks for reading and commenting on the newsletter tips. I hope it inspired you, it did me. I’ll be in touch soon.
      Best – Lori

  4. Caren Goodrich May 19, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Yeah! I love this idea! Especially since it has a time frame. I think people do better when they know the clock is ticking, either via the “first come first serve” or knowing that it is a 100 day event/series.

    • Lori McNee May 20, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Caren…glad you liked this article! It has given me a few ideas ‘up my sleeve’ that I am planning to try out in the near future. I agree with you about the time limit. It creates a better buzz.
      Thanks again for your feedback – Lori

  5. Tammy Moore: MamaBearStamps June 1, 2010 at 4:22 am

    This is a fabulous article and tip! I’m trying to think of a way I could incorporate this myself! 🙂 Thanks!

    • Lori McNee June 2, 2010 at 12:23 am

      Great Tammy! Let FineArtTips know how it works for you – submit an article…if you are not a writer, just send me your ideas and I will write it for you – if you want. Thanks 🙂

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  11. Kate Bradley February 22, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Such a unique and creative marketing idea. Thanks for sharing Laurie!

    • Lori McNee February 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      You are welcome, Kate. Thank you for taking time to read the article. I want to try this technique myself someday…

      Happy creating-
      Lori

  12. Patrick Bryant February 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Can’t help noticing that Wendy, Bruce, and Amy all posted the exact same message, right down to the typos! PRetty SLick use of forums for generating traffic (NOT).

    Not withstanding the phony comments, I do enjoy your tweets and tips and appreciate the time you spend sharing real ideas with real people. Thanks for another good one! And thanks to you too, Brian. Good idea and nice work.

    -pb

    • Lori McNee February 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Patrick…

      Well, I am so glad you brought this to my attention – I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even notice! Yikes! All, I can say is that I have A LOT to do to maintain this blog while keeping my painting career going, that is my excuse! Anyway, I deleted the duplicate comments and will be vigilant in the future.

      Otherwise, I am grateful you are happy with my postings and I hope to see you here again soon.

      Best-
      Lori 🙂

      • Patrick Bryant February 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm

        It’s to your credit that you take time to read and reply to comments individually and take each at face value. Considering the effort involved, it’s a shame to think you’d need to go an extra step to make sure each comment is legitimate. At any rate, I certainly did not intend to admonish you but rather those who would abuse yr generosity.

        -pb
        no need to reply 🙂

  13. Lucy Chen July 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    This is very creative, Lori! Definitely something to try myself once I build up some number in my list. Thank you to you and Brian.

  14. barbara November 5, 2013 at 5:34 am

    thanks for sharing, great blog!

  15. Nikki Starwalker March 7, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Lori. Thank you posting this newsletter tip. As an artist I appreciate the level of detail that Brian Kliewer shared with us. Brian’s idea was a great way to give his loyal followers a peak into his studio.

    I took a look at Brian’s site in the hopes of finding a way to follow him on Twitter. I couldn’t find any contact info. Any hints?

    • Lori McNee March 11, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      Hello Nikki, due to health issues Brian has retired as an active artist. It is quite sad and I hope he recovers. That is all I know. However, he left us with a great tip. Thank you for asking. Good luck! ~Lori

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