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