How Creative People Use Email Lists to Promote Their Artwork

If you want to sell your artwork or if you just want your work to be seen, then developing an email list will serve you well.

Virtually every professional artist has a website and an email list.

It’s a myth that emails are obsolete and being phased out. It’s true that there are other ways of contacting people, but email marketing is very much alive and well. We get notices, newsletters and sales ads in our inboxes every day. And people are still making a tremendous amount of money with email marketing.

See for Yourself How Artists Use Their Email List

If you are not on creative people’s email lists, you should make a point of subscribing to a few. You will see that they send out emails when they have new artwork or art-related information.

My favorite artist sends out an email every time she finishes a painting, which is quite often. She includes the medium, the size and the price right in the email and I’m proud of her for that.

Her email also contains a button (link) that says “Like this Artwork.” When you click on the button, you are taken to a place where you can comment on the artwork. I’m proud of her for including that link, too. It takes courage to invite comments so boldly.

Last, she has a “Purchase Now” link right in the email. Clearly, this is a first-come-first-served situation. Her artwork is wonderful and I’m sure that her collectors often use this Purchase Now link.

Other Emails Present a Softer Sell

Some of the emails from artists that I get do not have Purchase Now buttons. Often the artist will include a picture of the new artwork and invite you to click through to his or her website to see the specifics, such as medium, dimensions and price.

The email might contain some information to peak our interest, such as what inspired the work.

Get on Some Artists’ Email Lists

If you are not currently receiving emails from other artists, get on some of their email lists. One way to get on their list is to visit their website to see if they are offering a newsletter. If they are, there will be an opt-in form where you can enter your first name and email address.

sign up


If they don’t invite you to opt in to a list, send them a message through the website’s contact form. Or look for their email address on the website. Tell them you like their work and would like to be notified when new work is posted on their site. Artists who understand the power of email lists will welcome you aboard and appreciate that you are showing an interest in them and their work.

Analyze the Artists’ Emails You Receive

man with magnifying glass

When you receive an email from another artist, look it over very closely. How do they word their subject line? What exactly is in their opening sentence and paragraph? Did that capture your interest or would you have started the email with something different (better)?

How big is their artwork image? Do you think that is the right size for this email?

What do they say about their artwork? Do they give background information, such as what inspired it? Do they point out certain aspects of the work?

Do they include the price or do they invite you to click through to someplace else to see the price?

How do they end the email?

Do you think you could create a similar (or better) email for your next piece of art?

(If you are a member of the Skillful Artists Membership Group, I will be glad to help you compose your first email or any email that is giving you trouble.)

Click Through to Visit the Artist’s Website

Hopefully, the artist included a link in the email to his or her website. Go to the website and look for the gallery page. Chances are you would never have visited that page if you hadn’t received a nice email from the artist.

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Send an encouraging message to the artist while you are on his or her site. Let her know that looked through her gallery and you’re a fan. If you can, tell her what you like specifically about her work. There is simply not enough encouragement in the world today. We can counter that with kind remarks and sincere complements.

If you have an art-related question, ask her. She might take the time to give you a valuable tip.

An Email List is Valuable Sales Tool for an Artist

The first step to getting your own email list is to understand the importance of having one. In later posts, we’ll delve into how to:

* Set up an email account to store your fan’s email addresses
* How to set up a website, if you don’t already have one
* How to put the opt-in form on your website
* How to get people to sign up to your list
* How to send a periodic email to the people on your list
* What to put into the email, besides your artwork, that will interest people
* How to make sales using email marketing

As an artist, you are a free spirit. You paint what is right for you. The same should hold true for the contents of your emails. If you want to present the director approach of giving a Purchase Now button in your email, you should do that. If a softer sell, sending people to your website in order to purchase, seems like the right thing to do, you should do that. There is no wrong approach. As with your artwork, you should follow your instincts.

Another Artists Explains Why an Email List is Important


Let us know if you have an email list and how often you email to your fans. Have you made sales or generated interest in your work through your emails? Do you ask for feedback about your creations in your emails? What platform or company do you use to store your email list?

If you don’t have a list, please leave a comment that you would like to have one.