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Aletta de Wal
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Aletta de Wal
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« Print Promotional Tools: Getting It All Packaged And Mailed | Main | Promotional Tools: Designing and Sending Your Newsletter »

Print Promotional Tools: Newsletters

If you are on a tight budget, our series of practical tips will help you use effective low-cost marketing tools to promote your art with class. So far we have covered:
  • Your Promotional Identity
  • Business Cards and Cover Letters to introduce yourself and your art
  • Postcards, Rack Cards, Flyers, Brochures and Catalogues, Portfolios and Packets and Press Kits to broadcast information about yourself and your art


    Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with people to build relationships.

    Build Relationships vs. Broadcast Information
    Good newsletters tell the story behind the story so that readers get to know you. People buy art from people they like and trust. As a collector, I love hearing about the person who created the art I own. Don't just send announcements my way. Keep me interested in why I should stay connected with you.

    What to Write About
    Go beyond facts and announcements. Lift the veil on what it means to be an artist from your personal point of view.

    - Write about your journey as an artist. Think of having a chat over a cuppa and you will strike the right tone.
    - Write about other artists you admire. Show me that you are well versed in art and well connected in the art world.

    - If you give me news, tell me what it means to you. For example:
    ~ What inspired you to create your new work? How did you solve any problems you ran into?
    ~ What was the highlight of your latest show? Can you quote a memorable comment from a critic or collector? Was the event written up in a major publication or Blog?
    ~ What steps did you have to take to win a recent award, get a grant or win a place in a residency? Was it easy or was there some sweat involved? How did you use your creativity? What will it allow you to do now that you could not do before?

    How to Write Your Artist Newsletter
    Use a 4-Part Process: Write, Edit, Check, Proof. This applies to everything you write.

    - Write a draft without worrying about length or format. Make it appealing to your audience. Include images that illustrate your story. Write a strong headline that is descriptive and grabs interest.

    - Leave it for a day. Make art.

    - Come back to it with fresh eyes. Edit, or  "slash and burn" away all the excess until you have 500 to 1000 words. Leave it for a day. Make art.

    - Ask someone else to check it. Make final changes.

    - Come back to it with fresh eyes. Proof read it for grammar and spelling.

    - If you are sending an e-mail version, check all of the links.

    Where to Send Your Artist Newsletter
    Every artist needs a good mailing list. Subdivide it with categories so you can send appropriate news to each group.

    - Buyers, interested people and venues
    - Galleries
    - Museums
    - Media and arts writers
    - Art Professionals

    Invite people to sign up by surface mail or opt-in to e-mail. Make it easy for overloaded readers to stop receiving your news.  Make sure to include all of your contact information for readers who want to know more and to meet Can-Spam laws.

    When to Send Your Artist Newsletter
    Your art audience wants to see that you are a visible participant in the art world. Regular mailings are a great way to give that impression. If you have an attractive mailing coupled with a strong message the reader wants, you can send at least 3 or 4 times a year.

    Use Your Newsletter to Support Promotional Events
    Here's a description of the results painter Patricia Barnett created through her newsletter:

    "I have enjoyed reading your tips about Print Promotional Tools.  It encouraged me to take up the Newsletter idea.
    "My schedule to promote again at my gallery was due the end of June through July, so early on I began to write the Barnett Buzz Newsletter 2010 for my patrons.  Finishing the text & images placement, placing it in a CD-R disc and preparing for May/June travel, along came my computer and printer.  Most every night I printed 25 or so newsletters and post cards.  On arriving back from the trip, all I had to do was to fold, stamp and mail them to 220+ collectors.
    "Accompanying the newsletter was a postcard for collectors within driving distance.  I promised to spend 3 hours each Sunday afternoon through July at the gallery available for a Collectors' Visit.
    "These are the results:

    *1 day after mailing, I received a phone call from a collector who had just opened the newsletter asking for more images.
    *2nd day after mailing I received a phone call from a collector who joyfully exclaimed over the brochure and awaiting the time for a gallery visit to see my new work.
    *1st Sunday a patron couple came to the gallery bringing 2 visitors to view the display and visit with me.

    *2nd Sunday another collector couple visited the gallery indicating interest in two paintings.  I e-mailed images for consideration.

    Another collector came to the gallery indicating interest in the dyp-tic painting from the Newsletter and 2 of the works on display.  I promised to arrive with the dip-tic painting (no storage available) the following Sunday.  The Friday before Sunday, I sent a reminder e-mail (it worked- see 3rd Sunday below).

    *Mid week I received a call from the gallery: 1 painting sold from the display window on the street.
    *Saturday I received a call from the gallery that 2 more paintings sold.
    *3rd Sunday the collector arrived and purchased the dip-tic first seen on the Newsletter.  The one remaining painting prepared for this show was then placed in the gallery window for view.
    *4th Sunday coming up - perhaps the 5th painting will be a sale coming (or not)!   Whatever happens, this has been a wonderful sale period with lots of $ worth.

     Each collector who arrived  (buyer or not) received a free envelope & greeting card with an image of one of the paintings from this show.  All my patrons were requested to sign my guest-book including e-mail and I am pleased they each did.   And lastly, every Sunday I dressed up ready for my public's best impression!

    Thanks for the promotional tips.  It really stirred my desire to think about promoting my paintings and . . . it worked."

    ~Patricia Barnett


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