Email marketing is still one of the best engagement tools out there to help you go from followers to buyers, but what are the best practices now, especially given the Facebook data scandal, the new GDPR legislation in Europe, and more?
Today I’m giving you my tips for how to be successful (and on the up-and-up) with email marketing.
First, let’s address the elephant in the room: is email marketing even worth it these days?
The quick answer is yes. Email is still one of the best ways to communicate with an audience and move them from followers to buyers.
If you're trying to use social media platforms as engagement tools to get people to purchase from you, they can work, but it’s like building a house on someone else’s land: you are not in control of the platforms, and the rules of engagement can be changed at any time. When people opt in to your mailing list, however, they are giving you permission to email them, and now you have your own audience and can reach them regularly on your own terms. If you aren’t convinced of the benefits of email marketing, watch your website traffic on Google Analytics and I bet you will see a spike in your traffic after each email you send.
Let's talk about how you can be successful with email marketing
Complying with CAN-SPAM, GDPR and other consumer data protection regulations
If you sell artwork online, you need to have these things in place:
- Make sure your email newsletter is double opt-in, which means that people who subscribe to your newsletter will get an email asking them to confirm that they want to subscribe
- Don’t automatically add people who purchase from you to your list of email subscribers. This isn’t against the rules in the US, in general, but it is not in compliance with GDPR. To avoid this, make sure anyone who purchases from you online is asked unambiguously whether they would also like to subscribe to your newsletter. You can’t make this an auto opt-in either — it needs to be freely given consent.
- If you offer a freebie (a discount, digital download, etc.) to new subscribers, you should make it very clear that they are first and foremost signing up for your newsletter and that new subscribers will get the freebie in their first email (there are other, more strict interpretations of this, and you may want to investigate further—see below)
- If you sell a lot of work online across the globe, I suggest you investigate this further. Amy Porterfield’s recent podcast (and show-notes) on this topic are an excellent resource.
Today’s tips for being successful with email
- Send at least one email each month—more is better
- Use a simple email template—gone are the days when your email should ACTUALLY look like a newsletter. For email deliverability and readability—and for relationship building—it’s best if your emails seem like a personal note to one subscriber rather than your kid’s school newsletter
- Include one or two images, but don’t go overboard
- You are developing a relationship with your subscribers, so make it quite personal, and include your signature at the end
- Share stories, background info, personal information, and more—don’t make your emails all about selling
- Include a link in each email to your website and/or online store
- If you have a blog, you can check off two marketing tasks at once: write your blog post, post it on your website, then write an email that gives an introduction to the blog post, add other content such as upcoming events, and a link to your online store. Done!
Even with all of the new rules and best practices for email marketing, I hope you'll include this tried-and-true marketing tactic in your business.
In the Art Marketing Project membership, you'll learn about email marketing as well as other engagement tactics that you can use to sell your work. There's a supportive community of other artists too! Read about it here: