Unleashing the Potential of Email Newsletters in the Art World: A Gallery Owner’s Comprehensive Guide

As a gallery owner, I have witnessed the transformative power of email newsletters in the art community. These tools are not just about promoting sales; they’re about nurturing relationships, sharing stories, and creating an engaged community. Drawing from the rich discussions in our recent Q&A session, I present an expansive guide on how artists can effectively utilize email newsletters.

Several years ago, we took a significant step with our gallery’s newsletter strategy that proved to be a game-changer. Previously, our newsletters were dispatched every six to eight weeks, a schedule we adhered to cautiously, fearing an overstep into our subscribers’ inboxes. However, recognizing the untapped potential of more frequent communication, we shifted to a weekly newsletter. Admittedly, this move was met with trepidation; the possibility of losing subscribers was a real concern. Indeed, a few did opt out, but this minor setback paled in comparison to the substantial benefits we witnessed. There was a noticeable surge in engagement and sales, affirming the newsletter’s role in keeping our gallery at the forefront of our collectors’ minds. This experience led to an epiphany: the very act of collecting email addresses loses its value if we’re hesitant to utilize them. By increasing our newsletter frequency, we transformed it into a more dynamic, interactive bridge between the gallery and our audience, fostering stronger connections and consistently reminding them of the unique art experiences we offer.

The Art of Email Newsletters

We sold this artwork to clients through our email newsletter

The Impact in My Gallery: My experience has shown that newsletters can have a direct influence on sales and engagement. A notable recent example was when clients, while on a road trip in Texas, received our newsletter and immediately called from their car to place a deposit on a significantly expensive artwork. This incident demonstrates the immediate and powerful impact of a well-crafted newsletter.

Email Lists vs. Social Media: While social media is an essential tool in an artist’s arsenal, the value of a robust email list cannot be overstated. Unlike social media, where algorithms dictate visibility, email lists provide a direct and personal line of communication with your audience.

Crafting Your Email Newsletter

  1. Balancing Content: A mix of personal stories and professional showcases keeps the newsletter engaging. Share your artistic journey and latest creations to create a narrative that resonates with your audience. Sometimes your email might be as simple as an image of an artwork with a simple description, the size, and price.
  2. Content Repurposing: Leverage content across platforms. What you post on Instagram or Facebook can be adapted and expanded for your newsletter, ensuring consistency and saving time.
  3. Strategic Scheduling: Consistency in sending newsletters is crucial. Test different days and times to find the sweet spot for your audience’s engagement.
  4. Subscriber List Management: Regularly clean your subscriber list. If you have subscribers that aren’t ever opening your email, send them an email asking if they would like to stay on the list. If they don’t reply, purge their addresses. This ensures your content reaches those genuinely interested and can improve engagement metrics.
  5. Selling Through Storytelling: Include pricing and purchase links but balance it with engaging content. Your newsletter should invite readers into your world, not just into your store.
  6. Growing Your Subscriber Base: Encourage sign-ups through various channels. Creative incentives or exclusive content can be a significant draw.
  7. Choosing the Right Platform: Start with basic services and upgrade as needed. The right platform is one that balances functionality with user-friendliness.
  8. Feedback and Adaptation: Pay attention to your newsletter’s performance. Use insights from open rates and subscriber feedback to refine your approach.

Deepening Your Newsletter Strategy

Effective Subject Lines: The subject line is your first impression. Make it compelling enough to entice your audience to open the email. Test different styles to see what works best for your audience.

Analyzing Newsletter Metrics: Understanding metrics like open rates and click-through rates can provide invaluable insights into what content resonates with your audience, guiding future strategies.

Segmenting Your Audience: Tailor your content to different segments of your audience, such as collectors, art enthusiasts, or industry professionals. This personalization can significantly enhance engagement.

Images and Layouts: As visual storytellers, the aesthetic of your newsletter is crucial. High-quality images of your artwork and a layout that reflects your artistic style can make your newsletter a visual delight.

Building a Narrative: Your newsletter is a platform for storytelling. Share your creative process, the inspiration behind your pieces, and your artistic journey to create a deeper connection with your audience.

Interactive Elements: Encourage interaction by incorporating elements like polls, Q&As, or invitations for feedback. This not only boosts engagement but also provides valuable insights into your audience’s preferences.

Legal and Ethical Practices: Respect subscriber privacy and comply with anti-spam laws. Ensure your newsletters include an easy unsubscription process, maintaining ethical standards in your communications.

Consistency and Longevity: View your newsletter as a long-term relationship-building tool, not just a sales channel. Regular, consistent communication is key to building and maintaining this relationship.

Real-Life Examples: Share stories and experiences, like the anecdote of the clients who bought artwork while on a road trip, to illustrate the impact of newsletters. These stories provide practical examples and inspiration for your own strategies.

Conclusion: The Art of Connection

Email newsletters are a powerful tool in the artist’s toolkit, offering a unique blend of personal connection, storytelling, and marketing. They allow you to create a community around your art, sharing your journey and creations with an audience that grows with you.

I invite you to share your experiences, questions, or tips in the comments section below. Have you found success with newsletters? What challenges have you faced? Let’s learn from each other and continue growing in this vibrant art community.

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.


  1. I try to collect email addresses at shows. I use MailChimp to send messages prior to shows. I had a sign-up link on my WordPress website — and found that I was getting a lot of mystery people signing up. In the end, I took down the link. Now I add people manually as they indicate interest and give me their email address.
    I post to Instagram (which goes over to Facebook), but I’m not sure of the value. I know I respond to direct emails. I miss most notices on IG and Facebook.

  2. I and 3 other artist friends, recently opened our own gallery. We have a pretty robust website – thegrovergallery.com – but are also exploring “occasional” newsletters. Our gallery schedule is very active with Gallery Walks, guest artists, our own art with constantly changing shows, classes and special events. Personally, I’m not a big fan of newsletters as I find that I tend to ignore them when someone sends me one. But that may just be me. We’re going to give it a try and are collecting email addresses in the gallery and on our website. More to follow.

  3. Jason & All,

    I have utilized newsletters for a VERY long time. Owning your email list is a priority! You do not own your contacts on social media and they are gone with the flip of a switch.

    There is a newer platform that I moved to 6 months ago. I am not cutting edge – but love a great tool. Substack.com started as a writers blog in 2016, so just 8 years ago. It has evolved into something VERY USEFUL. Here are the kickers: 1. it is FREE to both reader and user. 2. no longer just a blog – you can add pdf files and video content via “drag and drop.” Incredibly easy to use. 3. It links into multiple social media platforms. 4. most powerful thing is that you can MONITIZE IT and build an income stream.

    NO MORE PAYING FOR EMAIL SERVICE! No matter how many subscribers or emails sent – FREE!

    By publishing “worthy / useful, interesting” content – you can develope a monthly subscription base. Either like $7 a month (seems to be a minimum) or $50 a year. You can run a “challenge” with a prize for the most referrals. (paid or free subscribers – on my list for 2024.) I see a path coming for the sale lessons, and other types of content.

    I discovered it while flipping through YouTube. There is extensive content to learn more about it, how to use it ect. Now, it is my opinion – but I feel that Substack dovetailed into YouTube are where I want to grow in 2024. YouTube is on every TV and other device in the whole world. I still have much to learn, tip of the iceberg – but my direction in my marketing efforts.

    Art Shows, booth spaces – I always do a drawing for something in an effort to collect email addresses. They can always opt out – not an issue. But as I stated in the beginning. YOU MUST OWN YOUR EMAIL LIST.

    I wish all much success in 2024. Debra

  4. I have been doing my art newsletter, Art and Tulips, (artulips.wordpress.com) for several years now and have a combination of collectors, friends, and strangers from around the world who read it. I keep each post short and include either a new piece or a visual related to my work along with a general commentary on aspects of art/creativity and personal updates.

    It usually goes out every couple of weeks. It’s a joy to create but then I was a writer, still am, in my other life. I hear from readers in the comments and in messages back to me. I like newsletters that are short, well-written, informative, and not full of grammatical errors.

  5. I was sending out newsletters every month. Most of the comments seem to be from friends and relatives. Although they are supportive they are not the primary focus of the newsletter! Apparently the newsletter goes to about 3000 people who were supposedly very interested in my art. Obviously most of them are not showing any interest but don’t bother to unsubscribe. It seems that the frequency is not as critical as having the right audience but again, I thought I had the right audience!!! Thoughts?????

    1. Hi Rhona,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with your newsletter. It’s a common challenge to differentiate between genuine interest and polite support, especially when your subscribers are predominantly friends and relatives.

      Your observation is spot on – having the right audience is indeed more crucial than the frequency of your newsletters. If your current list consists of 3000 people who were initially interested in your art, it might be time to re-engage them in a different way. Sometimes, subscribers stay on lists out of courtesy or forgetfulness, even if their interest has waned.

      Here are a few thoughts:

      Segmentation: Try segmenting your email list. This way, you can tailor your content to different groups based on their engagement levels or interests.
      Feedback and Surveys: Send out a feedback survey. This can help you understand what your audience is looking for and adjust your content accordingly.
      Relevance and Value: Ensure your newsletters offer value that resonates with your audience. This might involve sharing insights into your creative process, exclusive previews of new work, or even stories behind your pieces.
      Call-to-Action (CTA): Encourage engagement with a clear CTA. This could be as simple as asking for feedback, directing them to your latest blog post, or offering a special discount on your art.
      Remember, it’s about building a community of engaged followers who look forward to your updates and are genuinely interested in your art. Sometimes less is more, and a smaller but more engaged audience can be far more valuable.

      More to come in upcoming posts – stay tuned!

    1. Absolutely, you’ve touched on an important point. While newsletters and blogs serve different purposes, the content for both can indeed overlap or even be the same. It’s really about where and how your potential customers encounter this content.

      For example, a piece you’ve written for your blog can be summarized or highlighted in your newsletter, directing readers back to your website for more detailed information. This approach allows you to reach different segments of your audience effectively—those who regularly visit your blog and those who engage more through their email inbox.

      The key is to understand that some followers prefer the direct, personal connection of a newsletter, while others might discover your content organically through your blog. Utilizing both channels maximizes your reach and engagement.

  6. A few years ago I started an email newsletter and sent it 4-6 times a year. I asked people who expressed interest in my artwork if they would like to hear my art news. Most were friends, family, art acquaintances and buyers. I’ve added names from exhibitions where people signed the guest book and wrote a legible email address. What I’ve noticed is that fewer people open the emails now than when I started. I’m thoughtful about the subject lines and content, but I’m not connecting. My guess is that most of the people on the list are just not interested in art, or my art. Having been in the marketing & communications biz for a long time I think it’s a numbers game, and I don’t have enough people on my list. So, how can I build my list?

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with your email newsletter. It sounds like you’ve made a solid start by reaching out to your immediate network and adding contacts from exhibitions. However, it’s common for engagement to fluctuate over time.

      Mira, You’re right in thinking that expanding your mailing list can be part of the solution. Building a larger and more diverse audience can increase the chances of connecting with those genuinely interested in your art. I have some upcoming posts that will delve into strategies for building a mailing list, including tips on how to attract subscribers who are more likely to engage with your content.

      In the meantime, continue being creative with your subject lines and content. Sometimes, even small tweaks can make a big difference in open rates and engagement.

      Keep an eye out for those upcoming posts, and best of luck with enhancing your email marketing efforts!

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  8. Thanks, Jason, for posting on this subject. It has been great to read each post and your replies.

    My email list is tiny. I have yet to find a successful way to grow it, therefore I seldom send one out. My subscribers are friends so I don’t want to overwhelm them with newsletters.

    My issue is finding a way to grow my email list and find subscribers that are truly interested in adding to their art collections. I love to write and have enjoyed writing an occasional blog post but I find newsletters daunting.

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