How to market your art online and position yourself for Mother's Day sales. A step-by-step plan you can follow.
Hey guys, this is Patrick, and welcome to the Art Marketing Podcast where we talk about art marketing strategy, tactics, tips, and focus. As I record this episode today there is just 21 days left til Mother's Day, so let me ask you, what does your Mother's Day marketing strategy look like? That's a mouthful. Do you have a plan in place, do you know what you're doing? I would say whether you have a plan or not, I want to go over one today that you can use and one that we recommend that our customers at Art Storefronts use. I guess you could technically say we call it the Mother's Day playbook, how to market your art for Mother's Day sales. For those that are listening in the future, Mother's Day has already come and gone, don't worry, the playbook works equally well for other holidays, too.
Let me dive in and introduce the playbook quickly, set the foundation, and then we can get more into the hardcore tactical details. You can use whatever variation that works best for you in this playbook. I always cite this quote of Robert De Niro in Casino where he's teaching this guy how to use the slot machines, and he's got this line that there's the right way, the wrong way, and the way that I do it. So, here's the way that I do it, and you can borrow what aspects of it you like or don't like.
Step number one is you got to sort out how long it takes to ship your art. Different for everybody, but you need to know how long it takes and then work backwards off of that time that it will take for your art to be able to get shipped to mom in time. It starts out with sending an email, the email has some sort of a deal into it, we'll get more into that in a bit. Then equally, perhaps even more important, scarcity, meaning there's a time sensitivity to the deal, the deal expires. You send another email that those that did not open the first email, do that within 24, 48 hours. Then you send a final email as you get close to the shipping date. Let's say it takes you 10 days to ship, so wind back 10 days from when Mother's Day actually is so the art will arrive on time, and then use that date. In conjunction, you run Facebook ads to your email list audience and Facebook and Instagram, doubling down on this email subject line, which is going to increase your open rates.
That's the playbook. There's a number of different versions and tweaks that you can make to it, so let's get into the nitty gritty about it. One thing that I would say, and this comes from running marketing at a company where we just host artists the last two years now, any action you take here is better than no action at all. Some artists freak out about discounts, some artists freak out about sending email to unopens, some artists can't be bothered to learn how to run Facebook ads, it's all good. You got to do what works for you and what you're comfortable with, but you got to take action and learn from it. I really do believe that doing so will build your confidence, and we get a tremendous amount of feedback, even from people that are not customers that have tried this technique and actually had it work out. So, it's all good, do what works best for you.
I think, again, I say this is often a pushback we get from folks on our platform is some people just flip out, can't handle discounting, thinks discounting is the devil, anybody that discounts should be drawn and quartered, it's the whole reason that nobody sells any art because just everything's so cheap. Fine, don't discount. You don't have to do it, it's not for you, but send the email. Send the email anyway. For others, it's like, are you kidding me? You're asking me to send an email twice? Once to my list and then to people that didn't open, so they get two email? There no way I'm doing that. Cool, all good, I get it. You got to do what works for you, but the important thing is to just do it. You got to take a shot and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Let's get into the emails and really drill into the tactic. So, email number one, and let me just throw out a for instance subject line. Again, the subject line can be whatever, the important thing is it's Mother's Day related, right? "Mother's Day will be here soon. You know what moms love? Art. Show mom how much you love her." Make it Mother's Day inspired. In the email you should have a discount running. I mean, you can do 5% off, 10% off, 20, 30, 40, whatever you're comfortable with. It could be free shipping, depending on what type of product you're selling it could be what we call BOGO, buy one get one free. It's a little bit different for everybody's business, but I do believe the discount is an important incentive and it's something that buyers have come to expect.
So, it's something that we advocate that you do indeed do, the discount's up to you.
The email must, must, must have scarcity, so the deal must expire. You can set it to expire on the last day to ship, like that drop dead date, your last shipping date. Or sometimes it works well to run this whole thing on three to five expiration and just slam the whole technique into a five day window. You can adjust it, the key is there's got to be scarcity in there. Deal expires in 48 hours. Deal expires in seven days. The scarcity is critical towards getting human beings to take action, you got to have it in there.
Email number two, and this is so important. We advocate that everybody do this on a somewhat regular basis, because it's just the way the world works today, and that's the resend to unopens. So, depending on who your email service provider is, a lot of them make this very, very easy to do. If you're using MailChimp it's really easy, if you're using AWeber it's really easy, even if you're using Mad Mimi or Constant Contact, or some of those others, I know they all have the feature. The way that it works is you send out the first email, your ESP, email service provider, will track whether or not people have opened the email, and if they did not open you can send those folks another email.
In terms of the subject line on this, many times I'll throw the good old ICYMI acronym, which stands for in case you missed it, and then use the exact same subject line and the exact same email you sent. That last email, let's just say we did, "Mother's Day will be here soon." I literally throw ICYMI dash Mother's Day will be here soon. So, people see that in case you missed it, here's a reminder. You could do that, sometimes I've had good results changing the subject line up a bit, like, "Mother's Day will be here soon," that's your first subject line, so the send unopens would be like, "Hey, you missed the Mother's Day email, you need to open this." You can adjust it to creative taste, how you want to do it.
You can do either, just make sure you do it, because it is insanely effective and I have found, not kidding, that in certain email campaigns I will get better results from the resend to unopens than I will to the original entire list email, and I've got a big list, sometimes when these techniques work. It's just people are so doggone busy they don't have time to read your email, they're not reading your email, they're ignoring it. So the resend to unopens just gives them another little poke, right? So, first email goes out, I recommend and advocate that you send email number two, the resend to unopens within a 24 to 48 hours. So, you send your first email on a Wednesday, let's say, you're going to send the resend to unopens either on a Thursday or a Friday, but I usually don't extend it after 48 hours.
Now, if you've been listening to this podcast you heard in the last episode that we talked about the email plus Facebook and Instagram combination. Highly recommend you listen to that one if this piques your interest at all, but we also recommend folks do this. Now, obviously you need to have a Facebook or Instagram ads account and you need to have some basic knowledge of Facebook or Instagram ads. The way that it works, if you're just listening to this for the first time, you get your email ready to go, you press send. You then create an ad in Facebook, and by extension I show them on Instagram as well, that reinforces the email that you just sent.
So, let's go back to our "Mother's Day will be here soon," and in the email you have a couple of your images. Let's just say you're a landscape photographer, of the Shenandoah Valley, so you've got some images of the Shenandoah Valley in your email. Well, the Facebook ad would be one of those images from the email with some variation of the subject line, and perhaps talking about the deal. So you could say, "Mother's Day will be here soon, give mom a gift she'll love, a photo of the Shenandoah Valley. Sales 20% off, ends soon." You can put some of that type of language into the Facebook or Instagram ad. Sometimes you don't even need to go that incendiary, you can just say "Mother's Day, Shenandoah Valley," throw one of those photos on there and direct them back to your website.
What ends up happening, what's so powerful about this particular technique, is I'm busy, I don't have time, I'm not going to read your email. I'm sorry I'm not. Then, you send that second email, which is the resend to unopens, and it kind of gives me another poke, you know, it kind of nags on me. It's like, "Oh yeah, I forgot to go do that thing." Then, next thing you know, I'm going about my daily business and either browsing of Facebook or Instagram and I see another reference to it, it's like, "Okay, okay. Now I know I gotta go do that." It just works in that way and it's really, really effective. And the great thing is is that a lot of people are just getting started out, your list is small, so you can invest 10, 20, 30 bucks into this technique, maybe up to 50 or 100 if you've got a big list, and this will totally cover it. It'll totally cover it. It's a relatively inexpensive way to give this technique a shot.
I think one of the awesome parts that I went over in the last podcast is, what I'll find doing this technique is a lot of time your paying for link clicks, let's just say, so you're Facebook campaign says like, charge me anytime somebody clicks on the link. A lot of times they'll just see the post and subconsciously go, "Oh, that's right, I've gotta go open that email," and they don't even click on the link. They don't even click on the link, you don't even have to pay for it, and then they go back into their email and it works that way sometimes, too, so it's really fun.
What I normally do is I start the ad the day that I send the email, I keep the ad running, in my case usually all the way thought the end of the campaign, but you can keep it around, play with it, do two or three days the first couple of times to get your feet wet with this technique.
Then, and there's one more Facebook or Instagram ad that I would recommend, but let me come back to that. The final email is, you have 24 hours until the deal closes, right? So, let's just say you start your deal on Monday and on Friday is the last day that they can order and the thing will get shipped on time to mom.
So, you send an email out Thursday and you say, "24 hours until the deal is over." I recommend getting that language inside the subject line somewhere, like, "Mother's Day is almost here. You have 24 hours to act." Speak to those procrastinators that have not taken action and are totally going to let mom down and not get her something, but they were thinking about getting mom something. So, get that scarcity into the email subject line, let them know there's 24 hours until this things over, have that scarcity language in the email and run another Facebook ad. That's what I do, I send that final email and I run another Facebook ad with the 24 hours left to go language in it. I beef the language up a little bit, maybe make it a little bit stronger than I did. The great news about this Facebook ad is you only have to run it for one day. Send the email, run the ad for 24 hours, cut it off. Even that email's really powerful, too.
So, you see the whole sequence working in conjunction. You've got email number one, email number two, which is the resend to unopens, the Facebook and Instagram ads, if, if, if you've done those before and you can. Pro tip, if you can't, you could certainly make a post, a regular organic, regular post to Facebook, and regular organic post to Instagram, obviously not everybody's going to see it, but they're free to do and you can do that. I highly recommend you at the very least take that step. Turn them into an ad if you can.
Now, we just had a webinar about this not too long ago, because we advocated our customers run this same technique on Valentines Day. I've got a crazy detailed post that goes into the different subject lines that were used on Valentine's Day, and has some more of the tactical information on how to do some of this with your email service provider, I think we covered MailChimp in the post. I'll include that blog post on the show notes, and it's like, there's only so much you can actually get out of a podcast, and that there's some technical details to this thing, so definitely check the post out. Once you run this whole technique, you get the hang of it and you feel pretty good about it, it's not so time intensive. You can get this going, you can totally do this, you can totally pull this off. And the best thing is that you can schedule it all, and for the most part you can batch the creation of all of this in a couple hours worth of work.
There you have it, the Mother's Day art marketing playbook. Again, most important part of the strategy, take action. Take whatever aspects of it work for you. If you only want to send email and you don't want to discount at all, definitely don't advocate that, but do that. Do that. Send some email, run the test, and see what happens. The greatest takeaway is that you are an artist attempting to sell your art online, and let me tell you, that is not a short game, it is a long game. It's like any other entrepreneur, it's going to take years and patience, and guess what? There's a lot of holidays coming. They come up every year, believe it or not, and there's a whole bunch of them around the corner.
I find that, I see artists that take the first step and they maybe even blow it the first time, and don't make a single solitary sale out of it, that's still a win in my book, because you know what? You went through the whole process, and the whole pain in the butt to create that work to schedule it, you understand the ins and outs, the intricacies, and it's going to build your confidence. And the next time you go to run this technique, hello, how many other holidays are coming up? Father's Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, I mean, there's a whole bunch of different ones that you can do. You're going to be in a better place to take advantage of those days.
Everybody's business is a little bit different, so if I can leave you with one takeaway, definitely give it a shot, definitely take action. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, and for some of you you'll definitely make some sales out of it.
So, for the show notes on this thing you can visit the ArtMarketingPodcast.com. Again, ArtMarketingPodcast.com. And as always, if you're enjoying the show, love, love, love that you leave me an iTunes review and let me know. We operate on feedback around here. On that note, I'm leave it there, and hope you enjoy it. Okay.
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We help artists & photographers open and run their own art gallery business online.