Anatomy of an Art Sales Email

Tips on writing the perfect sales email for photographers and aritsts – including some examples and a breakdown of the major elements.

In a recent post, I made the case for the overall importance of email marketing.

Timely in the fact that the holidays are rapidly approaching — Read: likely your most profitable months all year. So now, more than ever, it’s important to be able to send out good-looking, effective sales emails.

So what does a good sales email look like?

What are its important parts?

Let’s break down the basic components of a sales email.

The Anatomy of a Sales Email

Before we can talk about optimizing things further, or showing you step-by-step directions in MailChimp (our ESP of choice), we have to understand the elements.

Let’s start by listing the elements of a typical email.

  1. Clear, attention-grabbing subject line
  2. A real human being sending the email
  3. A company logo
  4. Personalized content
  5. Good pre-header text
  6. A focused CTA
  7. Relevent imagery
  8. Time urgency


1. Clear Attention Grabbing Subject Line

In our example: “Oh, What A Way to Start the Week”

Do you know the most important part of your email? It’s the subject line.

The better your subject line, the higher the open rate.

The higher the open rate, the better your sales will be.

You are competing with an inbox full of them, so yours needs to be good.


There is a plethora of writing on the interwebs about just this topic. If you want to dive deeper on this, I recommend you read this article.

2. A real human being sending the email

In our example: it’s an epic failure


Does anybody know an “artemail”?

He lives next door to you right?

If you are gonna send out an email, please, do it as a real person. Nobody wants an email from info@ or sales@. It might as well say Idontcareaboutyouatall@ [insert your domain name here].

Make it personal! Send it from yourself. It will make your customers feel better, and will likely increase open rate and click-through rates.

3. Your company logo

You want to stay on brand. The people clicking on your email should recognize your logo and know who you are.

From email click to website, be consistent and on brand.


4. Personalized Content

Not present in our example

This one all comes down to whether or not you have the first name information in your email database.

If you do…use it.


Personalizing the experience for your email will make a big impact on the clickthrough rate.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care…about them!

Zig Ziglar

5. Good Pre-Header Text

In our example: “45% OFF – Today Only! Share With Friends, Shop Now”

Most ESP’s – email service providers – have a section where you can set the pre-header text. You either do that or you don’t. If you don’t, then the first text you have written will become your pre-header text.

Regardless of which way you decide to play it, the content of this text is really important.


As you can see in the image above (if you need to see it larger, click to open in a new window), the pre-header text follows the subject line.

After the subject line, it’s the next most important thing in determining whether or not I am going to open your email or not, so take your time and craft something open-worthy.

6. Obvious and Focused CTA

In our example: “Shop Now”

The CTA (Call to Action) is what you want your reader to click on. In most cases it’s a button.

What’s important is that it’s clear, it’s focused, and the language on the button is consistent with your ask. Check out the free PDF we’re offering at the bottom of this post – note how we’ve matched the CTA to the content with the word “guide” (and do actually download that PDF, it’s pretty awesome.)


7. Relevant Imagery

Sorta boring in our example but…

In that image above you certainly get the idea of what the deal is right? Its 45% off and you know it.

Bigger point in all of this is, if you are having a sale on your beach images of Maui, then have some beach images of Maui in the email.

Time Urgency

In our example: “Expires today”

Time urgency is perhaps one of the most overlooked, yet most powerful aspects of a sales email.

You want to give your readers as many reasons as possible to act and to act judiciously. Setting some time urgency in your email copy will pay dividends when used correctly.

Wrapping Up

This post was meant to be a quick anatomy of a sales email and some of its important elements.

Now you’re probably wondering how to actually get people onto your email list, so you can send them the perfect art sales email.

And what use is a good email without a good website to link to? A website stacked with features designed specifically to sell photography and fine art?

With that, we can help

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