Art Marketing Hack: The Email + Facebook Ad Combo Technique

How to utilize and integrate Instagram and Facebook ads with email marketing – why it’s a powerful technique and examples of copy to use.

Today we’re going to talk about a wildly effective and simple way to implement hybrid marketing techniques that will deliver more sales to your art business over a very short period of time.

The official geek name of this technique is cross channel coordination, but you don’t have to call it that.

All you need to know is that it works like gangbusters.

Once implemented, you can use this technique again and again when you have an exclusive announcement — a sale, a new art series to promote, a gallery show or other in-person live event, or other special happenings in your business.

facebook ads for art sales

What you’re going to do is tie together email marketing and social advertising for optimal reach, by sending an email to your list with Facebook ads targeted to that same list (don’t worry, this post will explain how to do this).

The reason this technique works so well is because when you show consistent messaging to the same audience from both channels – email and Facebook – they reinforce each other, which becomes very effective.

This combination of email marketing and social advertising helps your message reach your audience and gets your emails opened.

And the more email opens you get, the more eyeballs you get on your content and offers, and therefore, the more sales you make.

FYI: This article is a follow-up to our podcast episode that specifically talks about this technique. Check it out by clicking here.

The Hybrid Facebook Ads/Email Technique

facebook ads email technique

Here’s what this technique looks like in three easy steps:

  1. Upload your email list to Facebook. This assumes you already have your Facebook ads account set up, if not, you’ll have to do that first. Once you do that, you can show ads to your email list as an audience.
  2. Send an email to your list, telling them about something special you have coming up. This could be a class you’re teaching, an upcoming gallery show, the release of a new series of paintings, a special sale, a big announcement, etc.

    The key is it’s something special that doesn’t happen all the time. You want to save this technique for the times when you really have something strong to offer.

    And don’t forget, like we always say here at ASF, send the email out once, then again to un-opens.
  3. Create a Facebook ad about your offer that runs in the same timeframe as your emails. You’re sending an email to your list and at the same time, running FB ads that talk about the same offer as in the email, but in a different and a more creative way.

Here’s the technique in a nutshell: Upload your email list to FB to create a custom FB audience, send an email to your list about your offer, create a FB ad that runs at the same time (and create an Instagram ad too of course, if you use that platform), and send an additional email to those who didn’t open the first one.

facebook ads technique

This technique is a great way to get started with Facebook advertising for minimal cost.

Because it’s a laser-focused, short-term campaign, you won’t be spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to get great results.

You could get away with $10 a day for this, maybe even $5 a day, and still get a lot of bang for your buck.

And because it’s laser-targeted to warm traffic, your FB ads will be seen by people who already know who you are.

This results in more sales than if you were to make the same offer to cold traffic, which is the mistake most people make when doing Facebook advertising.

Disclaimer: In order for this technique to be effective, you must have been providing value to your email list and built up some good will.

It’ll only work if you’ve been sending your list romance content and not pummeling them with mostly sales offers.

If you haven’t been emailing your list without asking for a sale, you’ve got some homework to do first before you can implement this kind of campaign.

Why Not Just Send an Email to My List and Call It a Day?

facebook ads cross channel messaging

Think about how you interact online – with your email, with Facebook, and with other social media sites.

Most people check their email in the morning, see a promotion or sales email, then get busy with their day and forget about the email 5 minutes later.

Then later as they’re scrolling through FB or Instagram on their lunch break, they see an ad, and they think, “Oh yeah, I saw that in my email this morning. There’s that gallery opening/class/new art series. It looks really cool. I need to go back to my email and check it out.”

One of the well-known truths of effective marketing is that it takes several “touches,” or being exposed to an offer multiple times, before we act.

Jon Loomer, a Facebook marketing expert, says this about the hybrid FB ad/email technique:

“The familiarity from the email (on which a user didn’t act) could make action on an ad more likely (and vice versa).”

And here’s what Facebook says about this kind of hybrid campaign:

“Consumers are comfortably switching between devices throughout their day, making it important for marketers to not only activate campaigns across channels but also their marketing messages. In this case, the advertiser’s most valuable customers were those who both opened the email and saw the News Feed ads as they were being reached by multiple channels. Coordinating messaging across channels resulted in reaching customers who were 22% more likely to purchase than those only reached by email.”

Let’s Get Into the Nuts & Bolts

email marketing with facebook ads

First things first, let’s address the email. It all starts with the email.

We’re going to break it down quickly so we can understand the pieces.

There are three pieces in play with this technique, and it’s important you understand all three.

email marketing elements

  1. Sender Name:
  2. Subject Line: Hours Left to SAVE BIG!
  3. Preheader: 45% Off Sitewide Ends Tonight – Shop now 45% off Sale End Tonight. Shop Now Having…

You can see above what those elements look like on a desktop view in Gmail.

It’s really important to visually understand what most people are going to see. Most people aren’t even going to open your email, so you have the 3 elements above to try to get them to open it.

You also have to keep in mind that most people are not going to read your email on their desktops, or laptops either. Most will likely be on their phones.

So let’s talk about what that might look like.

email marketing mobile view

What you see above is the same email in our previous desktop view example, but now in mobile view. Notice any differences between the two?

Pre-header on desktop version of the email: 45% Off Sitewide Ends Tonight – Shop now 45% off Sale End Tonight. Shop Now Having…


Pre-header on the mobile version of the email: 45% Off Sitewide Ends Tonight – Shop now Art.c…

As you play around with your email copy, it’s important that you understand the subtle differences between how it’s going to show up on both mobile and desktop.

You notice does a good job of making it work for both of the devices and screen resolutions in question.

Don’t stress about it though. The important part is you’re aware of it and you do the best you can.

There are hundreds of screen resolutions and device sizes and email clients. You’re never going to nail them all, and you don’t have to. Focus on the little things and the big things will work themselves out.

In this case, focus on getting more folks to open your email by designing a subject and pre-header that will work for both mobile and desktop devices.

What’s Our Goal Here?

email marketing goal

Our goal is to increase open rates on your emails. This will drive more traffic to your offers, which should increase your sales.

The ultimate goal is to increase sales of course, but it’s important to understand the journey to a sale has a few steps.

If subscribers don’t open your email, they never read the email copy. If they never read the email copy, they never click through to your offer.

If they don’t click through to your website, you’re not going to make the sale.

email marketing open rates

So in this case, it makes good business sense to focus at the “top of the funnel,” so to speak, with getting them to open the email in the first place.

This means, as you think through how to best approach the copy for this, you want to make sure your copy for the email and the FB + Instagram ads dovetails well.

Our podcast episode goes into more detail and shares three specific examples of how to use this technique.

Those three examples are: a photographer selling an in-person workshop, a mixed media artist with a show coming up, and a painter releasing a new series.

Let’s start with the first example.

#1: A Photographer Selling An In-Person Workshop

photographer email copy example

In this example, Mike Taylor was selling spots to a night sky photography workshop he was running in Maine.

Let’s take a look at what his email sender name, subject line, and pre-header might look like:

Sender name: The Team at Taylor Photography

Subject line: Come Capture the Stars with Us

Pre-header: Join One of Our 2017 Night Sky Photography Workshops in Maine

On the sender name, make sure to use what you normally use and not some off-the-wall name like “Orders at Taylor Photography” or other such off-putting type sender names.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure it sounds like it’s coming from a real person.

And here’s what the Facebook ad might look like:

photographer facebook ads example

We have some creative copy up top, and then we reinforce the email copy.

In many ways, the ad is more effective in this case than the email, given the fact that you can use an image. Also, images tend to get a lot more traction on Facebook.

Let’s take a look at what Instagram might look like too:

photographer instagram ads example

In both cases above, you’re being creative with the “Let’s make the next photo you take look like this” bit, while presenting a message that either dovetails or is nearly identical to your email copy.

What’s great about this technique is that even though its stated goal is get more folks to open your original email, it’s more than that.

The real game is awareness.

When properly executed, will this technique get more folks to open your emails?


The beauty is of this technique is that people might still ignore the emails, but they can end up clicking on one of the ads, which will lead to a website visit and then a purchase.

That’s the great part. It doesn’t matter where you get them. Just matters that you do.

It’s all about how many times and in how many different venues you can remind them of your offer.

Now let’s take a look at the second example.

#2: A Mixed Media Artist With A Show Coming Up

mixed media email copy example

Let’s say you’re a mixed media artist with an upcoming local show. You want to invite the people on your email list to the show, but of course not everyone on your list lives in your local area.

So you want your entire list to know about the show and any new pieces you have, and that they can purchase pieces afterwards if they can’t come to the show in person.

In your email, you’ll mention the show and let people know you’ll be offering a discount afterwards.

Always include some urgency, so something like: “Hey, for those of you who can’t make the show, I’ll have a special deal for you afterwards, so look to your email.”

The great thing about this scenario is that you can geographically target your email list on Facebook. That’s a topic for a future podcast, but just know that it can be done.

Let’s see what the email sender name, subject line, and pre-header might look like:

Sender name: Jane Smith, Mixed Media Artist

Subject line: Opening Reception & Sale on New Works, Weds May 17, 6-8:30 pm

Pre-header: Come see my latest work at [name of gallery]. Opening reception-only special sale on selected works.

If you want to add more personality to your subject lines:

Subject line: Psst…your walls don’t like being naked. Gallery Opening for New Mixed Media Works May 17.

Subject line: Show your walls some love. Opening Reception for [name of new collection here] May 17.

Again, the sender name needs to look like it’s coming from an individual. If your art business has an “official” name, you could use “Jane Smith from [name of your business here].”

Here’s what the Facebook ad might look like:

mixed media facebook ads example

Again, we’re reinforcing the email copy. The ad copy is similar enough to carry the theme through, but not exactly the same as the email.

And because we’re using a beautiful image, the ad is more arresting and attention-grabbing than the email. What’s important is that the two work together to get more views, clicks, and sales.

Let’s take a look at what Instagram might look like too:

mixed media instagram ads example

You’ll notice with Insta ads that you’re given call to action choices from among their list, so you can’t make up your own. Last I checked, these were the choices:

  • No Button
  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Donate Now
  • Download
  • Learn More
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch More

And now for our final example.

#3: A Painter Releasing A New Series

painter email marketing example

In this example, we have a painter who’s just released a new series, and wants to drum up interest and excitement.

First you send an email introducing the brand-new series, include two or three or four examples, and say, “Check out the rest of the series on my website right here,” and link to your website.

In the FB ad, you can introduce the series, mention the series name, and show a couple of different images than you did in the email. So now your audience has seen 2 or 3 images in the email, and 1 or 2 different images in the FB ad.

When they see the FB (or Insta) ad, they’ll think, “boy, that one was really cool, and that other one was really cool, too, I’ve got to check out the rest of the series on the website.”

Here’s what the email sender name, subject line, and pre-header might look like:

Sender name: Artist Jack Jones

Subject line: Introducing my all new series: [name of collection/series here]

Alternative subject line: Let me introduce you to my new collection!

Pre-header: Check out my new series [could mention name of collection/series here] & get 20% off for a limited time

And here’s what the Facebook ad might look like:

painter facebook ads example

Again, the ad copy is similar to the email copy, but not identical.

You can play with this some, creating different copy for the FB ad; you just want to be sure it’s clear that the ad your audience sees is similar enough to the email, so that it reinforces the email.

That familiarity is what’s going to make them go back and check out the email, because they’ll get that it’s all related.

As long as the subject matter in your FB & Insta ads is very closely aligned with the email you’re sending, you’ll do great with this technique.

Let’s take a look at what Instagram might look like too:

painter instagram ads example

As the marketing experts at Hubspot have said, a good FB ad has these four components:

  • It’s visual
  • It’s relevant (only showing ads that are meaningful to your target audience)
  • It includes an enticing value proposition (i.e., it shares good reason for the audience to click on your ad to learn more)
  • It includes a clear call to action

You’ll notice that the ads above do all these things.

Final Thoughts

start facebook ads and email marketing

The hybrid email marketing + social advertising technique is especially effective for e-commerce.

It will increase the number people who see your offer, thereby increasing the number of sales over using email marketing or FB advertising alone.

And the added bonus is, you’ll get more website traffic as a result, which is always a good thing.

Now, if you want to dig even deeper into learning all things Facebook ads, Facebook has some good resources you can check out.

Here are two resources you might find useful:

Be sure to subscribe to our blog and the Art Marketing Podcast for more information on Facebook Ads tips and tricks!

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