What is the best way to increase your income on the internet if you are an artist?
There are a lot of options to deliver your content, images and messages online. Blogs, social media, static Web sites and user-generated content sites like Squidoo or Ezine articles all provide an opportunity to get the word out about your artwork.
Each of these has its distinct pros and cons. I love blogging, but it’s a a lot of work. And you have to keep feeding the engine–no matter how well-received your post is today, tomorrow your readers want to know what’s new and fresh.
Static Web sites and user-generated content sites are tried and true, and they belong in any fully-developed content strategy, but they’re not the first place I’d put my energy.
For my money, the smartest way to start out with internet marketing is with a simple email newsletter
They’re inexpensive–about $20 a month to deliver. They’re faster to put together than a paper newsletter, requiring only minimal graphic layout. And the really fun part is, you can create a fantastic sequence of communication, then deliver it again and again to each new person who signs up for your list.
Benefits of using email marketing to your clients, collectors, and gallery contacts
- Consistent email contact builds trust which leads to more and greater sales
- Auto-responders send out a sequence of regularly timed messages that you have created in advance. They work for you even when you are away or sleeping. Truly, the lazy man’s way to riches.
- Consistent emails constantly keep your name in front of your customers and so they think about you next time they are ready to buy.
- You can offer a series of new products to your clients that are evenly spaced throughout your email campaign. More products offered means more sales
There are a lot of steps to putting an email newsletter together. None of them is
rocket science, but put them all together and it can be a little intimidating.
I’ve seen a lot of folks get bogged down just trying to choose a provider. I
completely understand—you don’t want to make a mistake or burn a lot of time
& energy with the wrong service.
Fortunately, there’s an extremely easy answer to this question. There really is one
provider—and no, I don’t work for them!—who stands head and shoulders above the rest.
This article will give you the complete scoop on what you need to look for
and why these guys are the gold standard.
DO YOU NEED AN EMAIL NEWSLETTER PROVIDER?
A lot of folks think they can “do it themselves” by either sending customer email
newsletters through a program like Outlook or (if you’re a little more tech-y)
writing your own PHP or other program.
“Doing it Yourself” is a BIG MISTAKE here
First of all, trying to send out bulk email to more than 10 or 20 people gets
complicated in a hurry. You lose track of who’s already gotten what. You have to
create folders and subfolders. Your local email service starts to get cranky with
you (sometimes very cranky) because you’re sending too much stuff. It’s just
But that’s not the reason not to do it.
You need a special email newsletter provider because if you don’t, one of these
days you will be marked as a SPAMMER.
It’s a little known fact that most of the email that gets marked as spam is actually
completely legit. People click that “spam” button if they forget that they signed
up to hear from you, or if they’re just not as interested as they used to be.
A lot of the time, they even click the SPAM button completely by accident.
Before you know it, the “big guys” have sent your name around as a “bad
character,” and NONE of your email gets delivered . . . to ANYONE. Not your
personal mail wishing your grandma a happy birthday, not the business mail you
use to confirm delivery of your product, NOTHING.
You really don’t want that to happen.
Use a reliable email newsletter service and they manage all those relationships for
you, so your mail will get delivered consistently. They send from a completely
different computer, so your personal email can never be accidentally marked as a
The good ones also give you a heads up if you’ve written something that will raise
the “spam” flag on the automatic filters (you’ll be amazed at some of what gets
flagged). They deal with all the hassles for you, and they keep things simple and
organized. You just spend a few minutes typing your content in and they take it
A dedicated service to send your email newsletters is a critical business expense
just like having a phone line is—and it’s just as dumb to try to go without it!
A PIECE OF “EXPERT” ADVICE YOU MUST IGNORE
Lately, some of the “experts” have been telling folks that deliverability (that’s the
jargon for whether or not your email gets to your readers without landing in a
“junk” folder) is only about content. They claim that the spam filters just check
for certain words, and if you keep your nose clean your stuff will sail through.
These are people who have little or no experience testing different email providers.
OK, it’s partly true. Yes, you have to have good, valuable content. And you can’t
be a spammer. It helps a lot of you send something your customers want to get.
But that’s not the only piece of the puzzle.
As a matter of fact, it matters a lot who’s sending your email newsletter for
you. Some of the bigger names (including some you see advertising in the
business journals and magazines) don’t spend the time they should creating solid
relationships with the email providers. They’re not on the phone with AOL,
Gmail, Yahoo, Earthlink, Comcast and all those other guys, making sure that
those providers are delivering your email.
And if you publish a newsletter with one of these not-so-great services, even if
you have the best content in the world on a totally harmless subject, you can see
anything from 10-25% OR WORSE caught in spam filters.
Let’s be really clear. When your newsletter gets stuck in a spam filter, your
customers can’t read it. Which means they don’t forward it to their friends or
come in to check out your great new promotion.
Which means 10-25% OR WORSE of your money and time are WASTED.
I don’t want to get into any fights or make anyone’s enemies list, so I’m not going
to name the providers I’ve seen firsthand do a lousy job of managing the spam
In fact, I’m just going to give you one name—the “gold standard” for sending mass
My 8% rejection rate shrank down to under 1%. My clickthroughs (that’s folks
who click on a link in your email—important to keep track of, because that
means you’ve got interested readers who are motivated to act) improved by
about five times. That’s all I needed to see—I’m a believer.
THE BEST EMAIL NEWSLETTER PROVIDER I’VE FOUND ANYWHERE
OK, enough with the suspense already. The best email newsletter provider for
small businesses (or even big ones, in my opinion) is a company called Aweber.
I haven’t seen any other provider come close to getting your email past the spam filters.
If you’ve been hanging around the Internet Marketing dudes, you know this name
already—they’re simply the best.
Not only does their email get delivered much more consistently, but it’s a very
EASY program to use.
IF IT’S THE BEST, DOES THAT MEAN IT’S EXPENSIVE?
Aweber costs a little under $20 a month for the basic package, which gives you
up to 250 subscribers. Then it jumps to $29 a month for up to 2,500 subscribers,
with modest increases as you get more people on your lists. Other than some of
the great free services provided by Google, I can’t think of a better, smarter
bargain for any business owner or organization. Anyone.
Remember, it’s not just cheap with GREAT deliverability, but the Aweber
program is designed for folks who don’t have a PhD in computer programming.
Setting up Aweber is about as easy as it gets—if you managed to figure out how
your email program works, you’re overqualified to use Aweber.
(No, I don’t work for them and I don’t own their stock. Maybe I should find out if
they even offer stock, so I can buy some. It’s just really, truly that good. No
A MISTAKE EVEN EXPERTS MAKE
Once in awhile, I see a business owner using the email provider that comes with
their shopping cart program, or their web domain host, or whatever.
Even people who ought to know better do this. I guess they don’t like the idea of
paying for a new program when they can use something they already bought.
Don’t do it. Your customers can “white list” you (that means they add you to
their email as a safe sender) until they’re blue in the face, some of your messages
are still going to get jammed up in their spam filters.
These “add-on” emailers just don’t put as much time and energy into making sure
as much email as humanly possible gets in front of your customers, instead of
getting stuck in a spam or “junk” box somewhere.
Use a good, dedicated service with an EXCELLENT reputation for
deliverability, whether it’s Aweber or another service you might find.
I happen to run my own free marketing newsletter using Aweber. If you’d like to
get some FREE solid art marketing tips and advice, feel free to subscribe below.
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