Audience development for visual artists – How to send better email invitations

Today for Welcome Wednesday, my friend and artist Annette Coleman had something particular to say about visual artists and their use of emails for audience development.  How can you create better email invitations to increase your audiences?  Without further ado:


The Artists’ Voice – Annette Coleman

 Visual Artists –  say it with a picture

You all know the popular quote ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ -Frederick R. Barnard.  This is the strength for visual artists if and only if you add an image. When it comes to sending out your email invitations,  don’t make the mistake of just using words in your email.

Like you, I receive many invitations to art shows from fellow artists that attach an invitation in a pdf or jpg format. We have to download the file to our computers and open it in a program to view your invitation or image. I know this takes only moments, but with all that we receive via email, why make me or your friends and followers go through this extra step?

For example, this is what I received recently from an artist as their invitation to an upcoming art event:

Often I don’t take the time to download these invitations and if the artist or arts group does not repeat the actual invitation copy in their email such as the title, date and time it will not make it to my calendar. How about you? Do you ignore these invitations too?

Instead, you can take the time to learn how to place an image in your email program so you can see it without downloading it. Most email programs give you this option.  Or, use an email marketing program that lets you do this.  Popular ones are Constant Contact, Evite, Punchbowl or MailChimp.

Many of these programs also enable you to add a links to your email.  You can use these links to go to your website and your social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Plus, you can take advantage of adding a forward button so that others can forward your invitation on to their friends.

Lastly, be sure to take the time to state the information about the event in the body of your email so your invitee has it handy.

With a little email design know how, using pictures, smart links, forward buttons, and clearly stated information, your email invitations will become a more welcome delivery to your audiences with increased success for you!  [:O)]

Annette Coleman is a multi-media artist that launched 88 88 ArtLook a service that supports artists, galleries and art tours by adding the Artist’s Voice to any exhibition. When the viewer hears the artist talk about their work a connection is made and art is sold. Follow her on


Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists


“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

1 Comment

Filed under arts marketing, Audience Development

One response to “Audience development for visual artists – How to send better email invitations

  1. Thanks for this Annette. Can’t agree more. How can an artist communicate without pictures? As a recipient of emails I also hate having to download photos.

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