How Direct Mail Marketing Can Boost Your Art Business

Is direct mail old fashioned? Maybe… but it provides another method of outreach that can help grow your business.


Direct Mail Marketing for Artists & Makers. Read about it at


Your inbox is probably always full, but your mailbox may not be. Direct mail, in the form of letters, invitations, postcards and other pieces, can help you stand out to your prospective customers, especially since this method varies from the standard forms of marketing most often used today by artists.

Postcards have been a staple of marketing for artists for many years. They actually have quite a few uses, some of which are not as mailers (see this article which gives you 25 ways to use postcards for promotion.) They don’t require envelopes, so the recipient sees your art images immediately, without having to open them. And, they are less expensive to mail than letters.

Direct mail can offer a personal touch that often isn’t seen in this digital age. When you customize each piece as much as possible, you avoid giving the impression that a “form letter” is being sent. Use the person’s name in the greeting, and mention something specific about them in the body of the letter, especially if you are writing a follow up letter. Make sure it is obvious that the letter was composed specifically for them.

Mail follow up often contains marketing collateral such as brochures, line sheets, your business card, or photos of your work in the envelope. These tangible pieces, especially if they share gorgeous images of your collection, are often saved by the recipient. Direct mail can be a good complement to other follow up methods such as phone calls and email when you are in the sales cycle. It gives you yet another way to connect.

Got an exciting event coming up? Invitations can really make impact when sent through the mail. Select a distinctive envelope, perhaps one that is textured or has a pattern, and hand address it. You might consider using a special stamp to create interest, too.

If you have an event such as an exhibition, open studio, or show open to the trade or the public, sending direct mail gives another incentive for your contacts to attend. Receiving a personalized invitation can make the difference. If your list is large and you cannot afford a big mailing, send written invitations to your “hot list” of existing collectors or best prospects, and do an email marketing campaign to everyone on your list. Direct mail will act as a second reminder and personal invitation to those people you want to reach most.

Thank you notes are always in good taste. They are a good choice when a sale has been made, a commission completed, or one of your contacts has done a kindness for you, such as giving you a testimonial or a referral to another customer. Your network is important. Reinforce relationships by making the extra effort to write a note. And when you use a notecard with an image of your artwork, it becomes a reminder of what you do.

Have you used direct mail lately as an art marketing strategy? What results did you get?


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