In my last post, I talked about some tips for artists and makers to grow your email list and talked about why email marketing is important. In this post, I’m going to suggest some things that you should include in your emails. Here I’m focusing on scheduled marketing emails, not transactional emails (order confirmations, tracking info, etc.) or automated messages (abandoned cart emails, customer win-backs, etc.).

The anatomy of an email.

An email has a few key parts. The first set of things your recipient sees are the sender (usually your email address or name), the subject line, and some preview text. This information influences whether someone will open your email or not (remember, email open rate is one of the top analytics artists and makers should be tracking). Here’s an example from Laurie Anne Art and my gmail (sign up for her email, it’s one of the best out there).

Once someone opens your email, the body of the email will influence whether they click on something or not. There can be a lot of different elements in your email, but simply speaking there’s the header (usually your logo, maybe some extra content like a few main links or your phone number), the body of your message, and the footer (where you list your business info and give people a way to unsubscribe). Here’s an example from minted.

What to include in your emails.

So, what should you actually put in your emails? Think about what your audience expects and would love to see. When you send them an email there has to be a reason, you have to be sure you’re sending something they’ll want to see. If you aren’t sure about that, don’t hit send!

So, here are some ideas for what to include in your emails. But don’t let this list hold you back, use it to spark your imagination and give your audience what they want.

Exclusive content.

Everyone loves getting access to things they wouldn’t be able to see if they weren’t a part of your email list. Exclusive features will keep people from unsubscribing and keep them opening your emails. You can include:

  • Free downloads only for subscribers (Laurie Anne Art uses this in a pop-up sign up form to get subscribers).
  • Make some of your work available only to subscribers.

Behind the scenes.

Your audience loves learning more about you and your process. You likely already include behind the scenes pictures and info on your social media. Put that in your emails as well. Show your subscribers your process for making your art, show works in progress, show pictures of your studio, show cute baby photos if you’ve got kiddos.

Early access.

If you don’t want to include some of your content exclusively to your email subscribers, consider offering early access. The is a great tactic to get people to subscribe and to reward your subscribers. Here’s an example from a recent Maryam Miller‘s recent collection release.

Discounts for unsold work.

After you’ve released a collection, you’ll likely have a few pieces that haven’t sold yet. You can offer free shipping or a coupon code to clear out old inventory. A nice last ditch effort before you paint over a piece or gift it to someone.

Be interactive.

Invite your subscribers to interact with you, they love it. Even when they don’t use it, it makes them feel more connected and know that you’re a real person they’re supporting (citation needed… but duh). Large businesses don’t ask subscribers to reply and the odds of a real person seeing and interacting with the reply is next to none. The easiest way to invite someone to interact with your email is to tell them to hit reply. Check out this example from Peak One Art Studio.

Alert subscribers to options as the holidays near.

A few important dates will come up as a holiday nears. At each of these, you can email your customer to create some urgency and get some extra sales.

  • There will be the last day to ship for arrival before the holiday. It’s a good idea to give people some heads up prior to this date. The earlier you can ship, the better, particularly for Christmas!
  • Once the shipping deadline has passed, you can offer procrastinators some other options. Send an email highlighting your digital goods or a gift card.

Alert subscribers about new content.

This one isn’t really a ground breaking tip of course. Fundamentally, people subscribe to hear from you because they like what you’re doing. When you release a new post (framing guide, back story to a new collection, process post with photos, etc.) or new work, let people know! Subscribers, and especially subscribers that have already bought something, want to know and are likely to click and buy.


Those are some tips for what to include in your marketing emails. In the next post in this series, we’ll talk about some ideas for email automation, it’s gonna be great.

What’s worked well for you in your emails? Drop a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Featured Image: Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash