The most traditional piece of promotional mail sent by artists is the postcard. Used for many years, they are still very useful ways to publicize your work.
Here are 25 ideas to help you make postcards work hard for you in growing your art business:
1. Show Invitation. Invite your retail customers and new prospects to an upcoming arts and crafts festival when you are in their area. Include your booth number and a teaser – perhaps a hint of what’s new this year.
2. Got a wholesale trade show coming up? Pre-show publicity is a must. Give your booth number, and a note about what’s new. A series of postcards mailed before a show to the same list will entice them to stop by your booth.
3. Trade show follow-up. Postcards are a great way to remind booth visitors of your work and why they gave you their business card when they were there. Jot down something about your conversation to let them know you remember them well. Layer your follow up with emails and phone calls, staying in touch on a regular basis.
4. Send a thank you postcard. Your existing customers are your best asset, because repeat sales are easier than finding new customers. Put your products in front of them once again – and they may make another purchase.
5. Promote your event. Do you have an Open Studio, Arts Walk or a gallery show in the near future? Make sure you do a postcard mailing, including an image of what they can expect to see at your event.
6. Are you planning a trunk show with a boutique or retailer who carries your line? Send them some postcards ahead of time. They can mail them to their list as an invitation, put a stack near the cash register with the dates of the show, and put one in the bag of every customer who makes a purchase.
7. Got a product launch or new release? Have postcards printed with a “sneak peek” of your newest work. Include a link to your website to see the rest of the line.
8. Tuck a postcard into the package when shipping out wholesale or retail orders, so that the recipient has an image of your work as a reminder, or even use to show their customers.
9. Ask for referrals. Do a postcard mailing to your satisfied customers letting them know that much of your business comes through word of mouth. Ask if they could pass along the name of a friend – you might include a discount with it, for each party.
10. Having a sale or discontinuing some designs? Do a mailing to stir up interest and publicize the discounts you are offering. Put a deadline on the discount to create a sense of urgency.
11. Put a QR Code on your postcard. Smart phones scan these codes, which can send them to any page on your website that you choose. Or, send them to your Facebook page, your Pinterest page, an article about you, etc.
12. Lead the way. Your QR Code, or a link given on the back of your postcard can lead the recipient to a landing page on your website which may have a special offer, a personal message for them, or a preview of your new work.
13. Send a postcard to your customer on their birthday. This will surely be noticed and appreciated, plus you are putting your work in front of them. You might want to offer a birthday discount.
14. How about sending an anniversary postcard? That would be the anniversary of your store buyer placing their first wholesale order with you! This reminds them of your ongoing relationship and how important it is to both of you.
15. Don’t use labels. Handwrite the name and address. And handwrite the message too, for a very personal touch.
16. An artsy or unusual stamp on the postcard makes it just a little more special. Use every touch you can to add appeal.
17. Use postcards to make an announcement. Have you moved your studio, added shows to your schedule, opened your own gallery or launched a website? Do a mailing to let your list know about them.
18. Stand out. Put your very best, professionally photographed images on your postcards. Use either a single “glamour photo” or a collage showing your collection.
19. Leave the back relatively blank except for your name and studio information. This keeps the postcard available for versatile purposes – because you will be using it in many ways!
20. Visibility. Postcards don’t have to be opened, so they are immediately visible to the recipient – and who can resist looking on the back to see who it’s from? Artist postcards are often kept for years, either on a corkboard, in a file or even on the fridge. Make sure you send a memorable one.
21. A variety of postcards with different images can be effective as a series of mailers, or a “collection” of your work to hand to a prospective customer.
22. Put postcards in your press kit. These are great ways to include images of your collection, and can be an integral part of your kit.
23. Handouts. When doing retail shows, keep a stack of postcards. Don’t put them out on a table, but hand them personally to booth visitors with whom you have had a conversation, so that it is more meaningful to them.
24. Use a postcard as your business card. At a wholesale trade show, you trade one of your postcards for the buyer’s business card – and each of you gets great information!
25. Put your social media information on your postcard. Invite your customers to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other sites, and establish a deeper relationship with them online.
Direct mail is just one way to market your work. Check out our E-course “Marketing for Artists & Craftspeople,” a comprehensive guide for serious entrepreneurs who really want to ramp up their business!