David Castle, Elementals, Candied Trees. Watercolor on paper mounted on canvas, 22 x 30 inches. Private collection. (c) The Artist
Everyone wants to know the answer to this question. How long should someone remain on your mailing list? Or, more to the point, why should you keep someone on your mailing list after five years if you never hear from them and they never bought anything from you?
During a visit to artist David Castle's studio, he shared with me this story. A certain couple had been on his mailing list for five years, and he was seriously considering dropping them. After all, he had neither seen nor heard from them in five years.
Then, out of the blue, David got a phone call. They were going to be in town and would like to visit his studio. Of course, he was happy to welcome them.
And what do you know? They bought one of his watercolors on the spot–the exact painting pictured here.
What if he had deleted them from his list? Would they have called him after all that time?
I've never been able to comfortably advise anyone to delete names from a mailing list–regardless of how long they've been on there. They made it on your list because they expressed interest in your art. And they can always speak up and ask to be removed from your list.
Some things are impulse buys. Even art, at times, is an impulse buy. But I believe that most art is not. I think you have to look at it, contemplate it, revisit it, and even dream about it. That's when you have to take it home. And that's why you need to keep your name and images in front of your contacts.
It's expensive to use regular mail all of the time. So, mix it up. For example, send postcards, holiday greetings, and invitations through regular mail. Then use email for special announcements, newsletters, and reminders.
Those people signed up for your mailing list for a reason: they liked your art.
THINK ABOUT THIS———-~>
Will you be happier if you spend a few extra bucks to keep someone on your mailing list or save the money and miss a thousand-dollar sale later on?
Don’t shrink your mailing list just yet. Keep those names from long ago and trust that they will eventually pay off. Also, vow that if anyone ever asks to be removed from your list, you will look at it as a cost savings rather than a snub.