A Template Letter for Informing Collectors of Price Increases

Artist Mckenna Hallett used her wordsmithing skills to create a template you can use to inform collectors about price increases.
She says:

Any and all contact with purchasers, or potential purchasers, via email blasts, art cards, or blogs is a marketing activity.  . . . In the case of price increases this is a marvelous opportunity!  Nothing says “I am successful and collectible” like price increases.

Then added this template as a starting point for you.

Mckenna Hallett
©Mckenna Hallett, Very Random.

Dear ______________,
I have the honor of informing you of my continued growth as an artist and that my successful path has led to continued brisk sales of my work.
High demands for my work have had a great and positive impact. I am very proud to announce that my work continues to command higher prices in the galleries that represent me.  If you have purchased work from me prior to (pick a date) I would sincerely recommend that you contact the gallery that you purchased my work from and get a current appraisal.
For those of you who have collected work directly from my private collection or studio, I am happy to discuss values at any time.  I also encourage you to see the current body of work (link to photos) as I will be adjusting prices very soon.
I am grateful for the small bit of notoriety acclaim and the large following my work continues to generate and thank each of you for your continued support and patronage.
Best wishes,

Mckenna finishes with the following thoughts:

Obviously the above is very generic!  But the tone is quietly reflective and carefully suggesting that they have done a good thing by collecting this work and should consider adding to their collection.
But back to my main point: every contact is “marketing activity.”  Don't waste the opportunity to “sell through” in any connections you make.

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11 thoughts on “A Template Letter for Informing Collectors of Price Increases”

  1. very nicely phrased. thanks. I will save this- hopefully I will be needing to increase my prices due to increased sales in the future!

  2. The letter is a good idea, and the announcement of price increases is handled in a very attractive way. There is a problem, however, with this template: the surprising use of the word “notoriety” in the conclusion. It’s a form of the word “notorious,” which means having a bad reputation. I’d replace it with something positive, such as “acclaim,” or perhaps something neutral, such as “attention.”

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Susan: You’re right! I just skipped right over that. I’m making that adjustment right now. I trust that Mckenna will approve. Thank you for being on top of things.

  3. Gee! I don’t have the same association at all. And I love the word notorious! Especially for an Artist! I wanted THAT exact sense of surprise. A nudge. A pause. A sense of something special is going on with this person in the art world.
    I feel strongly that it adds a certain quality of artfulness. I believe it creates a sense that we artists have a special reputation of being keepers of special knowledge and skills; that not “everyone” can do what we do. I love the slight implication that word creates and that it puts us in the light with other ethereal art forms and expressions of art, like actors, musicians, and novelists.
    And while I would agree that the word notorious strays more towards Jesse James then Abe Lincoln, the word notoriety has two common uses:
    From Answers.com
    Thesaurus: notoriety
    1. Unfavorable, usually unsavory renown: infamousness, infamy, notoriousness. See knowledge/ignorance.
    2. Wide recognition for one’s deeds: celebrity, fame, famousness, popularity, renown, reputation, repute. See knowledge/ignorance.
    But in lieu of Susan’s instincts, if anyone is not feeling that they are noteworthy enough – or are very new and not yet “known”, I would defer and recommend her substitutions. But, as we are sending this notice to collectors who already know our reputation (and we will assume it’s good – LOL), there would seem to be no threat to that reputation, but rather a connection with your growing brand/fame.
    Meanwhile, it was a great surprise and honor to get this published and to experience a bit of notoriety.
    Thanks for your support Alyson and thanks for the input from your devotees.
    Mckenna Hallett

  4. This is a very helpful letter. Thank you for this! Hadn’t previously considered notifying collectors, but I can see that it is a good idea to do so.
    It’s a great way to bring attention to your success as an artist, while at the same time having a reason to contact your past collectors, and remind them that your artwork has been a good investment for them. (It may entice them to buy more…)

  5. I understand the word notoriety used here…It is self-effacing, meant to be humble…because the tone may be seen as blowing one’s own horn, by using an negative adjective, it takes the writer down a notch…like saying ‘I’ll get out of your hair now’, when you have just delivered home baked cookies…self-effacing…I’m still happy to just update stuff like that on my websites or blogs…Writing a direct email can be risky if it is seen as too aggressive…(i think collectors are savvy to marketing schemes)…Also, depends on how many emails you have already sent that year…

  6. I love the idea of notifying collectors of a price increase! Would it be wise to offer collectors a window of time, say 30 days, to buy one’s work at the previous price? Seems as if that might encourage a sale or two. Or is that too cheesy?

    1. Great instincts, Pat. But there are caveats.
      This would be a good “tactic”, but it would be so important to craft very clearly that you are encouraging only a select group of your work for this price freeze and only for a short period of time.
      So you might look at a certain size for example – or a specific medium if your work in more than one. Or offer free shipping. Or… well, I think you get the point. If you offer anything and everything, it would “feel” like a fire sale to some of your collectors and clearly THAT would defeat the entire point: my work is getting more valuable. If you have any collectors who recently purchased – I would be sure to include images of works they were also considering at the time of purchase (it’s soooo important to keep notes if the decision process is between two or more pieces!) so that you can personalize your offer and put the “2nd place” piece in front of their eyes again.
      As for 30 days – I would get the offer out in latter days of the first week of the month and set the timing to the end of the month. Much more effective if they can see and feel that “ending” date each time check their calendar. In this style of offer, it would be very cheesy to keep sending reminders or to even send one reminder, unlike the marketing requirements of some products and services (Alyson’s a perfect example of tiering reminders for her classes and workshops) that have larger audiences and multiple interest levels to poke and judge into action.
      Your collectors should feel special, honored, and excited about this potentially Once In a Lifetime offer of a price freeze or other helpful nudges you put to them.

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