Today we take time out to honor the humble, under-utilized, centuries-old, low-tech postcard.
Why spend virtual ink on such an old-fashioned method of communication? Because postcards can do what email cannot do.
Postcards can’t be targeted as spam by an aggressive filter.
Postcards can’t be accidentally (or purposefully) deleted by recipients.
Postcards are likely to be tacked to a refrigerator or kept as a memento.
Postcards are tactile. We can hold them in our hands and ponder them. They have the potential to delight, which is something we rarely say about email these days.
You, like the private clients I advise, would benefit from sending three or four postcards a year.
Postcards are most often used to invite people to an upcoming exhibition or open studio.
Some artists design a single postcard with a schedule of all upcoming shows they’re participating in.
But if you don’t have an upcoming exhibition, you might wonder what you’d say on a postcard or why you’d send one in the first place.
Here are 8 other occasions for using postcards to promote your art and build relationships with your list.
1. Feature your website.
Announcing a new website is, well, kinda boring. Instead, use a postcard to announce a new feature on your website such as:
- Art in situ << Perfect for sending to interior designers and art consultants
- New series of work
- Framing options for your work
2. Unveil a new series or even a single piece.
Leverage something you have written about the new work on your blog or social media and include a short version on the postcard.
3. Announce gallery representation.
Telling the people on your postcard list that you are represented by a new gallery is a generous gift to the gallery. They’ll love you for it! Or at least they should love you for it.
Such an announcement also tells people that you have attained yet another goal. It’s proof that your work has the seal of approval of the art establishment. (Not all artists aspire to this.)
4. Advertise products.
If you’ve turned your art into card decks, home décor, or a book, it’s time to get the word out.
5. Offer classes and workshops.
Pique the interest of recipients with an enticing view of your upcoming classes. They can find details by heading to your website page that has the class info.
6. Express your gratitude.
Why not use postcards as Thank You notes? You can design a special “Thank You” version or use any of your postcards with a blank backside for the purpose.
7. Send holiday wishes.
Print postcards for your favorite holiday, especially one that is aligned with the art you make. You don’t have to save them for Christmas.
Experiment with postcards for Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or Independence Day.
If you’re more adventurous, send a postcard in celebration of your milestone birthday, or the birthday of one of your art heroes/heroines, International Artist Day, or any one of hundreds of offbeat special days that you’ve never celebrated before.
8. Let someone know you’re thinking of them … just ‘cuz.
Are you old enough to remember the times when we called someone just because we were thinking of them, or when we mailed a “Thinking of You” card? Yep, some people still do this, but we’re more likely to send an email.
You don’t have to have a reason to send a postcard with your stunning art on the front.
How do you use postcards to promote your art and nurture relationships?