Send It Snail Mail

Last week The Wall Street Journal ran an article titled Firms Hold Fast to Snail Mail Marketing. In a nutshell, businesses are finding that 1) email gets lost or is quickly deleted and 2) their customers miss some of the mail they used to receive regularly in their mailboxes.

When I advise artists not to give up on regular mail, the response is often, “But what would I send?!” Here are five ideas.

Carol Nicola
Carol Nicola, Spirit Being Knowing. Cast Glass, 22 x 12 x 6 inches. ©The Artist

1. Note Cards with Your Images on Them

Of course you send loads of Thank You notes, but you also want to send It Was Nice to Meet You notes, Happy Birthday notes, Thinking of You notes, and more. You need note cards with pictures of your art on them. Cards picked up at the stationery store won’t have the same impact when you want to keep your art in front of people.

2. Postcards Featuring Your Art

Postcards are relatively inexpensive. Large quantities of 4-color postcards are cheaper to print and mail than folded invitations or announcements. And let’s not forget another great reason to use postcards: they don’t have to be opened! A full-color image of your art on the front of a postcard can capture the interest and eye of the recipient by standing out in a stack of mail.

3. Articles Highlighting an Accomplishment

Were you acknowledged for an achievement? Was your art featured in a newspaper or magazine article? Make a bunch of copies and send them to your best collectors and prospects. Add a handwritten note on one of the cards with your art on it.

4. Articles of Interest to the Recipient

If you have good relationships with your buyers and collectors, you are familiar with their interests. When you come across something that makes you think of them, copy it or cut it out and put it in the mail with a This Made Me Think of You note (that includes an image of your art!) on top of it.

5. Catalogs, Flyers, or Brochures

If you’re promoting a new body of work, a new project, new idea, or sale, spell it out in a mailer. When done properly, these aren’t inexpensive, but you don’t need to send them to your entire list. Send these to a select group of top prospects.

FINAL WORD: Use your postal system! Sending stuff in the regular mail will help you stand out. You’ll be diversifying your delivery and content while keeping your name in front of people. 


The podcast is an audio version of the above article.

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9 thoughts on “Send It Snail Mail”

  1. Great ideas Alyson! I have notecards with my work on them that I use for just about anything and then I mail postcards to my clients and potential clients (interior designers, galleries, curators, etc.) I like #3 I’ll have to start doing that.
    One thing I do when mailing out postcards is to have my name printed on the front along with the image. That way your name is visually linked with your image and if anyone decides to pin up your postcard they always know who the artist is without having to take it down and flip it over.

  2. My notecards are full bleed of the image and have my info on the back, but the postcards that I send out always have my name on the front and often all of the my contact information as well depending on the size and design.
    Sorry, Alyson I don’t have a blog…too busy in the studio 🙂

  3. Reveille Kennedy

    I absolutely agree with you, Alyson. There is something special about handwriting. Just like art, it says “you”. People recognize your style and truly drool with glee over a letter that has real handwriting. Hope handwritten thoughtful jewels never get lost or done away with. What if the schools stopped teaching handwriting? That would be awful! I send lots of things via snail mail, especially Christmas, thank you’s and birthdays and special occasions with my paintings on them. At the gallery we don’t even have a computer so we have to write notes to each other. Love it!
    Think of you often!

  4. Hi all. . . Just wanted to say that I make greeting cards. There are several kinds, but the ones I do the most with are the jazzcat cards. Three kinds: cartoon cats playing instruments, line drawings of musicians I have done in clubs, and collage cards featuring photos. I photocopy the image before mounting on a “paper frame” on the card. Also glue on a coordinating inside sheet. The jazz cards are sold in a shop at a jazz heritage center/gallery, so putting them in the right place is important. The others I need to market to small bookshops & card shops. It’s a challenge, especially in this economy. Got to explore the online thing. Small quantities since it’s labor intensive. Maybe this year will be better.

  5. Casey: Drat! Oh, well, I’m going to write about it anyway.
    Reveille: You send the most delightful notes in the mail. They’re so heart-felt. I’m lucky to have been a recipient of them.
    Linda: And you can use those for your own notes. Double duty!

  6. Pingback: Add your name to the front of your postcards — Art Biz Blog

  7. Pingback: Implement a Postcard Strategy — Art Biz Blog

  8. Pingback: The 3 Ds of Real Mail Marketing — Art Biz Blog

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