Today’s Art Marketing Action newsletter is about getting real with your email without allowing it to take over your life. I mentioned that you should always respond with kindness even to emails that are seeminlgy rude.
Deborah Ridgley wrote last week with this question: “What would you do it you receive the message which I have just received? It is so vague. I just wanted your opinion, or was wondering if this has happen to you.” The email she received said only this:
Let me know your artworks that are available for sale.
It was also addressed to “Undisclosed Recipients,” which means that Edward was probably mailing his brief message to a number of people simultaneously.
I’ve written a number of times about artists who email me asking me for something without addressing me by name or signing their full names. I think this is terribly rude and feel I have every right not to respond to such queries. After all, I wouldn’t give out the same information over the phone without knowing who the person is. Why should I do it through email? Here's what I know.
- It’s times like these when that page on your Web site of AVAILABLE WORKS comes in handy. This is something that Clint Watson recommends. If you have such a page, you can just respond with a link.
- There is no need to be as briefly rude as the originator of the message was. He at least used his first name and you can respond “Dear Edward.” After all, you never know who Edward might be. Or who is friends are.*
So, here is what I would do. I would develop a standard form and letter to use in these situations. How about . . . (Always begin with a thank you!)
Thank you for your email and interest in my work. I hope you understand that I prefer doing business on an even playing field. As you have access to my Web site and much information about my art, I would appreciate knowing more about you before I respond to your questions. Below is a standard form I use for such inquiries.
I look forward to hearing back from you at your convenience.
— MY STANDARD FORM FOR INQUIRIES —
Your full name:
The nature of your interest in my art:
There's more about using email for your art business in Cultivating Collectors (and my upcoming book, I'd Rather Be in the Studio!)
*A quick Google check of Edward’s full name, which was in his URL brought up an ophthalmologist, a Revolutionary War figure, and other possible leads. You won’t always have the full name, but a little detective work might be revealing.
Image (c) Deborah Ridgley, Mr. Warren Hitner.