August 21, 2014 | Alyson Stanfield

It's All About Your Mailing List

Michelle, a woman in my mastermind group, marveled at my list size: How did you get that many people on your email list?
It was easy for me, I replied, because I understood the value of a list when I started my business.
I was fortunate to appreciate the importance of a list due to positions in my past work experience.

How I Built My List

As an assistant to a U.S. Senator, I came to recognize that my boss’s donor list and my Rolodex (yes, it was that long ago) were the most valuable assets in our office to ensure continued community support. As a museum curator and educator, I knew how much we relied on our members and donors for financial support.
Lists are indispensable in both of those situations, which is probably why creating a database of names was the first thing I did when I started Art Biz Coach.
Starting with the names in the database, I focused on expanding my list, primarily by sending a newsletter with useful content every week since March 2002 – no exceptions! (Now it’s twice a week.)
My subscribers know that they can rely on hearing from me on Mondays and Thursdays, and that I do my best to share something that will help them grow their art businesses. This has not only increased the number of people on my list, it’s also helped me build trust with them. (You can subscribe by using the form in the sidebar to the right.)
My hope is that you read this article and fully understand that you can’t discount the impact a mailing list can have on your art business. Nor can you afford to have a list and ignore your responsibilities for nurturing it.

Evaluate Your List

The first thing I work on with most clients is evaluating their list. Here are some questions I ask.

How many people are on your email list? What are you doing to build your list?

What do you send to your list? How can you make it more valuable to them?

How frequently do you use your list? Are you consistent and reliable?

How do you keep your list? How do ensure its security?

How do you cultivate your list so that people feel like individuals and not just one of hundreds?

When clients aren’t getting good results, I can often trace it back to the fact that they’re not using their lists.
Your mailing list is the #1 asset in your art business, but only if you continue to develop it and keep it warm.

6 comments add a comment
  • Yeah, Thanks to the Artbiz course I’ve been working on my mailing list – particularly this week – mega up-dates -plus giveaway promos to help develop the list. Now I’m busy back in the studio painting. Feeling more organised. Thanks Alyson!

  • Barbara Muir

    I agree Alyson, and promise myself to get on it when I’m back home.
    One of the top priorities in a year of “clarity.”
    Thank you.
    XOXOXOXO Barbara

  • Daniel Jean-Baptiste

    Thanks for this blog, I look forward to getting more information on the helpful information that you have presented.

  • stealing & numbers…
    Ok what I mean is: If you work for a company & they have a huge Rolodex of people & say they fire you because they say you are redundant but really it is because you are a senior exec who commands a high income & they want to cheap out & hire a minimum wage out of college grad to “replace” you by stealing your wealth of acumen & passing it on to newbie scab, then…the Bible refers to this instance in the worker who forgave all his master’s debts before going out on his own in business, thus taking all the master’s clients with him…So I’m saying in that instance you can use some of the contacts from your previous boss…Use discretion…You cannot do this if you are not being let go in a way that could harm your life…Or something like that…
    If I see someone has 2 thousand followers on Facebook on their Page I might assume they don’t care about me personally because they are too busy…If someone has more than 1 hundred Facebook friends possibly I will assume the same…Small is Beautiful is a book we read in high school…It also talks about Buddhist economics which means that while doing your workday you could be gardening & exercising & eating as well, as part of a well rounded day…So to fill your Rolodex today, remember to connect your yoga friends to your gardening friends & your art gallery friends to your lawyer friends & accountant or cleaning lady so that these connections will sprout word of mouth for you which sprouts even faster than a viral video…Then those I told two friends & so on (shampoo commercial) will do your networking for you & you can go back to catlove which is an eco-friendly work activity I am sure…

  • My biggest issue with the list building is deciding what I can use as a giveaway. Have any ideas?

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