Before I start today's post, a request: Send me to Miami. Info and Paypal link are on the sidebar, right. Merci.
I’m in the home stretch for a solo that will open in 10 days at the Arden Gallery in Boston. I’m getting ready to send out an email announcement—and that has inspired this Marketing Mondays post. Some e-announcements are effective; others are not. A few thoughts:
Want your email to get read?
You have three good opportunities in an email to reach your reader: the message line, the information in the email itself, and an image. If you have provided a jpeg or PDF attachment and gotten someone to click onto it, bingo.
. What’s in the subject line?Spam filters automatically sequester certain words and phrases: Good Day, Take a Look, and Hello, Friend. Look through the messages in your own filter and don’t use anything like what you find there. On the other hand, directness gets through. Here are a few messages I received recently. I’ve put them in order of Ho-Hum (completely non specific) to Gotta See It (who, what and where piques my interest enough to find out when).
. . . . New Exhibition
. . . . Reminder
. . . . Request to view
. . . . Exhibit Opens on Thursday
. . . . Open Studios this Weekend
. . . . San Francisco Open Studios, 2010
. . . . Joy Garnett: “Boom & Bust” opens at Winkleman
. Don’t send an attachment and nothing else
What am I, a mind reader? Give me a reason to click on that jpeg (not a PDF). Besides, I want to know it’s you and not a spammer who has hijacked your e-address with a virus-bearing attachment. In other words, give me some information. Yes, there will be redundancy between the email message and the information on the attachment. That’s OK. Redundancy can be effective. Effective.
. Give me an image
If you want to pique my interest sufficiently to click onto the jpeg—or just to read what’s in the body of the email—give me a peek at what you’re talking about. We’re visual people; that means an image. Dealers and curators get dozens, possibly hundreds, of emails a day. An image gives your email a fighting chance of being seen. (I know this is true, because I’m on the press list for all the galleries that have participated in every art fair I've covered and I get dozens of emails a day. Unless those emails give me a good visual reason not to, my m.o. is delete, delete, delete.)
. . . . Apparently Macs and PCs open mail differently, but an embedded email should be visible in both platforms. Size it down so that you’re not sending a 10-megapixel image that will take me five minutes to download. In PC, I have sent images to myself, allowing the program to automatically make the images smaller. When I get them, they’re a manageable 640 pixels wide and the standard 72 dpi. You can resize them in Photoshop, too. (Someone more Photoshop savvy than I can tell you how or if it’s possible to resize a bunch at once. Anyone want to comment?)
. . . . .Send the best picture of your best work, same as you would on a postcard. And make sure the live links in your document are functioning. There’s nothing more frustrating for a reader than to open a document with bad pictures and links that hit a dead end..
Finally, edit for typos. You don't see them in the document on your monitor, but I guarantee they will be the first thing anyone sees when they open your email. Send yourself a copy before you send it out to the world. Take a break and then go open your email. Those typos should pop out at you, too.
Further reading: C-Monster's Dear Artists and Publicists: Let Me Help You Do Your Job. (And scroll down to the comments for a chuckle.)
Update: Several of you have commented about the pitfalls of sending emails in large numbers from your personal accounts. Right you are. Send too many and the providers will flag you as a spammer, with the result that they shut you down for 24 hours (I know! Thank you, Comcast.) In an upcoming MM post, I'll talk about the outside-party sender, such as Constant Contact, which allows you to send announcements, newsletters and invitations in whatever number you choose. I have to do a bit of research for that one--and I'm juggling some pressing deadlines--so it will be several weeks. In the meantime, here's a question for you: What's the best day to send an email? Answer in the next MM post that deals with e-announcements..