For years I kept a mailing list. I dutifully got people to write their names into my guest book. Once a year I updated my spreadsheet and filed it away and never even looked at it.
My point is that I never did anything with the list!
If that is what you are doing, then why are you keeping a list?
Now, if you are willing to put in a little time, you can make it worth your while. All you need to do is start communicating with your customers. It doesn’t take much. A simple email will suffice. If you want to get fancier, use a newsletter mailing service. (Mailchimp.com is a good free service and it's what I used to create this newsletter.) About once a month is what I have been doing for the last year.
Here are some of the results from just sending out a few newsletters:
- I had newsletter subscribers thank me for letting them know about a show I was at. They had never heard of the show even though it was right in their neighborhood.
- I had newsletter subscribers thank me for reminding them about a show because they wanted to attend.
- I had several people ask me if I had “finished the piece.” The first time I heard that it took me a while to realize that they were referring to one of my newsletters. I was talking about how I create my art and how I was stuck at a certain point and was not certain what to do next. I was surprised and awed that people were actually readying my newsletter! Wow, people cared about what I wrote.
- Of course the most important result is that I made sales. People came to a show specifically to see me and buy my art.
Let me repeat that last one again: People came to a show just to buy my art! Wow, what a compliment! Not only were they interested in what I had to say, but they were interested in my art enough that they bought it.
Have I convinced you yet? I hope so. It is definitely worth your time and effort to work your mailing list. It doesn’t matter if you only have a few names, you have to start somewhere. So, get started now!