Print drops are about creating urgency and urgency is about only offering a very small amount of work for a very small amount of time, not having work that can be bought all the time on your site. We were told by one of the artists that we regularly work with that when he has nothing for sale in his store and he just has a notice saying ‘Sorry, there’s no prints available at the moment, but sign up to get notice of when I’m selling another print’, he gets roughly about 10 times the amount of email subscribers per post than he does when he has got something for sale.

The point being that when people hit your store and you have nothing for sale, you should not look at that as a missed opportunity. It’s not, because actually you’re going to be converting people to email subscribers really quickly. Once they’re on your email list and they like your work, then at some point they’ll buy it if you are selling it in the right way. An email newsletter subscriber should be viewed as a future buyer and it’s a much easier ask to get someone to subscribe to an email newsletter than it is to make a purchase. 

So don’t necessarily run with the idea that you’ve got to get someone from being a follower straight to a buyer. It’s much easier to get them from a follower to an email newsletter subscriber to a buyer. If you do it that way and you focus on that path you will get more buyers in the long run. You’ll get higher revenue in the long run, and you won’t be disheartened by putting out some great content then not getting big sales because if you focus on emails, you’ll get a lot of signups and then at some point you will convert them to be buyers.

When you think about it, there are only certain points where people are ready to buy art. It might be when they have some space on their walls or when they’re doing a redesign of a room in their house. It might be when they’ve just had a tax rebate or they have saved some money somewhere else. There are just certain points where people are ready to buy art. 

The potential buyers are this huge set of people who are all your subscribers, and then you’ve got the people who are buying today as a much smaller proportion of that. But if you keep marketing it in the right way to these people, through a channel that you have control of (your email newsletter), then eventually everybody on that newsletter list will at some point be in that small subset where they’re ready to buy.

So if you are marketing to them in the right way, then they’ll buy your work at that point. And if you’re not, they might buy someone else’s. So focus on getting people on your newsletter and then market to them in the right way and get them to buy a piece of work from you eventually.

Updated on 13 March 2024

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