Be Smart About Art

Reminder emails - do you send them?

written by: Susan Mumford May 3, 2015 1) RECOMMENDED-> Susan's weekly blog post 5101 views

Reminder emails - do you send them?

from our Sunday reading series - a weekly blog post (subscribe here

What do you do when a potential client or associate doesn’t respond to your email? Nothing? Do you decide that they aren't interested?

You and the majority of people share this in common.

Consider this: You stage an exhibition and a visitor expresses interest in a piece. They write their details in the visitors’ book. Later, you spend an hour putting together a PDF presentation and another half hour getting the follow-up email exactly right. You press ‘send’ and await a reply. A day passes, and another, eventually a week goes by, two weeks, and before you know it, it’s been a month and the client hasn’t responded. (You did check your spam folder, just in case, I hope). Finally you take this non-action to mean that they’re not interested, and leave it at that.

Your loss is someone else’s gain. The absence of an email reply does not necessarily mean that they’re not interested, or even that they weren’t intending to get back to you. People are busy, everyone’s inbox receives a daily deluge of messages, personal life delivers unexpected happenings and potential buyers can simply forget about the work they intended to acquire.

Earlier this week, I spent several hours with an artist in her London studio. She’s sending personalised email messages for a forthcoming open studio event, which is a good start. However, a bit more organisation and follow-up can to make a noticeable impact on getting these people to attend.

All she needed to do in addition to sending the original email were these three things:  1) Make a note in a spreadsheet or list for every message sent, noting date sent. This enables her to know who has been emailed (and thus who also has not been contacted) and when. 2) In a ‘notes’ column, add details of responses, such as “confirmed attendance on the Saturday”, “will be away however would like to visit in June”, etc. 3) A week after the original email, follow-up those who don’t respond by forwarding the original email, telephoning or contacting by other means (at an event where you expect to see them, by social media direct message, and so on).

In this fast-paced digital age, many people will spot your original message, intend to reply and yet never get around to it. Others will be in the middle of a busy period with personal or professional life and never take notice. The majority of people receiving such personalised messages will be happy to hear from you, want to support you and see the latest work or show. It’s up to you to ensure that the information ends up, metaphorically-speaking, in their lap. You’re not being annoying by sending a reminder email; you’re being considerate of their expressed personal art interests.

This follow-up technique applies to inviting people to the mailing list, getting in touch with potential associates (artists, gallerists, curators, etc), and other opportunities that necessitate reaching out and receiving confirmation.

Why not be on top of communication and display professionalism by following up? Give it a go and enjoy the positive impact made.  

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