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Regular, Compelling Newsletters are King

by Keith Bond on 6/21/2010 3:06:58 PM

This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews.  You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

Recently, I looked at the visitor statistics for my website. I noticed something quite interesting. The following graph shows the traffic per day on my website for the first half of June:

Do you notice what I noticed? There are peaks and valleys. There was a lot of activity around the first few days of June and also around the 11th. What does that mean? More people were visiting my website on those days. But why so much activity on those days compared to other days? That is what I found most interesting.

Those days with more traffic coincided precisely with email newsletters that were sent out. The newsletters were compelling enough to drive traffic to my website. Fascinating, isn't it?

Now let's look at another chart. It compares new vs. returning visitors:

This chart tells me something quite interesting. New visitors were greater on the first few days of June, but returning visitors were greater on the 11th. This is significant. On June 1, an article I wrote was published here on Fine Art Views. This generated a lot of new visitors to my own website. (Thank you for visiting!)  

On the 11th of June, I sent out my own newsletter to my mailing list. This generated a lot of return visitors on that day as well as substantial numbers the next couple days. Those who already know my work (and like it) were enticed to visit my website again. 

There were also significant new visitors that day. Perhaps new subscribers received my newsletter for the first time, or perhaps they followed a link from Facebook or somewhere else. Maybe a subscriber forwarded my newsletter to a friend. Maybe they stumbled upon it. Either way, both new and returning visitors responded because I sent out a newsletter.

So what can we learn from this?

Send out newsletters regularly to entice people to visit your site. When you are out of sight, you are out of mind. Don't let those valleys get too large. Make the peaks more frequent.

Have compelling content which will entice them to your site. Interestingly, I also sent out other newsletters during this same 2 week time period (one for Fine Art Views and one to my own list). Those others didn't generate so much response. The reason? They weren't as compelling. Have compelling content. Give your clients a reason to visit your site again.

Consider being a guest writer. You will broaden your audience and gain new visitors which may lead to new fans. 

Everything you do should lead people to your website. Facebook. Twitter. Postcards. Thank You cards. Packaging Material. You get the point. Do it consistently. Make me and others want to visit your site. Compel us. It is impossible to determine from the above charts the traffic generated from all of these other marketing activities. But even during the valleys, there was a good deal of activity going on. Don't neglect marketing. 

But, as these charts indicate: 

Regular, Compelling Newsletters are King

Best wishes,

Keith Bond


PS Seeing these charts gave me a greater appreciation for the power of the newsletter. It gave me resolve to make mine more meaningful, valuable, compelling? And to send them out more regularly.


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Related Posts:

Use Your Mailing List

Who Can You Send Email Newsletters?

I'm Not Surprised Your Art Isn't Selling . . .

The Advantages to E-Newsletters

Newsletters...Trust Me, You Can Do This

Topics: art marketing | sell art 

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Loading comments...

Becky Brocato
I totally agree! Every time I send out an update via e-mail, I get much more traffic than normal. Now I need to be more consistent with sending them out!

Gail Salituri
Thank you for this most valued information. My sites have been just sitting there, this has given me the tools to move forward once again.
Gail Salituri

Helen Horn Musser
Your statistic records are compelling proof of your newsletter publishing. Thank you for sharing with us. Wish I could sqeeze more time in the day.

Marian Fortunati
Thanks for another clear concise post which helps all of us.
I too, have noticed a distinct difference in the numbers of page views and visitors whenever I send out newsletters (although not nearly the numbers that you have, mine have pleased me).
I have also noticed that I get emails and calls about paintings that are featured on the newsletters which tells me that it was a newsletter and not just a visit to my website that enticed the buyer to contact me.
Although my blogging continues to be important to me personally and to promote my "presence" it is the newsletter that seems to stimulate the most action.
I always look forward to your helpful posts, Keith.. Thanks.

Esther J. Williams
Keith, this is true, I just sent out my newsletter for the 2nd time this month. I have a competition that I am in right now, a plein air event and an art sale this weekend, so I sent out a reminder and a preview of what they will see. Plus, I added new subscribers and I want them to be up to date with my art life. It is a hectic schedule and I did not think I had the time to send out a special newsletter, but I made it happen. There is so much going on, we have to force ourselves to keep up with the social media on top of painting and being at events. I feel the importance of marketing my art sale weekend, it's like a boost or a boot in the pants. I am getting used to pasting images and writing short but sweet paragraphs. At first it was slow and a drudgery, now it's automatic and I have more creative writing skills since I am not so tense about it. The subscribers I notice take about 4-5 days to read the newsletter and the statistics drop off after that. Maybe a weekly newsletter is a possibility in the future.
I have to run now, the light is changing and the seascape is calling.

Clint Watson
Thanks Keith for compiling some stats - this is a good illustration of exactly why we continually beat the drum of email newsletters, email newsletters, email newsletters (if you can only choose one - choose email newsletters over SEO every time!). It's actually a bit related to the topic of tomorrow's FineArtViews - so the timing of this is great. It's also part of the reason FineArtViews is a DAILY newsletter (ie - we get a traffic bump every day :-) )

Jill Banks
Thanks for the encouraging article. I haven't taken the email newsletter route yet, but want to. I construct my own site and write a regular blog through blogger. Just don't know what software or service to use for the email newsletter. Any advice is welcome.

Still don't do Facebook or Twitter. I guess I'll have to "face" my fears, tackle the constant time crunch ... and learn some new tricks. How valuable do you think Facebook and Twitter are? What are the downsides?

Thanks, again.

max hulse
Keith Another good post. You continue to
contribute meaningful ideas. The charts you
presented showing traffic is very enlightening
and certainly proves your point that email is
effective if done correctly.

I do plan to adopt more of your ideas beginning
Max Hulse

Clint Watson
Jill - tackle the email newsletter first - the purpose of Facebook and Twitter will be to try to drive people to sign up for your newsletter - so set that up first - you can try:

(or, if you want, we also have a built-in module at for our website customers)

Good luck.

Martha Inman Lorch
Very convincing post, Keith. I've been negligent in my e-newsletters recently. Your fact-based article is a reminder of the importance of e-communications. Thanks.

Kathy Chin

Thanks for the article, as usual you've gone straight to the nitty-gritty. As you pointed out and Becky echoed, some of us more than others definitely need to be more consistent to reach our goals!

marilyn gilis
Good post Keith. I'll keep that in mind for down the road - when I get a list of collectors.

Donna Robillard
It was interesting seeing your graphs and when the responses were. Helpful insights!

Terry Krysak
Very interesting and valuable statistics Keith, that are well worth considering.

And thanks Clint for the links, that was very useful as well.

My one question is; Is it best to send out the newsletter in HTML (I like that better than the standard typewriter text ones)? Is there a risk of turning off or losing folks out there who may not be able to read emails in HTML?

Jill Banks
Thanks, Clint, for the info on email software. I'm looking into it. Obviously there's strong evidence regular newsletters work. I want them to work for me, too!

Clint Watson
Terry - you send it in both. Modern email viewing programs support "multi-mime" format - which means that both html and text are included in the email and the recipient can choose which way they like to view it (text or html). Good email sending programs automatically format messages in multi-mime.

Carol Schmauder
One more reminder that newsletters are important. Thank you for your post Keith. I notice more visitors to my site whenever I post on Twitter, Facebook, or send a newsletter. I need to find more reasons to send an e-mail newsletter.

Joanne Benson
Great post and true! I subscribe to a number of artist's newsletters and almost always go to their sites when the newsletters arrive! I don't send regular newsletters, but I do some emailing when events are coming up and I usually generate some return commentary at a minimum.

I am seriously considering adding a newsletter, how does one go about doing this? Can it be done with any website? Thanks in advance

All the more reason to get going on my newsletter!
Thanks, Keith!

Durwood Coffey
It's ok to look at numbers, it's like watching paint dry and we all like that since we are artist. But "Checks" is a better way of keeping track of who visit your site. Money talks, BS walks.

Interesting discussion. We notice the same effect. Newsletters are efficient not only on boosting visits but also sales. Our transformation rate is about 5 times higher than for other traffic sources. A compelling offer is always included in our newsletters

Clint Watson
I agree that "checks" is a better thing to watch than "traffic" - our sales go up as well as traffic when we send newsletters. Keith was showing that not only does traffic go up but RETURNING visitors spike when he sends a newsletter - it does tend to be returning visitors who purchase, so that is a good indicator of at least that the traffic on those days is interested in his work-which means interested in purchasing to some extent. I know that I collect art and when I receive a newsletter from an artist, I go look at the site to see if there's anything new I might want to acquire.

Carol McIntyre
Thanks for the reinforcement. I need to go and check my stats more often, but I do know from the past that my visitors go up whenever I send out my monthly newsletter. Now I have to rev up to start sending it out two times a month!

For content ideas, for those that asked, you might want to sign up for a few newsletters to see what people write about. I did this in the beginning and it inspired lots of ideas. Often, artists will have a "personal" section. For example, I have my husband write a short article about life as "Husband of the Artist" and people like it a lot. You could have a "Wet Paint" or "Works on the Easel" section, etc.

My newsletter is created through my FASO website ( and it works well for me. Like anything, there is learning curve in figuring out the formatting, etc., but I really like that it is connected to my web site and people sign up through my site, etc. Thanks Clint! And Clint is always adding improvements, which is great and appreciated.


Daniel Fishback
Thanks for sharing your data and observations with us. It may be just what I need to motivate me to write the first newsletter. I really need the push to get to it so thanks.


Keith Bond
Yes, checks are a better thing to follow than stats. Truth be told, I seldom check my stats. Maybe only once a quarter at most. But, when I did this time, I was fascinated with what I found.

It is also true that increased traffic preceeds increased sales. So whether or not you look at the stats, the lesson of sending regular newsletters is the more important thing to learn.


Helen Horn Musser
Yes, Keith, You are absolutely right. Bravo! a great post


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