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Do You Market with Your Packing?

by Clint Watson on 4/4/2007 7:38:50 PM

When you sell a piece of art, do you take the opportunity to use the shipment as a marketing point?  What do I mean?

1.  Do you make the packaging look professional?

2.  Do you include printed materials about you and your work?

3.  Do you include photos or a catalogue of other artwork you have available?

4.  Better Yet, do you include photos of other pieces you are personally recommending to the client?

5.  Do you include a personal thank you note?

6.  Have you considered including a voucher good for a dollar amount off of the customer's next purchase (these burn a hole in the client's pocket as if they were cash)?

7.  Do you include a gift certificate that the client can give a friend to encourage a friend to purchase your work?

8.  Do you have something to encourage the client to visit your web site and sign up for your email list?

9.  Have you spent some time thinking about other things that I haven't listed here?

If my personal experience of buying work is any indicator, I would say the answers to these questions for most artists is "No."  The answer to these questions for most of the best companies I order from (especially those I've ordered from more than once) is "Yes."


Clint Watson
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic

PS:  If you sell through galleries instead of directly then make sure your galleries are doing the things listed in this article. . .

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Backstory: About Clint. Email EditorTwitter. Republish. ]

Related Posts:

Don't Neglect the Back

The "Thank You" Card

The Details of Packing Art and Shipping Art are Important

Topics: Art Business | Marketing | Marketing - Web Site 

What Would You Like to Do Next?
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Helen Horn Musser
Hi Clint, These are wonderful ideas for marketing our work. You hit me right between the eyes because I have not done many of these. Thank you notes are about as far as I've gone. Thank you for helping us with this; very valuable pointers.

Sharon Weaver
I especially like the gift certificate idea. It will impress the client and when used, add another collector. Good one to add to my list.

K. Henderson
Actually, I send these things about 2 weeks after I ship the work. So, just when the excitement of the new painting is wearing down, I remind them that I'm still out here.

Helen Horn Musser
Sharon, gift certificate is a great idea; agree with you it would be a great marketing tool. Clint is so sharp on these things. Happy we have him

Gina Buzby
Gosh, when I read the title I said to myself, "I already do this sort of thing." But, I don't do many of these. What great ideas! Thanks Clint!

Charlotte Herczfeld
Thank you, Clint! Very timely reminder, ... thought I was doing well, and then, uh-oh... Like K Henderson, I send them out *after*, to remind them again.

Voucher burning in their pockets, eh? Mm-hmmm!

This newsletter gets printed out, and stuck to the wall over my desk, it is brilliant!

Michael Cardosa
Hi Clint,

All good ideas. I agree, the companies I do business with on a repeat basis always include something about their products in with the packing. I work with a framing company that I like out of Tennessee and he always includes several of their catalogs since he knows I paint with a group and I always hand them out. So, the idea of putting things in with the packing that would benefit not only the collector but someone else they know as well is a good one too I believe.


Carol Schmauder
Thank you so much for this article. You mentioned several things that I haven't thought of. I usually follow up a purchase of art with a selection of note cards that I have with reproductions of some of my paintings as a thank you gift. I think it is a great idea to give a gift certificate that the client can pass on to a friend. I will print this article out and post it in my office as a reminder of things to do.

K. Henderson
A question about the gift certificate or voucher: When a customer presents this to a gallery how will you handle this? Will this discount come out of your percentage of the sale or will the gallery share in the discount? What if three of your galleries agree to honor the certificate and the 4th one doesn't? Should you include a note "only good if you buy directly from me" or "only good at galleries A, B and C". Something to think about and discuss with your galleries.

conni reinecke
I tend to do some of those things but one of my favorites for commission or pet portrait is to include a thank you gift... 6 note cards/envelopes with their commissioned piece on the front and title, blank inside and my info on the back... I heard another artist had done this and I really liked the idea. I tie a ribbon around it and make a special tag for it... that way it is very special to them and they can show off there new piece of art, by sending out a note to friends!

Carol Schmauder
Great question K. Henderson. I am anxious to read the answer. My thought was that they should purchase from me for the discount. I am looking forward to Clint's answer.

Helen Horn Musser
Yes, Carol, good questions!

Carol McIntyre
Great list Clint! I do some of these things, but now I see that I need to consider more. A few months ago I purchased purple (my 'corporate'color) paper to wrap paintings in and I have purple envelopes. Like Connie, I love surprising collectors with note cards of their painting. Once I received an order of 50 more after they saw the card. They wanted to send one to everyone in their extended family.

Julie Petro
One small thing I just recently started doing is stamping the back of all my paintings with a rubber stamp I had made from They let you upload a logo image and they're pretty reasonable. I was able to order a stamp pad in a color that closely matches my colors too. It's a fairly simple thing that adds a little sump'n' sump'n'.

Julie Petro
By the way, these are excellent suggestions and the wheels in my brain are turning. Thanks Clint!

Joanne Benson
Hi Clint, Thanks for the great tips. As several others have said, I include note cards with commissions but never thought to send or give collectors gift certificates or discount coupons or pictures of artwork that they might also like! Great tips!

Debra Russell
via your idea about sending it 2 weeks later. I sell most of my work locally, so i usually send out a thank you afterwards. Doing this in the form of cards is an even better idea.

Donna Robillard
Thank you for sharing with us these wonderful ideas. I do the thank you notes, but the other things mentioned are really good ones, too. I'm always open to the good business side of art.

Spencer Meagher
I don't know why, but this is something I have always done...and more so as I am selling more paintings. Professional packing says you care about your work. Business cards are a nice touch and a thank you card is a must. Occasionally I will even put a small print in with the painting as a little extra something.

Judy Mudd
I do many of these things. With commissions, one thing I add is a few greeting cards with their painting on the front and the painting description with my contact information on the back. Usually they are so proud of their new painting, that they want to send these cards out to family and friends. I haven't used the discount coupon or certificate --both are great ideas. Thanks!

Great Ideas here and lots to add to my list. I currently enclose a small thank you gift such as note cards or a small print with my thank you note and busness card. I will add the rest. ANyone have any special ways they ship wrap their paintings?

Diane Tasselmyer
Great list Clint!

I want to add the "voucher" idea to my packing materials. When you said "voucher's burning a hole in someone's pocket" all the bells went off.

Natasha Isenhour
Boy Clint! Right to the point! I find myself deep into my career and after reading your list I remember how vigilant I was with these things years ago. I've gotten busy and slacked up on these MOST important backbones of marketing! Thanks for waking me up!! I'm off to for more business cards!

Poppy Balser
Thank you for a most excellent list! Though I save many of your posts to refer back to, this is the first one I have printed! (to be mounted on the wall in my "packaging area") I have been using about half the ideas on your list, but the ones that never occured to me are great and I look forward to implementing them!

I am curious to see if you will say more about how and when customers can cash in their vouchers. Maybe an edition of the newsletter could cover this topic?

Thanks for another great post!

David H
Thanks! so great to get help here!


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