Double Down on Direct Mail

An Art Marketing Message from Eric Rhoads


A wise mentor once told me that “whenever someone declares something as dead, its probably a great time to embrace it.”

Experts long ago predicted the death of direct mail. These days when social media is so cheap, email so cheap. Why bother doing direct mail?

Simply because it works.

In fact at a direct marketing conference recently the experts were saying “it works better than it ever did because there is no one doing it anymore.”

As I have mentioned in the past, a smart marketer never has all their eggs in one basket. Things change. Things can go wrong. Once long ago I had a business which relied on email to sell a product, when suddenly there was an email problem, which took months to solve. Sales stopped. Had I had other sources of marketing going it would have not only prevented the loss of sales, it would have been working for me as well.

As an artist Direct mail to your “customer list” is a great tool. Printed oversized postcards with images of your artwork are terrific tools to announce new artworks. You can keep the front beautiful and unencumbered and place a selling message on the flip side.

A Great Direct Mail Trick

I once launched a direct mail campaign. My goal was to cement four ideas in the minds of my target customer, who were potential advertisers of my radio magazine. So I made up four postcards, one for each point. I mailed one postcard a week with a different message each week. But every 4th week they got the same post card again. I repeated this campaign knowing that they would receive each post card five times.

Not only did we receive no complaints, we noticed an uptick in our business related to those messages the more times those cards hit. Repetition works.

Direct mail experts will tell you to do a mailing, then repeat the exact mailing to the same list a week or two later. It improves results the second time and again the third time. It’s been tested.


In media there is a tendency to declare things as dead or outdated and be seduced by the new. Though there is nothing wrong with the new, my goal is to get my product sold or my message sold, so I’ll employ lots of different media alternatives to get that done. Today I get almost no direct mail from artists or galleries, but I do get a couple and they stand out, and I tend to read them or keep them if the images are nice. Its an open opportunity you should consider.

By |2015-07-17T10:21:16+00:00July 17th, 2015|Direct Marketing|3 Comments

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  1. Maria Brophy July 18, 2015 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Totally agree, Eric! I’ve mailed postcard campaigns in the past and they are very effective. The key is to remain consistent. (Just sending one will not get results). I often recommend that fine artists, looking to sell to corporate collectors, commit to a one year campaign – send one postcard to art brokers/consultants every month for 12 months.
    A postcard with a beautiful art image is worth keeping for many people. You’ll find over time that some people begin collecting your postcards, and looking forward to them.
    Then, when you make that “cold call” to a potential client, and you say “I’ve sent you a few postcards, did you receive them” – they feel like they already know you, and are more willing to explore possibilities with you.
    And you are so right about this; no one does it anymore, that’s why it’s so effective!

  2. Linda Blondheim July 20, 2015 at 9:33 am - Reply

    I agree Eric. I’ve been using direct mail for years and it is still my best marketing resource. I sometimes send little gifts to collectors through the mail and add a quick sketch to the outside of the envelope. They really love to get mail from me.
    Linda Blondheim

  3. Miguelito Iglesias August 16, 2015 at 10:23 am - Reply

    What is the price that most original art and reproduction art sell for?
    Is selling prints for a fair price so everyone can afford and then selling the original for a high price so collectors can compete, a good idea?
    Please advice

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