Why You Need Sign Up Boxes & How To Easily Make Them Appear.
by Thea Fiore-Bloom, PhD
Are you finding it hard to sell your work through your website?
Wait, before you throw those canvases and your computer off that windy cliff, can I tell you a secret?
Nobody else is either.
Shockingly few (of even the most successful) artists I’ve interviewed sell much art through their own websites.
Where do they sell it?
Usually via their Facebook page, through their Etsy shop, through online or physical galleries, at local art fairs, through their wholesale accounts, at trunk shows they organize, through an agent; or most commonly via their own unique combination of some or all of the above.
Why doesn’t much art sell through personal websites?
Like the origin of Easter Island, the absolute truth is elusive.
But one huge contributing factor I’ve noticed is the gaping absence of a sign up box.
Don’t Feel Bad; A Freakishly Large Percentage of Creatives Have No Sign Up Box on Their Facebook Page or Website
Putting up your sign up box will be an easy fix.
And here’s why it’s vital:
Many people will come to your website — once.
Some will love what they see on their visit.
If you don’t have a sign up form your potential buyer may be excited enough to bookmark your site, but chances are high they’ll be too distracted to ever actually return.
(Have you scrolled through to the bottom of your personal list of cool sites you bookmarked in the last year or so? Me either.)
I bet you’ve heard the old marketing saw; the one that says studies show customers need to eyeball your work 7+ times before our tiny arms grow long enough to reach down to grab our Visa card.
No sign up form, no 7+ times.
Don’t hurl your shoe at me when I then tell you if you do install a sign up box and you send out regular, spirited, communication with folks who like your art — you still probably won’t sell off your website. (Cue up the Easter Island music.)
But you sure will up the chances of people buying from you when they see your work even a second or third time on your Facebook page, or an online gallery you have sent them links to, in your charming seasonal or monthly emails.
A Mailing List Shouldn’t Just Be About Sales Anyway
Don’t start a mailing list just for sales.
Start it to build community.
Start it to gather together people who are fascinated by the same kinds of things you are.
Start it to be of service to folks you imagine you’d like to have a Thai Iced Tea with in your virtual art/writing garden.
Start it as an act of techy self-love that will help you find your people.
Yes, At First Your List Will Be Small
Many creatives don’t begin to keep a list because they’re afraid no one will sign up.
Yes, at first you will only have a handful of people, two of whom will be your best friend and your sister (or me, if you let me know you have started your list.)
But your list will slowly grow.
So let’s get you started.
How To Set Up Your Sign Up-Box-Gizmo Guide
Here’s a quick guide based on your particular website platform.
This video will help most WordPress users get the drift of how to set up the widget to create a sign up form. Setting up this widget will only take 15 minutes.
Congratulate yourself profusely after you do it.
Now do one more thing. Set up an account with a free email service provider like Mailchimp.
You want to do this so you can nab that necessary bit of custom code you’ll need to paste into that WordPress sign up box widget you just set up.
Learn how to wed your Mailchimp account to your WordPress widget here.
Oh God, Do I Have to Add Mailchimp?
Unlike Gmail, Mailchimp will gift your readers with an easy way to update their preferences or to unsubscribe altogether. You want to give people that option right?
It’s the polite thing to do and it keeps you safe from GDPR compliance troubles.
Plus once you master Mailchimp, you’ll well up with pride.
You could go with other email marketing software providers like Constant Contact or ConvertKit (but they start at around $29 to $49 dollars a month) while Mailchimp is free to begin.
And Mailchimp stays free until you have over 1,999 people on your list.
Want extra credit? Put an afternoon’s effort into learning how to make the most out of Mailchimp and you’ll be giving your art business strong roots to grow from.
Weebly’s mailing list set up could be the easiest of the bunch.
We are talking 5 minutes.
(I am a WordPress woman, but the intuitive setup for the Weebly box gave me momentary Weebly-envy.)
To learn how to add a Mailchimp sign up form to your Weebly site, go here.
Check out this page and video to learn how to place a “Get Subscribers” form on your Wix site and add a snazzy “pop up” sign up form to boot. I bet you can do both in about 30 minutes.
If you want to integrate Mailchimp into your Wix sign up setup check out this video for extra help.
But if you do nothing else here today, put a darn sign up box on your Facebook page.
Facebook helps many artists but it’s important to start a list that yours for keeps. Same goes for Twitter.
You don’t need me to tell you that Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey may have forgotten to put your well being on the top of their to do lists today.
The only simple way I found is to hook yourself up is via Mailchimp.
For Facebook watch this straight forward instructional video here.
To share your Mailchimp sign up form on Twitter read this.
If you haven’t set up a Mailchimp account go here first for your account set up tutorial then head to the Facebook Signup Form instructions.
If you are not interested or able to install a sign up form yourself — I still respect you.
You can easily and cheaply hire a smart, techy type on sites like Fiverr or Upwork to put one in for you pronto.
Do you have a sign up box?
Do you want me to write a post on opt- ins or lead magnets?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post or mailing lists in general in the COMMENTS below. 🙂