I wrote 80 handwritten letters on cards. The cards bore a print of one of my artworks and each was signed and numbered by me. Here’s what happened.
But first, here is a photo of one of the cards. As of this writing the original artwork is still available on my website at www.kelliesnider.com
In 2022 I had the cunning plan to send out 100 handwritten cards bearing a print of a painting I had created, signed, and numbered. I ended up having fewer people on my list than I thought, so I ended up sending out about 80 cards.
I intentionally sent the cards out after Christmas, with the goal of them arriving around New Years. I had several reasons for this, but the main one was that I didn’t want to be part of the clutter of the holidays. The holidays can be a fraught time, so I wanted to avoid getting mixed into the hectic and emotional time it can be. I also didn’t want people to feel like they need to send me a card in response. Some people did anyway, and I loved it. But I didn’t want my gift to make anyone feel pressured. I wanted it to be a gift. For most of the recipients, the gift was a thank you for purchasing my art or otherwise supporting my work.
I enjoy writing letters. There’s something soothing in the rote actions. I make it into a ritual. I have my writing desk set up with my note cards, my pens, and my sealing waxes, plus a candle that I use for melting the sealing waxes. It is repetitive, but soothing task. I don’t know that I will do it again in quite this way since hopefully by this Christmas I will have significantly more people on my list. It was a time-consuming project.
The response was really touching. Some people send me direct messages of thanks, others sent cards to thank me. Several people had the cards framed and sent me pictures of them. They look amazing in a frame! I got so excited every time someone sent me a picture of my framed card!
So, how did all this work? I think I made some people feel good, first and foremost. I want people to feel good when they think of me and my art. I want to build relationships. I had a friend named Debi Davis who occasionally mailed me something she had made, and I still treasure those things. She was a wonderful role model, and I’m taking this lesson from her book.
Two people ordered commissioned artworks after receiving my card. This was just the little reminder they needed that this was something they had wanted to do and just hadn’t done yet.
Three people purchased artwork from my website, too.
Several people posted about the card on social media, and shared my website with their friends and family. That’s enormously helpful! Some mentioned this blog, and others told about artworks they have bought from me. This kind of response that really helps an artist. Even if you’re not ready to buy an artwork, if you share with your friends, it gets the word out there that we’re in business!
So, I consider the letter writing campaign a complete success. It did not involve social media except that I received several thank yous via social. That’s awesome, but I could have done the reaching out without social media. I could maintain an activity like that with a blog and an email list.
I have about 20 cards left from this campaign, and they are available for sale on my website as of this publication.
Onward and upward!