Perhaps the most critical element of selling antiques, vintage, and one-of-a-kind pieces, especially online, is making sure your items are visible to your buying audience. Listing your items to the right online marketplaces is crucial to making sure interested and qualified buyers get a look. Still, there are other ways to drive buyers to your listings, including email newsletters.

What better way to get your items in front of a buyer than sending them right to their inboxes? Most of us go to bed and wake up glancing at our inboxes these days – that includes buyers.

We know the thought of emailing may invoke some worries or even dread; with list-building, email designing, and scheduling, it can seem to be a daunting mountain to climb – but it doesn’t have to be. The truth is some of the most successful dealers we have worked with at Ronati supplement their show attendance and online listings with regular emails to their supporters. The secret to making the process easier is an automated email marketing system.

The Easy Way to Make Newsletters Work for Your Business: Automation

Email marketing systems (also known as email automation systems) come in many shapes and sizes, in varying price points – some are even free. The great thing about these services is that they offer you a self-service platform full of all the tools you need to create and schedule professional, beautiful emails (and even create your lists.) You do not need to be a tech or marketing savant to get started; in fact, most of these email services have built-in tutorials and guides to help you be successful. Let’s go over some of the essential aspects of email newsletters.

Who to email? How to Build a List of Potential Buyers

Email lists require some work and patience; building quality lists takes time. There are laws in place that prevent companies from haphazardly sending emails to people who have not “opted in,” (also known as spam). Spamming is a quick way to fall out of the good graces of potential buyers who otherwise would love to read your newsletters. You must ensure you build your list thoughtfully.

A great way to do this is to create a simple form, share it on your social media, add it to your website or blog, and collect email addresses in person at your shop, booths, or at any event or personal interaction.

Pro-tip: Provide a digital sign-up form for precise and accurate email address collection. Deciphering handwriting can be almost impossible. If you are not yet able to display a sign-up form on a device, try asking for customer email addresses at checkout or letting browsing guests know that you have a weekly or monthly newsletter showcasing new finds, and ensure you have the name and email address correct.

Storing your Email Marketing List

The benefit of using an email marketing service is that you will always have a place to store your email lists as they grow. They help you monitor and remove contacts who opt-out (to avoid violating online privacy laws), build simple forms to share and add to your website, and your contacts are all right easily accessed, and available to be emailed from the platform when your newsletter or other content is ready to send.

What to Email? It is All About the Content

For creatives (like many sellers of art, vintage, and antiques), the email building is the fun part! This is where you get to reveal your voice, professional qualifications, and aesthetics to your readers.

Many dealers who send regular emails use this opportunity to showcase pieces they would like to sell faster. Newsletters are a perfect place to let your readers gain first access to special sales and make them feel like they are part of your inner circle.

Share your Latest Finds

In addition to clearance sales, letting your subscribers find out first about new pieces is a great way to get them excited and create repeat buyers. Email can even be a great venue to drive people to your blog when you have written a piece that shares the history or story behind a particular item. If you do not have a blog and are interested in learning how to start one, check out our how-to.

Be Concise and Get Visual

Remember, it is always better to be concise and visual when it comes to emails. Most readers only spend about eight seconds reading any email message. It is best to get straight to the point and link to other spaces with more information, like a listing for an item or a dedicated blog post where they can read more.

Email Marketing System Features: Built for Ease of Use

Email marketing systems are equipped with the tools you need to write out your email content within their platforms. This includes the ability to format your text, spell, and grammar check, and see how the text looks in various templates. You could think of them as mini word processors within an email system. The process is not much different from writing an email through Gmail, Outlook, or whatever you are familiar with – except you have more tools available to customize the look and feel.

Layout Features

One of our favorite aspects of using an email marketing service is the ability to create beautiful and professional-looking emails with little effort.

You do not have to take a course in design to create a piece that is eye-catching! Most services offer predesigned templates that are optimized to look perfect on any digital device, from desktops to tablets to smartphones. These templates are easy to browse and try out, and you can fully customize them using your own logo, content, and images.

If you are an HTML experienced person or have someone on your team with those skills, these services allow you to import HTML and test how it will look. If not, no problem.

Using an email marketing service takes the complications out of email design and makes it usable for any skill level, so your time can best be spent telling your story and communicating to your audience in a meaningful way – hopefully leading to more sales!

Well-Known, Affordable Email Marketing Services

Think of creating a newsletter as a direct line to your loyal and future customers. It is your opportunity to connect with them and get items in front of them that they are likely to love as much as you do. Like any other form of marketing, you want to make sure that the way you present your business and stock is clear and efficient. Using an email service is a great way to present a cohesive look and voice for your online emails, and when you are ready, can allow you to look more deeply into reader behavior and use the information to tap into the better ways to engage with them.

Now that you have some background on emailing your audience and the role that email marketing services play, we have put together a list of some of the most well-known, simple to use, and flexibly priced options to start looking into.

Email Marketing

  • Pricing: Starting at $8/month for paid plans.
  • Free plan available with limited features.
  • Pricing based on email list size and number of emails sent monthly.

Moosend is a full-service marketing system that allows customers to choose which features they want to use and pay for. Email marketing pricing is based on the number of contacts, known as subscribers, on your email list. They offer quite a few features on their free plan which is available for companies with up to 500 subscribers. They have accessible chat and email support and pride themselves on being simple to use.

Email Marketing

  • Pricing: Starting at $10/month for paid plans.
  • Free plan and pay-as-you-go plan available with limited features.
  • Pricing based on email list size and number of emails sent monthly.

Mailchimp may be one of the more well-known options on this list. The service provides an array of marketing automation tools including email marketing services. Their pricing is based on the number of contacts as well as the number of emails sent monthly. They have flexible pricing plans and are well known for their free plan which allows up to 2,000 contacts. Their full email template library is offered only to the paid plans, but a basic library is available for free users.

Email Marketing

  • Pricing: Starting at $10/month for paid plans.
  • Free plan available with monthly email cap and limited features.
  • Pricing based on email list size.

MailerLite is a basic email marketing service that offers the essentials of email marketing. They offer other marketing tools such as automation, landing pages, and surveys. You can choose the tools you want in your plan. Custom plans are available and pricing on regular plans is based on the number of subscribers you have. MailerLite does not cap the number of emails you can send in a month on plans priced at $10 or higher. Live chat support is available for paid plans. They have a knowledge base and tutorial videos for all level plans.

Email Marketing

  • Pricing: Starting at $19/month for paid plans.
  • Free plan available with limited features, no contracts.
  • Pricing based on email list size.

AWeber is an email marketing system focused on email communication. Their plans are based on the number of contacts on your email list. They have a cap of 3,000 emails per month on the free plan and unlimited emailing for paid plans. If your list grows larger than their precalculated plans, custom pricing is available. They have a library of email templates to choose from and allow for fully customized layouts. Like the other companies, they offer several features for both their free and paid plans which include features such as sign-up forms, simple email reports, email automation, and a drag and drop email builder. AWeber also offers chat, email, and phone support to all plans.

Email Marketing

  • Pricing: Starting at $20/month for paid plans.
  • Free plan available with limited features, no contracts.
  • Pricing based on email list size.

Klaviyo is an email automation service that prices based on the actual number of contacts subscribed and emails sent per month. In addition to emails, they offer SMS (text messaging) capabilities with some plans. This email service offers several other marketing automation features for companies who are looking to branch out their communications. Klaviyo offers a library of pre-designed email templates and offers email and chat support to customers.

Email Marketing

  • Pricing: Starting at $20/month
  • Pricing based on email list size, no contracts.

Constant Contact has been around for many years and is among the most well-known email marketing systems. They have a full platform for business and ecommerce marketing and offer plans dedicated to businesses looking specifically for help with sending professional emails. Their pricing starts at $20 per month for 500 contacts, increasing in increments of $25 per 2000 contacts added to lists. Their email plan features include A/B testing, access to a library of pre-designed templates, customizable template builder, automated resend to unopened recipients, and more.

Email Marketing

  • Pricing: Starting at $25/month for paid plans.
  • Free plan available with limited features, no contracts.
  • Pricing based on email list size and number of emails sent monthly.

SendinBlue email marketing is one of many features this service offers. They also offer complete marketing solutions for businesses of any size. If you choose you can sign up for only their email marketing functions to use their email builder, scheduling, and contact management. Their pricing offers multiple tiers which are based on the numbers of contacts and emails sent monthly. Each tier offers additional features for communication.  Every plan comes with email support, higher-tier plans include dedicated account management. Their pricing page breaks down all available features for each plan.

Email Marketing

  • Pricing: Starting at $89/month with contract.

Emma is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. They are priced for businesses who are serious about getting their digital and email marketing going and provides many full-service features in their range of plans. This might be geared more toward the tech-savvy business owner who wants to really ramp up their automation to include workflows, detailed analytics, and segmentation tools alongside their regular email functionality. They offer free demos on their site if you are interested in seeing how this more advanced service works.

Ronati has no affiliation with any email marketing services. For complete feature and pricing information on any of the email marketing companies noted in this blog please visit their websites.

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