How to Get Decision-Makers to Read Your Email


Home » Blog » How to Get Decision-Makers to Read Your Email



The 9th in our art business series with artist and art business expert, Crista Cloutier, who has been coaching other artists around the world on all aspects of their business via her program: The Working Artist.

The Working Artist

Have you ever opened up an email that feels like a generic cold-call?

You know those emails that ask you to give your art away for “good exposure” ­– from someone you’ve never even met?

Artists don’t like it when people ask them to do things for free. Things they do for a living.

No one does.

I get emails from artists all the time that say, “Hey Crista! Here’s my work, I want you to sell it for me.”

Or worse, just a faceless message with a link to their website, or an attachment with 20 pictures of their paintings. No note, nothing.

When these artists throw empty messages at me, they’re ruining that first impression. And first impressions last forever.

How would you respond to messages like that?

Probably the same way I do. *delete*

But I’m not the only person who deletes unsolicited emails.

Do you know who else deletes them? Art-World Decision Makers also delete them.

Why? Because they’re busy.

So What’s the Best Way to Approach Art-World Decision Makers Instead?

First, do your research to find out exactly whom this Decision Maker is and what exactly they do, what their focus is.

Next, find out about their submission policy. How do they prefer to be contacted and what kinds of information are they looking for?

Finally, write a professional letter, establishing your credibility, acknowledging theirs, drawing connections between what you do and why you want to work with them.

In other words, don’t make them work to figure out why you’re writing to them and what you’re after.

How to Get Decision-Makers to Read Email

The art world, like every professional world, is about relationships. It’s about establishing a professional relationship based upon mutual respect.

Try thinking of it this way: instead of reaching out to people you don’t know and asking for something, start by offering something.

Something that they want.

  • Follow them on social media and show your support there.
  • Send an article that might fit in nicely with their blog.
  • See if they’re having a challenge that you can help with. Offer your services as a gift.

I’ve done this myself many times, and it works. In fact, it’s the model that a lot of young solo entrepreneurs are following and I love how it’s changing the culture of how we do business.

Artists can even do this with prospective collectors through their websites.


What can you give? What can you share without charge? What would delight your customer to receive and make them feel connected to you? It doesn’t have to be fancy or grand, it could be as simple as sharing information.

The saying goes that it is far better to give than to receive. It’s true.

And it’s after that bond of mutual trust is formed that you can ask for what you want. Then you shall receive.

Try it and watch how the world opens up to you.

Crista Cloutier

Guest Author: Crista Cloutier

Crista Cloutier has been actively involved in the contemporary art world throughout her career. Having worked as an international art dealer, curator, and gallerist, Crista is now the founder of The Working Artist, an online business school for visual artists. 

Honored as an “Influencer in the Contemporary Art World” by LinkedIn, Crista’s work has helped artists in over 80 different countries to exhibit and sell more art.

What’s Next?

Did you:

  • Have follow-up questions?
  • Have other related thoughts that might be beneficial to the community?

Post them in the comments!

Are You a Visual Artist?

Get the art catalog app and connected, maintenance-free website your art business deserves. Forever Free & Pro versions.

Are You an Art Collector?

You’ll have access to a marketplace of global artists and phenomenal tools to organize your art collection. Forever Free & Pro versions.

You Might Also Enjoy…

Market Dynamics

Understanding Market Dynamics in the Art World

The art world is a complex and multifaceted market influenced by various economic, cultural, and social factors. Understanding market dynamics in the art world is crucial for collectors, investors, and …


Digital Collaboration

Digital Collaboration: Transforming Artistic Creation in the Modern Era

The art world is continuously evolving, and the rise of digital collaboration is transforming how artists create and share their work. From virtual studios to global collaborative projects, digital tools …


Art Business

Essential Tips for Running a Profitable Art Business

Running a profitable art business requires a strategic approach, a deep understanding of the market, and a passion for the craft. Whether you are an artist looking to sell your …


Art Appraisal

Art Appraisal: Understanding the Value of Your Collection

Art appraisal is a crucial aspect of art collecting, providing collectors with essential insights into the value and significance of their pieces. Whether you are a seasoned collector or just …


2 thoughts on “How to Get Decision-Makers to Read Your Email”

Leave a Comment

Eddie Davis

Back in 2018, Eddie decided there had to be a better way. He a baby on the way and a house full of original art from his ancestors. So he started building an art collecting app to catalog each piece and capture its story. And then he started buying (or trying to buy) original art in his home town of Atlanta, Georgia, United States and quickly discovered that nearly all artists had broken, out-of-date websites and made it nearly impossible to buy their work. So he connected his catalog app to a maintenance-free artist website. Somewhere in the middle, crypto NFTs exploded and then imploded, and the ETChster global community grew to ~15,000 artists and art collectors of all walks of life. Et cetera...