is FASO Worth it?
FASO.com is an art marketing platform that lets you create your own website and offers free and paid promotions of your artwork, as well as free and paid entry into monthly contests. I started a trial back in August of 2021 and let it run until March 2022. After the free first 30 days, I was paying $31 a month for the level that will send out your artwork to “30,000” people in email. Sounds great, doesn’t it? I even paid for larger placement for 4 paintings for $100.
It will mail out free images of each art piece you upload to your account (1 upload per day) and it goes out with a thumbnail to medium-sized image depending on your plan.
The images go out at the bottom of a daily email and the smaller one looks like this: As you can see, there is a lot of competition and the images are small. The medium images are a bit larger but still suffer from what I call information overload. For someone to view the image, they click on it and it becomes larger, and you are presented with a button to take you to your FASO website.
When I put up a new picture, even in the medium category, I often got a few new views. Being in the monthly contests got me a few more views, and I got an honorable mention which gave me $100 to spend on advertising. But in the end, after several months, I received no inquiries and no sales.
Here are the problems I see with FASO. I asked them for demographic info on newsletter recipients. They could not provide any. I asked, what days of the week are the most effective for people responding to the emails. They could not answer. How many people of the 30k actually click through on the emails and look at the art. No answer. Can they tell who even reads the emails out of the 30k? Probably not.
Are the emails mostly going to FASO members who are trying to sell their own work, rather than buy? Unknown. I guess you can spend hundreds of dollars to do advertising on one of their Bold Brush newsletters, and that may get you some sales, but if you are a semi-pro artist and your prices are in the few hundred dollar range, you can quickly outspend what you hope to earn.
And I noticed that after a couple of months, I stopped looking at the daily newsletter, not bothering to look at the images or click on them.
Now the websites they create for you are decent. If you don’t have one, and you are not technically inclined, $31 a month is a reasonable price considering hosting and registering a domain name annually would cost you perhaps a little less. As it is, I am a web developer and I create my own sites, so the FASO was redundant. FASO also gives you some social media marketing tools that are helpful to get you started.
In contrast, I was pleasantly surprised this week by $1,100 sales of my work on my Instagram business page, without paying for any advertising. Just FYI, setting up Instagram/Facebook business sales is very complicated, even for a professional web developer like myself.
In conclusion, if you are a creative artist but lack the skills to do your own website, I would either hire a developer, perhaps use a WordPress site, or use FASO. However, I would not expect sales from or through FASO. You would need to rely on other marketing to get sales. I think the free daily mail offers false comfort and creates false expectations for a return on the investment.