PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
In an era overstuffed with social media it’s easy to overlook one of the most basic, powerful, and inexpensive tools for growing your business. Email certainly isn’t a new concept but given the large amount of time we spend with it each day the opportunities for building strong client relationships that can lead to more sales is significant. While social media platforms like, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and our beloved Crafthaus are hot stuff; email marketing has several benefits over its social media cousins.
5 Reasons Why Email Marketing Makes Sense for Your Business
1. Be heard at the “noisy cocktail party”
I consider social media to be a lot like attending a noisy cocktail party. There’s lots going on and everyone is vying for attention. With so much chatter and background noise it’s hard to get your message out to prospective and loyal customers. Depending on how many social media connections your customers have, your message can get buried in the blink of an eye.
Another thing to keep in mind is many employers block sites like Facebook on company owned computers and mobile devices. With all of the downsizing from the recent recession, employees are busier than ever because they’re often doing the work of multiple people. If your social media posts are taking place during traditional business hours your clients are probably not even seeing them.
2. Presenting a more professional and powerful image
The days of sending blind carbon copy (BCC) or carbon copy (CC) emails to your mailing list are long gone. Services such as MailChimp (my personal fave) and Constant Contact have a ton of great templates for both sign up forms and designing your email campaigns, which can be customized with your logo. These services also optimize your messages for viewing on mobile devices and offer simple subscribe options for embedding opt in forms into your website.
Due to privacy settings, social media sites make it impossible to collect valuable demographic information on the customers who like and follow your work. Only you have access to and own the information on your email list. You can create a valuable marketing resource for your business based on how much information you ask for when encouraging customers to opt in to your list. When using an email service provider you’ll also own all of the measurable data associated with your messages, such as who reads your message and when, which embedded links they clicked on, their specific geographic location, and which social media sites they're using (perfect for knowing where to focus your social media efforts).
4. Building stronger relationships
Email marketing allows you to build a stronger and more intimate relationship with your customers. Social media is great but the conversations that continue from a personalized email campaign give customers the undivided attention and privacy they deserve.
5. A lot of bang for your buck
MailChimp offers a free option for sending up to 12,000 emails per month and provides excellent tools, webinars, and resources (including social media integration) for growing your list. Constant Contact offers similar services, including event management, starting at $15 per month.
So what’s the payoff?
In a nutshell, it can be huge. Investing an hour or so a month on email marketing resulted in significant sales of my one-of-a-kind work, in addition to increasing sales at shows and events, and whole bunch of new opportunities for my business.
5 Tips for Creating an Email Marketing Plan of Your Very Own
Marketing, at it’s core, is all about educating your customer and getting them to take a specific action such as, visiting your website, attending an event, making a purchase etc. Below are tried and true tips, tested by yours truly, for building your business with email marketing.
1. Grow your list organically
Targeting your email campaigns to a very specific and interested audience is critical to the success of your efforts. You may be tempted to blast your message out to as many people as possible, however sending messages to people who didn’t request them will do nothing more than tick people off and have them mark your messages as spam. You really don’t want to have the reputation of a spammer, do you? If you already have a bunch of email addresses, send each one a private message inviting them to visit your website to opt in to your list.
2. Avoid TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read) Syndrome
Newsletters take more time to read than a well-written and concise email. The last thing you want is for someone to take a quick scroll through your message, see that it is super long, and not read it or worse yet, delete it.
Focusing on one topic for each of your campaigns will make your message a lot more powerful. If you have a lot of great successes or news to share send out a single topic email, perhaps once or twice a month, rather than holding onto to all that great stuff for a quarterly email newsletter. A brief, well-written and timely email will increase your professional image and keep your name fresh in the minds of your readers.
3. Include amazing photos
You’ve got amazing breathtaking photos of your work, right? Then get a lot more for your photography investment by using those images in your email marketing. FYI emails with professional photos are a lot more likely to get read than ones without stunning images.
4. Segment your lists
Just like how you segment your social media contacts to control the posts they see from you, segmenting your email list is just as important. Do you have a bunch of customers that enjoy coming to big events, such as gallery opening etc? Do you have customers who are only interested in one-of-a- kind pieces? Sending the various segments within your email list customized messages related to their specific interests in your work can give your business a huge boost.
5. Be consistent without going overboard
Create an email campaign schedule that makes sense for your business and stick to it. Do you have a new body of work, gallery show, or other event on your calendar? Each of those milestones is a perfect subject for sending an email to your customers. The frequency of your emails will vary based of the type of business you have; however a good rule of thumb is one to two emails maximum per month. I’ve found that sending an email at the beginning of the month inviting subscribers to an event followed by a reminder invitation the week of the event works really, really well.
If you’re looking for help crafting an email marketing strategy for your business, I’m happy to help and no further than an email away.
Thanks for reading and happy emailing,
P.S. I invite you to subscribe to my email list at michellepajak.com