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Email Marketing, Facebook, Instagram

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GEP    863

I thought I'd share some results from a marketing campaign that I am currently running, using only free resources such as my email list and my social media accounts. 

 

Email Marketing

list size: 1411

collecting email addresses since 2002, 15 yrs

opened the email: 638

clicked through: 94

 

Facebook

1097 followers, gained in 6 yrs of using Facebook

1147 people viewed the post

40 people liked/loved the post

clicked through: 52

 

Instagram

1923 followers, gained in only 6 months of using Instagram

192 liked the post

clicked through: 31

 

 

As of right now, the customers who have converted into paying customers are only from my email campaign, people who have been following my work for a while.

 

This is confirming beliefs that I have previously written about on my blog. Social media marketing has its place and value, but email marketing is much more powerful. 

 

Instagram gives you a wide and shallow audience. It doesn't help that Instagram does not allow hyperlinks in posts. Viewers need to click into my profile to find the hyperlink, not convenient. Facebook followers have a deeper level of interest. My guess is because Facebook is used by an older population. And the hyperlink is right there, needs only one click. Email subscribers have the deepest interest. These days it takes a lot of buy-in for someone to hand over their address. It takes a lot more work and time to collect email addresses, but these contacts are far more valuable than a social media follower. It's worth the effort to collect them. Social media doesn't take much effort, so it's worth doing anyways.

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I agree. One marketing school of thought that I've encountered states that it takes people 7 "touches" before they'll purchase your work. That is to say, they need to encounter it, or you, 7 times, wether that's on social media, somewhere online, print, in person, or an encounter with your product that a friend of theirs has, etc. Etc.

 

Social media rarely for me results in direct sales, but can be a way to build or reinforce trust and relationships, and is a positive tool in that area. But it can also be difficult to keep on top of algorithm and rule changes, and your account is always subject to someone else's rules, and can be revoked (or hacked). Your email list is something you own, and control outright.

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Mark C.    1,808

I made a efforts to not have facebook be a marking tool for my ceramics-I do not like the commercialization of social media that has taken place.

I try to keep my social media about my diving not pots.

I have spent zero time using all social media for ceramic sales

I also after 20 years of doing mailing list with the usps in the 70-90s  with a bulk mail permit. I gave upon studio sales and hence also gave up mailing list gathering. That list was a tad over a 1000

Never spent any more time with it since then.

Since I never do new shows only the ones I have done for decades my customers know where and when to find me.

My local outlets I do show on my web site and although its not near a complete list I plan on getting  it more up to date soon.

This is just my own take

as I'm downsizing now in ceramic life not expanding my market.I am in a spot where looking for more buyers does not fit my plan.

Last week I sent away 4 boxes of UPS pots from existing customers and I'm not looking for more of that type of business.

I just service my existing customers and do this as good customer service. I find gathering and shipping work not as cost effective as doing shows or selling outright. but thats my take as my time has value and as I get older its more so.

Nowdays if I was looking for expansion I think Mea's spot on the media take -its just not a good fit for me personally at this stage in life.

She forgot to mention twitter but maybe only the President uses that this e days?

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GEP    863

Just my personal opinion, I think Twitter will go out of business eventually. I thought this before our current president was elected. Therefore I'm not going to spend any effort to create any following on twitter.

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Joseph F    867

Interesting data Mea. 

 

I read an article that pinterest actually has the best lifespan of visibility of the social media stuff(although I don't really consider it social meda). Although email will always be king. I don't know where the article about pinterest is now, but it was saying that a single pin has a life span of about 3-6 months. Compare that to an instagram post which is about 24 hours MAYBE?

 

I started a pinterest a while back just to look at pottery at night. I put a few test tiles up there. When I had my website up, I got a lot of hits from people clicking those tiles to find the recipes, this isn't ideal for selling pots though... I have also noticed that if you search google images for just some blank pottery term like "yunomi", "mug", "plate" most of the results are from pinterest. 

 

When I had pinterest installed on my phone, I noticed that every night they would select 5-10 pins of things they thought I would like based on what I had pinned. So I think what happens is that people look for things that interest them, then they repin them, then people see their pins etc. So it has a very constant repinning effect of beautiful things.

 

I am curious if you have the statistics of how many visits you get from pinterest Mea? I have seen your work on pinterest before when I was browsing. 

 

I also noticed a trend that when I clicked an image I liked to go to the source, a lot of them were etsy, and I would say that 99% of the time that item was sold. I have been playing with instagram for the past month just to see how much work it was to put 1 post a day up. It is minimal. However when I start selling again on Etsy. I am definitely going to put some of my work on pinterest again and tag them with the proper terms and see if pots that I have posted on pinterest sell more frequent that ones that dont. 

 

If this post is off point then feel free to remove it. I just thought I would share the information I have heard since we are talking about marketing.

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GEP    863

I don't use Pinterest myself, but Pinterest does drive a lot of traffic to my website everyday, because other people have pinned images from my website. It's maybe a few dozen visits per day. There are a handful of my blog posts that are still being read daily, even though they are years old, thanks to Pinterest. So I agree with you that Pinterest stretches out the lifespan of things on the internet. Hard to say if any of these pageviews lead to sales, I don't have any way to measure that.

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I know about Pinterest through my own heavy use of it 4 years ago. Interestingly enough, it's how I found this forum. It's like crack cocaine for the visually fascinated.

 

Statistically, Pinterest is king for sales. It's basically where women, who are in charge of most household budgets, go to get ideas and daydream about home improvements, clothing and other things they want to buy at some point. It's a massive visual search engine full of the ideal life you covet heavily. And Mason jars. (Ball brand, for all you south of the border.)

 

Remember that one lady that succesfully auctioned off a single mug on Instagram for over $500 USD last year? She developed her primary social media following on Pinterest (she showed up in my feed pretty much constantly). She gets absolutely lambasted in academic circles for the nature of her work, and I don't think she cares at all. If I could pull that much for one mug, I might not either! She's also cited as a major arguement against emerging artists, who are likely more social media-savvy than older generations, using an antiquated gallery system as a viable part of a professional practice meant to feed and house yourself.

 

All that said...

It's 1) only good if you know how to use it properly, and 2) bloody time consuming to do effectively, because it involves a bunch of repinning yourself in order to up your relevancy, and some influencer marketing as well. It's all about building social capital, and it involves an investment in time and education.

 

If you have no affinity for social media marketing, it will probably never be your thing, and I think if it makes you uncomfortable, it's never going to be a good fit, and you should make better use of your time. And social media doesn't make sense for folks like Mark, who have already built their audience, unless you want to use it as a medium to keep in contact. For those of us still trying to find our crowd and build our purchasing audience, it's a tool in the box that's worth looking at and trying. It's been observed that the pottery business landscape is very different for those starting out now than it was 30 or 40 years ago. Some things, like professionalism, perseverance and building sustainably are timeless, but the internet is most definitely a non-optional part of that.

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Mark C.    1,808

I do feel that these days for any potter who is in the building a base phase needs all the tools they can muster. Its such a different market as Diesel pointed out well above.Brick and mortar is so tough now.I would hate to have to start over these days.I would use all the tools you have.

One note is you need to make pots and spend the most time on that part.

On another note many of us old timers are getting more and more request to wholesale (I turned this  down for years) and now do about 1/3 of my income presently with wholesale. The largest Money maker for me is shows just as Mea found out for herself  back when she tracked all the numbers years ago.For me a income spread over at least 3 areas turned out well. I had no idea this would work as well as it did as I never had a plan in the beginning .Now shows are the hardest part  (most Money for time spent) but also you get to interact with your base directly-that part as I slow down will be missed the most.It also spins the most return sales back over time.

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GEP    863

I wouldn't say I have extensive experience with online sales. I only do it occasionally. But anyways I use PayPal for online payments. And I use Square for in-person payments.

 

Others here may have more advice about online selling.

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Mark C.    1,808

I too use square for taking money from customers -either in person at shows or over the phone. Lately I have had a rash of over the phone sales.

hence lots of UPS shipping of pots.

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LeeU    330

Makes my head spin----I've been taking most of the free webinars from SCORE and am learning a lot--especially the lingo and it is helping me decide what is important to what I want to do and what is not worth me angsting over. The webinars are especially helping me to see how all this online marketing/social posting, SEO etc etc. is interwoven, which, again, helps me decide what to focus on before I try to build a web presence. I'm getting closer to finishing the site--the items are all inventoried (product codes), the photos of the pieces are well in progress, my jewelry finisher is receiving my pendants this week, and I'm about to begin to stockthe "store". LOTTA WORK for a hobby,but that's OK, if it pays for the clay!   

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RonSa    189

I use PayPal for online payments. And I use Square for in-person payments.

 

Same here. I also use Square for phone payments.

 

For a small few recurring payments where I keep the credit card number on file I have a form that the client fills out and signs with all their info pertaining to the card . There is also a paragraph that states that I charge them a convenience fee equal to the fees I get charged to run the card.  I show this as a fixed percentage. With everyone else I build that cost into my price.

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