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Getting The Word Out

Brochures flyers posters

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#1 TJR

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:13 PM

How do you promote your shows/sales? I am in a group of 10 artists and we share printing costs for a professional brochure which we deliver to mail boxes. Apparently this is not legal to do this in the U.S.

In the news today, Canada Post announced that they will cease door to door delivery of mail within the next five years. This is a loss of 8,000 jobs.

How do you promote your open studio sales?



#2 Mark C.

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 04:10 PM

Many areas have open studio weekends and the organization does the promoting-we have one in our county-I did one about 10 years ago never again-(to slow)I happen to live in the second highest county in this state of artists per county. I did my own mailing for studio sales twice a year for 19 years in the 70's 80's and early 90's-gave it up for a out of state art show which has turned into my best show.I found a postcard was the cheapest way to mail in the end after years of bulk mailing 1,000 invites.

Mark


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#3 GEP

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:30 PM

I have been collecting my own mailing list since I started doing shows over ten years ago. I send an email for every show, and it pays off every time. I consider it one of my essential duties. I have quite a few customers who I recognize and know by name. And lots of others who I don't recognize but they'll tell me "I get your emails" when they are making a purchase.

 

My list is now over 700 names. At one point it was over 1000 names, but a while ago I stopped sending any paper mailings and switched to email only, so I pruned out all listings where I only had a street address. (I've decided I am too cheap to buy stamps anymore, and don't want to spend a whole afternoon applying labels and stamps.)

 

Two years ago I started using MailChimp to design my emails and store my list. MailChimp keeps track of who opens my emails, and who clicks on the links inside. So at the end of every year, I can go through and prune out the folks that do not open my emails. 

 

These days I'll also announce my shows on Facebook. 

 

For my Holiday Open House, I put a banner on my front porch "pottery sale this weekend" for the week before. For two years I printed flyers and hoofed it around my neighborhood putting them on doorsteps (I had already been advised that it was illegal to put it in mailboxes). I found that the flyers did nothing ... especially for the amount of work and expense. Just because people live within a few blocks of you, doesn't mean they are interested in pottery. Also, around these parts it's common to get brochures left on your doorstep, mostly from home improvement contractors. I generally consider it junk mail, so I think my flyers were regarded the same way. However, the banner is another story. Every year I meet a few people who came because of the banner. I live in a walkable neighborhood near a subway station. Lots of foot traffic commutes past my house, and the banner seems to be more effective.


Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
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#4 clay lover

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 09:22 PM

Mark, I'm interested in why you think the studio tour did not work well for you. Did others in your group have good sales or were all slow? The local group here does one, but I'm too far off the main road.1 blip wrong on the GPS and no one would find me.

Mea, I like you idea of using Mail chimp to sort your e-mails. Will you do repeat e-mails to the same person, and how close together?
I have an e-mail list for my home town show and it really works well for me. It's made up of repeat customers over several years. They wait until I send the e-mails to come and do their holiday shopping. For out of town shows, or shows new to me, I don't know how I could promote myself that way

#5 Mark C.

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:41 AM

It does work for artists who work is not very available to the public in my area. I on the other hand have the market covered in all my local towns

That is to say you can buy my work at many local outlets that I have developed for over 35 years.All the local towns have at least two outlet where my work is for sale . So coming to my studio which was very popular back in the day when I did have my own studio sales long before the tour idea caught hold is less so today.

I realized this after doing one tour.I would rather sell a lot of work year around thru my outlets than a little during the tour weekend. It does work if you are not all  that avalable to the public and you get a local following-my following can buy my work anyday of the week. I also do two local fairs and have my own Christmas sale in a shipping center starting on Friday till x-mas eve the past 34 years so as I said its out there why would one go to my studio. Sales(visits from customers) at the studio has declined over the years as folks turn to quick buy it now options.It started say about 10 years ago when folks stoped coming by to get there orders-to busy or whatever??. My outlets sales have increased so its a trend I know is happening and am fine with it. One needs to flex with the situation. I deal with enough public to be fine with less studio distractions. I still have some home sales but its less every year-more shipping sales have way offset this trend as well.

Location will really affect you in a tour situation as well. I'm a little off the beaten path as well thank god.

Mark


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#6 GEP

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 10:00 AM

Mea, I like you idea of using Mail chimp to sort your e-mails. Will you do repeat e-mails to the same person, and how close together?
I have an e-mail list for my home town show and it really works well for me. It's made up of repeat customers over several years. They wait until I send the e-mails to come and do their holiday shopping. For out of town shows, or shows new to me, I don't know how I could promote myself that way

 

I send one email per show to my entire list. My list is mostly local too, the furthest I've ever traveled for a show is 2 hours, and I only started traveling for shows recently. If my list gets too much larger, I will probably start segmenting it by region. 


Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com





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