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Natania

Mailing Lists

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Natania    6

I need to organize yet another part of selling ceramics - mailing lists. I think I should probably have two separate ones - a retail one, and a wholesale one for shops that buy from me wholesale...not sure how to do it. How do others manage this kind of tracking of who has bought from you in the past, what they've ordered and how often to send updates, news, etc.? Computer spread sheets, a notebook, a group email list that you add to? Any advice is welcome!

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For a very different business I used Constant Contact to email newsletters, photos, etc. It worked well and seems to be widely used. They had lots of helpful info on their website. If you are considering sending email, you might want to check them out.

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GEP    863

Natania, 

 

(sorry for my slow response to this, I haven't been on the computer much around the holidays)

 

Yes I have two different lists, one for retail customers and one for galleries. I keep them in my Apple Address Book, which comes for free on any Mac. I also use MailChimp to send out my blast emails. But I keep the master lists in Address Book, and keep it synced with MailChimp. I think a mailing list has the value of gold! I needs a lot of attention and I take very good care of it. I collect names/emails at every show. I just put out a sign up pad in my display and let people sign up. Then I update my list at home, then sync with MailChimp. I send out an announcement every time I do a show. The value is apparent every time. It was the most apparent during one show that was a total rain out. The streets were empty but I still had good sales. Most of my customers were people I recognized as regular customers from my mailing list. 

 

For the gallery list, they only hear from me when I am gearing up for a wholesale trade show. Or, in years when I am skipping all the trade shows (like this coming year), I will email them to let them know I WON'T be at a trade show, and to look for my catalog in the mail. Sometimes I will send another email in August reminding them to get their holiday orders in soon, but in most years I don't get around to it. 

 

Here's a recent thread with some more discussion about mailing lists (and show promotion in general):

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/5255-getting-the-word-out/

 

And another recent thread with some advice from nancylee about buying commercial mailing lists:

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/5224-packaging-up-purchases-at-art-fairs/

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DirtRoads    145

Thought about Instagram as an alternative to actually mailing?    It's basically free and with a little fine tuning, it's an incredible tool.   If you have a friend or family member that yaks a lot on things like Face Book, they may have a big following.  My niece did a few postings for me with my new line of T shirts and some earrings.  The results were instant and significant.   Direct sales resulting from it.  We didn't put the pottery on Instagram because we've been sold out since 2nd weekend in December, with items going from kiln to shopping bags in a couple hours. 

 

My niece has something like 800 plus followers so it was an easy blast out.   There are some promotional tricks to getting results.  Of course you would need some outlet for selling.  Using right before a show might work.    She took the pictures with her cell phone camera (even though I have a much better camera) and put  prices under the items.

 

Instagram -- definitely working checking into.    As soon as I get pottery in stock we're going to send out pictures again.  Thinking about doing some special products for Valentine's.   When I learn more or see more results, I'll try and post back.  (I do know of 3 potters using Face Book for wholesale customers, they use a strictly wholesale business Face Book account, post prices, keep everything private and only add wholesale customers they know are legitimate).

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Natania    6

Thanks for the advice. I realized that by "mailing list", I actually mean "email list". I will see if there is an address book for a PC computer that might sync with mail chimp - so thank you Mea for that idea. Also, I am curious about instagram, but I am under the impression that it is mostly done from one's phone. I have an ipad, but my phone is cheap and doesn't take good pictures. Also, I pay for data usage as I go, so I'd like to avoid using it a lot (my brother says I've almost joined the 21st century but that I have a bit more to go!...). Can one access instagram from an ipad or regular laptop?

Thanks again!!

 

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GEP    863

Just to clarify ... Apple Address Book does not sync seamlessly to MailChimp. I have to go through a few steps to upload my new subscribers. And when someone unsubscribes through MailChimp, I have to manually delete the name from Address Book. But overall, it's not too hard.

 

My notepad for collecting addresses at shows is labelled "Mailing List" but this fall a customer pointed out it should be labelled "Email List." I agreed with her! I'll change it next time I need to make a new one.

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DirtRoads    145

Thanks for the advice. I realized that by "mailing list", I actually mean "email list". I will see if there is an address book for a PC computer that might sync with mail chimp - so thank you Mea for that idea. Also, I am curious about instagram, but I am under the impression that it is mostly done from one's phone. I have an ipad, but my phone is cheap and doesn't take good pictures. Also, I pay for data usage as I go, so I'd like to avoid using it a lot (my brother says I've almost joined the 21st century but that I have a bit more to go!...). Can one access instagram from an ipad or regular laptop?

Thanks again!!

 

From what i know I don't think you can use it from other devices.   From Instagram website:

 

"When are you going to make the app for Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, iPad, etc?

We are currently working on making the iPhone and Android experiences as solid as possible. Only then will we consider other platforms, but currently we have nothing to announce."

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AtomicAxe    19

I use mailchimp as well.  From being able to create embedded list signups for my website, being able to create and easily change multiple lists of recipients, create multiple campaigns that are fully customizable and can be for specific uses, being able track the campaigns with reports on them.   Plus because it's an opt-in service (they have to agree to get email) ... and you are not sending it through your standard e-mail ... you won't get caught in a lot of server rules about spam.  

 

Good stuff.

I also keep a list of potential galleries, museums and shops as well as brokers, wholesalers and a few others in a google spreadsheet that I can easily import into mailchimp to update my lists.  

 

I also take my hard copy of a guest list and put that into my email list in mailchimp as soon as I can after an event ... that way It's not a tedious thing later when I need to send out my e-mails.

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neilestrick    1,381

Mailchimp is great, and FREE! To get your email list into Mailchimp, first download your list from your email service as a .CSV file, then upload it to Mailchimp. It's super simple. Mailchimp keeps track of bounced/inactive emails, so it's a good way to clean out your list.

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