Since I opened my online store I have offered my customers the option of joining my mailing list. I wasn't sure at first that anyone would have an interest in it, but I was surprised at how my customers signed up for it and continue to do so!
Do you offer your customers a mailing list? If not, you might consider starting one and sending out regular updates. It's pretty easy to do (you send emails all the time!) and I can honestly say that 95% of the time that I send out an update to my list, I get a sale. It easily makes the few minutes I spend in writing and sending out the note worth it!! My customers have thanked me for letting them be among the first to know that new items are in the store or for the special discounts I've offered them. I've also had others say that its a nice reminder about my store and they like that in their busy world these days. Hearing their feedback has been encouraging and has made me make sure I keep this notes going out!!
Thinking of starting a mailing list? Do you currently offer one but maybe have some questions? Below are a few questions I've been asked about how I handle my mailing lists that you might find helpful either way!
1. How often do you send out a note to your list?
I will send out a note every couple of weeks or so. I don't want to overwhelm my list with lots of mail because we all know how much mail we get at times! ;-)
2. What do you put in your notes?
It really varies! During the time between notes, I'm usually busy adding new jewelry to the store, so I make sure I let them know new items have been added. This is usually the main reason for my notes to my customers. I will also let them know if I am offering any special sales or discounts on pieces. Sometimes I've had pieces in the shop a while and they are close to expiring so I'll mark them down. Other times I'll offer them a special sale or discount. This makes your mailing list subscribers feel special that they are getting an unadvertised sale or discount!! I don't always offer them something with my notes so don't feel that you have to. If I've taken a class or learned a new technique to incorporate in to my jewelry I will talk about that and show them pictures. As you can see there are options for your notes and what you can share with your customers.
3. How long should the note be?
I try to keep my updates fairly short and to the point. Again, we all get lots of mail these days and our time is valuable, so I keep the notes short. This allows your readers to find out the important info quickly and hopefully leave them time to browse on over to your store and check things out!
4. Do you "dress" up your notes?
Yes. I usually include my banner from my etsy store at the top of it. Sometimes though, if its around a holiday I will sometimes include artwork for that particular holiday or if I'm having a sale or special offer I'll try to find some artwork that is attention getting to put near that. But its not necessary to do this so don't feel you have to.
5. How do you manage your mailing list?
Currently, I manage the list myself in my email program's address book. This set-up works for me right now, but the list continues to grow and I'm afraid I'm going to have to check out a service that offers managing this list for me. There are several options available (use google to search for these services) and most charge a fee for this service. I would suggest doing some research on this and find what fits best for you. That's what I'm going to be doing in the next few weeks!! ;-)
I hope that this information is helpful!! I find that regluar contact with my customers has been a valuable marketing tool for my store and keeps my name in front of my customers regularly. I'm sure you will find the same thing!