Growing Your Mailing List = Gold Mine

by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer and Instructor, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

Many artists overlook the all important task of keeping in touch with customers. I mean, let's face it, we'd all rather be in the studio making stuff, 24-7 as in those early days of dreaming what our fairytale lives as an artist would be like, am I right?! Sorry to burst your bubble but we still have to clean the studio up, take out the trash and keep in touch with our customers. Marketing, my beady peeps is the key to a successful jewelry business, NOT just the beads. There are some great articles in the EncycloBEADia section on marketing such as ''Calico Juno Designs: Simple Steps to Success'', ''M: Marketing'' and ''Tammy's Tips for Selling Your Finished Jewelry''. I've found one of the most overlooked and simple tasks for any small business is keeping up with your mailing list.

Yes, you must also do the 3 Musketeers of social media; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and have a website, and Blog. Whew! This artist thing is a lot about being on the computer more than beading! True, but I cannot stress how important it is to keep those loyal clients and continue to build your customer base. It will pay off in the end, I promise!


Getting ready for shows can be a hair-tearing-out pre-event; with pricing, packing up, finishing that last piece...too many details to remember everything, and the mailing list is usually the first to get left behind when walking out the door for a show. Whether you're a vendor at a trade show or doing a small boutique style trunk show, offer a giveaway. Something fun and simple like Jude's Dione "add a bead" charm bracelet.

Keep the prize displayed next to a fish bowl with small sign up slips. You can do the door prize at the end of the night, show, hourly or after the event is over back in your studio. I usually do it back at my studio and have the winner come to my studio and pick it up. Winners usually end up purchasing more jewelry once they're in your studio. You can even do more than one give away if you wish. I would not require them to be present to win, remember the purpose of the give-away is to gather client information for your mailing list. Here is what my sign up slips have on them:
Email address:
Would you like to be on my mailing list? (please circle) YES NO
Would you like to be on my Email list? (please circle) YES NO
Are you interested in classes? (please circle) YES NO
Are you interested in hosting a private Kristal Wick trunk show? (please circle) YES NO
Are you interested in wholesale purchasing? (please circle) YES NO

* I hate spam more than you do so be assured, your information will NOT be sold or shared with anyone (even my dog). Thank you!

This gives your visitors a lot of choices regarding your mailing list. And please, don't take it personally when they circle NO (this took me awhile)! Make sure you enter the "YES" folks in your mailing list system once you get back to the studio. What a free and easy way of gathering new possible clients. Oh, and don't forget to draw a name for the giveaway! This is a great first email to your new addresses. Send out a quick newsletter saying what a great event it was, thanking everyone for attending and announcing the winner!

By the end of a few shows, you'll have a healthy mailing list with a target market; they were all interested, they said YES!

Some other give away ideas you can offer:
Lunch with the artist
Free jewelry-making session with you (give this one a time limit of 1-2 hours)
40% off their next purchase
BOGO (Buy One Get One free)

Web Style

You can offer a give-away online as well. This works great for a book give-away (if you have one of yours published) or a small pair of earrings on Facebook and gets you email information as well as valuable social media exposure. You can get Email and snail mail addresses and you will have to ship your giveaway at a cost to you. It's a good idea to have your give away open only to US residents or shipping could cost you a small fortune (sorry, International friends, nothing personal). Post your giveaway and ask them to respond with a private message and their Email/snail mail address if you wish. You can also direct them to your Blog or website and they can leave their information there as well.

Meet the Designer-Artist

Now that you've captured dozens, no hundreds, no bazillions of contacts--get to work! Do something with them. Don't let this valuable information collect dust. Get in the habit of sending out information on your upcoming events, sales, classes and new products in a monthly or quarterly newsletter. You'd be surprised and delighted at your customer's loyalty. They love hearing what you're up to in the studio and feel like they are a part of your creative magic!

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