If you have a newsletter set up for your handmade business, congratulations! You’re using the most effective form of marketing and are ahead of most of your competitors.
But let’s make sure you’re putting that list to use and sending content that will help boost sales.
If you don’t have a newsletter set up for your handmade business…
Do it now!
You can head over to mailchimp.com and in 10 minutes you can set up a free email marketing account, create your first landing page, and start collecting email addresses.
You don’t even need a website first.
Once you have one person on your list, you can start sending emails.
Newsletter lists are all about quality over quantity. So what should you send to your subscribers?
PROMOTIONAL VS. NON-PROMOTIONAL
There isn’t a store, aside from the grocery store, that I visit and buy from every week. Sending promotional “buy this” type of emails every week makes your newsletters predictable and leads subscribers to believe they don’t need to open your emails to know what’s inside.
I’m sure we can all think of an example of a business that does this.
Promotional emails focus on selling without beating around the bush. For example, get 10% off your next purchase.
Non-promotional emails focus on providing value first. They should still encourage a sale but in a more nonchalant way. For example, 3 fashion trends for spring – educating readers on upcoming trends and linking to a trendy product in your shop or encouraging them to respond back to purchase.
The key to keep your subscribers engaged is by sending a mix of promotional and non-promotional content.
Both types of emails help promote your brand, business, and products.
Find a good frequency for sending your newsletter and stick to it. Twice a month is a good place to start and if you find you have lots of content to share and engagement is good, try ramping it up to once per week.
It’s important to be consistent with your newsletter so choose a frequency that is best for you.
To keep readers engaged, make sure your content entertains first, sells second. No one wants to read a “here’s a product I have for sale” type of email week after week. Businesses that stick to promotional emails only, tend to have lower engagement.
Hide a promotional message in an entertaining story and your readers will look forward to receiving and opening your email.
The mistake I see lots of businesses make with their newsletter is using boring subject lines. Everyone gets more emails than they have time to read, so your email must stand out in an inbox and entice subscribers to open.
Also, think about the first sentence of your email. It can be seen before the recipient opens your email so it should be used to intrigue. Start with a story. “I was in line at the grocery store today and I couldn’t believe this woman…” Aren’t you curious to hear the end of it?
With that in mind, here are some ideas for what you can send subscribers this month:
Email #1 – Tips
Think about the product you sell and what your customers want out of it. Why are they buying your product? It’s to improve their life in some way.
Accessories – to look stylish
Bath & Body – to relax or care for their skin
Children – to have a happy, healthy, or stylish kid
Home Décor / Art – to add style to their home
Pets – to make their pet happy
Now think about tips you can share to help them achieve whatever it is they want to achieve through your products.
Focus on helping your subscriber first, and then work product mentions after.
Email #2 – Educational
Similar to a tip email, you can teach your subscribers something new. Again, think about what your customers want to get out of your products and something they may not know.
For example, you may point out the difference between ingredients used in mass-produced candles or soap and ingredients used in your handmade products. Share the benefits your customer gets with your product.
Someone selling accessories may educate subscribers about the latest trends or hot new colors for spring.
Someone selling art may teach subscribers how to create a balanced gallery wall.
And just like the “tips” email, the focus should be on educating the reader, but you can still slip a product mention in.
Email #3 – Product Launch
Having a day of the week when new products are released (or a month or season) creates suspense and excitement.
Instead of adding listings to your online store whenever you create something new, why not create a theme around a group of products and plan a special day to list them. Then you can coordinate a newsletter to send on the same day.
Email #4 – Stock
An email notifying subscribers a sold-out item has been restocked, a seasonal item is back in stock, or that a popular item is about to be out of stock, can create a bit of urgency and encourage sales.
You may even consider offering limited quantities for extra urgency goodness.
For example, let’s say I sell scented candles and am bringing back a popular scent from last spring. I may send an email informing my list that the candle is back by popular demand but only for a limited time.
Email #5 – Discount
Only run a sale if your profit margins allow; if you’re not going to make any money by discounting your products, don’t do it.
Also, don’t offer discounts too frequently or regularly. Subscribers may become accustomed to them and wait for a sale to buy.
Here are a few discount options you may want to try:
Offer a promo code – you may share a promo code subscribers can apply at checkout that gives them a certain percent off their purchase.
Offer a free gift with purchase – you may offer free gift wrapping around a major holiday.
Clearance – if you make seasonal products, you may mark down products at the end of a season to clear them out.
Offer free shipping – you can build the price of shipping into your product so you’re then able to offer the product without any additional fees like shipping.
There are 5 emails you can send out to your email list. Now, I know growing a business alone isn’t easy. Head over to my free Facebook group to join other like-minded artists, crafters, and makers.