Why we ALL need a mailing list

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Original Post

I'm having a wee studio sale on another site and have been promoting on my social networks for a couple days. Today I finally drafted up a mini-newsletter to send out to my proper mailing list.

I *immediately* got bids on items and watchers!

The lesson? My existing customers are my best customers.



---Why do you need a mailing list?---
Because in terms of finding and converting buyers your existing customers are already through that process! They are people who found you, purchased, and are happy. It takes far more work to bring in and convert a new person into a visitor than it takes to nurture your existing customers to encourage repeat purchases!


---the old 20/80 rule---
80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. Your existing customers are your most valuable business resource.


---HOW TO?---
It's easy. Simply ask. (yes, I know Etsy hasn't automated this but nothing stops us from just asking)

That's not so hard is it? :) When you make a sale send a simple email saying thank you very much, I will be shipping approximately such and such a date, do you mind if I ask how you found me and my shop? And would you like to be on my mailing list for (updates, newsletter, whatever you are planning). I send it out (however often) and (what it contains).

Now those last bits are VERY important. Customers will be more likely to to say yes to a personal offer rather than a form or button. Customers like to know you are offering information interesting to them and not just promotions. They want to know how often they'll get it, and what it will contain - so they can decide if it's relevent or they'd rather just bookmark or subscribe via RSS to your shop for example. (which is fine, some people I ask say they'll just keep an eye on my listings)

Even if only a few people say yes, a few is better than none. Over the years you run your business those few will grow into a strong valuable list! Even if you have none now, ask. Even if you only have 3 people on your list, draft a newsletter! Remember, they don't know how many people are receiving it.

---The actual mailings?---
Stick to a level you're comfortable with. If that's just an email you draft yourself, that's fine. (remember to BCC, blind carbon copy, the recipients - otherwise you are breaking the Data Protection Act by exposing all their personal emails to the rest of the recipients)

If you'd like to use a service that's fine too. There's a lot to choose from: bravenet, mailchimp, ConstantContact, VerticalResponse, Yourmailinglistprovider and others. Some have free version which are great for anyone with a small list or mailing less frequently. Most also have pre-designed templates available if you're not a design guru.





Let's make 2010 prosperous! And give our customers something interesting to read so they keep coming back. :)

Posted at 9:39am Jan 7, 2010 EST

Responses

ClareBears says

great tips!

thanks

Posted at 9:43am Jan 7, 2010 EST

This is what I do when I should be working. ;) Not my fault, too much ice to get to the studio. (or at least I know I wouldn't be able to get home later)

Posted at 9:44am Jan 7, 2010 EST

DyNaModuo says

Thanks for the suggestion. I've been wondering how to go about putting together a mailing. Now I have a much better idea on how to do so!

Posted at 9:48am Jan 7, 2010 EST

I love my mailing list!

Using a mailing list client can also make life really much easier (especially when it comes to keeping peoples email addresses confidential from each other).

And you can do fancy things like add pictures and a theme and your banner.

And and you can also use the code they have to add a mailing list form to your website/blog.

I use Mad Mimi - www.madmimi.com

Posted at 9:48am Jan 7, 2010 EST

Overspill says

Ah, thanks for the kick up the....

Somewhere in the software for the website I have something about a mailing list. Might be tme to see if I can sort out how it works!

Posted at 9:48am Jan 7, 2010 EST

Thanks for sharing! I like the idea of asking with a convo. I had it in the message to buyer and not one person signed up.

Posted at 9:50am Jan 7, 2010 EST

Thanks for that lazy, I've never heard of madmimi. Looks really easy to use!

Most of services should give you code for a form for your website. I use YMLP.com and they do. :) I personally like using a client because it gives my customers the feeling of security that they can unsubscribe at any time.

Posted at 9:50am Jan 7, 2010 EST

AMIdesigns says

marking this for later :)

Posted at 9:51am Jan 7, 2010 EST

Great info here. Thanks all!

Posted at 9:52am Jan 7, 2010 EST