Thursday, September 17, 2009

Building you mailing list

Having a list of customers or potential customers to promote yourself and your product to is essential for the success of your business. Whether you want to use snail mail or e-mail or both, I recommend building a mailing list of your customer base. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

*Start with your personal address book. Your family and friends are a great place to start.

*Group directories. If you have an active group/church that you are part of, pull some names of people who you think may be interested in what you’re doing. Using the entire list is not a great idea but pulling a few names may be of benefit without abusing the information.

*Email lists are just as if not more important these days. When you get an email, look at the list of names it was sent to. Consider adding a few that look familiar to you to your list.

*When you are at your craft shows make sure your booth looks the best it can.  An attractive and eye-catching booth will draw more people.

*Offer a drawing for one of your products. On each slip ask for name, address, phone and email information. On the large sign for the drawing, note that their information will be added to your mailing list.

*Don’t want to offer a drawing, consider a guest book or mailing list for them to sign in on with their contact information.

*Offer an on-line or print newsletter. It doesn’t have to be big. This way you are offering your customers something in return. Consider making it a reoccurring publication: monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly…what ever fits your schedule and needs.

*If you work with other crafters on the same event/show you may want to consider sharing information that’s been gathered. Just make sure your list doesn’t end up everywhere…it’s valuable to you.

* If you email your information content always offer an opt-out choice. A return email with a simple ‘remove’ in the body will suffice.  Be sure to remove them if they ask.

* Don’t spam…we all hate this. Send emails only when you have something important to tell your customer base.

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