Monday , 18 December 2017
Your newsletter becomes your personal connection to your subscribers. We don’t know who’s reading our blog, how often, and HOW are people reading our blog.

Marketing 101: Niche Markets Part 5 : Your Newsletter Revisited

Marketing 101: Niche Markets Part 5

Your Newsletter Revisited

 

Part 1: Niche Markets

Part 2: What is your wackiest marketing idea?

Part 3:  Getting out there

Part 4:  Have you done your newsletter?

Marketing 101: Niche Markets Part 5

Your Newsletter Revisited

Some great comments from last time’s newsletter, along with a very good question, so I thought continuing the dialogue here would be helpful.

From Laura comes this comment: l don’t know if just having an Etsy shop is enough for having a newsletter though.

Take a look at Laura’s Etsy shop. She has some fabulous earrings. Here are several things I would like to know about the earrings, especially before I consider buying. How durable is polymer clay? What are the steps involved in creating  a design (this one has always stumped me)?  What are you using for findings? Where are you getting your ideas?

There’s four newsletters right there. People want to know the stories behind the art they buy. I started a fairly regular series on my blog called “Sunday Stories,” where I go in to extensive detail about a particular piece of fiber art. This is much more extensive than what I include in a blog, but I give a link to the blog so people can follow the story for more information.  I would LOVE to see you take step-by-step pictures of the creation of a particular piece. I don’t think most people are aware of what goes into polymer clay; I sure don’t….

So, Laura, an Etsy shop is plenty to start with. You have three pages of items for sale, so you have plenty to talk about! Think about once a month for a newsletter, and then keep us posted as to how it works.

From Tarafly comes this question: What is the difference between having a blog and a newsletter, in terms of importance? Many people swear you need both…
But if you are using your blog to discuss your latest pieces, doing tutorials, spotlighting suppliers, hosting giveaways, and all that jazz… How would you craft the newsletter to stand apart and entice subscribers?

You have to look at Tara’s site, especially if you are a cat lover. Primarily, though, look at it in terms of what could be in a newsletter. You mention having a blog, but I don’t see any reference to the blog in your Etsy shop (something I need to check, myself….). So potentially you have two separate audiences.

In looking at the contents of your store, several questions come to mind: What are ACEOs?  What makes a limited edition set? What exactly do you mean by “original cat paintings?” You have quite the niche market. Are there YouTube videos you could spotlight about Jane Austen? You could ask for photos from people who have bought your cats – how have they displayed them in their homes? Were they a gift, and what about the person who received it

Your newsletter becomes your personal connection to your subscribers. We don’t know who’s reading our blog, how often, and HOW are people reading our blog. I for one use Google Reader to skim my many blogs, and it has to be a really good blog posting for me to click and make a personal comment. My newsletter lets me reach out to the people who took the time to subscribe and let them know what is happening with me and my business. I’d say maybe one-third of my blog people are subscribed to my newsletter, and maybe half my newsletter people read my blog. So I see them as two different groups. I keep a couple of special things just for newsletters – great videos on marbling, offers for fabric that don’t show up anywhere else, requests for pattern testers, and specials that aren’t on the website or the blog. I think primarily it is the more personal touch that a blog just doesn’t have.

I am in the process of creating my next newsletter, and I went through what many of you do: what will I talk about this month? One of the reasons I do a monthly newsletter is so I always have something new to talk about. So for this month: asking for pictures of items made from our fabric, a special on marbled ribbon, a new YouTube video on marbling, and giving some hints about holiday shopping ( a mere 4 months away….).

Remember, you don’t have to write a book, just a short newsy letter to your many friends.

Comments? I’ll address them next time. Upcoming article is about creating a community for support. Any of you belong to small local (or larger) groups and get together to talk art? Let me know what you do, and I’ll include it in the next article.

Dean and Linda Moran are the owners of Marble-T Design and have been marbling for 20 years. You can see their work at “The Art of Fabric,” follow their adventures on their blog, see examples of their marbling in their Etsy shop, and watch their updates on Facebook. They also sell on Tuesdays on Tophatter, an auction site, in the fabric and textiles section at 11 AM PDT.

  

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16 comments

  1. I would like to do a newsletter but my clients do not react with me on line, not Etsy, not web site, not ArtFire, not Facebook. My web page has a place for requesting the newsletter. In eight years, NO requests. In the same time, I have only had five on line customers. My people with whom I do communicate on line do not to seem to have an interest in my work or think that social media is a joke. Isolation does not yield results.

    • Norman – thanks for the comment! You will be one of those sellers who needs to do an actual snail mail newsletter. Because of costs, you could look at quarterly for a mailing. This would give you a chance to connect with your buyers, let them know about new work,and possibly view the work on line. Alyson Stanfield (artbizblog.com) does a class on reaching out to collectors, and she also addresses the issue in her book, “I’d Rather Be in the Studio!” Let me know what you think of her information.

  2. Thank you so much for your advice – it is really appreciated!! l have just started a blog on Tumblr so l think this is also a good step to make! Finally a blog, lol! l think l am starting to get the picture on the newsletter front. Again thank you.

    • Hi Laura – let me know how the newsletter goes and if you have any questions! Re your next comment: my FB posts are always very short, mostly just teasers. Since I use the Networked Blogs feature, my blog posts show up on my FB page (to let folks know a new post is up), and Twitter lets folks know a new post is up. I keep my blog for going in to depth on design, and so forth. Tweets tend to be a different audience – short attention span, just interested in surface, and maybe they’ll click a link for more info. And my blog also looks at other things besides the art. Hope this helps.

  3. Sorry! Just one more thing. l have a facebook page and youtube channel and now the blog is starting. What confuses me is what to post as l feel l will be repeating content – what is the difference between posting for different social media websites? For example what varies in info you tell fans/clients etc… from FB to your blog page? l hope l am making sense.

  4. Norman, I took a look at your website. I expected it to be something ugly and boring (heh, heh), but your wood work is beautiful! However, here are a couple of things that I found:
    1) The navigation on your site is not great. When you click on the links to the pages, they opened as a very small box, which would then have to be enlarged to see the content. It was easier to use the back button, but it makes for extra work.
    2) I saw where you state that you have a newsletter, but you tell people that if they are interested, they need to send you an email. Most people won’t. You need to make it easy for them. I have used Feedburner (www.feedburner.com) for a long time and like them a lot. They give you a widget which you can install all over the place and it’s an easy sign-up process. People enter their email address and then confirm it. Feedburner will give you stats on who is on your list, etc. I believe that that is why you have not had anyone sign up.

    I’ve been using MailChimp as my newsletter service, although many of my peers seem to prefer Constant Contact. It’s interesting to see who actually opens your email, although we recently tested this and several people who received and saw the email show up as not opened on the MailChimp account.

    I, too, find it hard to come up with fresh ways to deliver content, but my basic rule-of-thumb is: Blog delivers content, social media sites (facebook, etc.), are image heavy with short messages, and a newsletter re-caps the highlights of the past month. It helps to look at the last newsletter to see what was said and what has happened since then.

    Linda, great tips on finding material to write about. It’s hard to stand outside and be objective about what we have and what others might be interested in knowing about. Love your posts!

    • Hi Norman – I just see that Rachel replied to you, and she always has great advice! Take a look at her site, tafalist.com. I will be spotlighting the TAFA group in another posting. I’d strongly recommend Mail Chimp – easy, and a good help section. Let me know how it goes.

  5. Thanks Linda, I have enjoyed all 5 post in your Niche Market series, I have gained a lot from each one. I have just finished setting up a new website and will be applying a lot of your ideas and sending out a newsletter. Now all I have to do is collect some emails address to send to.

    • Send me your web link, Ann, and I’ll sign up! Plus, when I first started doing a newsletter, I sent an email to all my family and close friends, asking them to sign up. Plus, on the web site, I have a monthly drawing of people who are signed up on the mailing list for free fabric. That gets me subscribers. A lot of internet guru marketers recommend giving away something free every time someone signs up for a newsletter. That just doesn’t work for me, so I do a monthly giveaway that coordinates with the newsletter.

  6. Still hesitating starting up a newsletter. Possibly in part because I NEVER, EVER click on newsletters e-mailed to me, or any other kind of e-mail marketing. Even if I have signed up with the good intentions of doing so (I know! for shame!)

    Secondly, I blog off WordPress, so all of my subscribers to my blog get daily posts in their e-mail, and I do feel as though a newsletter on top of that would be bombarding… even if my fans love the crap outta me.

    I’m sure I’ll come around eventually. ;-)

    • Hey Megan – if it’s working for ya, don’t tinker with it! Maybe compromise and do a newsletter once a quarter with specials just for those loyal folk. I’ve dropped a number of internet marketing ideas from the “gurus” because it just doesn’t 1) work with my time, 2) work with my market, or 3) seems cheesy. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

  7. I too have toyed with the idea of a newsletter, but I find keeping up with writing 2-blog posts, 1 ‘What’s Cookin’ and 1 Artisan Interview per month + daily FB Fan Page, Group and Twitter interaction and promotion pretty much keeps me B-U-S-Y. I also worry about “bombardment” as MegansBeadedDesigns points out, yet the big guys bombard us just about every moment of every day, so the tactic must produce brand recognition on some level to off-set the investment of capital-and since time is the predominant ‘capital’ I really have to invest at the moment, perhaps I should give the Newsletter a ‘serious’ look especially if ‘bombardment’ is more about being the water and fertilizer to help the grow ‘customer awareness’.

    • Wow, Mary Catherine – love your site! I think you answered your own question in your last sentence. I have a suggestion that could keep a newsletter “do-able:” you have such a personal story behind your art. Rather than make it about the buying/selling, how about turning a newsletter into an inspiration? I get several newsletters that are purely for inspiration, and some days they are just what I need. Something short – quotes, a testimonial…something strictly “feel good.” Thoughts?

  8. Hi Thanks for this valuable post. I have something common here. Most of my buyers are off line. I want to get more strength in on line selling. I do have a blog and usually write about my product before uploading it to my etsy store http://www.alankarshilpa.etsy.com.
    My question is: How do I start a newsletter? Please direct me if you have any resources. I am active in FB and Tweeter too. But I think I am missing something. This post gave me some ideas. Thanks again Dita. Please e mail me if possible.

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