Use Direct Mail to Promote Your Jewelry Business
Direct mail involves sending advertising directly to the consumer. The mail is directed solely to a particular neighborhood or individual address. Direct mail may take the form of a simple advertising and dissemination of information (such as the announcement of a sale or a local event), or it may take the form of a sales package, which consists of a sales letter asking for your order, an information brochure, and an order form with instructions.
You are probably asking, why would I send direct mail when I could just send an email? You have to remember that not everyone has access to a computer. And of course if they do, then you will need to know their exact email address.
Using Direct Mail to Advertise An Event
When using direct mail to advertise an event, such as an open house, holiday boutique, exhibit, craft show, etc., send your advertising piece out as an invitation. You are much more likely to get a response if people feel that they have been personally invited to your event.
The invitation should project an image of quality and of a special event that will draw customers to it. Make sure you always include the what, where, why, how and when information on it. Give people an idea of what to expect when they arrive. How many exhibitors will there be? What type of crafts will they find? What makes your event so special? Do you provide any extra services, such as free parking, babysitting, gift wrapping, a free draw, refreshments? Is there a cost to get in? When is it and what are the times? Where is it? People will be coming from many different communities so you should always try to include a small map on your invitations. You have to make the event sound exciting, something that they don't want to miss.
Your invitations could either be in the form of a small flyer, card or letter with an envelope or as a postcard. The design of it is up to you but it should have a nice touch and differentiate your event from the many other ones in the area. The image of your invitation and any other promotional pieces you use should be a reflection of your event.
Using Direct Mail to Sell a Product Retail
Direct mail could also be used to sell a product through mail order. You send out information about your product along with an order form, they send you back the order form, and then you send them the product. It sounds quite simple but in fact it's not that easy. First of all, you have to have a product that sells well through mail order. Then you have to target your mail pieces to the market that will want to buy your product.
Unless you can really target your market, you should start your direct mail campaign with your own list of names that you have compiled from past customers through craft shows, holiday boutiques, home party shows, people who have responded to your classified and display ads, and people who have signed your guest book wishing to receive information on new products you have to offer.
For more detailed information on the components of a direct mail package and selling your products through mail order, see "Sell Your Crafts Through Mail Order."
Using Direct Mail to Sell Your Work Wholesale
Using direct mail is an excellent way to reach wholesale buyers right across Canada. Shops are always on the look out for new products to sell and receiving your catalogue or brochure in the mail gives them a chance to see what you have to offer.
As in any sales presentation, its always important to maintain a professional appearance. Your correspondence, your advertising, your printing are all very critical to your success in using direct mail to sell your work, as these mail pieces are your "salesman."
In order to acquaint the shop owner with you, your work, how you work and the quality of your work; you should always include an introductory letter and a resume or a brief bio about yourself— education, exhibits, awards, etc. Also describe the type of work you do, and any special production techniques that are involved.
Enclose a brochure or catalogue on the line of jewelry you are selling. The gift shops or boutiques do like to see the actual item, therefore quality photographs are a necessity as sending samples can be risky. Along with your photographs, you should include some type of description or supporting literature — sizes, colours, uniqueness, suggestive uses, and a good description of any details. The shop owner has to get a good picture of the item other than just from the photographs.
Your price list should be on a separate sheet of paper, as with inflation you may from time to time have to raise your prices. It is cheaper to change one piece of paper than to reproduce your whole brochure or catalogue. By doing this, you could also hand your brochure to people who buy directly from you, whereby, you include a retail list. This same brochure or catalogue can be used for wholesale accounts, retail accounts, or for consignment accounts—just use the price list which is appropriate.
Approaching Shops and Boutiques
When approaching shops through direct mail, don't just send them one mailing then assume if you do not hear from them shortly after you have mailed your catalogue they are not interested in your products. Be sure to do a follow up. Phone or write to them, asking if they have received your catalogue and if they have any questions, or would like to place an order. When they do place an order, do not wait for them to contact you again for more. Shop owners are busy people and need to be reminded constantly that you are still in business and producing new and exciting products all the time.
Remember that wholesale buyers do their seasonal shopping months in advance of the season. Also remember that because they don't need any of your products now, for one reason or another, that doesn't mean that they won't need them in a month or two. Their shelves may be fully stocked now, but as merchandise sells they will need to order new products—and they are always on the lookout for new and unique or different items to sell to their customers.
To increase your sales and keep the orders coming in, you must keep your name out front and in the buyer's mind. Again, don't wait for your buyers to reorder from you, it is up to you to get that next order. Every few months contact them and ask how your work is selling and if they need to order any more. Each time you come up with a new product or product line, send an information brochure or flyer to each of the shops on your list. Don't feel that you are being a pest by constantly hounding them, because if you do it in a professional, pleasant and business-like manner, you will find that your buyers will appreciate the fact that you are interested in their needs.
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