Using Email Marketing to Increase Your Jewelry Selling Business

Announcing a new line, promotion or sale on Facebook, Twitter, or your own blog is a great idea, and will get the attention of your most loyal and web-savvy followers. But sometimes you need a more direct approach. That's where email marketing comes in. I discussed how to compile a list for email blasts in the August 2012 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Here are a few programs to look into for polishing up your presentation:

• Use MailChimp. I've heard good things about this service from a variety of independent artists and entrepreneurs. After a few early glitches with the design templates, friends tell me it's now quite user-friendly. If you have the patience or inclination, MailChimp offers all kinds of customizable email templates so you – or a tech-savvy pal – can set up an email presentation that looks more like a slick newsletter, complete with logo and branding integration.

If that's a little too fancy and time-consuming for your purposes, you can opt for a simple format and take advantage of services such as email tracking (who clicked to your site from the email, for instance), social sharing, and list management. You can have all that for free as long as your email list is smaller than 2,000 and you don't send out more than 12,000 emails per month. More sophisticated options with added bells and whistles start at $10 per month for unlimited emails to 500 people.

Vertical Response is the program jewelry artist Danielle Miller uses to send professional-looking emails. The most popular pricing plan is the pay-as-you-go option where you buy credits for the number of emails you need to send. At 1.5 cents per email, sending 1,000 emails costs her $15. All plans include image hosting, customizable opt-in forms, list management tools, return on investment (ROI) reporting, and social sharing with Twitter and Facebook.

Aweber and FeedBlitz offer similar services and pricing plans. I know folks who swear by both. It's worth looking them over to see if their templates, pricing, and options appeal. Everyone is different and it's important to find a service that fits your needs and aesthetic.

• Install an email sign-up form on your site. EmailMeForm is a free online form generator service that allows you to create HTML forms for your website without tricky coding. Jewelry designer Beth Cyr installed this on her blog with the message, "Add yourself to my mailing list to receive emails on sales or extra special new products." When you click on "subscribe," it takes you to the sign-up form.

CATHLEEN McCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories on design, travel and business have appeared in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, Washington Post, and her own site, http://TheJewelryLoupe.com.

NET PROFITS appears regularly in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more about promoting your jewelry in "Effective Email Marketing," August 2012.

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