Manage your mailing lists
Mailing List Management – by Karen Seymour, Seymour Stained Glass
How to Build Your List:
1) Ask for their contact information:
- When you make a sale, when they swoon without buying, when they ask for a card
- Using single name forms – I use 1/6th of a page. It is easier than a sheet of names when you have a group where customers want to sign up for your mailing list, but won’t want to wait for each to do it sequentially.
- A fancy address book makes a better impression than a sheet of names at a fancier event like a studio show.
2) Hold a drawing. Make sure the item in the drawing is relatively inexpensive and directly related to what you sell.
3) Buy a list. If this is very targeted, it may be worthwhile. These are often one-time use.
4) Share a mailing with a fellow artist.
A database allows you to sort names by any field and yet, keep the fields of the record together. A spreadsheet like Excel can be used, but take care to keep the record intact – clicking the upper left corner to select the whole sheet before sorting is a good practice. ALWAYS save your file before you sort it.
Fields I find useful:
- First, Last, Address1, Address2, City, State, Zip (some mailing types require the +4)
- Email, phone (useful as an ID number and for reverse lookup)
- Origin, last active (date) rating
- Type of contact
- Region or other sorting criteria
- Notes, mailing history
Preparing Your List for Mailings
Microsoft Word can do merged email or labels from names in an Excel file.
- Go to Tools>Letters and Mailings>Mail merge. Follow the steps on the screen.
A 1% return is considered standard on a targeted list.
Email vs. US Mail: email is free, but I have found postcards actually get more folks to a show. On the other hand, email allows you to drive folks to your website or on-line sales site.
- If you use bulk or First Class Mail, keep your mailing list up-to-date by adding “Address service requested” to your postcards. The phrase needs specific placement on your mailed piece.
- Bulk mailing may not be worth the cost, unless you mail thousands of pieces. You may get a price break through your print house. gotprint.com, overnightprints.com, ADGprinting, Colormation etc.
- Constant Contact and other emailing facilitators help keep your email from being blocked as spam.
- Offer a coupon or a special invitation to track the effectiveness of your mailing.