Written by ConsultR Support

News /June 24, 2015

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.

Organizing Names
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.