As the end of the year rapidly approaches, I know us product-minded people are scrambling to make it the best quarter of the year, and you might be relying on 4Q sales to make your entire year! My mind has been working overtime these days coming up with some out-of-the-box ideas for my clients and myself……..as I'm sure you are too.
I want to share a few ideas that I have for you. I'd love to hear your ideas too, so please share them in the comments so we can all have a great 2012 and encourage each others success.
On-Line offers: I like to create a rush to purchase during the holiday season. One thing I find to work well year after year, is to offer a different item on sale each day from Black Friday until Christmas. If you don't carry enough items to cover that many days, you can make up different offers like 2 for 1 or buy one get 50% off on something else…. be creative and cross promote your own products. You can even find other lines that compliment yours and offer something from theirs, and they from yours – gives you more exposure to both mailing lists.
Wholesale Sales: While stores are offering their own buying incentives to their retail customers, it's a good idea to find ways to entice buyers on your end to help them sell more of your products. You might offer free shipping with a minimum order, offer a free extra item if the order is over a certain dollar amount, find an inexpensive promotional item that you can include for free with large orders. If you are feeling really confident, offer a money back guarantee on orders placed by 10/31. I have done this many times and find it to be quite lucrative.
Trunk Shows: Pick a cool store in your neighborhood and offer to do a trunk show. Engage the surrounding stores and restaurants in participating as well with raffles, give-a-ways and special offers the same evening making it into your own "Fashion night out".
Home Parties: Everyone wants to give to a charity especially at the end of the year. If you can find a person with a nice big home who has lots of friends (hopefully wealthy ones), and is passionate about a specific charity, offer to do a sale at their home and donate a percentage to their charity of choice. They invite their circle, the charity will usually help promote it, and you can invite your list too. Everyone wins! This is also a great way to get rid of old samples and slightly damaged seconds……make a basket (or table) of the discounted stuff and watch it fly out the door at super low prices. Remember – all moms are looking for inexpensive teacher gifts and love a great bargain that makes them look like they spent a fortune. :O)
What are some of your tips you can share?
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I wanted to share that I have a free facebook group for product based designers that I'd love you to join. I offer a ton of unsolicited advice and answer any questions you have about sales, marketing, getting into magazines and gifting celebrities!
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3 days ago
Building an email list can be tough, I totally agree. But an email list is just as important as social media in my opinion. Social media is fleeting. Your customer might not see your post flash by, the FB or Instagram algorithm changes all the time so you never really know if anyone is seeing your posts (as much as you hope at least), and unless they purchase, it’s hard to tell if it is driving traffic or not.
When I started my handbag line, the internet was just getting started, and people were just beginning to get online for the first time and the biggest thing since sliced bread was www.match.com.
Note the www…… everyone used that back then so you’d KNOW it was a website. LOL.
And to get on the website, even just to learn more about it, you needed an email address to get past their “paywall”. The Paywall was a pop up of sorts that asked for your name and email in order to “grant” you access to see what was behind the curtain. They built a list of millions in a few short weeks and that was more valuable than anyone just “knowing” about their company because they could market to them incessentanly.
Daily. And I mean sometimes multiple times a day. I’d never seen anything like this.
They were the first company that I knew of who “collected” emails, then turned around and marketed to you to get you to sign up for their services. And they were relentless……
I’m not saying you need to send emails daily, or emails multiple times a day, but if you don’t email your list at least weekly, they will forget about you and end up buying something similar chez someone else who is sending them emails.
So Why are Pop ups so important? Pop ups are a way to collect emails via your own “Paywall” and continue to market to potentially interested customers. If they take the time to sign up (first baby step) then they are showing you that they are on the first step of the staircase and want to keep walking up. It’s your job to keep enticing them to the top! AKA buy something.
Step 1: Sign up with a content management system like Active Campaign, Mailchimp, Klayvio or whichever one you like best. I like Active Campaign and have been using it for over 10 years. Some people choose to use the forms that come with these programs and I have too in various situations, but I also recommend Privy if you use Shopify, and Ninja Pops if you use Wordpress. They can easily be installed and connected to these CMS systems.
Step 2: The first and easiest way to collect emails is to have a homepage pop up with an offer for a % off the first order. That is a way to ‘collect” emails and give something in return. It’s the first step in building rapport with your potential customers. It’s like saying, let’s be friends, I’ll give you something you want, and you give me something I want, your email.
Step 3: Make sure you have an automation set up in the CMS system. This is an automated email series that will be sent to anyone who gives you their email address on your pop up. I call it the Hello Series. The idea of this series is to again, build rapport, and tell the customer a bit about you and your company over a 2 week period. This series has nothing to do with your regular email marketing emails. This is a sole and separate email series to build rapport so just set it and forget it. Yes customers will probably get some of these on the same days as other marketing emails but just don’t worry about it.
This is how it works:
a: The first email to go out immediately is the one with the coupon code they just signed up for. Add something about your brand and photos of your products linking to your website.
b: The second one goes out the next day and asks them if they had a chance to use the coupon yet, and then tells them to whitelist your email so they don’t miss your promotions and special offers for people on your list. Always have images of products that link to your website.
c: The third email goes 4 days later and in this one I like to tell a story about how I got started with the business. Add images and links here too.
d: The fourth email shares something cool about your business. Could be some nice stores you are in, a press placement, a celebrity who has your stuff or perhaps posted about it on Instagram. It can also be a tutorial about how to use your products, or a blog post you wrote on a topic they’d be interested in. Share something that will make them feel happy for you, and encourage them to hang with you.
e: The fifth and final email in this sequence encourages them to follow you on social media. I like to entice them with “doing” something in exchange for a gift. Could be something like “post your photo using or wearing our product, and be entered in our monthly drawing for a free X”.
Step 4: Now that you have collected more emails with a pop up, your ongoing marketing efforts will start to pay off faster. As the list continues to build, you’ll have more people to market to, invite to events you do, and share your good news with. Hopefully they will become loyal customers, share your site with friends, and continue to be an active part of your social media channels. Keep sending emails weekly ( at least) to your list so keep them active and engaged. I’m sure you’ll see a big difference.
If you want ideas to help you fill in the blanks about the above, drop me a comment below and I’ll be happy to help out. ... See MoreSee Less
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