Why Connecting With Your Email List Can Be A Game-Changer For Your Handmade Business
So back in the day (pre-pandemic) when you used to do craft shows, did you ever have a sheet of paper on your booth table inviting show attendees to sign up for your newsletter?
If you did, when’s the last time you emailed them?
If you’ve been regularly emailing them, you’re ahead of the game and doing awesome!!
But if you haven’t emailed them in a while or EVER, you’re missing out on a great opportunity.
So why is having a mailing list important?
If social media disappeared tomorrow (and remember we’re still in a pandemic!), would your business survive without it?
Social media is great for brand awareness, but not always the best way to turn your followers into buyers. Social media is passive. Followers can choose to stop and read your content or keep scrolling which a lot of us do. Plus, we don’t see content from everyone we follow because the algorithm changes all the time and prioritizes certain posts and accounts more than others.
But with a mailing list, you’re in charge of it. You don’t need to depend on algorithms whatsoever. So when someone gives you their email address to sign up for your mailing list, they’re basically saying, “I want to hear from you, please email me.”
Those email addresses are worth way more than any follower on social media.
So if you’re sitting on a list of email addresses you haven’t reached out to in forever, it’s time to draft up an email!
But now you might be saying to me, “Okay, but I don’t know what to say??” Especially if you’ve neglected to reach out to them in months.
First off, if you haven’t emailed them in ages or ever, you can start off by being honest about what happened.
“Sorry I’ve totally dropped the ball about emailing you when you signed up for my newsletter. I’ve been (insert reason like had a baby, busy with family, lost my job, had a lot going on personally, etc.) but I’m back and I want to share with you what’s going on with me and my work!”
So what do you once you get the “Hey, remember me??” email out of the way?
Now you can start engaging and connecting with them.
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But what should you share?
First off, don’t only email your list when you’re selling something. People don’t like getting “come buy my stuff please” type emails all the time. Sure it can work for e-commerce companies, but you’re an artist. You’re creative. You have so much you can offer and share with your people!
Here are some suggestions on what to share:
- Give a behind the scenes peek into what you’re working on
- Share your workspace or studio
- What’s been your journey into what you do/make?
- What has been your biggest lessons so far in your business?
- What inspires you?
- Special/exclusive events/products coming up (give them 1st dibs on these things!)
- What’s going on personally for you (home, family, life, etc.)?
Speaking of special events…
A maker I know was working on launching their first-ever website and online shop. They encouraged people to sign up for their newsletter because they wanted to give subscribers first dibs on their products when their site went live. I kid you not, they updated their social media a day later and said when they sent out their first newsletter with links to their website and shop, they sold out of all their products within 2 hours. How awesome is that?? That my friend is the power of having an emailing list for your handmade business.
Going above and beyond
If you’re someone who wants to go a step further and give value back to your subscribers because, really, why wouldn’t you?? This is where knowing and understanding who your audience is really valuable!
Let’s say you make jewelry. Like many of us, your subscribers might be spending more time in their loungewear and PJs than dressing up in their “I’m going outside in public” clothes. So, why not share WFH outfit inspiration that would go great with different jewelry pieces you create? It can help inspire your subscribers to still feel good in what they’re wearing, even if it’s just at home.
If you make ceramic mugs, why not share some of your favorite coffee or coffee brands your subscribers can check out? Or find some tea recipes they can brew at home and sip from your beautiful mug.
If you make onesies for babies, why not share a list of baby books recommendations for soon-to-be parents? Or how to get common stains out of the clothing so they’re able to make your onesies last and still look great.
If you’re working to raise your awareness around the Black Lives Matter movement, why not highlight Black makers in your niche?
There are so many ways you add value to your subscribers that go beyond notifying them when you’ve restocked your shop.
So how often should you email them?
I’d encourage you to email them regularly. I email my list once a week. That may seem like a lot, but it helps me to stay on schedule and stay connected with my list. If you don’t email your list very often or are inconsistent with your emails, then they might not remember you. If they don’t remember you, they’ll be less likely to open your emails and possibly unsubscribe from you.
I could tell you who I get weekly emails from off the top of my head. But beyond that, it’s a lot harder for me to remember who I’m subscribed to because I don’t see their emails as often or they’re more inconsistent (once or twice a month, etc.).
When you forget about your mailing list
People don’t generally give out their emails easily because who the heck wants more email? But when we do, we do it because we want something in exchange for it. So when we sign up for something because we are told we are going to receive something and we don’t, it’s disappointing.
Someone I follow on Instagram sent me a message in April saying they were starting a newsletter. I was so excited because I like their content and I don’t always see everything they post on social media (another good reason to have an email list!).
So I signed up instantly. But that’s all that happened. Still to this day, I’ve never received an email from them. It’s already the end of July. What’s even more frustrating is they’ve been promoting online events and other great things on social media, but dropped the ball on letting their subscribers know any of this. So unless I check their social media regularly, I wouldn’t know about anything.
Keeping up on social media is exhausting so the idea of getting an email once a week and getting priority to register for events and so on would be ideal.
Just a few things for you to think about.
Take care of your list
Whether you have 5 subscribers or 50,000 subscribers, they want to hear from you. They took the time to give you their precious email address so it’s your turn to provide them value. They want to learn more about you and your work. And if you’re selling something, they’re more likely to want to buy from you because they’ve gotten to know you and you’ve stayed connected to them.
Plus, it’s pretty awesome to have a list of people who are basically your VIPs. Make your VIPs feel special. The more you take care of them, they’ll in turn want to support you.
So, what’s something fun you’re looking forward to sharing with your email list? Let me know the comments!