Take advantage of these opportunities to follow up with customers – retail or wholesale – and keep your creative business in front of them.
Follow up when you have met your customers at a retail show. Did you gather names and email addresses in your guest book at a fair or festival? Make sure to send out an email to them within a week or two to thank them for stopping by and invite them to your website. Since they have an interest in your work, you might consider a special offer, like free shipping to encourage a sale. Then put them on your list to get regular newsletters, about every 6 or 8 weeks.
Follow up after wholesale trade shows. Each time a buyer walked into your booth, you should have traded business cards with them. These leads are like gold; don’t squander them! Follow up by phone or email shortly after the show ends to thank them for their interest, and then make sure to include them on your marketing calendar so that they receive regular contacts. Connect with them on social media as well, to build a relationship there.
Follow up after networking opportunities. You made a contact who could be helpful, and you know you should stay in touch. Don’t wait for the other person to call or email. Make a point to invite them to meet for coffee, send a personalized note through the mail or email them. Your network is essential to finding and making the most of opportunities.
Follow up with every order you ship. Existing customers are your fans – don’t let them forget you! Repeat business builds business, and people who have bought from you already are easier to sell than new customers. Put this group on your regular list to get thank yous, special offers, invitations, and sneak peeks at what’s new.
Follow up your newsletters. Yes, really! If you can see that a reader clicked on your link, but you didn’t hear from them, you know they had enough interest to open, read and react to your message. Don’t let these potential sales fall through the cracks. Don’t spam your contacts, but keep a “hot list” of email recipients to approach with invitations and special offers.
Follow up when you have been out of touch for a while. Even if you think a contact has gotten cold, make the effort to rekindle your relationship rather than give up on old customers. If you have a new collection to present, or exciting offer to share, old contacts may become new customers once again.
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