Having a newsletter or email updates is important for any business whether you’re doing craft shows or not. You need a way to keep in touch with your customers so they remember you and all the cool stuff you make.
But today we’re focusing on how newsletters can help you get and keep customers at craft shows.
What’s a newsletter?
First let me clarify what I mean by a newsletter. I don’t mean those flyers you used to get in the mail, although that is a newsletter. What I mean is simply email updates. Someone gives you their email address and says it’s okay for you to email them. Then you send them updates.
The email updates you send do not have to be big newsletters full of different articles and information. In fact, it’s probably better if they’re not that because then you can send them a focused email that’s just about one thing.
So for example, say you have a craft show coming up in a week. You can send out an email specifically about that craft show. You can show your subscribers some new things you’ll have at the craft show that they may be interested in purchasing. You can give them some information about how to get to the show and where your booth will be. But the entire email is just about that one show.
You can, of course, choose how often you’ll send out newsletters. You want to send them enough that people don’t forget about you, but not so much that they’re annoyed by you. Most importantly, you should send them exactly how often you say. So if you’re doing a monthly newsletter, make sure you send it monthly. If you’re doing a weekly newsletter, send it weekly. Once every two weeks might be perfect. Just make sure to be consistent.
To comply with laws, you need to use an email newsletter provider, such as Mailchimp (what I use) or others. Do not send mass emails through your email account. It’s not allowed and it’s considered spam. The email newsletter provider takes care of making sure you do all that legal stuff that needs to be done like having a unsubscribe button.
6 Tips for Using Newsletters at Craft Shows
1. If it is your first craft show you probably don’t have any customers besides your friends or family yet. Interested folks will come into your booth. They may buy that day or they may not for a number of reasons. (I touched on this a little last week.)
If you have a newsletter, you can ask them to sign up on a form with their name and email address. Then you can add them to your newsletter list and send them reminders of upcoming craft shows and what you sell so they remember you and come find you at your next show.
Some people will just sign up automatically when they see it. You can nicely ask other people who seem interested to sign up. If they’re looking a lot and don’t purchase you can ask them to sign up or you can mention it as you’re ringing up the order of people who do purchase.
2. Let your customers know when and where your next craft show will be. I mentioned this above, but you can tell them about the show, if there’s something unique about it, special entertainment, where it is, the hours, where your booth will be in the show (if you know), how to get there if it’s not easy and what else they can expect.
Is it a festival with special music or entertainment? Will there be children’s activities? Is it for a special cause? Is it a beautiful location?
3. Show your customers your new stuff. If you have new products send them photos of them to entice them to come to your next craft show. Even if you don’t have anything new, you can send photos that will remind them of what you sell and why it’s so great and how it works.
4. You might want to give your schedule for the next month or so of craft shows so they can mark their calendars.
5. If there’s something interesting or unique about a craft show you’re doing, give them a “survival guide” or a “must see guide.” Maybe something like this blog post I did for a huge craft show in my hometown. Maybe a list of things they “must see” in the town you’re doing the craft show in. Be creative and brainstorm some ideas.
6. You could offer a discount coupon for a percentage off your booth in your newsletter to entice them to come to the craft show. I would only give that coupon to people who are actually on your newsletter. You could make up a cute coupon they could print and bring or a secret phrase they could say to get the discount.
(I don’t typically recommend discounts. However, since these are people who have already signed up for your newsletter you can reward them for their loyalty.)
I hope I have convinced you to create a newsletter! To actually collect the names and emails I simply created a form with a table with a spot for their name and for their email address.
And speaking of newsletters, you can sign up for my Craft Show Tips newsletter here. (You get a packing list for your craft show for signing up!)
Are you ready for craft shows? Preparation is key to being successful!
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