Starting a newsletter with a service like MailChimp or Constant Contact can be a simple and affordable way for craft business owners to keep a dialogue going with their customers and fans.
But a newsletter is only as effective as the number of people it reaches. There are a series of concrete steps you can take to build your newsletter list, including offering a compelling sign up incentive, creating a clear call to action, and featuring extra-special limited-time offers.
Offer a sign up incentive
Most newsletter services enable users to send a custom confirmation email, which businesses can use to offer a special reward as an incentive to sign up. Offering a bonus can be a powerful tool to increase your newsletter sign-ups.
One option is to provide new subscribers with an exclusive coupon code to your online store. This is perhaps the most popular sign-up incentive, and for good reason. Who doesn’t want to save money?
But a coupon code might not be feasible for all businesses, or maybe you want to get a little more creative with your incentive. Fortunately, there’s plenty of other sign-up incentives you can create that don’t include a discount.
Consider the needs of your audience. For example, if you sell patterns, supplies, or kits, your audience is going to be other crafters,an incentive like a downloadable template, a video tutorial, or a free how-to guide would be attractive. If you sell finished jewelry, your audience is probably interested in fashion and a list of styling tips or even a styling video would be interesting to them.
Here’s some examples of sign-up incentives you can offer:
- A template for a beginner crafting project
- Coloring sheets based on your artwork
- An exclusive digital art piece for download and printing
- Downloadable iPhone lock screens or desktop backgrounds
- A step-by-step how-to on getting started in your medium
- A resource guide with links to your favorite products
- A video where you demonstrate a technique
- A list of common mistakes first-time crafters make, and how to avoid them
Write a clear and specific call to action
In order to entice your visitors to actually enter their email address into your sigup box, you’ll need more than just an incentive. A call to action is specific language that tells your visitors what you want them to do. Make it explicit so it’s impossible for them to misunderstand or click away without completing the signup process.
While a call to action could be as simple as writing “sign up for my newsletter,” a more descriptive call to action is going to attract more interest and therefore, more sign ups. Think of your call to action as a pitch for your newsletter. This is your chance to sell potential readers on both your sign-up incentive and your newsletter.
You want to strike the right balance between simple and specific. If your call to action is too dense and wordy, most people won’t read it. You’ll also want to avoid being too impersonal and inorganic. “Sign up now to save 10% in my store” may be concise, but it doesn’t say anything about who you are and what makes your newsletter special. The best calls to action are informative, punchy, and show your unique personality.
It can also be useful to set expectations about how often you’ll be emailing customers in your call to action. This lets people know when they can expect to hear from you.
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Create a sign-up form that pops
Customers can’t sign up for your newsletter if they can’t find it! Make sure you publicize your newsletter sign-up on your social media channels frequently, and place it prominently on your website so it won’t get overlooked. A pop-up when people visit your website is sure to get attention, or consider putting it in the footer of every page so there’s more chances for visitors to see it.
Since you’re keeping your call to action short and sweet, you will want to take advantage of every opportunity to show off your personality in your newsletter sign-up form. Even something as simple as the button users click to submit their email address can show a bit of flair.
Instead of “submit” or “sign up,” try language that calls out a newsletter’s exclusive promotion, highlights your newsletter’s features, or ties back to your call to action.
- Send me 10% off!
- I want the best beading tips!
- Show me the puppy!
Drive sign-ups with limited-time offers
A promotion with an end date can make your customers feel like they have to sign up right now, or risk missing out. For craft business owners who work a lot of events, a limited-time sign-up offer exclusive to the event can be a great way to turn craft show browsers into repeat customers. For example, you could offer anyone who signs up for your newsletter 10% off anything they purchase at your booth that day.
You can get a little more creative and special with a limited-time offer.
Here’s some examples of limited-time incentives you can offer:
- Exclusive access to a one-time live event, like an online class or demonstration
- A higher coupon code or special gift for the next ten people to sign up
- Being entered into an upcoming giveaway
A newsletter can be a great tool for craft business owners to build a relationship with customers and drive up sales, but making the sign-up experience appealing and engaging is especially important. A unique sign-up incentive and a well-written call to action can make your newsletter a must-subscribe.
Sarah James is a freelance writer who has covered creativity, culture, and tech for Creative Bloq, Submittable Content for Creatives, TechRadar, and more. Her debut historical fiction novel, The Woman With Two Shadows, will be released in 2022 from Sourcebooks. Find her online at thesarahjames.com