I don't know about you but my small jewelry business does not have a marketing budget. So I use Instagram as my sole way of organically finding customers and marketing my work. Does this sound familiar? The only problem with this is we do not own our audience on Instagram (or Facebook, or even Etsy!) If something happened tomorrow to your Instagram account, and dare I say: it VANISHED... how would you get in touch with your customers/followers/community? THIS is just one important reason to start your email list and start it today! For the longest time I was hesitant to send emails, I always worried I would be bothering people. “Gosh, Corkie is so annoying emailing me her beautiful jewelry once a week!” (said no one ever.) The truth is there will be people that don’t want to get my emails and that is okay, they are not my “true fans”. A True Fan* (we will call them TFs for short) love your work, and support you no matter what. They will show off the jewelry they bought from you and tell their friends all about you without prompt. Getting our email marketing going will help us develop relationships with our TFs, so let's get to it!
Choose An Email Service
There are many options out there but I want to discuss my personal experience! I have used Mailchimp in the past and I've just switched to Flodesk. What Flodesk is doing for me that Mailchimp was not is they are giving my emails personality (to match my jewelry!) I need that as a maker, but I don’t have time to design everything myself. With Mailchimp I could insert my logo, images and text boxes but it was a little ... boring. This article isn’t meant to be an in-depth comparison of the two services but I wanted to explain what I was missing out on and how Flodesk has become a solution. One thing worth noting is that Mailchimp does provide free email service if you are under 2000 subscribers (which my jewelry list certainly is) BUT Flodesk is only $19 a month unlimited (with my referral link) and if I’m going to convert more jewelry sales because my emails are AWESOME it seems worth it. Below is an example of a recent email I sent with Flodesk.
But Corkie, I Don't Have Time!
I hear you, I am also super busy being a mom, running Metalsmith Society and my jewelry company. I am not exaggerating when I say I can design an email in ten minutes using Flodesk. You can simply duplicate a previous email you sent and then change the pictures, links and content. I recommend creating a few different emails with slightly different, on brand formats and then use them again and again. We can all find ten minutes a week and it's definitely worth it!
Create Your Offer
Often times businesses create an offer to incentivize customers to sign up for their email lists (this is totally up to you!) However if you do plan to offer something, before you start collecting emails be ready with your first email and introductory offer. I think it's best to have an email ready to go, that way after someone signs up they hear from you right away. I've put together a few offer ideas specific to jewelry businesses:
You can offer a discount code on their first purchase. Some marketers don’t like the idea of giving a discount because you train your customer to shop with you only with discounts but bottom line, when you release those new limited edition studs your TFs are going to shop regardless of a discount!
You can offer a code for free shipping or an upgrade to expedited shipping. This could be really effective around holiday shopping especially!
You could offer a gift with purchase. A free polishing cloth is a nice idea (I actually do this anyways with every order but it could be a nice offer.) You could offer another gift such as a tote bag that has your brand on it. The question I’d ask myself is, do I have a really rad logo that someone would love to carry around? The cost of a tote could be less than giving people 15% off (depending on your price points) and more memorable. You could partner with another non-jewelry company (someone whose brand’s values align with your own) to offer their product as a free gift - “Each purchase will arrive with my favorite organic lip balm from <insert awesome brand>”. Perhaps you can work out buying it at a wholesale cost. It will promote both of your brands so it is a win win.
You can give a “first look” to a new collection release. I'm sure there are a few methods to this, but you can share a URL early to your subscribers that is not yet public. Or some people create a password protected page and give their subscribers the secret password. I just make my shop live, email my subscribers and then announce it on Instagram hours later, giving those subscribers a heads up and the first chance to shop.
This is an example of the pop up on my website corkieboltonjewelry.com
Where to get people to sign up
- Linktree in your profile. You can make a form (this form is created in Flodesk or your respective email marketing website) and then link the URL! If you aren't familiar with Linktree they make it so that you can have multiple links in your Instagram profile, pretty nifty!
- Instagram stories. In 2021 Instagram created an update which allows all accounts, regardless of followers to share a link.
- Pop-up on your website. They are effective, and if someone is maybe on the fence about their first purchase and they see you are offering a percentage off or free shipping it might convert the sale!
- In person. At a show you can place a sign-up book out and encourage people to sign up. You could even say "hey, I'm offering 10% off orders when you sign my guest book! I'd love to stay in touch about future collections!"
- Opt-in button when they make a purchase. Shopify for example has the ability to let customers check a box at checkout. If this is an option on your site, take advantage! You could also send a personal, follow up email after a customer makes a purchase and put a call to action button to join your list within that email.
- Post about it on Instagram! This gives you a chance to talk about your introductory offer and how much you would love to grace your follower's inboxes! You can do a call to action in the caption - "hey guys if you are interested in being added, comment below and I'll shoot you a DM!" This gives you a chance to chat with folks and send them a sign-up link.
If you do have 10K followers (congrats!) You can create a sign-up page on Flodesk and then link in a story for people to click and join your list.
What To Do Once You’ve “Got Them” 😂🙏🙌
Once someone clicks that "subscribe" button, I recommend setting up an automation to immediately deliver a welcome message or whatever introductory offer you promised. Flodesk allows you to create what they call a workflow, this is an automation that will not only send your offer to your subscriber but you can also create additional emails and set up a time frame for them to be delivered. For example a week or month after your introductory email, you can send a follow up email where you share a bit about your jewelry making process. Not all of my emails are about selling, I want to develop a relationship, help people identify with what my brand is all about and showcase what makes my work special! When I can get to know my customers a little bit better it brings me a lot of joy!
Building an email list can seem overwhelming but you got this! It takes time, but if you are consistent about reaching out (I recommend minimally sending two emails a month) your customers/followers/community will get in the habit of engaging with your emails and look forward to them! You will now have another way to get in touch about:
- Holiday shipping deadlines.
- New collection releases.
- Sales and subscriber only promos.
- Educating about your materials/packaging/policies.
- Tell your story in more depth.
You can do this with any email marketing provider but I do recommend Flodesk. Full disclosure, I do receive a little something something if you sign up using my referral code but having used them for over two years, I fully stand behind them and you will get locked into a $19 a month rate! Normally it is $38 which is still a steal. That rate is for unlimited emails to unlimited subscribers, wowza. You can also try it out for a month free!