I would also like more info on this. I did begin an account with Mailing Chimp a while back but got too confused by it so I don't use it as it was too difficult to set up lol. I know others here use Mail Chimp, maybe they could help?
Any other programs I'd love to know about too. Looking forward to the replies to this post.
Well it does depend on how many people you have on your list. I use Constant Contact which is a mailing list service for which you pay monthly and each time you send out an email to the list it giveyou info about who opens the email...who follows any links etc. You can also have an automatic sign up button on your website/blog so people can sign up/leave without contacting you.
A simple way of having a list is to create a group on your email ( I use Outlook) when you send an email you write your email and put your own name in the 'TO' box , then add the group names to the BCC box and press send. The email will then get sent but the recipients won't be able to see who else is on the list. The only issue with this method is that once you get a lot of names in your email group it can take ages for everyone to get the email...at that point you need to think about a mailing service such as the one I use..I believe there are better ones out there but I am all set up on Constant Contact and can't be bothered to move!!
Hope that helps!
I use Vertical Response http://www.verticalresponse.com/
No monthly fees, you just pay by how many emails you send out. I've had great service and they do give you all the statistics on your mailings. I particularly like that they tell you when an email bounces or does not go through for some other reason. It's important to keep your list clean and up to date. You don't want to annoy customers by sending emails to people who haven't asked to be contacted.
A mailing list is work. No way around it. I have a sign-up on my website. Once a week I enter these into my Vertical Response list. The website message comes directly to me. This way I can respond to the person, then I put them both into my Cat Gazette list and into my personal address book. I also keep a pad by my computer for customers who ask me to include them in mailings. Once a week I enter these into my Vertical Response list. I like to keep two lists, one on Vertical Response and my own personal copy. Be careful that you work with a reputable email service that does NOT share your list! If you have a list over 100 people you are pretty much forced to use a service. My email provider will cut me off for spamming if I send over 50 emails and it's very difficult to explain that I am sending to a cleared mailing list.
KJ Lyons Design
I use Mail Chimp. It is free, they handle everything. The sign up form you design and they give you the code to add to your website. When someone fills it out they send them a confirmation email. I use their templates to send mailings to the list. They do also have statics to see how many are opened, bouncing, etc. I am not very good with a lot of computer stuff. It did take a little time for me to learn, but I am happy with them.
oh yes, i am looking for something free of charge, will look up the details from the Mail Chimp. Thanks Joanne.
and as i am a new artist, actually my list is very short, and a bit slow in selling out bears, so i wish i can invest time rather than money there.
you are right, Karen, sometimes, i don't want to 'annoy' if those customers don't want to do. i think it's better to leave a place to sign up for further contact on newsletter or update.
thanks for reminding me about the privacy if i use email for contact with the customers, Jenny, and can you tell me what's BCC box?
wish we can figure this out Gabriele, i' m absolutely technically handicapped i appreciate all your suggestions.
When you look at your email page you will see the 'to' section..underneath that a box that says Cc ( carbon copy) and then one which is marked Bcc( Blind carbon copy) if you put the names in the CC box your recipients will see the other names on the list...but not if you use the BCC one. You just send the message to yourself and add all the mailing list names to the Bcc box.
A lot of people use a giveaway to build up their mailing list - maybe it's something you could consider? Don't loose heart, your bears are wonderful! I for one would buy if I wasn't so poor these days :lol:
This is a good suggestion, but you have to be careful here I think. If you giveaway a bear on your blog or somewhere and you tell people they have to join the mailing list, do you end up with a bunch of people who really join only because they want a chance to win a bear? I think maybe.
The first blog giveaway I did I asked people to add it to there blogs for an extra chance. I ended up with a large blog following, but I think many of those people just wanted the giveaway. I had people telling me that they were hoping to win the bear for someones baby. Obviously those people did not know artist bears. They are not really the followers I want.
Now when I do a giveaway I don't ask anyone to advertise it. I get a lot less comments, but I know that the people that are commenting are the people that are actually following the blog.
I think a mailing list is the most important thing you can do to sell your bears. I have mine added to my blog, and to my website, and I used to have it on FB before they rearranged everything. I get people to the blog by posting fairly often. And having the blog linked to other sites.
Susana I would ask people to join your mailing list from FB. Direct them to your website or blog to sign up.
blog giveaway... um i have think of this idea before, but there is a question come over my mind, are they really a regular reader over my blog and do they like what i make? i care all visitors over my blog, it's a mutual act and benefit if one can share their thoughts.
in the meantime, i think there are some special need in the world for care, which is a donation or making for a charity bear. so, i joined this kind of act recently for the victim in natural disaster and the people who suffer from cancer. This is my responsibility.
i was inspired from an australian artist when i read her website few years ago, so i wish website and blog are a platform to remind us the aim of " giving".
Joanne, i am so appreciate your thoughts and suggestions, that's terrific. I will have my website updated in November, so please wait for me until i finished those stuff.