In getting ready for the holidays most of the focus goes toward having the most awesome booth display, getting plenty of stock ready, and polishing up photos and descriptions. And while that’s all necessary work, as you want to attract as many customers as possible, do you know how to keep those customers coming back?
This holiday season I want you to focus as much on building customer relationships as you do on actually selling. The holidays are a time of great exposure. New customers see you at craft fairs, find you through Etsy and Google searches, or see your product reviewed on a blog or gift guide. So now that you’ve gotten their attention here’s a few things you can do to keep it.
Have business cards or postcards at the ready when you’re doing a fair and throw one or two into every item you ship. Make sure all your contact information is there, email, website, Twitter, Facebook, Etsy shop, etc.
Many of the people who come into your booth won’t buy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like what they see. Give them an easy way to make sure they remember you. If your cards are pretty enough they might even end up on a bulletin board for even more to see.
Collect emails every chance you get. Put a newsletter sign up on your website and have a sign up sheet out at fairs. Let people know what they’re signing up for; updates on shows, discount codes, and first news of new items are all enticing reasons.
Thank You Notes
Sending a personal thank you to every buyer is an unexpected surprise that will make you stick in the customer’s mind. It can be a simple email or note stuck into the package saying thank you or you can offer a discount on a repeat purchase or something they can gift to a friend. Encourage them to sign up for your newsletter in this thank you.
For in person purchases you will need to ask for an email address, so be gracious if people don’t want to give it. A simple, honest request can go a long way though. Try something like, “I like to send thank you notes to all my customers. If you’d like one just put your email address on the receipt.”
Once you have an email list, use it. Send a special note to all of those people that signed up over the holiday season and give them a taste of what’s coming up in the spring or give them a recap of all the great fairs you were at. Then keep sending them news throughout the year. Once a month is about right. They can always opt out if they don’t want to hear from you, but if you provide useful or interesting information they’ll look forward to getting each installment and may even forward it to friends.
This newsletter should also be more professional than a quick note from your gmail account. Try Mail Chimp for a low cost (or even free) option that also looks good.
If you’re regularly reaching out to your fans with interesting and useful news you’ll stay at the top of their mind the next time they want to treat themselves or give a gift.
What special way can you connect with your customers after the purchase has happened?