Case Study #2: Ann Wood
You're going to go to the web for a minute and we're going toe look at and woods email newsletter so I wanted to make sure included some other email newsletters for you guys see and is like me she's somebody who makes things at a fabric she makes a lot of self sculpture. She does. I first met her because she makes up sculpture birds and I was speaking sox call pure birds so that's, how we first connected and she's featured in my first book, the artful bird. Um, and then we've just sort of become friends over time. She's been on my podcast and she's somebody who has a very distinctive aesthetic. Um and is there a sought after she works with anthropology? She works with four to nishi, works with quite a few sort of big companies and is now branching out to selling patterns as well. So she for a long time didn't sell patterns. It is now selling pdf patterns toso her business is sort of change. He's, also doing a lot of teaching, has recently got into teaching. Um so she's a person who's n...
ewsletter I subscribe to for years. For many, many years it was r s teo email and she would update her blawg and then the whole block post would come to you as an email um and she thought I spoke with her for this class we had a nice interview and she told me you know that she really thought that that was like the sweetest deal ever that she could do are assessed email for a long time she thought it was fantastic because she would sort of put the effort in one thing it would go to both places and so that's what she had for a really long time on dh then she sort of changed her mind when she started selling pdf patterns and had this what she called a scaleable product where she could sell so many of them versus making one of a kind stuff sculpture which was a little bit harder to scale and so she should recently changed her email strategy it's been about eight months so she took that are ss group and started tio compose a real news letter and send it to them. Ok, so here is her newsletter you see at the top studio notes from an would so like me she doesn't use a date she's putting a little something there and then she has that's her logo she's got a kind of a gothic style that's her logo and then she starts with a little letter I have a lot of stuff in the bottom of it always ends up to find any scheme I come up with to corral it so he's talking about marie condos book the life to changing magic of tidying up which is really popular right now and how she's trying to use it um and then she links at the bottom I don't know yet but I'm interested in trying something radically different there's more about it in this week's big creative year post so she's linking over to one of her block post onward okay, so I always say wishing you a creative and productive day she always says onward kim worker also always says onward and then an lower case no signature just again and then below it her ps um about her sister okay then she has a dotted line here and she has this is how she does her latest blawg posts so she has to block posts here from this past week side by side with a single image on my work table and then dr top keep reading and my big creative year which is sort of related to what was above dr dot keep reading okay and then below that this is she's doing a sketch book project where she's doing a sketch book page each day all year so you can click here and see the last sketch book updates that she's done I thought you might like okay, this is her recommendation she just a single recommendation so it doesn't have to be so overwhelming where you're doing twenty recommendations she feels that if you like her aesthetic which like I said is the sort of gothic aesthetic than you also might like this artist's michelle holmes um and you can see what her artwork looks like so not being afraid to link to another artist right? I think there would be some people who would say, well, why would I send it over there? But it's helping people doesn't mean they're not going to support you just because they're supporting someone else was well, um okay, I'm going below here and we have make something so these air links to two of her patterns and got more than two patterns she's got maybe five now something like that maybe more so is adding more she's just chosen to here so if you were to click on the lam it takes you to that land pattern and same thing with this little whale um and then below would you like to share this email with a friend click here her social media links and unsubscribe and if you look at it on the actual version it has her a mailing address too so you can see it's all white and black you know it's very simple that same vertical format which I think is nice although here we have side by side um and, you know meets with got her branding here we have her name and would hand made we know what it is that studio notes from and we don't have the subject line for this on here but this kind of gives you a sense of somebody else's update you know how long would it take you to put something like that together? You know so she's writing two paragraphs here um copying blanks and photos here on the first part of a block post photo again finding this you know, finding the link to share and then two photos again eh? It's not that's not a super time intensive thing I mean on our maybe you guys think like an hour it's not going to take three hours to make that especially it might take three hours week one or week too, but week ten when you know you've got to keep in your mind I gotta share an artist this week so you kind of have like a pinterest secret pinterest board of all your artists that you're keeping you know e I didn't ask for that but that is a good question yeah, I would recommend contacting the artists and I actually think the artist might be psyched in one to say something on their block or something like welcome and would subscribers you know so because she's got a great following so that would be a first for you yeah yeah she's makes beautiful work so I wanted to share some things that and told me what about what happened when she shifted from are assessed email to doing this uh actual newsletter? Okay, she said, and these air quotes from my talk with her prior to coming here so she said feeling like it's a conversation and less like I'm broadcasting makes it more comfortable and it's so much much, much more effective so she said that prior to doing this real newsletter she would sometimes sent out an extra like actual sort of sales in newsletters that are assess group and she would feel really bad like she would feel really guilty always feel guilty um and because it felt like broadcasting it just felt like bye bye bye bye bye and it would make her feel bad but now that she's got a little a letter and a recommendation and it feels like a conversation and she sends this every week on thursdays um it feels better. I asked her a little bit about some time so she sends on thursdays mainly because she updates the block on monday and it felt like enough time had come pie that by thursday she could spend time at the computer make king it she doesn't have an actual time of day she feels like it should be after the morning rush of e mails on before nighttime, but she tried to send it out before lunch time but sometimes he's still working at on it at one and it's not out yet she's aiming to have it more a regular time but is not there yet but it does always come on thursdays on dh she said one week she was working on a massive order for a client and just didn't do it she didn't do the newsletter like she was up all night and she just couldn't do it and get into it and the next week she didn't apologize for it or anything else you just started right back up where she left often cap calling and I think that that is reasonable you can go on vacation okay you get sick you know stuff happens don't apologize the same thing I always say about block post no need to say like so sorry I haven't updated in a long time just jump right back in where you left off most people are too busy to notice it didn't come and just keep on going so that happened okay um so see what else she says people engage much more with my newsletter than they did with my rsst email the difference was immediate and remarkable andi I think that that's really important to think about and you could see the difference I mean if you if you this and what's blogged you'll see what a typical block post looks like and it's all you got was just that log post versus getting this newsletter it really does make it their friends and then she said a newsletter makes my followers feel respected and connected like I think you and I might be the same I thought that was really lovely, you know, um and it's a really good approach I don't think it's an approach that like the pottery barn email it's not like I think you and I are going to know that you know it's not and that's the difference here, ray, we're not this is not corporate america. This is you and you are crossed in our business. Um and you can have that feeling of like I really like this artist. I thought this article was important and interesting. I want to show you you know what? I'm up teo and I think you might like it too. He is you and I are the same and that's that sense of belonging and reciprocity and relationship building that's coming from the us. Um so, you know, I think that's really important, okay? And she has one more thing that she says, um whenever I put in the product links section so that was the lamb and the whale the day I send the newsletter out, people buy them it's like magic and, you know, I think that that's also super important, so there was that sales spike every time you send it out and I think you know, there's, a lot of people who have a nazi shopping at sea is sort of you're only place where you're selling things it's really easy to sort of complain about at see and feel angry that then that they've changed their policies, or even about facebook to and spend a lot of energy, like on the ex reforms, picking about complaining about these aspects of that you are sort of commiserating with people on facebook about how they're not letting all of your followers to your posts and sort of all of us have anything if you can channel that energy that you're spending worrying about in complaining about how these other platforms, these other businesses, frankly, are taking away your business channel, that energy, and to building your business with your followers, I really feel like it's just misplaced, you know you can't control what facebook and see their other businesses you can't control other business these are doing, but you can completely control your own business, especially if you're the only person in its right that's the great thing, like you're the bus, you have one hundred percent control, there is nobody else limiting what can happen here and with an email list that is, you know, faster bust bad for sure, so yeah, s oh, that's a little bit about and wood let's, do some q and a if you don't mind, so this one was from you have genia watts, who said, what are your thoughts on having groups or segments with in your life? That's a good question, so when you have email software, another thing that allows you to do a segment, your list, which means that you can, when people sign up, they can check off from boxes that you provide indicate their interests. So there may be people on your list who are very interested in finished products that they only want to buy your art, your finish art and other people who want to buy instructions to make that art. And those are two different audiences all out of times, right there is the maker's and then there's the collectors, and they're not necessarily the same people that die. Why versus the collector? Or they're people who are interested in embroidery, and you offer embroidery patterns, but also sewing patterns and quoting patterns, so there may be people interested in those different things, or in my case, I have business, the business products, and I have, uh, handmade kind of products, so there are ways to do that where you can segment, and what ends up happening in male chimp is that your list gets divided into pieces on that way, you can just send a particular target and message to the one group of people. So the people who only want to collect your art, you can send just them a message is says, you know, I have new art available on dh that doesn't go out to the people who want to buy patterns who aren't going to spend three hundred dollars on an original piece of art, but would spend seven dollars on a sewing pattern so it allows you to do that. And I think it's super nifty, it does require that you collect extra information at the start. So you know, it's an extra step for people, they have to check off the box that says they want information on this, this and this and not on that or whatever. I don't have it set up for my list. All I collect from my list right now, and I'm not saying this is the wisest thing to do, but this is just how it started is I just collect a first name, their email address and that's all that's all I think I might have their last name is well but that's all I have first and last name and email address, and so I sent out one message that goes to everybody. You know, you can also do need things like you can ask them to send to input their birthday, and if they input, you know, not that year, but just ten months on the day, then you can send them a birthday. A message like starbucks does where they send you after anthropology, just seventy one in august was my birthday's in august, and they send you a discount code for the month or even for the day of your birthday, which was nice and that's part of the male fell four gives you that ability, but it gave requires people to input a little bit of extra information, so there's like a little extra stuff, I think most people would do it on, and it gives you a lot of power and control over what's happening with your list, there are waste off to segment it by customers like people have actually bought something versus people who have been it's complicated there's a lot there that I haven't I honestly explored but cool, like need to try, yeah, absolutely. And if people are wondering the actual, like how you do that definitely recommend that you would go and check out some of the tutorials for all of these sort of how to questions with regard to whether it's, male, trump or whatever software it is that you're using definitely used those resource is yeah, because experts on their side so when I need to learn how to do something on male chimp I watch their videos they have a wonderful little tiny video so like a minute long and they'll just show you click on this click on this and I stop it and then I clicked and I stopped and I click and that's how I learned how to set almost everything in there up you have to learn the lingo and learn how it works and they have I mean, I would never try to pretend toe replicate their mean they know their software way better than anybody else, so I would definitely go in there and read their two toils and watch their little videos great, I have another question that is from someone watching who says we build custom hardware furniture and our products cost thousands of dollars and customers generally would never buy more than once per year. This makes me feel that once a month even is the max that I could send. Do you think that it's still able to send something more than once a month for a product that has somebody by so infrequently? What are your reactions that somebody has a product it's really expensive like that it's really about the relationship with that? It doesn't really matter how often they buy yeah, and I think when a product is that expensive they need time yeah there's a really cool furniture builder here that builds furniture from parts of the golden gate bridge on there like thousands of dollars but I get their newsletter and it's really amazing to exceed the behind the scenes and they talk about different stories around san francisco like the history of the city and I feel like I have a relationship with a company I cannot afford there we're unfortunately but I love getting their newsletter and how often does it come? I think every two weeks so that's a great example so I think what I would suggest to him are all of those things that it's going to take time it's about the relationship and that there are other people who are making really expensive things that are hand crafted and um customer is going to need a long time to make that decision to buy subscribe to their newsletters especially uh this one to remember the name of it by chance or not maybe e so I'm guessing tio probably has a friend tio or other people who are sort of in the similar field to subscribe to those newsletters and be like ok here's somebody who's got something that you know minute effort the lowest cost item is two thousand dollars what are they sending you know every week and you know, doing that market researchers were going to be really important there but I definitely think uh twice a month maybe would be a good I get him out and another question on on frequency and then we can go to something in the audience what is too frequent is two times a week three times a week is that getting to frequent good question to you what do you guys think? Yeah that's way too much two times week too much like you were saying with your black friday sale right on the an extra so I subscribe to the hawthorne thread email newsletter so they're online fabric shop and they were recently on my podcast is she sends twice a week your wife wants weak but there's so many new lines that come in that you can't feature them all in this in one or I'll be too long she doesn't twice a week and at the end of every newsletter is a contest her husband is a web developer helpful to he's also her business partner so he has set this up but basically what happens is you put your name in tend to the contest and then they draw a winner from that particular newsletters pool of names and they give them like a fat quarter bundle or you know some free fabric than next newsletter they announced the winner in the next letter and then they have another contest so it's like ongoing she always want to open it to see if you want I don't to enter again and so my dad is they have a pretty high open raid and so you know, people like to look at pretty fabric she shows it in projects and she said, you know, shows the new prince and she shows them in projects and so she does do it twice a month granted she also thirty employees and so she has people who help, you know, she's not right in the whole newsletter herself she loves her at the news that our this is lindsay present who owns hopper that she told me she loves to write the newsletter and she does really enjoy doing it, but she does have people who helped tio s o twice you know, theway I couldn't I couldn't swing it and I'll honestly like I've been swinging what I do now, I could not swing it, but I think for that business it does work. Um so yeah, that's great, yeah, thank you and I will follow up question from patsy evans with regard tio separating out state and segmenting he asked, did you say you write separate newsletter for each segment per week? Or do you? I don't know any of that, but your son could yeah, I don't know, I honestly haven't I don't have firsthand experience with it, so I can't say for sure exactly what I would tio, um you know, I also think it's about how much time you have to spend, I think when you have your list segments, it like that you're spreading yourself thin it's almost like having two blog's or two websites it's really hard or even if any of you have tried having to instagram accounts like a personal one in a business one, it is really it's too much thank you. It is really hard, you might think at first, like this is going to make perfect sense. I'm going separate out this and this and that way they won't be confusing. And andi like knowing myself, I know I can't do a good job doing both, and I just won't it won't they won't work. So, um, you know, it's okay to say to yourself, that's a future goal, you know, it would be nice to have that later, and I don't have it now because I don't have time and I don't have staff and I don't have help, so, you know, when I can hire va or whatever, that person can do it, but I can't do it myself and that's, okay? Like I think the biggest part of this is to get it done, it's not to get it done in like the almost complete, optimal perfect situation. But to get it done in a way that your style that's sustainable that works that feels good that's fun people like getting that build your business and is like small enough that you can keep going and handle it, you know they not get so overwhelmed by all these features. We've played too many. Yeah, I learned yesterday that I I would like to and need to not only increase my prices but increased my wholesale customers. Um, is it customary to have a newsletter that just goes to your wholesaler stand versus your retail customers and are your wholesalers even or retailers that are you're also are they expecting that it is an industry standard or so? In my experience, I don't know what industry senate is, but I think yes, I think you do. If you're going to do wholesale and retail, I do think you need a separate email for your whole sellers. I subscribe to gen beeman from green line studio she has two newsletter she has a newsletter for her retail customers she sells sewing patterns and she also has a wholesale newsletter and I have I'm on both lists because I'm not a wholesaler, but I like to see what people do so on both lists andi, you're the shops, these air, you know, quilt shop, sewing shops, you know, shops like that yeah, I why? I kind of handmade shops all over the country all over the world. Really? Who are buying patterns from her print pattern from her wholesale and then sewing up a sample, putting it on display and selling the patterns so that customer is a really different customer from ah, home soloist who wants to make a dress that's just a really different thing. And I think it's so different in that situation that you do need to segment and have two different lists. So for the wholesale one, you know, you can you give basically giving them ideas samples that they could so fabrics that they could sew it up with shop displays, like how it could look on display, you give a little bit of back story about each one, so they have something to share with the customer who comes in a story to tell about it. They know about it about the inspiration behind it they know about you is a designer. You can show such shop windows, that kind of thing so that they have basically you're giving arming them with the tools they need to sell your product, you know, and shop owners really appreciate that and that's going to be a much smaller list. I mean, maybe you have one hundred shops all together, two hundred shops all together that are selling versus the retail customer, where you might. I mean, she has a huge following. She might have ten thousand people on the retail list, and so that one is going to have completely different things in it. You know what fabric to buy tutorials says they might be a little bit of class over, and you might go toe reuse some of it. But, uh, that's, a super different customer, for sure. That's. A great question. Yeah, have a separate wholesale list.