When to Reach Retailers
Figuring out the best time to reach out can be a little bit tricky in terms of the content that you're pushing out. So, you know, again, it all drives back to what we talked about with julie adding value, making the buyers life easier so you never, ever want to reach out, just tow check in or to see how they're doing, you know, nobody has time for that. I mean, think about when people pitch you where they call you and try to sell you something. Yeah, I'm checking and won't I'm sorry, I don't have time for that s o, you're focused really needs to be on adding value and think of what information they need to buy. So we talked about this a little bit in the beginner's guide to a wholesale about the types of things to reach out and what kind of information is important to them and but good times to reach out. So an initial introductions the obvious choice that's the first time you wanted to that's your first touch point if you're releasing new products which you're hopefully doing on a reg...
ular basis now that's a really great time to reach out to promotions, special events, trade shows or anything else coming up if you're working on any special collaborations. Lately, at least, you know, if you're working with a special artist or if you're working with somebody that creates a different type of product and you guys are collaborating to create something new or exclusive, you know, share that news is pretty cool, and they probably want the retailers probably want to be a part of it, so, you know, let them know about that, and then behind the scenes info, you know, if you're moving or you're bringing on new team members or, you know, you started manufacturing new products by hand or, you know, you have new pieces like share that news with them, they're going to be interested, so you want to carefully plan your outreach that it doesn't conflict with industry events and busy times again, we talked about this with julie a little bit that you want to kind of beat the rush of the spend, so if there are industry events or trade shows coming up, you want to try to send things out, you know, three to four weeks prior to the show so that you're not getting caught in the shuffle and you're also not reaching them too late where they've already spent their money. So you want to be strategic in when you contact these stores? Yes for you about timing in terms of e mails and snail mail. I was wondering if you had you had a strategy in terms of what days of the week to send email or what does the week your snail mail should arrive in somebody's desk like I've been told, for instance, if you're trying to reach out to an agent or sales rep or something or retailer, for instance, that it's good to have something reached their desk or their email inbox tuesday or wednesday afternoon because monday, like people are just getting back to work and in dated friday, they're trying to get out of work and they don't want to deal with stuff. And then another person told me like tuesday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday afternoons are good and sometimes the weekends of it's the winter and people are going out a lot in the winter. So I was wondering if you had any feedback about that, I think everyone needs experiment on their own see when and you can do that through e blast to see kind of the statistics of open rates, and some of the email systems will provide you with analytics as to you know, most people opened it at this time or this day, but generally speaking, my rule of thumb is always that I send things to say through thursday for the exact reasons you mentioned monday's everyone's bogged down there trying to get back into the work flow on friday, you know, everyone's heading out on vacation or weekend or you know, they're just still trying to get caught up from everything so that middle of the week is typically best I personally, I prefer to send my e mails first thing in the morning, I do recognize that that, you know, then my e mails included in all the things that came in overnight with other things, but I've found that that's when my audience well open my emails more, they're more receptive to it there's been a lot of talk about that same timing regarding social media post in particular instagram and stuff like that and for that and for instagram, there's a few good tools, just like you could use male chimp to kind of refine and hone in on what type? What time? The emails are best open. Red ikonos square is a really great resource for instagram, for example, on there's a few others popping up, but they'll give you some statistics and analytics of when people are liking your images when there commenting and just when you're heist engagement period is so there are some resources out there that can help you determine those things, but it is going to very for everybody on dh, so I think you need to look at your own personal analytics and kind of dig a little deeper too. See what works was interesting for our facebook page you have a small theater company and our facebook page I didn't realize like but they have facebook I learned it was located creative live actually that facebook will but you know when like what days and times of the day that your most visitors come and that's what we when we've been trying to post and I've actually seen, at least on the social side, that my engagement on twitter is very different than my engagement on instagram is very different than my engagement on facebook, so it makes it a little more complicated time all these things out, but and it doesn't make it that you have to have the strategy for all these different avenues that are different, but um, yeah, I think some of that depends regarding the snail mail of best time to send I think that revolves more around the buying cycles of knowing your industry standards of when these buyers are buying. So again, not sending things in the middle of showtime or, you know, if don't send it in december when they're like in the throes of their holiday, you know, sales season, they're not going to see it, so trying to be strategic around they're buying cycles, and when they have the funds to really do, their purchasing is going to be the most advantageous to you a few questions online if you don't mind a gypsy esque you wanted to ask. I know you stressed how important printed catalogs are but for makers on a smaller budget would retailers be receptive to receive a mailer with samples like the example you showed and a link to an online catalog absolutely absolutely that's a great way to go if you don't have a big budget to produce these catalogs, just make sure that your online catalog is constantly up to date as you had new releases you're updating it on dh still you want to have a professional appearance in your online catalogues so just make sure that that digital version looks great includes the photos and all the other details that we talked about during the creating effective catalog course. It was an interesting question smurfy wanted to know for direct mail would sending a dvd be totally dated or good to do as it is less popular than before could be cheaper than setting a catalog let's tio I even have a cd drive I recently received a cd that I needed to listen to and it was took three days to make her out and listen tio no I I think there was a lot of people a few years back at trade shows there was ah a smattering of people that started putting their catalogs on flash drives and they had these really pretty designed flash drive you know, had their you're on stuff on him which I have to imagine probably was a similar cost to producing a printed catalog to get those purchased and loaded however, you know it was different it was more about providing something that was a little more stand out it was compact people could so if you were going to go more of a digital route, I'd probably encourage you to do some sort of usb drive rather than a cd because as karen mentioned, not everybody has those drives on their computers anymore but uh, you know, instead of that I would do a postcard with eu earl to digital catalog. I think it'll be more cost effective and still provide the same results that sending some digital media would have do you have a question and if you do a link you can track how many times it's been open great will never even know what happened to your cd that's a great point and to another tip on that to take it even further you could you know if you put your issue, link or whatever but you could also make a move betley link that is specific to that one mailer so that you could see what what that true are oh, I was so basically the retailers would receive this postcard in the mail it would have this specific betley link bot dot l y dot com are billy dot com dot com you can go on and create a custom you earl and so it will be specific to that mailer and so then it'll show you how many people click through and and sign so great idea does somebody else have a question audience I have no one does I do have one more question from the online audience let's see, they ask do you have to request permission to ad buyers to your mailing list the way you do for a newsletter and this is coming from tiny it son dropped jewelry if you're adding them to easy blasting is that are like through mail chamber something like that? Yes you absolutely are supposed teo you know ask their permission and get that opt in your mailing list is when I talk about a mailing list I view it as a separate document than your male chimp or you're you ever your email mailing list because I view it as like the over urging place where you can't it's all your contact management and that mailing list is going to be used for snail mail as well as email and all these other things so I still have to sink my mailing list with my email list of times but no you're overt e mailing list if you've reached out to a contact if you met them a trade shows and you've collected those business cards is it zzyzx expect that you're going to start sending them some of that email? So okay, all right, um, so, again, you're marketing goals here are to build great relationships with you're retailers, you really wantto focus on adding value? I feel like it constantly repeating that. But it's that's always, whenever you start thinking about should I sent him e blast? Should he send a personalized email? Should I put together a package? You really want to ask yourself? How is is going to add value? How is this going to help them? And how is it hopefully going to add to my sales? Okay, so we're finding your message. One of the biggest hurdles that I hear from my clients is that they aren't sure what to say, what to put into this mailer or to this email. They're concerned about sounding sales, the they don't want to be pushy. I know some of you had a lot of great questions for julie about how much is too much, you know, how often should I contact and all that? So I do want to reiterate that like you need to be reaching out? Um you can't you can't not reach out. You have to reach out to these stores if you want to get the sales, so don't you have to kind of get over that mental hurdle, that mental battle of feeling, pushy, sales and bothersome and instead turning around and think of it from the fact of if they don't know about my product, they're not going to buy it. If they don't know what I'm selling, and they can't see what I'm selling, they're not going to buy it, and nobody else is going to go out and do this job for me, so I need to do it for myself. So I want you to kind of turn your thinking around this and not put it internally on. You've like the insecurities we all might feel, because we all feel them, especially when we're starting out, it's nerve racking, to put yourself out there and to not know whether or not the response. It's going to be positive or not to turn it around and think I have this great product to sell and nobody's going to buy it if they don't know about it. So that's, why I need to tell them so think about things from a retailer's point of view, we've talked about this through the other courses a cz well, you know, when you're tailing your message, think about the information they need that will make it most helpful for them to buy, so that goes back to cons, certainly having your product descriptions there, julie mentioned the candles, the burn time, the size of the candles, those air hard tactical facts that she needs to know she needs no pricing and all that, although she did make a really good point to you that the email the body of the email doesn't need tio include all of the things that you're also including in your catalog, if there's something that you think really pushes that you have, you know, low, minimal order requirements or if you're shipping things in a quick method, you know those are things to include in the body of your your email or your letter, but anything else you can just kind of put that in your catalog. This should go without saying. But you always want to be professional with your retailers. And this applies to the tone of your e mails as well as engagement on social media as you become closer friends with these people, because you do start working with them on a regular basis, you know, you still need to maintain those professional boundaries. I've heard a lot of stories from retailers who have established personal relationships with designers. And, you know, some. They become personal friends on facebook or, you know, they're interacting on social media. And I think it's, just really important to remember that even though they're your friends, you also have a business relationship. And that social media is very public and people can see these things. So you never want to do anything that's going to embarrass you or the retailer, either.