Friday, March 20, 2009

The Art of Pin Point Marketing

I have written a few posts on the subject but needed to actually see the results of this technique before I fully understood why it is a true art in itself.
I know when you think of art the first thing that pops in mind is some sort of unique painting or original sculpture. But art is defined as superior skill that you can learn by study, practice and observation.

To be ahead of your competition and win over the sales you may have lost by not being superior in your skill makes all the difference between a successful and failing business.

Now lets jump right into the nitty gritty of this topic.

Great example of “miss-advertising”:

A few months ago Timothy from TimothyAdamDesigns put out an offer to all his exclusive blog readers. (If you are unsure of who Timothy is, he is a “household” name around etsy with a reputation of being a great source for elaborate information on how to improve your etsy shop with practical techniques such as how to improve your photos and much more.)

Knowing his blog has over 1,000 readers and is nearing 20,000 site visits I thought, "How could I pass up a free advertising opportunity." So for the next week during the open contest time I worked so hard promoting…promoting…promoting!
In the end, my hard work paid off and I won second place landing a free month long add space on his blog. On top of that and the start of HandmadeOlogy Timothy offered me a $40 one month add space on his new, highly anticipated website. He quoted me the numbers expected to visit his website and they were staggering.
Again I though, $40 is hardly anything to pay for the amount of folks that will be seeing my ad and stop by my shop. I paid the $40 and couldn’t wait to see what happened. Was I surprised when I had about 2 extra sales during that month. Not really. In everything I have read about business and marketing I should not have received a sale but I tricked myself at the thought of all those people seeing me.
Yes, my views did go way up. But views are not sales. To no surprise I learned firsthand they weren’t my customers. Most of the folks that visit his blog and website are other possible struggling business owners looking to make either a start for themselves or improve a bit of what they have or need to improve to bring sales in.

My market is mostly brides.
Although my personal style for invitations and other wedding related paper accessories tends to be a bit more modern, I do my best to have lots of different samples to appeal to brides with different tastes. Now that I have a good understanding of who they are now what? How do I draw them in and land the sales I need to succeed?

Great Example of “Perfect” Advertising

I was invited to attend a bridal show on the 1st of this month. The fee for 1 table for 4 hours was $300. Gasp! $300 is a hefty amount to come from my business funds never mind for only 4 hours.
I talked it over extensively with my husband and the point was I had to take the risk since every bride to be I would encounter that day (150 pre-registered) could potentially be a customer. With my husband’s blessing I gave it a shot. I dropped my master card on the $300 and didn’t think about it again. From that moment on my focus was on being as unique and “remember- able” as possible to earn as many sales as my little hands could handle.
The day turned out to be a bit less than desirable(story here) due to the weather but I had to trust the tried and true “marketing” approach. After many shivering conversations with brides, handing out many business “post cards” (tip: they are 4 x 8 and don’t get lost among other business cards) and 32 entries for a drawing I had for $$ of their order, 3 weeks later I have 4 orders that more than pay for the vending expense.

Now to Narrow

With the leads list I received for participating in the show I now have contact information for over 150 brides. I have the opportunity to contact them as much as I want.
Hating “junk” mail myself I have been as practical and as conservative as possible about sending them information.
I started a monthly newsletter through vertical response, which sends me reports with percentages of who opened and clicked to narrow down the “truly” interested out of the 150 brides I emailed.
Out of those 150 there are about 30 seriously interested brides in having me complete their wedding invitations suites. Yesterday I spent the afternoon designing post cards through vista print to mail out to these 30 gals a “special offer” to hopefully seal the deal in their mind by receiving a fantastic deal that my completion, hopefully, can’t compete with.

Although I spend a great deal of time and energy in learning and testing the market in order to have a successful business; I spend just as much energy on leaving my customers more than satisfied! Literally I go above and beyond what any customer would ever expect. That is another secret of success to be shared at a later date so keep your eyes out.
As always- I love to hear your thoughts


Adorebynat said...

Excellent point! I've been featured/ mentioned a number of times, even on spotlight, gift guides, Tim's top ten, etc. I was hearted but sales doesn't pick up. You're right, the audience is those who are struggling like me. I should focus more on my target market. Adore By Nat - Handmade Greeting Cards

Meekiyu said...

wow excellent post... I think this goes for craftcult too since it's mostly fellow sellers seeing those ads. I'm not sure who my target audience in but it seems to be young women from early 20's to early 30's and more surprising newly weds. But I'm glad the investment in the bride show paid off. I wish you the super duper best of luck! =D

Debbie said...

Great post with helpful information. Thanks for sharing your experiences said...

Sarha...wonderful information and helpful starting points.
CreationsAnew Photography & Design

cindy said...

Sarah, great post! Thanks for experimenting for "us all" and sharing your techniques with us fellow business owners. Like someone else shared, I'm having difficulty finding my target market. As a jewelry designer, I don't think I've really found my niche yet, but in time, with learning, and patience, I believe it will all come together.