Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Starting an Email Newsletter

10 26 10 email signup sheetAt the Rocky Ripple Festival, I set out a sign-up sheet to gather customer’s email addresses.  I ended up with ten or so, and that page has been gathering dust in my stack of business stuff until last night, when I finally got around to setting up an email newsletter.  Go ahead, sign up – the signup box is on the left side of this page!
I decided to use Mail Chimp to manage my email newsletter.  It’s free for up to 1000 subscribers and 6000 total emails sent per month.  In my wildest dreams I’ll have 1000 subscribers anytime soon, but it never hurts to plan ahead!

10 26 10 mail chimp
The setup process is super simple.  After signing up for the free option, I manually entered all of the email addresses from my sign-up sheet into one list.  Next, I designed my first newsletter.  I just chose a pre-designed template, but you can make yours from scratch if you’d like.  I’m pretty crazy about having all of my stuff match, so I went with the simplest one and added my logo to make it coordinate with the blog and my shops.  There is an Etsy predesigned option that imports listings from your shop using Etsy API, but I wasn’t crazy about how mine turned out using that option.

Last, you send that bad boy out and wait for people to read!  Evidently I’ll get lots of stats once it goes out – who opens it, who clicks through, who subscribes and unsubscribes.  I also added that little sign up widget on the sidebar of the blog – you just copy and paste the html from Mail Chimp and add it through your blog editor (instructions are here to add it to Blogger, and here to add one to your Facebook page).
10 26 10 mail chimp 2
It looks like there are some really cool features.  You can split your campaign into two groups so you can see if you get a different response if you send it in the morning vs. the evening.  You can also just send your email to part of your subscriber list, or just send a text email to everyone.  You can also have Mail Chimp automatically send a tweet or post to Facebook when a new email campaign goes out.

Overall I’m pretty happy with it.  The site seems kind of sluggish sometimes, and the editing reminds me of Blogger’s image and text editing (not a fan, as we all know).  It will be interesting to see if it helps business at all.  I think it may be kind of like blogging – it takes a few times to get your flow.

I realized this weekend that I’ve been sharing a ton about how I’ve been running bobaloo!, but I haven’t been sharing what I’ve been making!  Here’s some pictures of some new stuff I’ve been stitching up.  See something you like?  Go grab it in my Etsy shop, or check out my brand-spankin’-new Cargoh shop!
10 26 10 product collage
Now go sign up for the newsletter!  Have a great day!

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