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From Etsy’s Merchandising Desk: July June 28, 2011

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From Etsy’s Merchandising Desk: July

http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2011/from-etsys-merchandising-desk-july/

Story by marymary

Published on June 09, 2011 in Seller Handbook

Photo by Gabrielle Kai

 

 

 

July is on the way, sure to bring a busy season. Our goal is to create a healthy balance between promotions for traditional holidays, seasonal changes, cultural events, and lifestyle trends. It’s also a great way to change up the way you approach managing your Etsy business.

Promotional Opportunities for Sellers:

  1. Keep up with June’s seasonal themes, holidays and trends in the June edition of Merchandising Desk.
  2. Christmas in July Community Sale: Find details in the July section below for how to participate in this 4th annual community driven sale.
  3. We are continually looking to highlight the stories of the people behind the products. Including your name, in addition to your shop name, will not only help personalize your work, but also help Etsy admin looking for shops to highlight. To update your name, go to Your Account > Profile and edit the name section.
  4. As Etsy continues to work with partners like West Elm, it’s increasingly advantageous to describe your work and any custom options you are able to offer. Make sure to include any options for personalization, expedited shipping, and larger scale options with estimated time frames for these customizations in your item listings.
  5. Create and tag treasuries fitting June’s merchandising themes for a chance to have your collection featured on Etsy’s homepage or linked from promotional emails. Sharing these collections via your social networks during relevant time periods will help increase traffic and engagement around your items and shop. Tip: We’re looking to introduce a wider variety of unisex, men-centric, music, and vintage niches into the regular rotation. Make sure to tag lists appropriately for the best return.
  6. Holiday Tip: Think it’s too early to begin listing your 2011 holiday line? Think again! Now is the time media and press publications are finalizing their print plans for the holidays. Take advantage of this knowledge by listing your holiday line now with clear seasonal tags. To keep things looking in line with the current season, use Etsy’s Rearrange Your Shop tool to move these holiday items to the final pages of your shop.

Stay Engaged in July

Our central merchandising will focus on Americana, summer fashion, wedding season, and outdoor activities. While emphasis will be placed upon the seasonality of the Northern Hemisphere, it’s important to remember that the Southern Hemisphere is preparing for autumn. Maintaining seasonally appropriate options year-round is good practice for boosting international and overall sales.

  • 4th of July: Start out the month with patriotic decor, outfits and accessories. Stars and stripes, Americana, American flags, picnics, barbecues, grilling, spirits, fireworks, and summer sports. Continued themes throughout the month include folk art, primitives, country fairs, and rustic home decor.
  • Summer: Summer travel, outdoor activities, community events & fairs, open air soirees, summer fashion, and lighter, brighter colors. Emphasis on outdoor entertaining, hostess gifts, bath and beauty, and clever ways to stay cool all summer long.
  • Fashion: Emphasis on swimwear with NY Fashion Week 2012 taking place. Broader options for summer focus on showing some skin, open toed shoes, lightweight materials, and sun protection: sunglasses, sunscreen, makeup, balms, hats and coverups. Summer dresses, shoes, accessories, and options for hair are key. Design labels are already launching previews for for fall lines and lookbooks.
  • Seasonal Food: Expect farmer’s markets, seasonal food options, raising animals, community gardens, and co-ops to continue to grow in popularity. Think in terms of how you can lend to these concepts in the form of tabletop accessories, containers, tools, and seasonal calendars. July’s seasonal food options include carrots, gooseberries, strawberries, spinach, tomatoes, watercress, cauliflower, fennel, asparagus, cabbage, celery, cherries, lettuce, nectarines, new potatoes, oyster mushrooms, peas, peaches, radish, raspberries, rhubarb, french beans, trout, pilchards, clams, pike, and pigeon.
  • Weddings: At the height of wedding season, think about how your line can offer or evoke outdoor options for both the ceremony and after-party. Additional highlights on warm weather honeymooning and early preparations for fall and winter celebrations.
  • Back to School: College dorm room, organizational essentials, gadget and computer accessories, notebooks, writing utensils, cases, book bags, backpacks, satchels, lunch carriers, and fall fashion.
  • Outdoor Travel: Think in terms of the beach, countryside, forest and mountains. Outdoor activities on the rise include camping, biking, hiking, fun at the beach, fishing, and water sports.
  • Christmas in July Community Sale 2011: Get involved in this year’s community driven sale by tagging your sale items with the terms “christmasinjuly” and/or “CIJ” between the dates of 7/14/2011 through 7/24/2011. All shops are eligible to participate and sale items do not have to be holiday themed. Be sure to add promotional details to the item description of each item you tag. For additional questions about how to get involved, contact the Christmas in July community sale leader, DesignedByLucinda.
  • Collecting: Summer months bring an opportune time to take advantage of antiquing, collecting, flea markets, outdoor bazaars, and vintage renewal.
  • Halloween Preview: Mid-month is the time shoppers begin searching out harvest and halloween decor, favors, and costumes. Get ahead of the game by listing your seasonal fall product line in early July.
  • Ruby is July’s birthstone; July’s astrological signs are Cancer and Leo (June 22 – July 22: Cancer, July 23 – August 23: Leo).

Trending Topics:

  • Vampires: They’re back on the radar with shows like HBO’s True Blood and the recent movie trailer release of Twilight’s Breaking Dawn.
  • Sports: Tour de France trends including biking, the French countryside, and France.
  • The Typewriter: With the recent closing of one of the last typewriter manufacturing companies, these nostalgic forms of technology are becoming hot commodities.
  • Colors: Summer color trends include honeysuckle pink, neon, coral, and orange. Pantone’s color trend report for fall 2o11 includes quarry, cedar, and teal greens, nougat and coffee browns, orchid and phlox purples, bamboo mustard yellow, honeysuckle pink, and ember-glow coral.
  • Carnivals and State Fairs: Bright colors, side show spectacles, animals and costuming.
  • The Local Artisanal Shop and the Speakeasy: The butcher, baker, ice cream shop, patisserie. Barware, mixology, nightlife, live music, and secret passwords.
  • The Garden: Indoor, outdoor, community, and rooftop gardens. Glass domes, terrariums, air plants, window herbs, succulent plants, garden markers, planters, tools, buckets, baskets, gloves, organic seeds, and boxes.
  • Fashion: Slim clutches, espadrilles, wooden platforms, maxi dresses, stripes, tribal references, tailored classics, full short skirts, retro swim, summer scarves, circle lensed sunglasses, and sweetheart necklines.
  • Culinary Trends: Year of the homemade pie, whoopie pie, and macaron. Summer cocktails, home brewing, beer and wine accessories, herb infusions, garden to table.
  • Vintage Designer: Authentic fashion, collectibles, bikes, and auto accessories.
  • Writable surfaces: Chalkboard and whiteboard.
  • Letters, Numbers, and Symbols: Large vintage signage letters, letterpress blocks, monogram housewares, and typewriter keys.
  • Personalization: Monograms, initials, text, numbers, zodiac, constellations, portraits, custom labels, stamps, fingerprints and family trees.
  • Natural History: Woodland forest themes and animals, namely birds, owls, squirrels, hedgehogs, chipmunks, bunnies, butterflies, feathers, nests, eggs, acorns, leaves, trees, branches, woodgrain, and natural colors.
  • Lockets, secret hiding places, skeleton keys, arrows, diamonds, paper cuts, silhouettes, fortune cookies, wishbones, constellations, fortune telling.
  • Large scale vintage and handmade paper maps, botanical and anatomy charts.
  • Upcycled lights and lamps, specifically with exposed bulbs.
  • Feather hair extensions, earrings, and accessories.
  • Gadget cases, docking stations and accessories.
  • Scandinavian patterns and motifs.
  • Facial hair, beards, mustaches.
  • All things steampunk.
  • Wall decals.
  • Mermaids.
  • Peacocks.

If you’d like to stay engaged and involved with the approaching merchandising themes, use them in your own artistic voice as you add to your shop. They can be translated in your listings, photos, shop announcements, descriptions, tags, titles, sales promotions, and more.

If you make items that would fit well with the themes outlined, try stocking up and listing them in advance to take advantage of potential shipping deadlines and site features. Do you already have items in your shop that meld well? That’s great! Now it’s time to revisit those items to make sure your tags, titles and descriptions reflect keywords that shoppers might be looking for during this time of year. This is also a great opportunity to revamp your item photography with a new look. Check out some great how-to’s for item photography to get started.

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Some great articles about running your Etsy business. May 24, 2011

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We’ve found a site with some great articles about running your Etsy handmade business.  It includes tips about blogging, SEO and much more.

Check it out!

http://www.everythingetsy.com/category/business-tips/

great set of suggestions May 13, 2011

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Everyone won’t have the same routine. How could they? The point of this is that your social media routine should revolve around your life, not take it over. But, there are a few key things for everyone to consider in creating their own routine. 
Work on Content During Your Down Time
We know everyone on ArtFire has what seems like a million different things going on at the same time. Sometimes it can be tough to recognize those down moments where you can pop into Facebook or Twitter, or even write a blog post. But maybe your down time is when you sit down to drink your cup of coffee in the morning… or maybe it’s when you switch projects you’re working on. 
Try and Make a Schedule, and Stick to It
Take a look at your week and try and figure out extra time you can fit in to write content, blog content in particular. One suggestion that a lot of people take to heart is to sit down on a Sunday night and just try and write a blog post. By writing it ahead of time you can schedule it to post later, when more people are likely to see the post and your tweets/status updates announcing your post. 
Promote Your Content Across Other Platforms
If you write a blog post, it is 100% in your best interest to let your followers on sites like Twitter and Facebook know that you have a new post! This is a great way to start to get traffic going to your blog. If you use Postling you can write your blog post. Then, once you hit publish, we’ll ask you to create an update for Facebook and Twitter, and allow you to easily drop in a link to your blog post. 
Another great option is to include highlights from your social media content in your email newsletter if you have one. If you don’t have an email newsletter don’t worry about it, but if you do be sure to let those people know you’re on social networks. You can promote both your blog content or even just your presence on the sites. 
Respond to Comments in a Timely Manner
As a good, general rule of thumb, you should respond to your @ replies on Twitter and comments on Facebook in 24 hours. This may seem crazy but I’m telling you… sign up for Postling! Want to know why? When you hook up your social media accounts to Postling, we’ll pull all of the comments you get on every social network you’re on into one place. Then, if you want to respond to all of the comments at a certain time you can log in to Postling and just go down the list. All you have to do is type your response and hit reply, we’ll be sure to send it off to the right social network for you. It honestly couldn’t be any easier. 
Keep Track of How You’re Doing
Set a small amount of time aside each week to check out your reputation management tools. If you aren’t using Postling Tracking, which will keep you updated every day, then be sure to check in with your Google Analytics, Twitter Search results, Twitter Counter stats, and the other tools we’ve introduced you to during Social Media Boot Camp. If you aim to check up on all of these tools at once you’ll get into a great routine of just popping in to see what’s new and getting it done quickly. Try and keep the same order with how you check things and you’ll get into a great pattern. 

If you find that your level of engagement or traffic go up or down in a particular week, take note of what you posted that week. Don’t just accept that you either did really well or didn’t have a great week, try and understand what it is you were posting and how people reacted to that content as a direct result.

Top 5 Twitter Tips for Stress-Free Tweeting May 13, 2011

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Top 5 Twitter Tips for Stress-Free Tweeting

saltcityspiceStory by saltcityspice

Published on May 12, 2011 in Seller Handbook

Photo by peterharren

There are a few tricks I’ve learned to make Twitter not only useful, but actually fun. I promise you, it is possible to @ and # without the stressful @&#$%! 

1. Use a third party service to tweet.
Personally I love Hootsuite — I can check in and quickly see my Twitter feed, @ mentions, sent tweets, and direct messages at a glance, as opposed to the Twitter web version where you have to click on a few different tabs to see this same information. Hootsuite also makes retweeting, shortening links, and adding images super easy and you can even set up streams that filter tweets using specific search terms, hashtags, etc. Tweetdeck is another option with similar features. Don’t try to use the Twitter website exclusively unless you’re a glutton for punishment. 

2. Register with Klout, then stop worrying about your score.
As described by their website, a Klout score is the “measurement of your overall online influence.” Most social media experts will tell you that your Klout score isn’t really an indicator of anything other than how much time you spend on Twitter. They’re right — it’s a general indicator that will fluctuate so feel free to explore different ways to make Twitter work for you without paying close attention to your actual number. Need more incentive to stop caring? The only person with a Klout score of 100 is Justin Bieber, so unless you have an awesome hairstyle and are geared toward taking the 10-14 year old crowd by storm, you can blissfully stop trying to measure up to a teen heartthrob. 

3. Join a tweetchat.
Shy about meeting new people or don’t know what to tweet? Join a focused conversation! A tweetchat is when a group of people get together to discuss a topic and include a specific hashtag in all of their tweets so other participants can filter messages and respond. I’ve met some amazing people through a few of my favorite tweet-ups, including the weekly Oh My! Handmade and Crafterminds chats.

If you do join a chat and don’t want to fill up your Twitter stream with your chat tweets, make sure you’re replying to another tweetchat participant for every tweet (and don’t forget to use the hashtag so other chatters can see your comment!).  To follow the conversation, set up a stream using the chat hashtag in Hootsuite or Tweetdeck or check out Tweetchat.com

4. Talk @, not “at” — avoid spammers and spamming.
Before joining, my biggest misconception about Twitter was that it was a bunch of people broadcasting their messages non-stop. Who wants to be subjected to an endless stream of promotions? Are you a spammer? Stop — this means an end to constantly asking people to like you on Facebook, look at your latest shop listing, or check out every treasury you make. A good rule of thumb is to start or join a conversation for at least 80% of your tweets (do what you will with the remainder). On the same note, avoid the spammers at all costs — I’m talking to you serial link droppers, auto-DMers, and overzealous promobots! Once you start @ing people instead of talking at them, you can really start to branch out and use the site for its intended purpose which is networking with others and making connections. Twitter isn’t meant to be a soliloquy. 

5. Check your ego at the door.
When someone doesn’t immediately follow you back, it’s easy to feel offended. But don’t feel bad! People use Twitter for different purposes or infrequently review new followers. If it’s someone you really want to get to know, strike up a conversation with them. It doesn’t always have to be an “I follow you, you have to follow me too” type of thing for you to gain something out of it. Follow people you find interesting or helpful and maybe they’ll reciprocate, maybe they won’t. On a similar note, it’s also okay to unfollow someone who no longer fits with your ideal Twitter stream of consciousness. Remember that these are people you’re inviting into your world and it doesn’t always have to be a wide-open, two-way street.

Those are my Twitter favorites, what are yours? Leave a comment, or feel free to tweet me @saltcityspice.

About the author: I’m Katrina and I’ve spent lots of time living and cooking in apartments with small kitchens — when I finally moved into my own house a few years ago I wanted the kitchen to be mine in every way right down to the spice rack, and the idea for my Etsy shop was born. I enjoy cooking, traveling, wine-tasting, working on home improvement projects, and writing. I’m a terrible gardener.

Originally published on the Salt City Spice blog

You can follow @Etsy on Twitter and search #EtsyTips for short and sweet advice. 

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Etsy Success April 16, 2011

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photo by PhotoGrunt
Join us for an interactive workshop exploring how to fuel your creative business using the challenges of modern DIY entrepreneurship. Instead of focusing on the difficulties of building a business, find out how to tap into your DIY ethic to create exciting ideas and opportunities for your business. Read about how to attend online, or in person on the Etsy Blog

 

 
photo by ATeaLeaf
 
Free and open to the public on April 2 from 5 – 7 p.m. PT. Find out more on the Etsy Blog

 

 
photo by OptimisticArt
I’ve scoured the small business blogosphere to find these five must-read posts:
Find out what other two blog posts I recommend in this team thread. 
 
xo,

Using Social Media to Market Your Business April 16, 2011

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How to Effectively Use Social Media to Market Your Business: Sister Diane’s I Heart Art Workshop

SisterDianeStory by SisterDianePublished on May 20, 2010 in Seller Handbook

Photo by castastone

 

If you want to use social media tools like blogs, Twitter, or Facebook to market your business, read on — Diane Gilleland (sometimes known as Sister Diane) considers these outlets to be the key to success. This post is distilled from a workshop she presented recently for the I Heart Art program in Portland, OR. If you want to learn more about social media and how it works, you can also listen to Diane’s podcast on the subject.

follow_mouse_click.jpg

Friending and Following are just mouse-clicks.
We’d all love to believe that every single person who subscribes to our blog, follows our tweets, or becomes a fan of our Facebook page is listening hungrily to everything we have to say about our product.

But in fact, every one of these people is struggling to keep up with all the other blogs, Twitter pals, and Facebook updates they follow. We live in a perpetually overloaded world.

People can friend or follow you anytime, but unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’re actually paying any attention to you. If you want real attention in the social media space, you have to earn it. That takes some effort — and a different way of looking at marketing.

Using Twitter Made Easy April 16, 2011

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Twitter is easy! Easier to set up, easier to tweet, and easier to come up with things to say… especially since you only have 140 characters to do so! Today’s post is going to get you setup on Twitter. 

So why should you be on Twitter? Well, Twitter is an absolutely essential tool in your social media arsenal for communicating and interacting with your customers. It’s less formal than Facebook and is really your chance to create a voice for your brand (which is your ArtFire shop). Twitter serves as an amazing customer service tool, a way for you to really connect with your followers, and can even serve as a sales tool!

 

What is Twitter?

 

Twitter is a social media network that millions of people are on. It’s a short-form of communication.

 

What is a tweet?

 

A tweet is what you send out on Twitter. Just like Facebook has “status updates”, tweets serve the same purpose. However, it’s really important to note that tweets have a 140 character limit!

 

Why do they limit the character count?

 

Twitter was created as a means of communicating information, but not too much information. Capping the number of characters per tweet ensures that Twitter has a certain uniformity and avoid total information overload!

 

What does “follow” mean?

 

To follow someone on Twitter means that their tweets will show up in your Twitter stream. The Twitter stream will show up when you log into your account, and will show the tweets of the people you follow in reverse chronological order (the newest tweets at the top). When you go to anyone’s Twitter page there will be a “follow” button.

 

What is with people using the @ symbol?

 

In Twitter, the @ symbol is how you communicate with other users. This is called “@ replying”someone on Twitter. By adding the @symbol before any Twitter username the tweetwill show up in their account. People are pretty unlikely to see your tweets ifyou don’t have that @ symbol before their username. 

 

———

 

Now, let’s get you on Twitter! From the Twitter homepage you’re going to click “Sign Up”. Twitter is going to ask you for your full name. Your username is what people are going to know you by on Twitter. As laid out in the registration process by Twitter, your username will be part ofyour URL.

 

Next, select the password and email address you want to associate with the account. I’d recommend using the email address you use for your business and leaving the first box checked (saying allow people to find you by your email address). Now, why would you want this? Say your customers search Twitter for email addresses they know. They’ll see your Twitter account and are more likely to follow you. After all, you want as many people following your Twitter account as possible! Lastly, accept the terms of service and select “Create my account”.

 

After you create your account, Twitter prompts you to select the topics you’re interested in. For most of you the natural choice is going to be in the art/design realm. By selecting an area of interest, Twitter will give you suggestions of people to follow. I’d recommend following some big brands to start off with… maybe a famous museum or a designer you’re fond of? You certainly don’t have to follow anyone, but Twitter is very much a give-and-take community. Follow people, they may follow you back. I’d definitely suggest following a few people to start off with.

 

Once you’ve done this, hit the “Next Step” button. Twitter allows you to see if any of your email contacts are on Twitter. Simply click the type of email service you use and sign in to your account. Don’t worry, Twitter isn’t taking your password… you just simply need to allow access. Once your address book loads you can check off which contacts on Twitter that you’d like to follow. You can always skip this step if you want, but I highly recommend completing it.

 

Now you should complete your Twitter profile. You can do so here. From here you can upload a photo (probably your shop logo), enter your location (if you want), link out to your online shop, and write a short bio. Keep it simple, but give people a sense of just what it is that you do. See those tabs at the top? You can also set up different settings for your phone, change the design of your Twitter page, and change your notification settings (how often you receive emails regarding activity on your account). Be sure to look through all the options and make your profile as complete as possible and that it fits all of your needs.

 

To get back to your Twitter stream/homepage you can click “Home” at the top or the Twitter logo. Now, why don’t you send out your first tweet? Keep it simple like you did on Facebook at first, maybe mention thatyou’re just getting started.

 

Below are a few great resources that we think are really worth your time, including beginner’s guides and tips/tools:

 

Breaking the Fifth Wall (Excerpt) April 12, 2011

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A new book out, called Breaking the Fifth Wall, has emerged on the market.  Although we haven’t read the book here at Social Market Now, the excerpt below is quite good.

If you want to take a chance on the book itself, it is available from Amazon.com

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Breaking the Fifth Wall (Excerpt)

April 2011
Eugene Carr & Michelle Paul

As any actor will tell you, the “fourth wall” refers to the imaginary separation in a theatre between the action on stage and the audience sitting in the dark watching the play. When an actor “breaks the fourth wall,” he turns and speaks directly to the audience, breaking the illusion of the autonomy of the action. The effect is often startling—even a bit jarring—as the imaginary world of the stage is momentarily interrupted.

And when the play or concert is over, the audience passes through another wall: the “Fifth Wall” that separates the cultural experience (and the organization that produced it) from the ongoing life of the audience member. This effect can be equally jarring, as the lights come up and the world of the arts experience fades before the real world of parking lots, bad weather, and the late-night news.

The Fifth Wall separates your patrons both physically and mentally from your organization. Breaking the Fifth Wall is the act of reconnecting with those patrons in a meaningful way after they have left your venue, by creatively and regularly reminding them of the value of the arts experience your organization offers, coaxing them to return, and perhaps ultimately convincing them to donate. In the past, you might have simply called this “marketing,” but today, what’s required is more accurately described as “patron relationship building.”

The world has changed, and so too has the audience. The way arts marketers have gone about building relationships with audiences over the last fifty years is no longer relevant, and no longer works.

Subscription brochures, newspaper ads, and telemarketing calls are not enough anymore to connect to your audience and keep them coming back. The old “butts in seats” paradigm is simply too crude to be an effective goal in this more complex world. Of course, you want to fill your seats. But to address what’s truly ailing arts marketing, you must refocus on a set of new and different goals, and transform your organization’s audience-development efforts.

The arts-going experience is ultimately about a connection between the artist and the audience. Now, because of advances in technology and changes in consumer behavior, the arts experience—and arts marketing as well—is evolving into an interactive relationship that reaches far beyond a physical venue. It’s time to discard the “what we’ve always done” thinking that permeates the industry, and take a new approach that will lead to deeper and more meaningful patron relationships. This approach is what we call breaking the Fifth Wall.

How the World Has Changed

The way arts patrons access information about events and make the decision to attend them has evolved more in the past decade than it had since the invention of the radio or television. These changes are not superficial—they alter the landscape that arts managers must operate in.

• Arts audiences are now living online. As the Internet has become ubiquitous, it’s no longer a question of whether your audience can be reached online. The question is, how, when, and where is it most effective to do so?

• Old media—particularly print newspapers and magazines—are in steep decline, and their audiences are rapidly migrating to the Internet. What we used to call “new media” are no longer new anymore.

• A substantial portion of arts patrons prefer e-mail over direct- mail communications from their favorite arts organizations. Wired for Culture: How E-mail is Revolutionizing Arts Marketing, first published in 2003, suggested that if your patrons signed up for your e-mail list, and if you sent them regular, relevant, compelling, engaging, and useful information, they would respond in dramatic numbers. In 2010, we know this to be true. E-mail marketing works. Response rates for e-mail campaigns are much higher than for direct mail, and the cost to send e-mail is dramatically lower.

• As ticket sales move to the Internet, arts websites have become the most important public face of an organization. In many cases, they have become the point of sale for more than a third of all tickets arts organizations sell each year, superseding the box office and the telephone. Some organizations sell almost 70 percent of their tickets online!1 A poorly designed website, or one that is nothing more than an online version of the season brochure, can cause great damage to the image of the organization.

• The subscription, once the central and most reliable relationship an arts organization had with its core audience, an idea codified thirty years ago in the seminal volume Subscribe Now, by Danny Newman, is under siege. The fixed annual series is being replaced by the make-your-own series, flexible subscription packages, and more last-minute single-ticket sales than ever before. This transformation has led to a dramatic reduction in up-front cash and an unrelenting need to market empty seats until the very last minute.

• Social media has arrived, and it is not going away. What seemed like a fad only a few years ago has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon, with Facebook and Twitter leading the way. Today, if arts managers ignore social media, they do so at their own peril.

Guide To Twitter March 10, 2011

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Guide To Twitter: Rethink Everything

I caught this question in the Etsy Success Forums, “I thought tweeting your listings was a good way to market oneself?” In short, the answer to this would be “No.”  Actually, with each item listing tweet, you could be losing Twitter-cred. The very best resource for Etsy sellers curious about using Twitter effectively, is this guide by another seller, CopperLeafStudios

Optimizing Your Mailing Lists March 10, 2011

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All lists need a little upkeep to stay healthy and keep communications relevant

PamelaAdams, Regional Development Director, Georgia

by Pamela Adams1,  Constant Contact Regional Development Director, Georgia
How is a permission-based email list like a Philodendron plant2? You want both to grow in size and expand their reach. And, like a Philodendron, a growing email list3 needs some care and maintenance along the way to ensure healthy growth continues. Giving a little TLC to your list also helps reinforce that you’re continuing to send relevant information to each of your subscribers.
Here are three surefire ways for maintaining a healthy email list:
1. Segment your list
When you have a larger list and send everything to everyone, you’re basically doing what my friend calls “spraying and praying.” You’re playing the numbers game and hoping that more people will open your messages. In reality creating smaller, targeted lists gets your better results. Letting subscribers choose which list they want to be on allows them to tell you what they want to hear, and it means you can send more relevant emails to those who want to receive them. A few examples of how business or organizations could segment their lists:
  • Nonprofits could have separate lists targeting members, donors, volunteers, and board of directors.
  • A clothing retailer could offer mailings targeting those interested in men’s, women’s, or children’s apparel.
  • Restaurants that offer live music on the weekend could segment their lists by those interested in only dinner specials and those interested in the musical acts.
  • A travel agent could offer an email on tropical vacations, ski packages, or vacations with kids.
You can choose which lists are available for subscribers on your Join My Mailing List and email preference page (e.g., a nonprofit wouldn’t want to have the board of directors list open to the public). Other options include segmenting your list by anniversary or birthday month, or by how often subscribers want to hear from you (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly).
If you’ve already got a big list (good for you!) that you want to segment, you can let subscribers know about the new options in upcoming campaigns and ask them to click the Update Profile/Email Address link at the bottom of your message to see and select which available lists they’d like to be added to. You can also put a copy of the Update Profile link in the body of your email4 to make it a more obvious call to action.
2. Prune the bounces
Every time you mail a message, there are going to be a few that get bounced back because the email address is no longer valid, has a typo in it, the recipient’s inbox could be full, or the person has an out-of-office responder activated. Take a look at your bounce report5 to see why the message is being returned. For the vacationers, you can ignore the report. But for hard bounces such as a non-existent addresses, you should:
  • Verify the address is correct. If it is and you think the report is a false positive6, you can always follow-up with the subscriber individually to see if she is actually receiving your message.
  • For those that are truly non-existent, move them to your Do Not Mail list. Doing so will eliminate the subscriber from future mailings, help lower your bounce rate, and improve your open rate. You may also save a few dollars since you won’t be paying for a contact that isn’t getting your emails in the first place.
3. Trim those who don’t engage
There are two schools of thought on trimming your list. Some say if a subscriber hasn’t opened your email in over a year, delete them from your list7 and watch as your open rates rise.
However, I am a believer that if people don’t ask to be taken off your list, you leave them where they are as you never know when someone is going to re-engage and potentially become a customer or donor. You can also conduct a specific re-engagement campaign8 to encourage those quiet subscribers to become active again. The decision to trim or not to trim is yours.
The goals of pruning, segmenting, and trimming are to keep your list clean and to enable you to keep sending relevant content to those subscribers who are interested in specific categories or types of information. No matter which routes you take, delivering winning content to your subscribers will keep them on your list and engaged with your messages longer.