A jeweler wrote to me the other day asking for help with their Mother's Day contest promotion. The promotion is being advertised through the local papers but the contest takes place through their website. To enter the contest you need to fill out the online form and agree to sign up for their newsletter.
Because the contest is centered around creating a custom design, this jeweler wants to send out a series of additional custom design emails to those who enter the contest. They have an auto-responder set up to send out the initial email reply for the contest entry, but they needed some ideas on how to set up their continuing newsletter.
A Little Background Before We Start
The following is the collection of my brainstormed ideas that I suggested to this jeweler. Everything here is based on several of my previous Daily Golden Nuggets.
Custom design work is a big part of the annual sales that this jeweler does. They do everything right inside their store from the initial sketch design, to the CAD, and they even have a 3D printer.
They are committed to learning what they need to do for increased success. They are using WordPress right now for their website which has many pages of well written content and a blog with dozens of entries that they are writing themselves.
Although they've taken the time to write a lot of information about their custom design process, their website is strangely devoid of photographs of their work.
I reference the above points in my brainstormed ideas below.
Following Up Easily With Contest Form Entries
I see you have a Getting Started area on your website explaining how a customer can sketch out their custom design ideas. Specifically, I see you have 5 action steps on what they should consider when sketching. You can turn every one of those actions into a different email that you send out over 5 weeks.
Don't simply repeat the actions steps word for word from the website. I'd build my own little story around each one. I'd include an image that somehow associates with the actions. If not a photo, I'd at least make a placard with a single sentence like I do for my own Daily Golden Nuggets.
Each email could address any barriers of why they are resistant to getting started, and each email should explain how you could help them. Perhaps the story is of how you helped someone through that action step already.
Following Up With Blogging
It looks like you have 14 blogs relating to your customer design service already on your site that cover the various steps of your service, but they were not posted in any particular order.
Go through them and make a list for yourself of the order that someone should read them in. On a side note, you should build a landing page that introduces your services and then gives the reader this list in the proper order for them to click and read through. You can always edit that landing page in the future to reorganize the links when you've written more blogs.
Using those blogs in order, you can build an email campaign which summarizes the blog and invites the email reader to continue reading on your website. Again, I know the blogs were not published in order on your website, just make sure you send them out in the appropriate order, from initial sketch through final product, to your email subscribers.
This would be an email drip-campaign leading them through the entire process.
I see that you've already published some blog posts associated certain times of the year. You have one for Valentine's Day, Holiday Gift Idea, and I see one for Mother's Day last year too. Continue do those date/holiday blogs, but make sure to post them ahead of time.
I noticed that your Valentine's Day blog was published after February 14th this year, but in an email campaign, they would have a bigger impact if sent out in late January or the first days of February.
From what you told me in your email, it sounds like you'd be able to produce a simple custom jewelry gift for someone within a week. That certainly gives you a greater chance to tap into those last minute gift ideas for those holidays.
Although it's good to share details of a past event as a blog post, in order to capitalize on current sales you need plan ahead with your blogs and publish them several weeks in advance.
Also, when writing a blog about custom design for one of those dates/holidays, I suggest that you explain what options are available and how the person can get started with their design ideas before they meet you in person.
If all of those special blogs start with the basics, then you can mail them out any time during the year to everyone on your email list, without worry of where they are in your email drip-campaign.
Once someone gets through the standard drip-campaign, you would then be able to continue to follow up with them via email when those date/holiday times of the year come around again.
Following Up Socially
I saved this one for last since it will take the most time to set up. I don't see any mention of Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ on your website. Add them if you have them and then rewrite your auto-responder email to include an invitation to follow you on those networks.
Twitter won't specifically be associated with your email marketing campaign...
For Twitter: Post a few tweets every time you publish a new blog. Use a consistent hashtag that will make sense for your clients to look for.
While it might seem to make sense to use the #CustomJewelry or #CustomDesignJewelry tags that many other jewelers use, you might want to use your own unique hashtag instead, or in addition to. You can then invite your own email list to monitor that specific hashtag instead of the one that everyone else on the planet uses.
Just make sure to search for your potential hashtag before you start using it. This will avoid accidental conflict or incorrect association with other brands.
Also, send tweets out again for old blog posts that are related to those dates/holidays I mentioned above. Evergreen blogs are really good for yearly cyclical resharing.
Setting up Facebook and Google+ for your email marketing campaign...
For Google+: Share your blog post to publicly to Google+, but don't simply share it. Instead, you have to re-explain the entire blog in a summary. Add some extra information that you left out of the blog post and give a little intro to how easy it is to get a custom design from you.
Include a bunch of hashtags and links to the blog post on your site and to your About Us or Services page on your site. Don't be afraid to create a 200-300 word post for Google+ because users there will read it.
For Facebook: This part will be complicated because I'm suggesting creating Facebook "Dark Posts." These dark posts are hidden from the feed of your FB page because they are only used for marketing. You can set up dozens of these at a time without worry that you will flood your feed and make your followers mad.
Just like Google+, in the FB dark post you need to share the link to your blog but add some extra information to the post. Enough to get the reader interested and it could be the same information that you post to Google+, although most FB users won't read a 200 word FB post like a G+ reader would.
Using the Facebook and Google posts in an email...
One you have the social posts set up you can send those out via your email-drip campaign. I would include the image from the blog post in the email so the reader can see a consistent image throughout this strategy.
[On a side note, you should rethink the images you are using in your blogs. The social networks look for 500x500 pixel images, and readers get drawn into pretty images. Right now you are only using 100x100 pixel thumbnails in your blogs, but they could be so much better if you included a real photo of every step you are explaining.]
The email should have the first sentence of your blog post with an invitation to click the link for their preferred social network to read more.
I'm suggesting this strategy because so many people read emails on their phones and many do prefer to jump back into their favorite social network instead of visiting a website.
Bonus: Even More Advanced Social...
Create a Google+ Community and a Facebook Group. Share your posts there instead of publicly or as dark posts. Then just link your emails to those two places. This will help to turn your email list into a socially engaged set of users that may or may not be your clients, but you will be the recognized authority running those groups.
On a Final Note
You should rethink your blog a little bit if you are going to use these ideas. Your blog pages should invite the reader to continue to the next step in your sales funnel. That could be an invitation to click to find out more about your services, or a specific service that the individual blog is talking about. Since your blog is part of your money making business site, it needs to lead people back into the areas where you actually make money.
If you have your own question...
I invite all readers to send in their own questions. I try to answer them all. Just be forewarned that your question might be used in a future Daily Golden Nugget, just like this one was.