Friday, November 19, 2010

Marketing Close to Home - Part Deux

I did a blog on August 21, 2010 called "Marketing Close to Home" as a tutorial for artisans interested in doing craft fairs. I wanted to make a few additions after finishing my first two fairs of the season. 

Pricing: Make sure you add sales tax into your posted prices. You do not want to be dealing with adding it on at the fair. Trust me you and your customers will appreciate the effort. 

Credit Cards: Wow! I've doubled sales by being able to accept VISA and MC. I did my reseach on what was available and chose to go with ProPay. Most of our fairs are in small towns that rarely have wifi or cell reception. Problem solved, I purchased a portable MicroSecure™ Card Reader through their site that allows me to swipe credit cards and store information. I process the cards by plugging the reader into my computer at home. If you do have cell or wifi reception at your fair you can process sale on the spot.  

Special Receipt Book: I set up a special receipt book for my credit card sales with information for the customer on the original receipt and information for my needs on the yellow copy. I used address labels printed on the computer and add stickers to the receipt book before I go to the fair. It's much easier to fill in blanks than to remember what you should write down.

(1) Original receipt (customer copy) - at the top of the receipt add a label with your name and whatever information your credit processing company tells you will show on customer statements.  Point that out to your customers when you give them their copy of the receipt. With ProPay either your phone number or email address is going to be what shows so that's what I added to mine. 

(2) Your copy - add a label at the bottom with the following information and a "_____" next to it to fill in: customer name, phone number, email address, credit card expiration date and credit card code. The phone number is so you can reach them if there's a problem. When your process their card there is an option to email a receipt and the other information is or may be required to process the card.

(3) Detail what they bought and have them sign your receipt book, so it shows on both copies. This is your proof that they made the purchase. 

Mailing List: Several customers asked about a mailing list. There are a couple of ways you can approach this. (1) find a spot on your table for a small notebook and pen. Bring it to your customers attention if they'd like to know about pending fairs or sales. (2) I always copy my checks before depositing them so if I want to send out a postcard about upcoming shows I have a mailing list. (3) If you decide to take credit cards you'll have the customers email address. Caveat: Use your resouces wisely or you may drive away possible repeat customers. No one wants to get inundated with solicitations.

Business Cards: Make sure your website, blog or online store addresses are on your card. Post your fair schedule on those sites and let your customers know that.  I made a sale at a craft fair this summer and included my business card. She just made a purchase through my Etsy shop and let me know she'd met me at the fair.

Engage your customers: I don't know about you but when I go to a fair or bead show I always check everything out first before spending my hard earned cash. It's primarily your wares that will draw customers back, but sometimes a fun conversation is also a magnet. Keep a smile on your face and no whining (there's a $5 fine for that!)

Bring a tall stool to sit on: That way you're at eye level with your customers and your feet will thank you!

Now go out there, share your creations with the world, and most of all have fun!