Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Is Here!

Spring is my favorite time of year, always has been. Maybe because the snow is finally gone or at least on its way out for good. Or maybe because new life starts to spout out of the ground. Not sure, just know I love the energy it gives to both the landscape and myself. Makes me feel young.

Guess that little pedestal I got from Hobby Lobby couldn't handle all that energy, it was fine a couple weeks ago when we still had snow on the ground. Wonder if the MI glass girls want to try making some Hypertufa stuff. Bet a pedestal made of that would hold up year after year. I used to spend an enormous amount of time in our yard working on my gardens. Now a days, not so much.

I freecycled the veggie garden's fence just to get help pulling it out. Still need to get that spot cleaned up and spread some grass seed over it. That leaves me with 4 other garden areas and the plantings around the house to care for. They mostly look like crap now, especially the back of the house where we had a tractor pull out 6 tall overgrown shrubs. That was about a year ago. Think DH is waiting for me to get sick of the mess and fix it, hope he's not holding his breath, lol.

If you are checking into my blog to see what the next newsletter giveaway is going to be I haven't decided yet. I'm thinking flowers, just seems like the thing to do this time of year. Of course I'll post it up here once I decide.

I also have a couple of glass "science projects" rolling around in my head, (scary). They both involve power tools, chemicals, fire, and trial and error. If anything becomes of them I'll blog it. Don't worry, my science projects aren't near as toxic as the ones we find in our daughter's bedroom. Hear my torch calling me, have to run. ;-)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mailing List Management & Software

If you've been selling your wares online for any length if time you should have a mailing list. If not you're missing out on potential sales. It is a way to keep in touch with your repeat customers and build your client base for custom orders.

What you should consider with your email/newsletter.
  • Frequency: Don't send it too often. No one likes their inbox bombarded every day or two by the same person or company! Once or twice a month is enough.
  • Layout: Make it interesting and pleasing to the eye, add only a few pictures to keep loading times to a minimum.
  • Offers: Grow your list by offering a giveaway, free shipping, or special sale on a regular basis.
  • Permission: Never, I repeat never add past customers without their permission. Doing so and making them opt-out is rude and unprofessional. Use sign-up forms on your website, blog, and emails instead.
  • Keep it simple: People are more liking to actually read what you write if you keep it simple. Everyone's busy and in a hurry these days so make it a quick read for them.
Like many of us I started my email list using my computer's regular pop mail program. It didn't take long to outgrow it. I needed to find and pay for a program to manage my list. I've been using the same one for the last couple of years. It does what most of them do. You can create separate lists, track messages, create messages with design content, send test emails, etc.

The cost of this service was $10 monthly. The thing that bothered me, there were some months I didn't use it at all, just overlooked it or was too busy. And now I'm close to having to upgrade my account to the next level for the amount of subscribers I have which will up the monthly bill to $15. So just like car insurance it pays to shop around. I found another service that will handle twice the amount of emails for half (yes, 1/2) the cost. I should explain that my new service is based on emails sent out monthly where the old one was based on total subscribers.

And they offer a 15% discount (use code 264XUF) to boot! So if you think you're paying more than you should for your mailing list service please check this place out, You'll save an extra 15% over their already fantastic value. The pro account is 500 emails monthly for $3.75 , the pro plus is 500 emails monthly for $5.00. The next level includes 2,500 emails monthly, pro $7.50, pro plus $10.00. Don't ya just love finding a great deal!

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