September 10, 2007

How I Tripled My Design Business

By Nika Stewart

Do you want to know the biggest secret to increasing your home fashions business? It’s sending a regular e-mail newsletter – an article or simple tip that your potential clients will find useful. If you can write an e-mail, you can dramatically increase your success.

Writing an e-mail newsletter helps you:

Achieve expert status

Increase sales

Gain new clients

Improve customer relations

Get more referrals

Make More Money!

It’s true. Writing just one simple e-mail, as little as twice a month, can do all that for you. But here is the challenge: It has to be done right, or you won’t see these spectacular results. It took me several years – and thousands of dollars – to learn the most effective way to launch a successful e-mail newsletter campaign. And within one year of doing it the right way, my business tripled!

Instead of making you spend all that time and money, I’m going to list some basic tips to assure that your e-mail newsletter helps boost your business quickly.

  • Send your newsletters regularly. Once a month is okay; twice a month is better. Weekly mailings are ideal, but the most important aspect of a successful e-mail newsletter is being regular. Stick to a schedule!
  • The main part of your newsletter – your article or tip – needs to be useful information for the reader. You should certainly put in some promotion about your company, but keep this to about 20 percent of the entire newsletter. Any more than that will turn off readers and cause deletes and un-subscribes.
  • Use an e-mail service provider. If you try to manage your e-mail newsletters from your regular e-mail account, you will get very frustrated. The one I use gives a free 60-day trial, and they have loads of great templates that make it so easy to get started:
  • Keep It Simple! Multi-column newsletters – with many articles and loads of photos – may look pretty in print, but an e-mail newsletter is easier to read when it is short and simple. Studies show that you get more sales when your newsletters are concise. Stay with one column, and use just one or two photos to get your point across.

    The most common reason that designers stop doing an email newsletter (or never get started) is they make it too complicated. Don’t fall into that trap. The simpler your newsletter – the more effective it will be.

Some of the secrets I’ve learned seem to go against all of our instincts as designers and business owners, but please believe me – they work! When I began to use all of this advice, my sales went through the roof. I know it can work for you, too.

Can e-mail newsletters work for the wholesale workroom?

Absolutely! If your main target is designers, write tips for them. As a designer myself, I know I would really appreciate weekly or monthly tips from my workroom! Here are a few ideas for your articles:

· 3 easy places to up-sell trim

· The quickest way to calculate yardage for a slipcover

· How to choose the right lining

If you start sending tips to your designers and other potential clients, you will quickly become the expert, go-to workroom! And don’t forget to subscribe ME to your newsletter.

If you’d like a step-by-step guide to launching a powerful, profit-boosting e-mail campaign, check out

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