Building a good quality customer database list is the goal for all growing businesses and a key reason why we get out there at craft shows and fairs all year round. I know for me capturing customer contact details is crucial for creating and maintaining a strong business relationship. So I have worked hard on finding the best methods for my creative business to increase my customer list at every type of expo I attend.
So I thought I would share with you what I have learned over the last few years. I find running competitions and sweepstakes to be the easiest way to gain attention and be given contact details at a craft fair, jewelry show or bridal expo for my email newsletter list.
1. Be generous with your prizes. I give away 3 x $50 Gift Vouchers at my bridal expos and craft shows that can be redeemed at my online jewelry store. The gift voucher lets the customers choose what they want and lets you make offers across your product range.
I find having multiple prizes with the prospect of improving the chances appeals to more people than simply having one big prize – people like good odds.
2. Make it easy for people to enter the sweepstake. I have 4 clipboards with plenty of competition entry sheets and a working pen. There are times at a busy jewelry show when they are all in use. These are more likely to be shows that I am attending to build brand and customer lists that have lower over the table sales. For me the database is the main reason for attending the show and I have a team of us actively (and politely) approaching people with our flyer and competition offer.
For shows with high sale turnover I offer the competition to all shopping customers as well as having 2 competition entry boards at either end of the table. I still give out as many flyers as I can at these shows.
3. Have the sweepstakes entry sheets easy to see. I use pink A4 sheets at my wedding expos and jewelry shows. This way I can see them easily at the expo and back at work when they are being typed up. As a sheet is filled up I put it out of view, usually under the table, so people don’t see a stack of competition competitors.
4. Have plenty of good quality pens so if one stops working you can replace it quickly. You want decent quality pens so it is easier to read the entry details. Pens are not where you need to be cheap when it comes to being able to clearly read competition entries and building a quality database.
5. Let your customers write their details in peace so you get improved accuracy with the specifics. When someone is distracted something suffers and you want accurate details, not illegible or incorrect details. Wait until after then have finished writing to go through your sale spiel.
6. Let people know that the clearer the handwriting the better the chances of winning. What is the use of having the good fortune to have your name chosen only not to find out about it because your email address was so hard to read it was typed up incorrectly and you never get the email telling you about your success? Tell customers how to improve their chances and you get a better quality database.
7. Announce the winners of the competition in an email newsletter that show cases your products and services. I have pictures all through my email newsletter that link directly deep into my online jewelry store so customers can shop online with me easily.
There are a heap of email newsletter services and for me I found mine by joining a few newsletter lists that I liked the look of the business to find out how they did their newsletter and who with. So do your research by signing up to some free email newsletters, they can be of various products and not always related to yours. I found it best to sign up to ones that I liked the way they did business in the first place.
I hope you find lots of success for your business by building your customer database list and regular communicating. I find email newsletters to be far more effective for my business because of the shear affordability of sending emails rather than printing and postage costs. But more on that later in a sister article.
All the best,