First, let me describe how I stumbled upon this plan. My friend, Gretchen (http://prestonhillpress.com/), writes and sells children’s books and related items. My husband and I bought three prints of illustrations from her books at a book sale and soon after, we received a hand-written thank-you note. I was impressed, and sent her an e-mail to thank her for the hand-written note. In her reply she said she thanks every customer this way and then she shared with me her hand-written Christmas marketing tip.
Here are the essentials
- Design a holiday-themed card that showcases a new product.
- Hand-write a brief personal message
- Include discount and time-frame incentives for your customer to place an order
- Include an order form
- Hand-write the address on the envelope
- Mail out before Thanksgiving
Here are some specifics:
- I chose customers who had ordered from me by snail mail or Amazon Marketplace in the last three years
- I reminded customers that autographed books make great gifts
- I designed a holiday photo card at https://www.shutterfly.com/ featuring my newest product (note: I am not an affiliate of Shutterfly but I am a very satisfied customer)
- I attached a full description of the new product to the back of the photo card
- My return address labels showed my personal name rather than my business name
Here’s the surprising result three weeks after I mailed out my holiday promotion:
- Response rate so far is 22 percent
- Average sale is $30
- Many customers included a personal note of holiday greetings and thanks for letting them know about the new product and the 10 percent discount
Most surprising of all: The new product I featured was of a completely different genre than I had ever sold in the past, yet it interested readers of my other genres
Additional observations: not all customers ordered the new product (which I expected) but instead ordered back titles they had not previously purchased
Downside: Hand-written notes take time.
Upside: Rewards can be worth every minute spent getting writer’s cramp!
Here’s wishing you the best with your holiday marketing.
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming tomorrow!
What you are doing to market your books this holiday season? Please leave a comment.