Posts Tagged ‘e-newsletter’

Client Interview: Darn Knit Anyway

Friday, April 5th, 2013

OWNER AIMEE PELLETIER SHARES HER THOUGHTS ON BRANDING AND MARKETING

I’ve been wanting to showcase my clients for a while now, because I’m inspired by their success and they have a wealth of small business knowledge. I’m especially pleased to introduce Aimee Pelletier [pictured, right, next to a yarn-bombed tree in front of her store], owner of the Stillwater-based yarn shop,Darn Knit Anyway. When she first walked into my office four years ago, I could tell that this was a woman with a fantastic business sense. She came prepared with a written business plan, already knew her audiences, had spoken with a number of her potential competitors and had a vision for the shop she wanted to create. Now going on four years, Aimee’s business is thriving. I asked Aimee some questions about branding and marketing:

Q. How have you seen your business grow since you opened Darn Knit Anyway in 2009?

A. It’s grown a LOT! We’ve gone from 2 to 6 staff members and our sales are up 30% from our first year. We’ve also launched online class registration, started Darn. Knit. University, introduced our 12 in 12 program (12 sweaters in 12 months), and are about to add online yarn sales.

Q. How important is branding to your business?

A. In my mind, my brand includes my voice, my customers, the way my shop looks and feels, our staff, our website, our logo…everything. It’s important that everything associated with the store has the same welcoming, modern, easy feel. Our brand is totally about knowing who we are and conveying that in everything we do. That way, people always know they’re in the right place.

Examples of Darn Knit Anyway-branded items designed by Mix Creative

Q. How do you market your business?

A. We primarily market with our e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth.

Q. Which marketing tool do you feel is MOST important to your business?

A. Our e-newsletter is very important. We always see a spike in web traffic the day after I send it. Facebook is also important. We currently have 2097 likes. A recent photo we posted was shared 1200 times and had a reach of 130,000 views! Our average share is 3–6 and our average view per post is 500–1000.

Q. What lesson have you learned about marketing that you’d share with new business owners?

A. Go in STRONG. You have to be solid on your brand—know what it is—when you open. You can’t trickle in with your brand. Know it and launch it ALL OUT with a cohesive look and feel. It’s critical that all your stuff looks intentional. Have someone help you.

In addition to the marketing tools Aimee mentioned in our interview, Aimee has also published 277 blog posts on her website; created an implemented a program called “Darn Knit Anywhere“, which encourages customers to photograph themselves with their Darn Knit Anyway tote bag and email it or post it to Facebook for a discount; and helped organize events such as the Stitch-and-Pitch at the St. Paul Saints game or her own Naughty Knit Night, which was featured on Fox 9 news.

Correction in Mix E-Newsletter

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Our monthly e-newsletter, >the mixer, went out today. In the newsletter, we featured products we designed for Drymate. I erroneously stated that they are from Shakopee, MN. In fact, they are located in Savage, Minnesota. I apologize for the error.

Here’s a larger image of their product design. Look for more to come!

Drymate pet products package design

Drymate Pet Products package design

If you’d like to sign up for our e-newsletter, click here. Each month we feature an article related to design or marketing your business, and feature recent work and news from Mix Creative.

December 2009 >the mixer is out!

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Mix Creative has a monthly e-newsletter titled “> the mixer,” filled with marketing tips, news from Mix Creative, samples of our work, and testimonials from our clients. You have a couple of options to catch up with >the mixer: sign up on our website, or view our e-newsletter archives right here on our WordPress blog.

Not sure if you’re ready to commit? Take a look at this month’s >the mixer, featuring information about our new capabilities, the Minnesota Writers Hall of Fame Website, the Twin Cities Women’s Choir Illuminations CD, and more.

Mix Creative to present in workshop series: Using eNewsletters Effectively

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Katrina Hase of Mix Creative will be a guest speaker in the upcoming two-part workshop series, titled Using eNewsletters Effectively!

The workshop, part of an ongoing Tech Networking series from Modern Inconveniences, will focus on the why and the how of e-newsletters. Specific information about the workshop follows:

Using eNewsletters Effectively

  • Date: Wednesday, September 23rd
  • Time: 11:15-1:30PM

Are you planning to implement an Email Newsletter campaign to promote your business? Have you already started but not sure if you are using this marketing tool effectively? This class focuses on what can be accomplished and what is required to implement a successful eNewsletter campaign. We will be comparing the eNewsletter options and services, and exploring best practices for database building, content, delivery and marketing integration.  You will learn about tools that will help you make this process efficient and effective. This class will focus on the theory where our next installment of this series, Enewsletters: Design & Database Tips, will be a hands on approach to using eNewsletter Tools.

Click Here to register  http://mienewsletter1.eventbrite.com/

eNewsletters: Design & Database Tips

  • Date: Wednesday, October 26th
  • Time: 11:15-1:30PM

Do you need help getting started with your eNewsletter Design? Do you need help with building and compiling your eNewsletter Database? Join us at the second half of our next installment of TechNetworking topic, Creating Effective eNewsletters!  This hands on class will focus on design best practices and best practices on compiling and building your database.  In this class you will learn the following:

  • Maintaining brand consistency across your eNewsletter and website
  • Incorporating your brand into the clickable links, colors, fonts and design elements
  • Designing your eNewsletter optimally for text-only readers, mobiles, and full display
  • Tips & tricks to using a template
  • Compiling and building your database

In addition this class will look at the different types of templates and the pros and cons of using them and take a look at some examples of design dos & don’ts.

Click here to register http://datadesigntips.eventbrite.com/

TECH NETWORKING is an ongoing program that offers participants useful skills and informal networking over a light lunch setting. To receive notices about upcoming events, register for the Tech Notes e-blast, or visit the Modern Inconveniences website.

Please feel free to contact Katrina of Mix Creative or Rebecca Metz of Modern Inconveniences (952.831.0508) with any questions about the workshops. We hope to see you there!

So you want to make an e-newsletter

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

E-newsletters are a fabulous way to stay in front of your core audiences. When they’re done correctly, they provide a value to your clients and send the message of “hey! when you’re not using my services, here’s some cool stuff that you can do.” That said, I’ve had people tell me that they don’t get sales or calls off of e-newsletters. That’s not what they’re there for. E-newsletters are a self-promotion tool that keeps your business in the minds of your clients, so that when a job does come up, you’re the one they think of.

Here are some tips for creating an effective e-newsletter campaign:

  • Once a month is a good frequency. Anything more is a nuisance; less has reduced impact.
  • Provide quick, informative content in your clients’ field of interest. Consider questions they may be having right now, and provide insight.
  • Archive your e-newsletters on your website.
  • Think of providing at least one essay, and a few (2-3) sidebar tips
  • Consider promoting one of your clients in an e-newsletter. (“Did you know that X company does. . .”)
  • Point people to useful links
  • Make your subject lines descriptive. Avoid marketing buzz words, which tend to get zapped by spam filters

Quick list: Top 5 Ways to Market Your Company on a Budget

Friday, October 10th, 2008

  1. Network. Show up early and often to business networking events and start meeting potential clients or making connections with people who can benefit your business. Print a busload of business cards and pass them out like candy on Halloween night.
  2. Send out an e-newsletter. The start-up fees and monthly dues are very affordable. Once you have your template, it’s a breeze to update and send on a regular basis. Just make sure that your newsletter offers a real value to your subscribers, or you’ll quickly end up in their spam box.
  3. Blog. This is a no-brainer. It helps your company be found organically through the search engines, and lets people know your areas of expertise. And sites like this one (through WordPress.com) are completely free!
  4. Update your website. Archive your e-newsletters on the site, add an e-newsletter sign-up form, update your client list/products/portfolio and get rid of out-of-date information.
  5. Get some free publicity. This may take some creativity on your part. Give a talk at a local networking or trade event, send a press release to local papers that presents your company in a manner that has a newsworthy angle, hold a charitable event with other companies, start a guerrilla marketing (i.e. street) campaign, or dream up a creative publicity stunt. It won’t come without some creativity and sweat, but it can be affordable if you plan it that way!

Got your own ideas for inexpensive marketing? We’d love to hear ‘em. Leave a comment below with your suggestions!