Direct Marketing

I’ve got a Zazzle shop, I’ve openend a portfolio at RedBubble, and I offer cards in my Artflakes shop. However I noticed one thing: People like to take things into their hands, feel the thickness of the card, take a look at the colours. Many people want to see the product in reality before they buy it. That’s one of the reasons people would not buy my cards online.

Here in Germany you can upload your photos and image files to a drugstore and have your cards and postcards printed for an acceptable price. You can either have single items or a set of 10 cards or postcards. So I selected two of my coloured pencil paintings, uploaded them and had them printed out. Last Sunday I went to an dance and concert at the Hephata church here in Berlin and took the cards with me in order to show them to my friend Claudia. I did this after the concert, when we were sitting together with some members of the church community. Encouraged by Claudia I passed my cards around, waiting for the reaction to come. And what a reaction it was! The people liked the cards very much, were interested in hearing about “how I did it” and told me to show them at the church café, put in a frame, so that they couldn’t be taken away easily.

In addition to that a colleague of mine had had a look at this blog, and now I’ve got a commission! She sent me the links to some of the paintings in a mail and asked me to have these paintings printed on cards. Wow!

So I’ve learnt three important things:

  • If people know you personally, they are much readier to buy something from you.
  • If people can touch the product and see what it looks like in reality, the chance of selling the product to them is much bigger.
  • It is also helpful to be ready to talk about your art, your mediums, your subjects. Sometimes people won’t ask you because they are too shy – and sometimes they don’t want to hear long stories, so you have to find the right way to communicate with your audience.

And by the way I also learnt that there is a term for that kind of marketing – they call it “direct marketing”. Well, I’m off to photoshop now, preparing my next set of prints…

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About Ulla Hennig

I live and work in Berlin. Taking photos is one of my hobbies, and writing is one of my hobbies, too. So I decided not only to show some of my pictures here but also present some of the thought which came wth the pictures.

5 responses to “Direct Marketing”

  1. karencomics says :

    You are ahead of me with all those online shops! I’ve got a RebBubble account, and am very excited about the possibilities, but haven’t had time to submit any files. Soon, soon.

    For many years I used to do markets and street fairs, and I found it true what you say about being able to touch the merchandise. I’m that way myself, and still like to bring out the physical product and show it whenever I can. However, people are getting used to shopping online, so I’m going to give selling online a try. I really do like the idea of not having to do the shipping myself!

    • Ulla Hennig says :

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Karen! Just yesterday I sold some cards to a friend I was having dinner with. I use the same file for having it printed at the drugstore and for uploading it to RedBubble, Zazzle or Artflakes. I can even use one of the cards to show it around and thus promote my online shop.

      • karencomics says :

        I must have forgotten to check the “notify me” box, because I missed this! On my list this week — get something up on RedBubble! Soooo busy!

        When I make cards, I get copies made of the images, 2 or 4 to a sheet depending on the size I want, then cut them out with a pair of those fancy scissors, and attach them to a notecard (I used to cut and fold my own, which is cheaper, but I like the storebought blanks better). It’s kind of labour-intensive, but looks good. I affix a sticker to the back of each one with my contact info — I’ve gotten a few orders that way over the years. Now I’ll have to add my blog and online shops to the sticker too!

  2. Ulla Hennig says :

    I am absolutely not good at cutting out things in a precise and orderly manner, so I prefer leaving the cardmaking job to a company. I really should put more additional items in my redbubble shop (it is on my list), but somehow I haven’t managed to do it in the last weeks. Shame on me!

    • karencomics says :

      The best thing about the online companies is that they do all the packaging and sending — I don’t mind the making so much (it’s kind of meditative, and I do it in big batches) but I *hate* wrapping things up and then going to mail them!

      Well, let’s cheer each other on for putting stuff up! I’ll find you and follow you next time I’m on RedBubble so I can see what you’re doing, and I’ll let you know when I’ve got stuff up!

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