Friday, May 27, 2011

Letter from the President

It's countdown time for the artists participating in the Clay and Glass Festival in Palo Alto this year. The Festival is my biggest retail show of the year, and I'm sure the same is true for many others. It is also the ACGA's largest source of revenue, which allows us to not only put on the show again next year, but do all the other things that we do to make the ACGA a viable and useful organization. Each member plays a vital role in making the show a success, by making fabulous work that people want to purchase year after year, and by promoting the show to your community and customers.

Promotion can get overwhelming, especially for artists who are busy being creative in their studios. I've put together a "Promotion To-Do Checklist" for artists to take some of the guesswork out of it, so you have a little bit of extra energy to actually get it done!
  • To do today: edit ACGA member web page with recent images and updated information.
  • June 1-7: send a "save the date" email to customers with a digital postcard, links to the ACGA website and your website.
  • Week of June 21: mail show postcard to customers.
  • June 14-21: Post the event to your Facebook page, along with an album of recent work.
  • June 27-July 1: send an email reminder to customers with your booth information and pertinent links.
A word about email: sending a regular email with lots of recipients will often wind up in people's "junk" mail. I strongly encourage you to check out many of email services that are available today so you can send out an email that is formatted for images and links, and will go straight to the inbox of recipients. You can also track who is opening your email! I've tried many of them, including Constant Contact, iContact, and Vertical Response. I use MadMimi, which I've found to be the most cost-effective and easiest to use for me. Most of these services offer the first month free, so take some time and check it out.

A final piece of business: in the ACGA's continuing quest to save money on printing costs and be more green, we've moved the Member Directory online. You can download it as a PDF if you want to keep it stored on your computer or even print it out, or simply log in to the ACGA website to access the member directory there. If you are now still receiving the newsletter in print form, we will be sending you a hard copy this time. But please be aware that member contact information is readily accessible by other registered ACGA members online now, and the ACGA "phonebook" is going the way of the Yellow Pages... onto the web!

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