A November Idea

Early November is a “strange” time for professional machine quilters.

Many quilters are up to their ears with customer quilts and customer Christmas quilts and are working nearly all the time to get these quilts finished on time. Other quilters may have big “spaces” in their schedule and could use some extra work to pay their bills or to use for their own holiday celebrations.

If you are a busy quilter, good for you and You Go Girl (or Guy)!!! If you are the quilter who could use a few more quilts to finsh before the end of the year, I have an idea for you.

I suggest that you go to your customer list (you should have a data base of the customers you have had, preferably since you started your business) and find the customers who you have had little or no contact with for a while. You have to determine what  “for a while” means to you. This could be customers who haven’t brought a quilt in for six months, or maybe they haven’t brought a quilt in for a year or more. (I would choose six months or more.)

 Now, write-up a note reminding them that Christmas and the Winter Holidays are coming up, time is getting short and if they want quilting done for the Holidays, they need to contact you as soon as possible so you can get their quilting done in time. (Don’t worry about what to write, I have an example you can use a little later in this post.) To make this offer irresistible to your customer, include that they can have a FREE BATTING if they bring their quilt before a certain date. Trust me, Free Batting get the attention of your customer – which is what you want!

Print out these notes (I use Publisher, which is already on my computer) on card stock paper (card stock is slightly heavier than regular computer paper), put your customer’s address on it, stamp it and put it in the regular mail. Wait the day or two it takes to have the Post Office deliver these notes, and you should have a few more quilts to complete!

Here is a pdf of the note that I created for my business November Customer Note Feel free to adapt it and use it in your business.

Here are the details about this note – There are two notes printed per page, landscape page layout. I cut it in half and then folded it in half with the address on the outside and taped the short edges together. I created labels with my customer’s addresses (using the Mail Merge function in Word from the addresses in my data base), then put these notes in the mail.

I put my note cards in the mail last week. The results – I have already had a few customers call and they will be dropping off their quilts in the next few days!

Let me know your thoughts and if you use this idea, please let us know your results.

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About Cindy Roth
Mother of 3, Grandmother of 11 and quilting forever!

4 Responses to A November Idea

  1. lisa says:

    When I first started my longarm quilting business I ordered some business cards. As my business grew (slowly, by word of mouth) I wanted to kick-start it a bit, so I ordered some really nice postcards that could match the image on my business card (all stock items). I started sending out these postcards to 3-4 customers a week and before I knew it, I was fully booked out for a couple months! I use Vistaprint for my business cards and postcards and have found them to be reasonably priced, easy to order on-line, and fast. Unfortunately I don’t believe they are printed in the USA, but at some point I will find a local printer that I can afford so I can keep the money in my local economy. Hope this helps someone out there!!

    • H Davis says:

      Good Idea Lisa. We went one step further using just the postcard as our business card. One side gives you plenty of space on the left half to describe yourself and your business leaving the right half empty in case you want to mail it. On the other side we put a photo. It’s much more impressive than a photo on a business size card and the cost is minimally more.

      We’ve used gotoprint.net for the postcards. It’s a “do it yourself” type of deal. You design your own cards, brochures, etc on line, supplying your own images and they print them and ship them to you. They’re in Cincinnati I believe. The prices are good but the design process is a little idiosyncratic (had to make a few tries on that one to make the spell checker happy). You can save the design and get reprints later. Figure about $85 for 2500 postcards including shipping. I have no connection at all with gotoprint except as a customer. Color rendition is always a problem in these cases because you don’t get to see a proof before printing. Pick an image that will still look OK if the colors aren’t rendered exactly the way you thing they should be.

  2. Fran Foskey says:

    Super great idea. I have printed off the card. Can you explain how you keep your addresses of your customers? I have a phone book I keep all my names in, but don’t have it on computer. What program do you use?

    You are always coming up with great ideas and we don’t have to pay for them. With a home run business we are always looking for something that will help and you seem to come up with some great ideas. Keep up the great work.

    • Cindy Roth says:

      I use a program called ACT http://www.act.com/ to keep track of my data base, which includes my qulting customers and others who subscribe to my e-newsletters, etc.

      If you use an accounting program to keep track of your business finances you should be able to get a customer list from that. I use QuckBooks and I can create a customer list from the invoices Ihave made for my customers. You could also keep a list of your customers in a spread sheet (Excell) and update it quarterly or so with new customers.

      Even with your customer list in a phone book, you can go through your list and figure out who hasn’t been to see you for a while.

      If someone uses a different way to keep track of thier customers, please let us know.

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