5 Direct Mail Marketing Ideas for Jewelry BrandsLaryssa
In episode #197 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I share the best opportunities in direct mail marketing for jewelry brands today.
Some people consider direct mail to be a more “traditional” or “old school” marketing strategy, since it involves actual paper as well as the United States Postal Service.
It’s the practice of engaging your prospects and customers through printed marketing materials like postcards, catalogs, coupons, and other types of mailers.
In this episode, I’ll be sharing five ways that you can utilize direct mail marketing for your jewelry brand. They include:
- Handwritten notes/cards
- An offer within a box/package
- Catalog or other glossy mailer
- Content publication like a magazine
Check out the transcript below.
Welcome to the Joy Joy Podcast, where “jewelry is joy”, and everyone is encouraged to add more polish and sparkle to the world. With topics ranging from marketing tips to business development, best practices and beyond, this is the go-to podcast for ambitious jewelry industry dreamers like you.
Hi, I’m your host Laryssa Wirstiuk. Through this podcast I aim to empower and inspire jewelry entrepreneurs and professionals, so they can thrive while adding more beauty to the world. I’m passionate about digital marketing for jewelry brands, and I’m excited to share my passion with you. As we all know “jewelry is joy”, so I’ll gladly seize any opportunity to talk about it. This is episode #197, and today I’m going to be talking about the best opportunities in direct mail marketing for jewelry brands today.
Some people consider direct mail to be a more traditional or old school marketing strategy, since it involves actual paper as well as the United States Postal Service. It’s the practice of engaging your prospects and customers through printed marketing materials like postcards, catalogs, coupons, and other types of mailers. In this episode, I’ll be sharing five ways that you can utilize direct mail marketing for your jewelry brand. They include: 1. Handwritten notes or cards; 2. an offer within a box or package; 3. a catalogue or other type of glossy mailer; 4. postcards; and 5. a content publication like an actual magazine.
But before we get to the solid gold of this episode, I’d like to take a moment to remind you that this podcast has both an audio and a video component. So you can either listen on your favorite podcast platform or watch on YouTube by searching Joy Joya. I love creating this content as my active service to you, my awesome listeners and viewers. And you can always support the podcast for free by taking the time not only to subscribe, but also to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other jewelry dreamers find it too. I want to read my favorite review of the week. “Two Da Loo Magoo” says “I love that these episodes are short, sweet and full of great info.” Thank you. I really appreciate that. If you leave a review, I might read it on a future episode. So please let me know what you think about this episode, or about any other major takeaways or revelations you’ve had recently.
I am so excited to announce that the Joy Joy Podcast has its very first sponsor after self funding this podcast since 2018. When I first launched, I’ve now decided to seek outside sponsors to help me build the resources I’ll need to keep improving upon this content and making it better for you. I have big ideas and, as you probably know, big ideas require funds and support. If you’re interested in seeing the sales kit, and learning about how being a podcast sponsor can help you build brand awareness with a very niche targeted audience, you can always email me Laryssa that’s email@example.com.
This episode is sponsored by Chrysmela, maker of the most secure earring back in the world. If you’re not watching on YouTube, please visit the Joy Joya channel to see my demo of the only earring back that automatically fits, locks, and lifts all type of earrings. I’m wearing them on my studs right now. I’ve mentioned in a previous episode, I wear jewelry in situations that I probably should not be wearing jewelry like intense workouts, sleeping, and so I need a solution like this to ensure that my favorite studs don’t come out or get lost. And they get the job done. I also want to show you the really beautiful packaging, super luxe and high end looking. If you’ve been seeking unique gift with purchase ideas for your jewelry business, especially with the upcoming holidays. If you’re hoping to increase your average order value and you sell post-back earrings then Chrysmela is the high-quality solution you need that enables you to ultimately to provide a better customer experience and instill confidence in your clientele. I have a demo here on these very sparkly stud earrings. And I want to show you that no matter how hard I pull, I’ll probably break this display. But these backs are not coming off. Mayumi Ishii, the exclusive US distributor of Chrysmela, was even a past guest on the Joy Joya Podcast in Episode 71 if you’d like to check out her interview. Joy Joya listeners and viewers who are interested in learning more about partnering with Chrysmela can email Mayumi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chrysmela offers white labeling as well as wholesale opportunities. That’s email@example.com. And please make sure to mention that you learned about Chrysmela through the Joy Joya Podcast.
In this segment of the podcast I give out my Sparkle Award for the week. During this segment I highlight a jewelry brand that is impressing me with their marketing. The Sparkle Award is also interactive, so you can visit sparkleaward.com to nominate a jewelry brand that’s inspiring you these days, and I might future your submission on a future podcast episode. So this week’s Sparkle Award goes to Kendra Scott. I learned about a recent marketing campaign that they did through marketingbrew.com in the article called “Kendra Scott bet big on #BamaRushTok 2022, and it paid off”. So this is yet another great example of a jewelry brand that truly knows its customers and how to reach them. And if you know me, and you’re a fan of this podcast, you know how important that is to me. Marketing Brew recently wrote about Kendra Scott and their efforts to reach their college age customers, many of whom participate in sorority recruitment. I’m gonna pretend I know something about this since I was never part of a sorority and I never did rush so I’m just gonna pretend like I know what I’m talking about. But anyway, according to Amy Young, the brand’s VP of brand marketing, the jewelry company has been “counting down the days” until August when #BamaRushTok was set to return. The company notices that women in college who are hoping to join sororities are often seen wearing Kendra Scott jewelry. So last year in 2021 when Kendra Scott jumped on the trend, it’s three #BamaRush TikTok videos received a combined more than 2 million views and more than 200,000 likes. They were hoping the trend would return this year. And it definitely did. Instead of reacting in real time like they did in 2021, this year they were actually able to plan ahead for rush. According to the article, “Kendra Scott prepared for the trend’s second act by starting the back to school messaging earlier than usual, leaning on the brands college ambassadors”. Through conversations with these brand ambassadors, the Kendra Scott team learned that the sorority hopefuls actually plan their outfits earlier and earlier every year. So Kendra Scott actually started talking about back to school in July way sooner than most brands are talking about back to school if that’s even part of their messaging at all. On TikTok specifically, Kendra Scott saw higher than normal engagement on its hashtag #BamaRush videos. For instance, one video posted on August 8 was viewed 1.4 million times and received nearly 160,000 likes. Direct to consumer sales also increased 18% year over year between that period of time when they were doing this campaign.
Jewelry business owners often asked me Laryssa, when’s the right time to do X? Should I be doing this? Should I be trying to reach this customer or kind of buying into this cultural moment? When should I move forward with this or that messaging? Well, it really depends on your target customer. That’s it. While timing your marketing campaign with Rush might work for Kendra Scott, it obviously won’t work for a lot of other brands. So you need to know your customer, what they’re doing, what they love, what they participate in, when all all of this stuff is happening. And that alone should dictate what you decide to do with all of your marketing efforts. As I mentioned, you can visit sparkleaward.com to nominate a jewelry brand that’s inspiring you these days, and I might feature your submission on a future podcast episode.
Let’s discuss some recent news related to jewelry or marketing. Each week I share my thoughts about three relevant articles, and you can get the links to these articles in the show notes. The first article comes from National Jeweler and it’s “Sotheby’s Brings Back ‘Brilliant & Black’ Selling Exhibition”. I love to see this from Sotheby’s. So last year, you may have heard that the auction house partnered with jewelry writer and curator Melanie Grant to highlight black jewelry designers from the 1950s to the present in an exhibition called “Brilliant & Black: A Jewellery Renaissance”. It was so popular and had such a great reception that it’s now coming back for a second round, including more designers and a different theme, and it will open at Sotheby’s London gallery later this month. The new exhibition is called “Brilliant & Black: The Age of Enlightenment”, and it will offer more than 70 pieces from 25 contemporary designers including eight new ones from last year that weren’t in last year’s exhibition and have the returning designers like Melanie Eddy, Harwell Godfrey, Catherine Sarr, and more. All of the participating artists have created one new piece that’s a nod to the exhibition’s theme enlightenment, a period that Grant described as “a time of growth, individualism, and intellectual recession”.
The next article comes from Vogue, and it’s called, “Don’t Call Them Grandmas! The Enduring Appeal of the Senior Fashion Icon”. So TikTok has been loving the coastal grandma aesthetic, and even young people are tapping into their inner “fancy grandma”. According to Vogue, one thing that’s really emerging from this trend beyond like, the age or the look is the idea that it’s totally okay to dress for yourself, and you don’t need to be aligned with trends and external influences. Okay, Vogue is just coming to this conclusion in 2022, whatever I’m all for it. “And the we’re still primarily living in a time when fashion is geared toward youthful aesthetic, coastal grandma and fancy grandma both echo in evolution of self expressive dressing that happened earlier during the pandemic”. Obviously, this is also clearly tied to vintage fashion to like upcycled fashion. Ari Seth Cohen, the creator and author of the blog, Advanced Style says, “I hear a lot of times from older women that they have felt invisible for many years, and that sometimes after seeing women who express themselves fully, they have felt the permission to go there again”. It’s a little bit sad that people feel that way. But I love that there’s now this sense of empowerment, because older women, really any type of women are seeing some version of themselves being represented in the way brands are marketing, the models that they’re choosing to showcase their products. So this could be a great call to consider more age diversity in your marketing, or even how you’re styling and dressing models in campaigns. Maybe the coastal grandma or fancy grandma trend that doesn’t apply to you in any way. But I would say to think about this and think about how your customer wants to feel, wants to be treated when they interact with your brand, and how you can really support that.
And then the last article comes from Who, What Wear, and it’s “6 Formerly “Dated” Jewelry Trends That Will Be Big This Fall”. Isn’t it true that everything old somehow becomes new again? This is always especially correct in fashion and accessories, with trends always resurfacing More recently, the 90s really coming back into style. So Who, What, Wear recently shared this article that reminded me actually, of an Instagram Story I saw Gem Gossip recently do when she asked her followers to share the jewelry trends they’re most embarrassed about buying into. Like I’m trying to remember now Alex and Ani bracelets, Pandora charms, listen no shade to those brands. I’m just repeating what I saw on the Gem Gossip Instagram account, and it was pretty funny. But I want to say don’t ever feel ashamed of jewelry trends that you bought in to because there is a chance that they may now actually be cool again. So don’t go selling your jewelry and giving it away before you are sure that it’s not a trend that will come back so don’t be embarrassed. Anyway, these six trends are long necklaces, including lariats, oversized single cuff bracelets, or overly layered bangles, modern brooches, every type of body jewelry, choker necklaces, including layered chokers, or pairing with unexpected pieces. And finally, floral jewelry. Are you surprised about any of those trends coming back? Nothing surprises me anymore. For more information about any of these articles, check out the links in the show notes.
So without further delay, let’s talk about direct mail marketing. Some ideas that I have for you to experiment with direct mail marketing and the opportunities there. So I’m going to share five tips if you want to dip your toe in direct mail marketing.
First, let’s talk about handwritten notes or cards. I would suggest if you’re interested in this or you want to know more, go back to Episode 135. And listen to my interview with David Wachs, the founder of Handwrytten, and I will put that link in the show notes so you can check it out. So Handwrytten is a service that allows product-based businesses just like yours to leverage the lost art of letter writing through scalable, robot based solutions that write the notes in pen. So I’m not saying you necessarily have to use this service, but he has a lot of great insights about the power of handwritten notes. So as you know, as you can imagine, the majority of brand communications today are digital. Unless you are going into a physical brick and mortar store and interacting with a salesperson, you are instead interacting with emails, text messages, social media posts, chat, bots, ads, etc. It’s all digital. All primarily all the touch points are. So now imagine how you feel when you get an actual handwritten note in the mail. It happens so infrequently. And it’s such a rare occasion. It feels so special, that you may even be compelled to save that note and like put it on your fridge or put it on some kind of like tape it next to your desk. Imagine a business you love sending you a handwritten card about something that’s specifically relevant to you. It honestly feels like a luxury reserved for like a wealthy person who has a personal shopper or some kind of concierge. But you as a business owner can provide that feeling to your customers. And I’m sitting over here in my office wondering why the heck more jewelry businesses are not doing this. I think especially if you make custom jewelry or very high end jewelry, you should be employing handwritten notes and cards. And let me tell you, the holiday season is the perfect time to get started with this. So please do it. Thank you.
My second tip or idea about direct mail marketing is to put in offer within a box or package that you are already shipping. So here’s the thing, when a customer orders something from you, and you make a shipment, you need to be making the most of that postage, especially if you’re the one covering it for the customer, make that postage work for you. So think about yes, you want to give a beautiful packaging experience. You want that person to open the package and be delighted and be really happy with their purchase and feel assured that they made the right decision. So you can insert something else into that package and let’s call it direct mail. This can be a postcard or some other type of offer. Here’s the other benefit of doing this: not only are you making the most of your postage, but those inserts can be highly targeted, because you pretty much know everything about that customer. You know if they’re a new customer, you know, if they’re a repeat customer, you know where they live, you know what they purchased, you know the price point of what they purchased. So if it’s a new customer, they might get one type of message like an invitation to sign up for a customer loyalty program. And then maybe they can retroactively claim points on their first purchase. If it’s an existing customer, send a “thank you” note, share your appreciation. This is a great time to acknowledge all the things they’ve purchased before and maybe give them a recommendation for what’s going to be next. Other things you can insert in that package, maybe some kind of style guide, a printed catalog of new products. discount offers, a small branded gift, a request to write a product review or to share on social media, where some kind of incentive to refer to a friend.
Number three, catalog or some other type of glossy mailer, social media marketing, especially Instagram has really become the new catalog for a lot of jewelry brands. Since you can showcase your merchandise, styled photography, product photography, in a social media feed, it’s low cost, you can sort of ensure that people are seeing it, although that is less and less true day by day. But if you want to increase brand awareness and visibility in a space that’s much less crowded than Instagram, and more, especially if you target millennials, you want to consider investing in a catalog or some kind of other glossy mailer. Here’s the benefits of doing it. Even if you continue investing time effort into digital, which you should, a catalog can really amplify your online marketing campaigns by complementing and expanding on them, giving them greater reach and like more, it’s like you’re putting a megaphone on all your digital marketing efforts. Conversely, catalogs can also drive customers to your digital experiences. So these things, the print and digital, are not working separately or in silos. They should be working together with catalogs. There are a ton of audience targeting opportunities. They’re also really easy and fun to consume, they invite the customer to slow down. Think about your own typical like Instagram experience, you are sitting there scrolling, if you see something you like, maybe you spend an extra like 30 seconds with it, and then you’re on your way. But if you give someone a beautiful catalog to look at, they might sit down with it for 20 to 30 minutes on their couch and like really pay attention to it. And like enjoy it really. You are not going to get that kind of engagement with an email, a text social media post, literally nothing. Catalogs can also give you the opportunity to feature additional engaging content for brand storytelling purposes, or to kind of like infuse your brand values to tell another layer of your story to give extra meaning to your jewelry. I recently saw a catalog from the apparel brand Marine Layer. They frequently send me catalogs, and there was something in the most recent catalog that really caught my eye in the middle of the catalog. They had this whole write up about this 1970s music festival from which the recent collection was heavily inspired by and then there was even this like fold out of this kind of psychedelically designed poster inspired by 70s music festivals that if you wanted to, you could even tear out and have it as like, put it on your wall or save it it was really beautifully done. And it again, encouraged me to sit with that catalog longer and to engage with the brand even more than if I was just flipping through the pages and seeing if there was any clothing I liked or wanted to buy. If you want to see some examples of beautiful jewelry catalogs, I would recommend Holly Yashi and Julie Vos V O S. Those are two brands that do a lot of catalog marketing, and they have beautifully designed catalogs. I’ve also seen some really great trifold mailers, so not like full blown book catalogs by Ariel Gordon Jewelry.
Number four – postcards. If you want to dip your toe into direct mail marketing at a lower like cost entry point and just try something before you invest in a higher ticket item like a catalog or a mailer. A postcard is a great choice for you. Especially if your goal is just to build brand awareness or maybe you have a specific offer that you want people to take advantage of. It’s really the most cost effective form of targeted marketing available. There’s a lower postage price point. I personally have recently received postcards from brands like Mejuri, Brilliant Earth, and Brighton. Sometimes they have an offer like a discount. And other times, it’s just like a brief introduction to the brand inviting me to like, check out their website and shop. The other benefit of postcards is they can be very traceable. If you put a code that’s unique to the person you’re mailing to. There’s this vitamin company that sends me postcards sometimes, and I’m a regular customer of them. And they’ll put an offer just for me with a unique specific code. That way they’re able to track whether or not I personally am using it. And it’s super easy to track the effectiveness of your postcards in that way. Postcards are also physical. So if they are beautiful, people might even hold on to them, like put them on their fridge with a magnet. So you want to aim for producing something that’s really aesthetically pleasing.
And then tip number five, this is kind of the more like advanced version of everything I’m talking about here. The more high investment cost version probably best suited to a luxury or high end fine jewelry brand, a content publication like a magazine. So here’s something I’m going to invite you to do. Whether you decide to do a magazine or not, think of your jewelry business as a content or media business. Jewelry is so wonderfully suited for stories and storytelling. But I see very few jewelry brands actually telling stories in strategic ways. And it is such a dang shame. Let me tell you, to my knowledge, not very many jewelry businesses have ever gone this route before. There’s one. I’m not sure if they’re actually actively publishing right now and maybe someone can tell me in the YouTube comments, but the brand Spinelli Kilcollin has a biannual magazine called .925. And they describe it as featuring “their creative endeavors from our team and the larger SK family”. It’s probably a huge investment for them. It’s probably a loss leader, but it really builds upon the story of the brand and reinforces this luxury high end exclusivity that the brand promotes thinking of your jewelry brand as a media brand also means that you’re always focused on providing value to the customer. So you’re not always just talking about yourself and your products. This is a way to build trust, and to expand upon your brand’s story and values.
What do you think about direct mail marketing? You can always email me Laryssa that’s firstname.lastname@example.org. If you love this podcast, please share it with a friend who’d appreciate it and don’t forget to subscribe as well as leave a review on Apple podcasts to purchase a signed copy of my book jewelry marketing Joy visit joyjoya.com/book for more information.
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai