Etsy guest post: Using Newsletters to Grow your Business

seattle sunset with word "grow"

I was recently invited to contribute a guest post on the Etsy blog about using newsletters to grow your Etsy business. Boy, was I amazed at the number of comments that post got! 150+ and still counting. It’s quite a thrill as a writer to see that your post has resonated with people, as well as a testament to the amazing community Etsy has built up over the years. It’s really quite impressive!

As part of my research for the post, I came across a shop called Ellen Dee Designs run out of Austin by a lovely woman named Lani, who does a great job with all of their branding (including newsletters!) I was happy to feature her newsletter as an inspiring example in the post.

Since building Craftmonkey almost two years ago, I’ve been lucky to meet and work with so many talented people making a living doing what they love. The older I get, the more the old tropes of life being short etc. etc. resonate with me. I’m grateful to be working with a company and people I respect (honestly how cute are these guys?) and living in part of the world that I love. In a couple months, I’ll be speaking at a big crafty event here in Seattle, so look for a post with details about that coming up soon.

Happy almost-summer to everyone! I hope it’s filled with people, places and things that make you very happy.

Need help with your newsletters?

My friend and colleague Amy Ellis was recently interviewed for a new podcast called Creative Little Beasts. The podcast is the latest project from Danielle Maveal (a.k.a @daniellexo), the former seller education lead for Etsy. Amy’s podcast episode is called “Email Marketing for Misfits“, and it’s a great way to learn more about email marketing for what Danielle calls “creative small business owners”.

As a follow-up to the podcast,  Amy is going to be reviewing one lucky person’s newsletter, which is super cool because she’s an expert at email marketing! If you’d like a chance to have your newsletter reviewed for free, drop a link to it on Creative Little Beasts’ Facebook page.

Amy and I are currently at the School House Craft conference in Seattle, where we are meeting crafters, handing out MailChimp stuff, talking about Craftmonkey and learning from lots of awesome, crafty presenters. Tomorrow Amy is presenting and leading a workshop on “Getting Crafty with Email Marketing”, which should totally rock. She’s very kindly made the slides available here, so if you’d like to check it out you can do so! We’ll also be giving away an original painting from Seattle artist Matthew Porter (shown below – monkey with a robot!) during the presentation.

If you’re in Seattle, you can still buy tickets to the conference at the door so feel free to come on by. Hope to see you there!

Mysteries of the natural world

There are things you do because they feel right and they may make no sense and they may make no money and it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other and to eat each other’s cooking and say it was good.

This quote began a recent email to me from Craftmonkey customer Marsha Gaspari. Marsha briefly explained that there was a box of things headed my son’s way and they were all very interesting but most of all, there was a live swallowtail chrysalis packed in cotton in and it needed to be treated very carefully if it was to hatch. She warned that the travel may prove to be too much, that the butterfly could hatch deformed or not have survived the journey at all.

My son Cole has long been a collector and lover of nature and all its creatures. The only contact I’ve had with Marsha has been through email, when she wrote in with a technical question about her Craftmonkey account and it lead me to her Etsy shop. Through our brief correspondence, I told her of Cole’s love of owls and chrysalis. And I thanked her for being a customer of my company’s just-launched product, when we are just starting out and it matters most.

A few weeks later, we received Marsha’s mysterious email, which set off a flurry of mailbox-checking and speculation. Cole and his little sister ran home from school to peek in the mailbox every day.

This past weekend, they were rewarded. As promised, we received a beautiful box containing all manner of treasures from the natural world. There were photos and charms, seedpods and feathers, and nestled among it all, a translucent chrysalis through which folded, spotted wings could just barely be seen. We thought we saw it move, so set it up carefully as instructed and hoped for the best.

May marks the year anniversary of many life-changing events for my family. My grandmother passed away just a week after my husband and I had our professional lives abruptly upended. We moved across the country, switching the kids’ schools and leaving our former home and friends. Although we’re now happily back in our hometown of Seattle, we’re glad to have that particular year of unkindnesses behind us.

Every day, I’m thankful for the beauty of the city where we now make our home; where owls hoot from trees in our backyard and whales play just a few hundred yards off the shore. I’m grateful for the friends and family who support and surround us and whose love sustained us in difficult times. And I’m so happy for people like Marsha, who remind us that there’s an abundance of both strength and grace in the world in spite of its fragility.

More often than not, change is good.