On Running Your Shop: Tout the Shop

Speed up your slow months with a direct-mail piece.

BY DAVID GELLER

Published in the March 2012 issue

For many jewelers, the end of March and early April are slow. For us, it hurt cash flow and took months to play catch up. So we started a yearly tradition for the spring. In early March, we mailed our whole customer list a piece advertising the shop. Additionally, we pushed the sale of old merchandise.

We advertised in general:

  • Jewelry repair of all types
  • Custom design (we would use the customer’s gold)
  • Design using our loose gemstones
  • Older merchandise. The older it was the more it was discounted. Customers didn’t know that, but they saw the increase in discounts on merchandise.

We sent out postcards and later a small catalog. The response was awesome.

When we advertised jewelry repair we gave examples. There was a picture of a ring with a separated shank. Next to it were before and after pictures and text touting: “Save 20% on jewelry repair.”

We used the same type of advertising for designing new jewelry. Most stores that custom design jewelry charge $400 to $600 to start. We had more than 1,000 wax models we showed customers, and if they chose an already made wax, we charged $195 to make any ring with their gold! But a majority of customers opted for having something custom made, and that started at $450. So the advertising was: “Custom design a new ring just for you! Use your own gold and stones and save money. Prices start at only $195.” The direct mail was sent out in mid-March.

Toward the end of the month we started to take in a lot of repairs and custom work, which continued though the end of April. But man, April was great, going from being a 25-percent off month to a break-even month, and May soon became our second-best month, next to December! All from direct mail advertising of the shop.