Hi everyone,

This weekend Cinnamon and I were asked to speak at an event in Monterey – so we took the opportunity to also celebrate our 20th Annivesary! So I shot this week’s video on the balcany – and I focused on answering the question,

“do you have a challenge getting people to respond to your marketing messages?”

Watch the video on Youtube at this link: http://youtu.be/d9tsCk-1fOo

Comment Contest: As an example of one response-provoking method – I’m adding a fun comment contest to this post. Simply answer the question,

“I could provoke customers to engage with my products by doing _____________.”

Give me an idea or two, (and if you can’t think of any – that’s okay too – just tell me what you think about this topic). In 3 days, (September 2nd), I’ll pick a winner at random and they’ll receive 3 of my best-selling books…

Craft Business Power: 15-Days To A Profitable Online Craft Business

Instagram Power: Build Your Brand And Reach More Customers With The Power Of Pictures

Youtube Marketing Power: How To Use Video To Find More Prospects, Launch Your Products, Reach A Massive Audience

And – for those of you who prefer to print out the post – I made you a nice little booklet.


Provoking Customer Response

30 Comments on Provoking Customer Response

  1. Offer a free gift with a purchase, or free shipping. 🙂

  2. Hi Jason,

    My new business, Dixie Duckies, is about greetings. My rubber duckie is the first made in the USA since the 1970’s. I add accouterments and tags to celebrate events, holidays, or just to show someone they are appreciated. (The closest equivalent is The Vermont Teddy Bear Company.) The tag line is “Send the gift of a smile.” I’m doing a soft launch before Christmas, most likely through Kickstarter.

    My first objectives are 1. to test the product’s a appeal and price point and 2. to build a mail list.

    So, to provoke customer response as far as nudging them to sign up for the list, I thought I’d create a greeting that is in a form that they can sent to friends. They get access to it when they sign up for the newsletter. It could be digital or printable. I have two avenues I could go on this: One, I have been making colored pencil illustrations for a book I’m writing (my best-selling book out of 35 was on rubber duckies!) and the other is the shrinky dink labels I’m making for the duckies. I’m playing with both right now.

    In the same vein I’m planning on having those greetings printed as postcards and will include one with each duckie I send out so the recipient can send a greeting to a friend. And just happen to learn about Dixie Duckies in the process.

    Each Duckie wears a greeting around his neck. It’s usually two tags, one with the first part of the message, “We go together like cupcakes & frosting” and the other “To John, with a sweet tooth full of love, Jayne” With the names being customizable of course. Once I get the technology in place I want to have people write their own greetings and they can become part of a database of messages others can then choose from. It’s an expansion of suggested greetings flower sites have in place. I can also do this through social media and even post the favorites.

    I’m thinking I can make similar greetings/postcards for my cuckoo clock design business. I design and import German cuckoo clocks too.

    All ideas and feedback is welcome!


    • Jodie – these are great ideas – very interesting business too!

      Thanks for sharing!


  3. My business is new, I have a few of your books and I find this is one of the hardest things for me. It all seems one-sided in conversation, I am use to looking someone in the face and talking, not a screen. Hoping to see more comments of what others do. Thanks.

    • Hi Vicky,

      Yeah, it’s always a huge challenge…I don’t think anyone ever feels like they’ve got it figured out! We certainly don’t.


  4. I could provoke customers to engage with my products by doing contests involving using my products.

  5. I’m a total newbie … dipping my toes into the 18″ doll clothes market. I have only sold 7 items in my community FB bidding wars so far. Made no money, but having a blast learning and developing.

    My tiny idea is to not only try to take good pictures of my doll in her new outfits for sale, but to place her into a little scene or activity. For example: Laying on her ‘bean bag chair’ with her mini bottle of cola in her hand. Shoes kicked off and just chillin’. Since I have put together these scenes, I am seeing that people are watching, following and even buying. Many comment that they can’t wait until they see what my doll will do next.

    I figure them lookin’ ain’t a bad thing.

    • Hi Lori,

      I don’t even know what a “community fb bidding war” is … feel free to explain it to us if you’d like. Creating a story through scenary is a great way to engage people. You’re actually giving them a “bonus” … not only the outfit, but also the storyline. Great idea!


      • Community FB Bidding Wars? Maybe it is a Western Canada ‘thang’.

        I am relatively new at this too. In essence, it is like ebay, except the auctions are only for 24 hours, no fees or shipping involved. You can sell in any ‘community’ you like, but you must be willing to meet for goods exchange in the specific FB Bidding Wars area that you listed under. For many, including myself, I only list in the community where I reside. The purchaser comes to my home, I leave the item out by my front door for the purchaser to pick up at her leisure within 48 hours from auction end, and she leaves the money in my mailbox or under the mat. I have never been ‘robbed’, in fact I have had a few pay a little extra because they did not have exact change.

        Writing a description out this way actually makes it sound very simplistic, but hey, it works. I have only sold a few doll clothes this way … so far, but lots of household items that I do not need any more. You can sell ANYTHING on bidding wars.

        I hope that this helps.

        Oh, you can start your own by making a ‘group’ on Facebook. General guidelines are laid out, and for the most part, people abide by them. I heard and joined by word of mouth, but I am sure that you can figure out a way to ‘engage’ others to join.

        • Thanks Lori – this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this process. That’s awesome. I know a lot of people are tired of eBay and this sounds like it’s a nice mix of Craigslist (loca) eBay (auction) and Facebook (social).



  6. I’m in the process of planning my business, which will teaching what I call “home arts” (sewing, soap making, baking, herb usage) and selling the raw materials to accomplish these arts. I plan to have loyalty cards (buy x dollars of products and get 10 percent off next purchase), free information and suggested uses of the raw material (for example, 10 uses for lavender oil around the home), as well as free samples (try 100 percent whole wheat bread made from freshly ground wheat berries or a sliver of homemade *real* soap).

    • Hi Robin,

      Great ideas … and your business sounds like a great idea as well. Keep us posted on how it all turns out!


  7. I find one thing that helps is offering something that extends the life of the product being offered…for instance, giving a tutorial for an item that you’re customer/reader can do at home. Like the tutorials available through Pixie Faire. The products: clothes patterns, furniture etc are enhanced by these tutorials and reach members of your audience who you might not have reached before. It’s a great thing!

    • Hi Michelle,

      I hadn’t ever thought of the tutorials that way – but you’re totally right. They do act as a way to provoke a response and engage customers.


      Ps. Love the name “Bella and Hoot”

  8. I have invited them to seize the opportunity to have a custom order made for them before Christmas and that I only have a limited number I am available to do.

    • Great idea! The concept of “scarcity” (limited quantities) is a great way to engage customers.


  9. Hi Jason!

    I only sell locally at this point but, ways that I engage my customers on my FB page is through posting a picture of something that has created a childhood memory or about their favorite team,local event or milestone.
    Some of my biggest engagement came from posting an Ohio State outfit, Jamboree in the Hills outfit, and the style of Princess Diana’s wedding dress. Lots of engagement, memories, and excitement throughout the conversations.
    I’ve also had success with little quirky sayings/illustrations that create a chuckle among the fans.
    It’s not easy and you have to figure out who your demographic is, times that you will be most visual to them, and just finding the right piece of information for a small conversation.
    Building a relationship with them, finding common topics, getting feedback on a few items. These help to engage and get to know your customer/fan.

    • Hi Dana,

      Great suggestions! Facebook is a great way to engage – and the strategies you mentioned are fantastic!


  10. I create OOAK (one of a kind) outfits from evening gowns given to me by friends and relatives as well as ones I find in thrift stores. Customers are amazed to see what I have created with these gowns. I have had customers contact me (and purchase!) because their friend told them about my OOAKs. Once my website is up, I plan to post photos of evening gowns before I create the doll outfit, then another one showing what I created from the dress.

    Another idea is the give customers a “frequent buyer card”. For every outfit that is purchased from me, I present them with a card that has six outfits/dolls pictured on it. I punch an outfit with each purchase of one of my garments. After six purchases, the customer receives a free garment (within a certain price range.)

    Not only do plan to sell online, but I also set up a booth at craft shows. (I love the personal interaction with my customers.) In my booth I create scenes for my ‘girls’ – one riding a bike, another in bed, etc. – wearing outfits appropriate for the activity.

  11. I like a combination of starting an Ebay auction at 0.99 that runs through the week and ends on Sunday, as well as adding a little “give away” of a small accessory item or a “recipe card” printed with an easy set of do-it-yourself instructions to go with the auctioned item.

    These 0.99 starters always get me checking in later to see if I can score a great deal, so I figure a lot of other people do the same thing. Then there’s the wild bidding in the last 5 minutes….

    • Hi Robin,

      Yep, good thought. That’s the same strategy we use – and believe in strongly.


  12. Hi Jason,
    Thanks for the wealth of knowledge you share in your posts! I’m drinking from the fire hose right now as I launch my business – http://www.candokiddo.com. My main product is a quilted baby blanket that has newborn play activities printed on it to help new parents know how to help their little one grow and learn through play (I’m a pediatric Occupational Therapist). One thought I’ve had is to let potential customers vote on different fabric options, colors, fonts etc. on upcoming blankets by posting side by side photos on Facebook and asking people to comment to vote which they like better. I figure it might involve people in the “making”, underscore the handmade nature of my products and get folks excited about & anticipating new products?! What do you think?

  13. Hmmm. I get very few likes and comments on a regular Facebook post, but when I post a giveaway (even for something small), I get hundreds of comments + likes.

  14. I would love to find a way to convert FB “likes” and visits to my website to sales. Engaging customers is something I find difficult and I appreciate all the ideas and suggestions from you and others here. I am running a similar contest on my FB site, awarding a $50 randomly, to encourage customers to send me pictures of the quilts they are making to post on my FB site. I have a brick and mortar store and a web-store selling quilting fabrics and supplies.

    • Hi Karen,

      Yeah, that’s the trick – getting the visitors to take action. I hope you continue to learn and grow in 2015 and that it is a great year for your business!


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