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Getting New Customers

Doug Gemmell

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Nice card. Like stud d says, show more frames and since the name of your business doesn't have "framing" in it, consider making the "custom framing" text larger or put it before "fine art".

Unfortunatly, we framers don't sell nearly as much art as we used to so concentrate on your strength...framing.

Why don't we sell as much art? Internet maybe?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

I don't think i said this but you may have misinterpreted what i was saying, don't move your address to the back side of the card.

The front of a postcard is the side where the homeowners address is, that is the side that is always up when you open your stack of mail. This is the side that people will always look at and you have a second, maybe 2 seconds to grab their attention as they are flipping through their bills and junk mail. On this side you should have an offer and your name and address. If you have too much information or too many offers it gets to be busy and let's face it, people are lazy...your postcard gets flipped to the side and they start to look at something else.

I agree with Mike about the images used but only you know what is selling in your market. We are in the fashion business so you better have some popular art shown.

The best thing to do is look in your mail at what the big companies are doing with their postcards. As Bob C always says, they have all of the money and experts so you better trust that they know what they are doing.

I like sending oversize postcards because they stick out in your pile of mail, the problem is that they cost more to print and send out. In your case I would use them, you are only sending 2000 out. (I send nearly 5X that)

Orange...being consistant with colors is good for branding. If you are having a sale, people associate the color red with a sale or deal. Though i have been noticing that the color pink is being used for sales in the last month or two, not just at Victoria Secret either.

You don't have to have a sale on very postcard or business card that you give to someone, one of the key things in retailing is that you have to proide the consumer with a shopping experience. You have to give the person a reason to come and spend money with you. You need to make them feel like there is an event going on, listen to TV ads some now talk about an even instead of a sale.

Always talk about the customer in your ads, no matter what type. You will get better response out of a statement that includes some form the word "You" in it.

Example: We use conservation materials VS Your artwork is protected with conservation materials.

Bottom line here is like it is in most if not all of the subjects here on the G, only you know your market and your business. We can throw ideas at you but what works for me does not work for everybody, nor should it. The key thing is to know your market and know who you want to market to, then find out what they want and give it to them.

Mike....me a top 10 Decor shop? Not quite, top 100 sure but that could mean #99 or 100.


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Okay, for postcard / business card printing try www.48hourprint.com I used them for my business cards and they did a good job. Reasonably priced. I haven't tried them for postcards yet but will once I get a good design.

I look through the archives about newletters and found if you go to www.pictureframingmagazine.com and look at the newsletters section there are some good ideas for newsletters. I think this will get the ball rolling for me.

There have been some great ideas in this post, I hope it continues!


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
G O O O O D advice everyone!!!!!!!!!
we should all get together and write amotivational how-to(should-do) book, make CD's, and produce the movie!!!

best I can echo, BOB, is develope a great relationship with the local paper(s), ie the art beat reporters)(really helps to get articles more than 1 X / yr), get to the local chambers/lions, etc & get KNOWN. if you can put anything up ON PREMISE---how about the small(callem 'junior' billboards) just down the block w/arrows pointing to your vicinity(either commercially constructed or home grown--check the local codes!), hookup with a photog(or 2) who will do school photos...work out a deal to include at least 1 nicely framed kid-pix in thier package & include a discount on 11X14 or bigger framing(dont forget to include a MAP). volunteer to write a monthly article for the artsy-fartsy page on some aspect of art/framing---dosent need to be 8,000 words, just something subsatnive....there is enough info on all our website, the periodicals you get, and T.G. itself to give you heaps n' gobs of ideas

Janet L

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
When you speak to the groups, make sure you take before and after examples. Best groups I've spoken to (w/immediate customer response) were: Woman's Club, Jr. Woman's Club, and Rotary Club. Showing the faded mats and nasty-looking tobacco colored (make sure you say that) bevels will make your audience go home and examine what's hanging on their walls.

This is one of the most beneficial advertisements I've come across. All these groups are looking for new speakers and are very attentive. The Rotary Club really surprised me. Got lots of jobs from that speaking "gig". Many of the members liked my idea of a "me wall" showing off all their earned certificates and plaques mixed together. Inspired them to get some stuff out of their desk drawers and bring them in for framing. (I also offer to go to their offices and hang the whole wall for an hourly rate). You can usually leave w/some more framing projects. Most Rotarians are men (in my area). They go home and tell their wife about their new framing, and it seems to give the wife the thumb-up for framing. It's a great "word of mouth" venture.

Regarding the biz cards and handing them out. Rather than having the slight discount printed on the back, I prefer to make the person I'm giving the card to feel that they are getting something no one else is getting. I write (in front of them) $20 off on your first framing job w/this card. I sign it and date it.

Just my two cents.


I am very new at the framing business but have been around frame shops and galleries as a professional artist for years. I had one thought or maybe should be stated as a question about the post card. There is a wide variety of art shown on the card. Who are you marketing to? Most of the galleries I have shown in are aimed at the western art collecter. Like most other marketing would it work beter to have a target group even if it ment a couple different cards. Like I said earlier I am new at the framing end of this business so this might not be worth much. Jeff


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
We are working on year three in a small town, population less than 10,000. To date most of our advertising has been in our town paper and on the radio. We have decided to try post cards to replace some of the newspaper ads.

When designing the cards (and ads for that matter), what are the "rules" about using a picture of a print? I have been shying away from using prints but Bob has included a print on his card and there was mention of using a b&w print of "the kiss". Are there any copywrite rules that we should be following?

I confess that I do a lot of "lurking" around the grumble - I have found it very helpful and appreciate all the info that you are willing to share.

Thank you

stud d

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Ok I could be wrong here Jeanne, but I migh think that the black and white "the kiss" with the sailor and his girl might be public domain. That is a guess. I am not sure of the rules? Why not use a local arts? Then that is avoided.
Jeanne let us know how you feel about replacing the paper for postcards. Would love to know if it works out for you. Good luck

Patrick Leeland

Bob Larson

Generally, when you sign up with a publisher to distribute prints, they give you some limited rights to use images of prints in order to promote the sale of those prints. You'll have to check, but every publisher I've worked with (Millpod, Greenwich, Somerset House, Hadley, etc.) has told me that as long as I'm just using it to promote print sales, they're fine with it.

With individual artists, most of them are very easygoing about it if you're using it for a legit purpose like this, but to be on the safe side, I'd at least mention to them that you'd like to use their image in your mailing. Every artist I've spoken with has been completely for it, since it's just promoting their business, anyway, at no cost to them.

As far as who I'm targeting, I'm not really in an area that could support marketing just one type of art, like western, etc. Although through my three mailings so far, I've always had some sort of local scene and some sort of western / Native American image.

Basically, I try to pick something that I do have or that is close to something I have in the gallery, so that if I do get a response from the mailing, I have what they're looking for.

Bob Roy

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Thanks for starting a great thread. I have some comments but I should expose my credentials or lack thereof so you can take my comments with the large grain of salt that they deserve. I am still at the wannabe stage, and new to framing. I have some limited retail experience (< 2 yrs out of a 30+ yr work life). On the other hand, I have done tons of research here on the grumble and elsewhere and can perhaps offer an outsider's perspective. Most of what I say isn't original but a synthesis of what I have been able to gleen so far. So here goes...

Are you a framer or a gallery? I can't tell by looking at your postcard or website. You are here so I presume that you are a framer. You need to tell the world that. Looking at your postcard and website it really looks like you are just another gallery selling the same shlock as every other small gallery instead of someone who can turn this shlock into a fine piece of home decor.

Home decor? Isn't framing about art? Frankly I thought it was but the experts seem to think otherwise. Just yesterday I read either here or in a PFM article that framing is much more closely related to Home decor than art. Thinking about it it really does make sense. Keep this in mind when you prepare your marketing plan.

I don't know if you have seen this series of articles or not Montana Project While your situation is very different, there are a lot of insights that may be applicable to your situation. While you are at PFM, go to the article index and read every article available especially those related to the business aspect.

You are surrounded by BBs. Have you introduced yourself to the framing managers? They generally can't turn stuff around as fast as you can (cf. grumble threads past) and might be able to refer clients who can't wait for two weeks or who want stuff that is beyond their expertise. Establish a relationship, show up once a month with a box of KKs and a fistful of business cards. I think I even remember one grumbler mentioning that she/he has a rack of cards on the counter at the local Michaels!

Hit a trade show if you can. WCAF starts this weekend. Hang up the Gone Fishing sign and take every course on business promotion that you can.

Work on your website a bit. Your services page needs better defined headings. It has no oomph! Lose the MS Comic font, use Verdana or Tahoma. They are easier to read. Some grumblers have really nice sites. Emulate without copying.

You might want to look into joining Framer Select. I have no idea what the costs are but some grumblers are members. There are only 4 framers listed in MN.

Bob Carter has one of the best business minds in this industry. Read his posts. Join PPFA and keep him happy.

From what I have read you are doing a lot of things right. Good luck!

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Bob Roy, I don't know if you've been officially welcomed or not, if not consider yourself welcomed.

FramerSelect is no more - sorry about that.

And the Montana Project was thoroughly discussed when the project began, what, a couple of years ago - you might want to do a search on that.

In fact, there is a ton of good stuff in the archives, and you're right, even more coming on every day.

By the way, more framing is about home decor than art - at least it is these days.

J Phipps TN

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
As far as Framing being "Decor", I always explain to my customers that a great frame is like a good piece of furniture on your wall!
If the framing is cheap it cheapens the whole room, just like furniture. Up grade the frame and up grade the whole room. So keep that in mind when picking out your framing.

It really is how I feel, and if we can get the world to see that, we will be able to sale more of our better products.

I plan to write an article about this very thing in my next newsletter.

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