Archive | March 23, 2009

What A Brilliant Store Newsletter Looks Like

I got a store e-newsletter this week that grabbed my attention like one hasn’t for a long time (and I get a lot of them, so it takes quite a bit to stand out from the crowd in my inbox). Let’s take a minute to look at what it was and why it was so effective at standing out from the crowd.

The newsletter was from, and it was promoting their new die cut department that they have set up on the site. But instead of just sending out an announcement of the new department with a link, they went a big step further in their newsletter.  They sent out a chart comparing all of the different die cut machines they offer, that included prices and links to videos, customer reviews & forums, and articles on those machines. They sent their customers a product research tool.

[Note: The link above no longer goes to the newsletter with the chart since a new weeks newsletter has now been posted. So I’m posting a screen capture below of the key part of the newsletter to provide a general idea of what it contained.]


So what’s the big deal? The latest shopping research shows that the internet generation of consumers are increasingly looking for more information before they buy a product. This new generation of consumers especially values the opinions of other consumers, via the reviews of other shoppers on shopping sites and in forums.

Shopping sites that provide customer reviews and other similar tools have a major advantage in the battle for consumer dollars. is generally considered the ultimate example of this new way to market – their extensive consumer product review system is the gold standard emulated by many other retailers. But the typical retailer (even Amazon, usually) leaves the reviews sitting on the product’s sales page and waits for consumers to come looking on that page for them.’s recent newsletter took that concept to a whole different level by delivering the products – and the links to their reviews – right into my email inbox.

If you are a retailer, what can you take from’s newsletter this week? You may not have a review system set up or the capability to implement one. But you can take their example as a challenge to see what you can do to provide shopping research tools to your customers. That may mean posting a chart near your adhesive display about what adhesive is good for what different applications…or what about taking the extra step of including that chart in your next newsletter? Be creative. You might be surprised at the results.


CHA Notes: Supershow Celebrities, Call for Board Nominations

Here’s all the latest news out of the Craft & Hobby Association:

SuperShow Celebrities

mary-engelbreitCHA has started promoting the craft celebrities who will be appearing at the SuperShow in Orlando in July. (The SuperShow is the official name for the consumer show that will happen the weekend after the CHA tradeshow.) Some big names are coming that are sure to attract people to the event – great news for the vendors that are committed.

Mary Engelbreit will be making an appearance on Saturday, Aug. 1st. She’ll be doing a presentation from 11am-Noon, and then a book signing from Noon-1pm. Registration for that event will be available when CHA opens registration for the SuperShow on May 1st.

Also scheduled to appear, but with no posted details yet, is Terri Ouellette, better known to crafters as “Terri O.”  Terri has been the CHA Craft Spokesperson for more than 6 years, and produces video content for crafters at her website “Online With Terri O.“.

CHA-Winter 2010 Dates

Just in case planniing for CHA-Summer isn’t far enough into the future for you, note that the dates for CHA-Winter 2010 were publicized in the call for CHA Board Nominations. CHA-Winter 2010 will take place Jan. 24th-Jan. 27th, 2010 in Anaheim, CA.

Call for CHA Board Nominations

CHA has issued a call for nominations to its 2010 Board of Directors. Members of the Board serve 3-year terms. CHA Board Members serve on a voluntary basis, and meet quarterly to provide guidance to CHA.

“If you’re looking for an opportunity to improve the industry, we’re looking for you!” said 2009 Nominating Committee Chair Sara Naumann of Hot Off The Press. “We’re searching for people from all membership sections—people with a track record of professional excellence and a desire to improve the industry.” Naumann added, “If you or someone you know is ready to work as an advocate for change, then please submit a nomination. We’d love to hear from you!”

Interesting in putting your name or the name of another CHA member into nomination for the Board? Here’s how:CHA Members can download the Board Nomination Form by visiting the “Members Only” section of or they can request a copy by email or fax by contacting the CHA Member Services Department at (201) 835-1206 or  emailing Any CHA member may nominate the name of an Association member or submit themselves as a candidate to sit on CHA’s governing body for a 3-year term beginning January 2010.

All nominations will be considered by the committee. Board nominations must be received by June 1, 2009 to facilitate the review process. Nominated individuals who wish to be considered will receive a Board Nominee Profile Form to complete and return by June 15, 2009. If a Nomination Form was submitted and the nominee does not receive the Board Nominee Profile Form to complete within a few days, please contact CHA Member Services at (201) 835-1206 before the June 15, 2009 deadline.

Nominees should plan to have available time for an in-person interview by the Nominating Committee on July 27, 2009, one day before the opening of the CHA 2009 Summer Show. The Summer Show will be held July 28-30 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

To submit either a Board Nomination Form or the Board Nominee Profile Form (if you have been nominated), all nominations should be sent by mail to the chair:

Sara Naumann, 2009 Nominating Committee Chair
c/o CHA Member Services
319 E. 54th Street
Elmwood Park, NJ 07407
Fax: (201) 797-0657

If fax or email methods are used, please set the fax machine or the email program preferences for a “delivery receipt” to ensure delivery.

The CHA Board of Directors consists of individuals representing the various sections of the CHA membership. In August, this committee will meet to review nominations and to submit a slate of candidates for the 2010 Board of Directors to the membership. The membership will be notified in advance of the Annual Business Meeting to submit their proxy ballot as outlined in the Association Bylaws.

Alternate nominations may be made by petition. If no additional nominations are offered, members will confirm the slate at the Annual Business Meeting, which will take place in Anaheim, California, at the 69th CHA Winter Convention & Trade Show held in January 24-27, 2010.

In addition to the 2009 Nominating Committee Chair, Sara Naumann, Board committee members are: Larry Olliges (Dee’s Crafts) and Craig Curtis (Petersen-Arne) with Board alternates Georganne Bender, (KIZER & BENDER Speaking!) and Mark Hill (Creativity Inc.). To complete this committee, the CHA membership elected Pam Riddell (The Riddell Group), Ed Rogala (Midwest Products Co. Inc.), and Chris Vance (AMACO); member alternates are Ryann Juden (Piggy Tales) and Carin Atkins (Carin Atkins Creative Lifestyle).