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E-mail Marketing - CAN-SPAM and Why You Shouldn't

Published on August 12th, 2014

E-mail marketing is one of the most effective tools that any one can utilize to get the word out and promote products. Most of the time sending these marketing messages through the interweb is relatively straight forward, harmless and very rewarding. But if you are really enthusiastic about marketing your business, there are 3 things to note. 
It's important to be sure your e-mail lists and the people who are receiving e-mail from your newsletters, business e-mails and personal e-mails, know who you are. If you haven't received express consent from the recipient to send them messages, give them an opportunity to give you permission. You can do this by periodically sending an "opt-in" message or by inviting people to sign up for your newsletter. 
BEST PRACTICE: In the footer of your message, include a short line about why they are receiving your message and then give them an opportunity to unsubscribe if they are no longer interested. Example: "You've signed up on our website to receive periodic e-mail updates from us. To unsubscribe..."
In the United States, there are regulations set aside by the FCC to help ensure businesses send marketing messages in an appropriate fashion to citizens. 

Under the CAN-SPAM Act (which is a Law in the U.S.) all communication messages from businesses that have a marketing message must have the following:
  • Identification – The e-mail must be clearly identified as a solicitation or advertisement for products or services;
  • Opt-Out – The e-mail must provide easily-accessible, legitimate, and free ways for you to reject future messages from that sender;
  • Return Address – The e-mail must contain legitimate return e-mail addresses, as well as the sender’s postal address.
    (Information from 
3. New Canadian Law

Recent legislation from the Canadian front has now made it a law to anyone that sends e-mail messages to Canadian e-mail addresses to have a double opt-in record. What this means is in the next 36 months any business sending marketing messages to a Canadian e-mail recipient must have two opt-ins on file for the e-mail to be considered non-spam. Canadian law that went into effect July 1, 2014 can now FINE businesses for not complying to this new spam rule. 

For more information about the Canadian Anti-Spam Legistlation, Visit: 
Other E-mail Marketing Advice:
  • Newsletters should be sent at least 1/month, but not more than 2x/week. 
  • Include an action item in your marketing e-mails to measure it's success.
  • Find ways to grow your e-mail marketing lists. Ask your social networks to sign up for e-mails, gather sign ups at trade shows or hold contests to encourage customers to sign up for your marketing e-mails. 
Happy Marketing!

Category: Online Marketing | |

Results: Annual Quilter's Shopping Trends Survey

Published on August 7th, 2014

The results from the Annual Quilter's Shopping Trends Survey are rolling in and we'd love to share. This year we asked our quilting friends to answer questions about their online shopping habits. We hope that this information will help those who operate online quilting businesses so that they can make the online shopping experience for their customers a pleasant one. 

This year was a record breaking year for our survey. We reached over 1,300 quilt shoppers! The growth in our data pool really helps make a difference when we compare results. Thanks to those of you that took that time to contribute your responses. Without further delay, here are the results for 2014.

Annual Quilter's Shopping Trends Survey : Results 2014

"I prefer to shop online for my quilting needs."


Top 3 benefits to shopping online for fabric instead of at a brick-and-mortar store:

1. There is a larger inventory of fabric online.

2. I don't have to leave home.

3. I can compare prices easily

20% of those surveyed said that 80% or more of their ONLINE quilt supply purchases was for fabric.

Shoppers prefer online stores to organize their fabric by:

1. Collection

2. Color 

3. Manufacturer

4. Theme/Genre

5. What's on Sale

What styles of fabric do you typically purchase?

25% of those surveyed said they compare prices between brick-and-mortar stores and Online Stores frequently.


85% of those surveyed said that low shipping cost was the most important aspect of the shipment of their items from online purchases.

When you go online to buy fabric:

55% of those surveyed said they ALWAYS look for security marks or https when they purchase online.

What best increases your loyalty to an online store?

1. Excellent customer service

2. Prices

3. Ease of use

4. Type of inventory

5. Shipping options

6. Loyalty or rewards programs

48% of those surveyed said they had signed up for a quilting class online.

What makes you want to leave a website the most?

Which social media channels would most likely lead you to buy online?

Do you prefer to finish your own quilts or do you hire it out to another quilter (or longarm quilter)?

How much time do you spend on social media websites each week?

How did you hear about some of your favorite online quilt stores? 

I respond best to...

What search engines do you use to find fabric and quilting supplies?

65% of those surveyed said they frequently return to the same online stores.

60% of those surveyed said they prefer or don't mind using PayPal for processing payment at checkout.

75% agree that if an online store looks outdated, it makes them NOT want to buy from the store.

I expect the following from an online store in order to purchase:

How did you find your favorite online fabric & quilting supply store?

90% of those surveyed said they avoid purchasing sewing machines online.

Which social networks do you use?

70% of those surveyed own some kind of smart phone device.

47% have used a mobile phone, iPhone, iPad or tablet to make a quilting supply purchase.


This concludes our search summary for the Annual Quilter's Shopping Trends Survey in 2014. We'd like to give a special thank-you to our sponsors this year. We've randomly selected prize winners for each of the sponsors prizes and they will be contacting the lucky recipient this week to help them claim their prize. Feel free to visit their sites listed below for more great products and services.

2014 Prizes and Sponsors:

* Crafty Threads - $25 Gift Card
  * Pacific Fabrics & Crafts - $25 Gift Card

* Cotton Candy Quilt Shoppe - $50 Gift Card

  * Quilter's Roost - $50 of Fat Quarters
* Custom Quilt Kits - $100 Custom Quilt Kit
  * Heirloom Quilting Company - Homestead Gatherings Dessert Roll ($34 Value)
* Quilted Dawn - Northcott Stonehenge Jelly Roll ($43 Value)
  * Fun With Stitches - $30 Gift Certificate
* Studioe - Precut Fat Quarter Bundle ($30 Value)
  * Henry Glass - Precut Fat Quarter Bundle ($30 Value)
* Piecing the Past Quilts - 10 Piece Fat Quarter Bundle of 1800's  Reproduction Fabrics ($25 Value)
(Site Coming Soon! Will be live in August.) 
  * Quilter's Palette - "Quill" Fat Quarter Bundle by Robert Kaufman ($34 Value)
* Aunt Sassy's Quilts - Fat Quarter Bundle "Tomorrow's Promise" by Marti Michelle ($78 Value)

Categories: Quilting Related, Online Marketing | |

Annual Quilter's Shopping Trend Survey - Why we do it.

Published on July 1st, 2014

Each year we conduct a shopping trends survey for the quilting industry. According to the Quilting in America Survey found on the VDTA's website, the quilting industry is worth approximately 3.6 BILLION annually. [1] Now this study was from 2010, but with all of the activity that we see, I'd dare to assume that this is a pretty accurate number for today as well.

The Annual Quilter's Shopping Trends Survey seeks to help understand the activities of shoppers as they complete quilting purchases online. Our industry isn't like other industries that participate in e-commerce. There are different obsticles based on products we sell, activities we participate in and different expectations that we have as creative people looking for wares to support our fabric habit. Truly, quilters are a very unique bunch.

The study has been conducted for several years now, and with each year new data is collected, analysed and used to help create a better shopping experience online for our customers that we market to every day. 

Did you know that nearly 60% of quilters surveyed in 2012 said that over 70% of their online shopping was for fabric? [2] This kind of data is very valuable to those considering expanding their online stores and marketing their products. Knowing what quilters are interested in, what they like to shop for and how they choose their online stores helps them feel confident in their marketing plans. 

The 2014 Annual Shopping Trends Survey is now open until July 15, 2014. Take a few minutes to take the survey here: This page also has a list of our sponsors and prizes you could win for participating. 

Happy Marketing!

Audri Wadsworth


Category: Online Marketing | |

None Shall Pass! Keeping Your Email Safe

Published on June 12th, 2014

Many people underestimate the power of email. Having an email account is absolutely necessary for anyone that uses technology, but did you know you can be using your e-mail incorrectly? 

You Shall Not Pass!

The most important first: Passwords. Your password is the key to entering the house of email that you are gathering. If your password is not secure, your email is not only vulnerable to being hacked, but it can also be used to send spam. 

You Shall Not Pass - Make a secure password.

Your Password doesn't have to be terribly complicated, but it should NEVER be the word "password"! It should also never contain any part of your e-mail address, your name or any other information that would be easily guessed. 

To make a secure password, keep in mind that it should be more than 8 characters long, include a number or punctuation. It's also a good idea to change your password every once in a while. It could even be a silly sentence with spaces and punctuation so that it's easy to remember. Try to not use any one word that can be found in a dictionary.

What Else is At Risk?

Email hackers are pretty common. When they breach the security of your Emails, they can gain not only your personal information, but anyone who has sent you a message. For this reason, it is one account that deserves some extra thought and protection. If you haven't changed your password in a while, perhaps it's time to think up a new one and make sure your account is protected.  

Is it Really That Big of A Deal?

Yes! Another piece to consider with Email security is that if a hacker does gain access to your account and use it to send SPAM, your account can be shut down or blacklisted (meaning that your account is blocked from popular email servers and will not send or be received). This can not only affect your email account, but it can also affect ANY email account hosted by your email server. This is a very serious problem and it could all be prevented with a secure password.

If you find strange emails in your "sent" folder that you did not send, or if you get an email saying that your account has been blocked, be sure to contact your email host to correct your account and get you back up and running. If your email is tied to your website domain, be sure to contact whomever helps you with your website and they should be able to assist you.

Category: Cool Tips | |

Online Marketing for 2014: Trends & Techniques

Published on May 16th, 2014

Presented by Daniel Purcell

Download a copy of this presentation (PDF) 

Technology is constantly evolving and changing. With online marketing, there is a deluge of information and the rules are being changed all the time. In this presentation we'll explore some of the most current information for marketing your business online in 2014 and provide you with key information to stay relevant. 

Category: Online Marketing | |

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