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SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE? (Read 1709 times)
David_133145
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SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Mar 24th, 2008, 5:27pm
 
First, I jsut want to say I just put a mess of new cards (and a fine mess they are...) in my store, and it was darn near a pleasureable experience!   Shocked
I've heard some complaining, but compared to the other places I upload images and create sections and products, GCU is by far the simplest, quickest, and fun-est.  And it hangs in there for me, it doesn't get impatient and shut down my session if I take too much time, which in my case is a blessing indeed.   CoolOf course, only making one product is part of the simplicity, but I still find myself less harrassed after  doing the submission thingy in GCU.
 
The other day, the GCU big-wig said there should be more humor in the submissions.  Knda funny, most everything I do is silly.  Didn't he notice?  Huh Hmm..and this brings me to my point:  
    I submit all my designs to be available as free e-cards.  I do this to help promote my products.  Yet the only free e-cards available to someone who does not have a clue how to find my store or anyone else's, sees a bunch of generic cards and gifs.  
    I suppose that is good for GCU, but if my designs and the other designs of the contributing artists were made available to the public without going to a specific store, then these people might just buy a paper card from a shopkeeper.  Seems like this would be good for GCU as well as the shopkeepers.  
    After all, GCU has some very fine artists designing great cards, original and unique stuff.  Exposure of this special strength could be what would seperate GCU from all the other generic card companies.  
    I've still seen no significant sales.  But I figure that takes tiem, I suppose.  But without exposure, all the time in the world will not make much difference.  
     If there is nothing in the shop window, nobody's gonna walk in the shop.
        Just my thoughts. Roll Eyes
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Ernestine_131365
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #1 - Mar 24th, 2008, 9:14pm
 
David--
 
   I wrote EXACTLY the same thing to Nasser and was going to point you to that post, then realized I'd sent a private e-mail to him regarding the e-card situation.  I'm curious if those "generic" (non-artist) e-cards offered generate ANY sales.  They don't make sense to me.  Why offer something for free as a promo if it doesn't promote what's for SALE?
   Wouldn't it make more sense to have artist's free e-cards offered that direct to other paper cards?  Maybe a system where each artist could have 1 or 2 free "promo" e-cards available for the main site (outside of the ones they may choose to offer ON their own page) and they could be rotated. . . with different "batches" coming up like "featured artist widgets" rotate (well not exactly like that, but you get the idea?)  And the received e-card would have artists' URL, info about reminder services and purchasing REAL PAPER CARDS at GCU.
     I know this means something new and more programing for the already overworked GCU staff.  I think artists could use something like this to promote GCU in a different way than the widgets, and reach a greater community of shoppers/buyers.  Individual artists are hot to promote their cards, I believe giving THEM the tools to do that can do nothing but benefit GCU as a whole.
     David, your new cards are wonderful and funny. I particularly like "Smoking Fish."  How's it going with the "Polar Bear People?"
 
-Ernestine
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David_133145
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #2 - Mar 24th, 2008, 11:48pm
 
Ernestine, thanks for the compliment.  Polar Bear International is "q-ing" their site for my cartoons as we speak.  I am pretty excited and can't wait to get working with them.  I've been busier than ever setting up links in my site and getting some summer fishing designs made so I can concentrate on the polar bear thingy.  
I am surprised you were the only one to have responded to my comments concerning the free e-cards.  It does seem strange tahat our stuff isn't used in there.  
I'm sort of accustomed to the idea that the only promootion I am going to get is what links I make in my own site, which at present isn't all that much.  But it seems that GCU could be utilizing the shopkeepers to promote .  
I suddenly felt like my shop is just kinda sitting somewhere in the back room where only someone who has the URL can find it.  This doesn't seem like appropriate marketing.
I dunno...  I guess I can just pretend our stuff is getting seen..?
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Corrie_131338
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #3 - Mar 25th, 2008, 12:16am
 
The subject of ecards has been discussed in the not-too-recent past. Here's what Mindy had to say:
 
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/forum/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1203732435/11#11
 
GCU has been concentrating on the paper cards side of the site, but they do intend to work on the ecards in the future. Honestly, I don't think people who send ecards are going to buy paper cards, and since ecards aren't usually saved by the recipient for any length of time (I know I delete them about five minutes after I get them to avoid cluttering my mailbox), they don't have lasting value as a marketing tool. Printable cards, on the other hand...  but I digress.
 Wink
 
Corrie
http://www.corrieweb.nl
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Norval_132688
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #4 - Mar 25th, 2008, 1:35am
 
Hi, Ernestine, Corrie and David,  I Agree with all of you, I can't believe I'm so agreeable tonight [it's 2:35 am here in Missouri]. It must be the after effects of Easter.   But mostly I agree with David, it is so frustrating that that the customers can't find us, even our friends and families.
I tryed to get the point across on another post that one of the best ways to get traffic into our stores would be to cross link with the reminder services,as of now it's a one way street  going into the services,  but no way for a customer to come
into our stores from their sites.  And we have beautiful store fronts in GCU,Its like
going to those wonderful little specialty malls in California, the elegant little shops right next to the bright and glitzy to the off the wall, other words 'Variety'.  I've been browsing, and if GCU was marketed right, we would be at the top of the  'Ten Best Online Greeting Card Sites'.  I went down their Check List, and we are the
only Paper or POD to meet every one of the criteria [except one, ease of use ].
Corrie, I brought up Mindys post and saw Margots, Which brought to mind an old
Hallmark adage---Signage-Signage-Signage, never think the customer will think You think their stupid if you put signage every where, signs, color coding, the whole
works, they will love you for it, you have made their shopping experience easier.
Another adage this time Missourian on lack of funds and the reminder sites look  and even our own GCU " you may be poor but you don't have to look poor!"  We're
selling design and feelings.  I'll shut my mouth before I choke on my foot----It's 3:30 am now.
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Norval_132688
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #5 - Mar 25th, 2008, 1:51am
 
Terri, I just read you on another post, I too apolagize if I've offended, but I have always had a bad case of runny mouth.  GCU can be the future, the talent in every
field is here!
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David_133145
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #6 - Mar 25th, 2008, 8:28am
 
Corrie,
I apologize if I was not in on the previous discussions concerning e-cards, which I gather you were.  And as you gave the link to that discussion :" An opportunity does lie with the ecard recipient.  They certainly may be a card buyer and likely interested in seeing more cards/images like the ecard they received.  
 
Another opportunity (and on our wish list) is for GCU to offer more tasteful ecards than what's available today online in general and even charge for them."
 
I stand my ground.  At present I see no way for a new visitor to find cards made by a contibuting artist, or should I say, see a selection of the artwork available. and as Norwal sees it :  "we have beautiful store fronts in GCU,Its like  
going to those wonderful little specialty malls in California, the elegant little shops right next to the bright and glitzy to the off the wall, other words 'Variety'. "
 E-cards may not be the best for sales, but they are better than nothing.
 
And if I am bringing up a point that "  has been discussed in the not-too-recent past" it can only mean it is something that should be addressed.
Free e-cards is a way to get exposure, and a kiostk - widget with possible choices of images from artist , not clipart, would be a beginning.
All our shop do look very nice.  The format is quite appealing.  There has to be a way for the visitor to "walk down the lane and browse these nice shops.
 
As I said before, this would seem to be to the benefit of GCU as well.
 
I'm a bit gun-shy, especially after being in Zazzle for quite awhile and seing the way business is run over there.  But at least new submissions were posted to the public form each artist, and so on.  But for me, the only thing good that remains for me is the few friends , like captn, that I made over there. Oh yeah, and the $11.70 chack I got at the end of the years captioned "Here it is! Your yearly commission! You earned it!"   And I was told by other artists that I had some of the best art in there.  Zazzle made money.  At least they partied like they were.
Hey I can be patient.  Obviousl;y.
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phrank_131619
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #7 - Mar 25th, 2008, 9:24am
 
SmileyI agree with David here...There should be a show of Shops somewhere. There are some really Great storefronts (Banners) here at GCU... Maybe GCU could put up a Page(s) of just the Banners to store fronts and customers could visit the ones that catch their eye or curiosity. Everyone would have a 50/50 chance of getting hit, and it would help others to become more incentitive to creating a better store front. I like Davids Idea of a Mall like atmosphere. To glide down a list of Banners and have the customer say "This looks interesting".. and Click..someone gets hit...interesting to say the least... Great Subject David...capt.
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David_133145
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #8 - Mar 25th, 2008, 1:06pm
 
I like Davids Idea of a Mall like atmosphere. To glide down a list of Banners and have the customer say "This looks interesting".. and Click..someone gets hit...interesting to say the least... Great Subject David...capt.  
 
Did I say that?  Capt, you have a woderful idea here.  I was trying to visualize it, and you came up with a good idea.  If I were shopping I woud love to have that kind of visual choice, like a kid in a candy store.  Thank capt.
 
OK GCU, "make it so..."
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phrank_131619
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #9 - Mar 25th, 2008, 1:12pm
 
SmileyHaHaaaa... I'm sorry I guess it was Norval who put the thought in my head... But it was David who started the Idea of more or better coverage... Thank You both...capt.
P.S. Yes, MAKE IT SO!
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Norval_132688
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #10 - Mar 25th, 2008, 1:55pm
 
Oh, by the way David I only have to make $.20 more to make my $11.70 So I might as well sit back and enjoy myself.  I know my stuff isn't the greatest but I keep telling Myself you're only up to chapter 5 in the Photoshop Book so what do you expect!..............Norval
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David_133145
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #11 - Mar 25th, 2008, 8:45pm
 
What's photoshop?
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Ernestine_131365
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #12 - Mar 26th, 2008, 1:36am
 
Norval-
 
     I think you understood what I meant about using e-cards as promotion for our stores.  I know GCU isn't in the e-card biz nor should it be.  I'm not trying to promote e-cards.  Maybe I should be calling what I'm talking about a "brows-able e-mail promo" rather than an e-card.  I agree that e-card SENDers often aren't paper card BUYers, but e-card RECEIVErs may well be.  I just think it's silly to offer the e-cards at all, if they are not of products actually sold on the sight.  It's a poor use of a possibly great marketing tool.
 
Just my opinion.
 
Corrie--How would free "printable cards" work and what would be their purpose or advantage?  
 
David - I can never tell when your kidding ("What's photoshop?") Huh  
 
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Corrie_131338
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #13 - Mar 26th, 2008, 1:58am
 
Ernestine - Free printables would be a very limited selection of cards that a customer could download and print out on their own computer. American Greetings and Blue Mountain offer a few printable cards in many categories.  
 
To me, the advantage is that the recipient is far more likely to keep a printed card than store an ecard on their harddrive, so there's a very good chance that the next time the recipient needs a card, they'll come to GCU. Artists can certainly put their store URL on the front of their cards to attract traffic. Nobody makes money on printables, but then nobody's making money on ecards, either. It's a marketing tool that gets out into the physical world and attracts attention for you.
 
Corrie
http://www.corrieweb.nl
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Norval_132688
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Re: SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE?
Reply #14 - Mar 26th, 2008, 3:05am
 
Hi, fellow night owls.... David,  Photoshop is a graphics program that I always forget to capitalize the 'S' or my hunt and peck typing style capitalizes the 'p' and is in the process of turning my hair white, I'm past gray.  Ernestine and Corrie, I guess I'm different, I save eCards.  I'm not talking about the run of the mill that you see on every site, but a good fine art image or an unusual graphic or just a good piece of writing.  My wife is on about four or five sites, the ladies are from all over the world, they eCard all the time and she keeps hers and stores them some where.  I know I've seen her pull them up and show her friends.  I know if I received some of the images from this site I would book mark them to remember
the artist so if I wanted to buy latter on, I have something to jog my memory.  I'm
sorry I love receiving eCards and if nothing else I do remember the card company, so if your trying to build up brand recognition their a good thing even if you don't make money.....Ernestine...... I did understand your post, heres my runny mouth
again, it's just plain stupid to offer a run of the  mill eCard of the kind that is on  
every web site, when unbelievable talent and unique art work is availabe in the stores at GCU!............David, were you the fellow that uses Corel Draw?...it's been so many threads back I can't remember.  I have Corel on my computer and the program has 25,000 type styles, I have a book and still can't figure out how to access them.  ........'just looked at the clock I'd better get off of here.....Norval
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