Professional Jeweler Archive: How to Get on Your Clients' Radar Screens

February 2004

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How to Get on Your Clients' Radar Screens

Newsletter publisher does the work; retailers stay visible


Last spring, a woman fell in love with a heart-shaped 18k gold, diamond and tourmaline pendant she’d seen in a newsletter from Jackson Square Fine Jewels, Redwood City, CA. The store made the $10,000 sale even though it didn’t carry the pendant because Jen McGeehan, who produces newsletters for jewelers throughout the U.S., guarantees that everything she pictures in the newsletters is available to her clients.

“I give each retailer a list and the prices of all jewelry in the newsletters, plus a full list of contacts at each manufacturer,” she says. “The manufacturers have all agreed to sell to my retailer clients with no minimum order, or a small one.” McGeehan uses fine jewelry photography from the manufacturers, the Diamond Promotion Service, the Platinum Guild International and the World Gold Council.

Newsletter Enhances Visibility

The independent jewelers who make up McGeehan’s client base use the full-color newsletters to convey product and trend information, notices of promotional events and goodwill, as well as for visibility. Recent articles include features on right-hand rings and chandelier earrings. She also made a big deal of tanzanite’s ascension to December birthstone status.

“Customers dislike the feeling that you’re always after their money,” says McGeehan, who has consulted for fine jewelers for more than 27 years and has published custom newsletters for the past four. “They appreciate it when their jeweler provides information that helps them make important purchasing decisions.”

In addition, the newsletters save jewelers time because McGeehan does all the research and writing, gathers the photography and handles printing and mailing. “Jewelers wear many hats and tend to have neither the time nor the expertise to create a newsletter – even though they realize how it would impact their traffic and sales,” she says.

High-Quality Images

The newsletters range from four to 16 pages, depending on the time of year and the jewelers’ requests. They’re printed on glossy, high-quality paper and are semicustom. In other words, McGeehan prepares general jewelry articles that appear in all newsletters, and the remainder is prepared specifically for the individual retailer client, such as upcoming in-store events or a customer testimonial. “Testimonials are very effective,” she says. “Customers like to see someone in their community endorse their jeweler.”

The newsletters are mailed four times annually, during the critical buying seasons of Valentine’s Day, May/June, fall and end-of-year holidays.

Using Co-op Dollars

In addition to the newsletter service, McGeehan often helps jewelers spend their co-op dollars effectively. “Many don’t have time to keep track of what’s available, so much co-op money goes wasted and unused,” she says. “I work with the companies to place ads in the newsletter.” The ads then reinforce the brands a jeweler carries. By using co-op collars, the jeweler also can receive a credit from the manufacturer to be used for his or her next order. “I often coordinate all of these details for the retailer,” says McGeehan.

  • McGeehan Marketing Inc., Big Bear City, CA; (909) 584-7615.

– by Michael Thompson

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications