When a fashion-fabrics retailer decided to upgrade her branding, her store got the business.
Cindy Schaper of Sew it Seams, LLC,’s original website got hacked in 2008 and again in 2009. But it didn’t really hurt her business – nobody much was using it.
Nor did she have much in the way of an identity.
A loyal customer base.
But she’s always had a solid, fiercely loyal customer base that is the lifeblood of her business. She runs a continuous schedule of classes and demonstrations, events and retreats that bring those folks in to see new merchandise and get excited about new projects all through the year. She also writes a printed newsletter that goes out to her best customers roughly once a month.
Her old site hadn’t really been a big part of her business. So we weren’t prepared for what happened when we took the new one live.
A surprise web sensation! On a smallish scale.
On the very first day, it got nearly 250 hits. And I’m here to tell you: I am NOT the queen of search-engine optimization. In fact, we’d done the bare minimum to get the search engines’ attention.
The site rolled out a new brand identity and sections for classes, event news and an electronic version of the newsletter.
An email marketing template also lets us send out instant communiques when there’s a sale – not often – or new merchandise, or a very special event. The mails go out to about 800 regular customers; about 250 people generally open them.
The following spring, we were in the store photographing new fabric and overheard her telling an imitation-Yellow Pages rep, “No thanks. I get most of my new customers from the web.”
Video and social.
Since then, we’ve also started producing a fair amount of video, which also helps traffic. And we promote events on the Facebook page, which as of March 2012 now sports a spiffy new Facebook Timeline look.
A port to WordPress.
We’ve just finished porting the site to WordPress, my new favorite platform. Now, again with minimal SEO, Cindy’s up to an average 68 hits a day after a month on the new platform. I’m pretty pleased!