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Get Personal with Clienteling

Tailor your messages to the recipient for best results.




KNOW WHAT’S GREAT? Receiving a text message from a business that sounds genuine and specifically written to me. Know what’s not great? A canned, cut, and pasted attempt to “connect.”

Getting business done during a pandemic meant jewelers had to turn the innovation switch on to stay alive. And retailers got in line accordingly by setting up virtual presentations and promoting personal appointments. The industry learned a lot about keeping doors open since last March, well beyond mask requirements and plexiglass.

However, in a world where old-school one-to-one marketing is having its day in the sun, in our new school, technology-driven world, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you send out that next text message or personalized email.

1. There’s nothing worse than receiving a personalized email with ____________, We Think You’ll Love This! as the subject line. A one-to-one effort should not be attempted through a mass email avenue, like Constant Contact, for just this reason. Why show you care enough to send out a personalized email and then neglect to either add a name or remove the personalization field? It just looks careless and amateur. Emailing through Constant Contact or MailChimp and SMS campaigns are great ways to send out information about your upcoming sale or trunk show to the masses, but personal follow-ups should be sent through your personal work accounts or a service like Podium instead.

2. A text message or personalized email that would likely get a response from me would read something like this: “Hi Angie, we know Elise is graduating this year. We have diamond stud earrings on sale right now that would make the perfect gift to celebrate the occasion. Here’s a photo of the sizes available and their prices. Let me know if you’d like us to set some aside for you. I can set up a FaceTime to show them to you if that’s more convenient.” One I would pass up would be this example: “Graduation is coming up and diamond stud earrings are on sale this week. Come on in and check them out!” See what I mean? The first example acknowledges an upcoming event, an important person in my life, an excellent opportunity to buy a gift that I’ll need to purchase anyway, and an offer to reserve them for me to review at my convenience. The second example is just an FYI and it’s up to me to correlate the sale with relevance to my situation. Both are simple to execute, but it’s easy to see which one could inspire action on my part.

3. Don’t overdo it. My husband got Valentine’s Day gift texts from a local jeweler no less than twelve times, and one of them was while we were eating dinner. More than one follow-up was fine, but eventually, the barrage felt like the proverbial annoying fly bombing a romantic picnic. Set a limit of times to reach out for that sale so you don’t cross the irritation line and irk your customer in the process.


There’s no doubt that clienteling techniques are effective and needed to close sales. And not just in times of COVID, but in the future as well. It’s personal shopping at its best when it’s done the right way!

Angie Ash is executive vice-president of Fruchtman Marketing, a full-service agency specializing in the jewelry industry. Reach her at [email protected].



Wilkerson Testimonials

Is It Your Time to Enjoy Life? Wilkerson Can Get You There.

Mary and Tim Whalen, owners of Crown Jewelers in Pittsfield, Mass., wanted to enjoy life beyond their business. When they decided to retire and close shop, they asked Wilkerson to handle the sale. As long-time Wilkerson customers, Mary says she knew the company could manage all the details of the liquidation. It was also great to have “fresh eyes” on their business, says Mary, which “worked tremendously for us.” Today, the Whalens are beginning a new adventure but are quick to commend Wilkerson for helping them get there. “You have one chance to get it right,” she says about their retirement sale. “Do it right.”

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