How to Use Zazzle’s Collections Successfully

How to Use Zazzle’s Collections Successfully

One of the best tools Zazzle has given us designers recently is the Collections. I am not sure you would call it a “tool”, as it’s more of a folder or page, but it is something that has greatly helped me to organize and share my products.

What is a Collection at Zazzle?

Collections are simply another page where we can show off products that link together in some way. Either the collection is full of like designs – such as a Blue Hydrangea Wedding set – or it can be full of Halloween Invitations. Get the idea? The best way to make a collection is to gather the best products (they don’t have to be your own, collections can contain any products found on Zazzle) and create a collection where they can easily be found.

This works very well for wedding designers. Our Zazzle stores can be difficult to organize. Often designers are at a loss for the best way to combine products that go together. With the use of collections, multiple products – even those from another store – can be added to that one collection page.

For example, the set below contains “thank-you” cards from a few of my Zazzle stores.  The cards have beach themes, floral and other designs,  but they all have the same wedding thank-you theme.  I have created this collection for anyone looking for wedding thank-you notes.

Probably most Zazzlers have begun to fill up their allotted 200 pages for collections already. If you need to know more about filling them, view the Zazzle blog post about collections.

Once Created, Update and Share Collections Regularly

For those who already have filled up a bunch of Collection pages, but wonder “now what?”,  I have the answer!

First of all, don’t add to a collection and let it sit there.  I believe that, like all things we do online, it must be updated and kept fresh.  I don’t know this for sure, but I suspect.  Go through your most popular (best selling) collections and see what else you can add.  I also remove anything that I don’t feel is my best.

To promote the collection on your website, as I have done above, copy the HTML field – using the “share” button on the collection page – and insert it on your website post.

Easier still is to click that same SHARE button and post the collection to Pinterest, FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google Plus.  Or mail it to friends.  The “link” button takes you to a page with the HTML code and more options for sharing.

I don’t have a Tumblr account, but I have all the rest.  If you don’t have accounts at any of these places, I suggest you join.  Pinterest is super easy, as is Twitter.  A FaceBook store is easy to set up, and I believe it’s a good place to promote.  G+ is also easy, but I’m not sure how much it helps.  We can no longer add single products to G+ from Zazzle, but we can add collections to G+.

Options when using the share button on the collection page.

Collections should be used to share outside of Zazzle. For this reason, I suggest that you NEVER delete a collection!

If the collection is no longer relevant, or you don’t care to promote those products for whatever reason, change the collection to something else. Delete the products, add new ones, change the banner and tags… but keep the collection.

An affiliate may have promoted that collection – you never know. Or you may have the collection linked somewhere… but have forgotten where. By changing the collection, the link won’t break. It’s true that anyone who may follow the link will see some different products, but at least the link will lead somewhere.

Keep collections updated by organizing, adding and deleting products.  Click the ORGANIZE button to move products within a collection.  Each new addition will show up first, so I usually have to go move it.  The EDIT button is where the description and tags will go.  Use tags that specifically describe the collection.

Make sure each collection has a banner that shows precisely what customers should expect to find within that collection. My banners have images of the products. Zazzle has suggested that we put no text in the banners.

This is my Starfish and Ornament Christmas banner… there is no doubt as to what you will find in this collection!

collection banner

Every time you create a collection you should have some idea about how you will promote it. I ask myself, “Will it work on one of my websites?”, or “Will it fit into a Pinterest board?” or “Can I add this to one of my FaceBook stores?” There are many ways to promote single products, and now collections. Take advantage of the opportunity to get your designs seen. That is how they sell.

The Basics of How to Seat Guests at the Wedding Reception

The Basics of How to Seat Guests at the Wedding Reception

For couples just beginning the adventure of wedding planning, I’d like to tell you about the basics of how to seat guests at the wedding reception.

Couples have become quite inventive when it comes to table seating, but the basics are pretty much the same. Guests will leave the ceremony and either walk, or drive, to the reception area. There may be a drink reception before the meal reception, and that is cool. It gives guests a chance to have some appetizers and mingle a bit before the Bride and Groom make their entrance.

When it comes to the part where guests find their seat, it must be organized if the plan is for a sit-down dinner.  Any small reception with close knit family and friends, means seating can be casual.  Guests can probably seat themselves.  Most receptions, however, will call for a formal seating arrangement.

First, the use of Escort Cards, in some form can be very helpful in directing guests to the correct table. For that, you will also need to include Table Number (or name) cards. Usually tables are numbered, or named in keeping with the wedding theme, and guests will find their way to their table by matching their name (on the escort cards) to the table number / table name.

fall wedding escort card

Escort Card

Escort cards are set up in some way at the entrance to the reception hall, or area with the tables. This is where couples can be creative – in the displaying of the escort cards. This may be the best chance to begin showing off your wedding theme. Beach themed weddings often stick flat cards in a tray of sand. Some couples hang escort cards from tree branches.
Sometimes cards are not used at all. Succulents, or little plants, can contain names and also serve as small favors for each guest. Leaves, rocks, or candles can contain the names. The idea is the same. Help your guests easily find their table.

fall wedding table number cards

Table Number Card – Printed on Both Sides

This fall themed wedding escort card is meant to be folded to create a standing, or tented, card. A small, flat card could also be used. The name of the guest is printed (or written) along with the number of the table where they will sit.

fall leaves tented place card

Tented Place Card, to fold after purchase

Guests will take the escort card with them to their table, where they will then search for the place card which shows them where to sit. My custom, fall leaves card design below has a text template so the names of each guest can be added one at a time. The cards can also be ordered blank. Fold them, to create a standing place card which will sit at each place setting around the table.

The other way guests can be seated is to use a Seating Chart of some kind. Below is a sample of the 36 x 24 inch seating charts available in my store. This one is also Fall themed, and we offer many themes in the Seating Chart Collection.

custom seating chart poster

Seating Chart Poster, 36×24

The seating chart is usually set up by either table numbers, or alphabetically by guests’ last names. Under the first section on this chart, enter the letter “A”. Then list guests whose surnames begin with A. Next to each name, enter the table number where they will sit. This cuts out the need for escort cards. All guests will look at the chart to find their table.

In the same style, use each table number (in place of the initial) and list guests names under that number.

Wedding planning can be all-consuming. Knowing the basics can help with the organization. I hope I have helped.