The following excerpt is from the Staff at Entrepreneur Media Inc. and Jason R. Rich’s book Start Your Own Etsy Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code SIDEHUSTLE2021 through 6/20/21.
Once your Etsy shop is up and running, you’ve got to begin promoting your store. Following is information that focuses on some of the more commonly used marketing activities you can adopt for your business. Which options you choose are entirely up to you and should be based on your available resources, your target audience and what items you’ll be selling.
Word-of-mouth works best
If you’re able to impress your customers, get them excited about what you’re offering and provide top-notch customer service, one of your rewards as a seller is that they may speak favorably about you among friends, coworkers and family members. Plus, if your customers become loyal to you and what you’re selling, they may also provide a positive endorsement to these people about your company and products.
An even greater reward is that some of your customers may be inclined to share information about you and your company through their social media, which could quickly reach a much larger audience. When you receive complimentary calls or emails from customers, be sure to quickly thank them and politely ask for a favorable review on Etsy and to tell their friends via social media.
Positive word-of-mouth serves as a reliable endorsement and can be more powerful than any advertisement that someone sees because they know and trust the source of the endorsement, whether it’s from a friend, coworker, or family member.
Focus on generating repeat business from existing customers
Once you discover how much time, effort and money can go into driving traffic to your shop, you’ll realize that generating repeat business from already satisfied customers is much easier and requires far less effort.
Maintaining communication and a favorable relationship with your customers is one of the easiest ways to generate repeat business. However, you can help to ensure repeat business by adopting several approaches:
- Offer a discount on repeat orders that’s exclusively for returning customers.
- Reward customers for every dollar they spend in your shop. For example, for every $100 they spend, they automatically receive a gift card worth $10 or $20.
- Encourage customers to sign up for (opt in to) a weekly, biweekly or monthly email that will offer special discounts and promotions as well as useful information that the customer will find valuable. For example, you can share how-to information pertaining to your products, plus offer exclusive previews of new or soon-to-be released products.
- Publish a blog and, within it, promote special sales or discounts to existing customers.
- Create a birthday club that entitles existing customers to receive a special discount during their birthday month or within seven days of their birthday.
- Develop a referral promotion in which the existing customer receives a discount each time someone they refer places an order in your shop, and at the same time, that new customer receives a discount too for being a new (referred) customer.
- Interact and share information with your customers via your social media accounts, and promote online-only specials to your social media friends and followers.
- Provide your existing customers with the opportunity to purchase new items featured in your shop in advance of the general public.
- Create and distribute coupon codes to your existing customers (or potential customers) that offer a percentage discount off their next order, free shipping or a savings of a fixed dollar amount.
Rely on your positive ratings and reviews to boost your credibility
Earning and then showcasing positive ratings and reviews from your past customers is a powerful tool for helping to convert visitors to your Etsy shop into paying customers. As you’ll quickly discover, positive ratings and reviews give your business instant credibility. These same reviews also allow your future customers to learn firsthand about the experiences of your past customers.
Your potential customers can quickly discover exactly what other people think about whatever it is you’re selling. The ratings and reviews you receive are automatically and prominently displayed within your Etsy shop — there’s no way to hide them. That’s why it’s extremely important to put forth your best efforts to provide top-notch customer service, always be honest with your customers, sell only the highest quality products, fulfill and ship your orders promptly and take steps to build strong relationships with your customers.
After customers receive their order, it’s then up to them to decide whether they want to write and publish a review about your product(s) and business. This is purely an optional activity on their part, but there are simple steps you can take to encourage your customers to publish a positive review of your product(s), without you coming off as being pushy or unprofessional.
Just as great reviews can help your business, earning poor ratings and reviews can literally destroy your business. Never underestimate the importance of Etsy’s ratings and review system as you decide how you’ll operate your business and ultimately treat your customers.
Take advantage of Etsy’s own SEO tools
One of the easiest ways to attract potential customers to your shop is to take advantage of Etsy’s SEO tools. At the time you create your Etsy shop, and then again when creating each product listing, you’ll be asked for keywords (tags) that clearly, accurately and succinctly describe your business and products. Your objective is to include words that you believe your potential customers will use within Etsy’s search field when looking for products that are similar to what you offer.
When the tags you include match a potential customer’s search words, a listing for your shop or one of your product listings appears in that person’s search results with a link directly to your shop or that product.
Etsy determines your search result ranking based on a number of factors, which it doesn’t fully disclose to sellers. These factors likely include how many search words/tags that the potential customer entered in the search field match the words/tags you provided, as well as how long you’ve been in business and your average ratings.
Ultimately, once you start generating traffic to your shop, Etsy provides detailed analysis and information about those visitors. This information includes what keywords were used to find and visit your shop or product listings. Tracking this information is a fast and easy way to determine which of your keywords/tags is drawing the most traffic and which ones need to be fine-tuned or replaced with more commonly used words/tags.
Become active on social media
On any given day, billions of people around the world spend time on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. They’re using social media to obtain whatever information they want or need in a format that’s highly personalized and that’s presented to them on an on-demand basis.
Social media has now become a place where business operators can freely and informally communicate with existing customers, seek out and draw in new customers and establish an interactive online community that’s based around their company and/or products.
As an Etsy shop owner, it’s not a matter of whether or not you should become active on social media. Without a doubt, you should! What you need to consider is, based on your target audience, your available time and resources and what you’re selling, which social media services will serve your needs the best.
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