Frankly, e-commerce is a miracle. It’s revolutionized the way we work, allowing us to run businesses from home and connect to a global market. Turning passion into cold hard cash, or growing your business to explore a new channel, is easier than ever with sites like Etsy.
While Amazon takes up to 20% of all profits from smaller sellers, Etsy’s rate is set at 5-8%. It’s clear to see why Etsy is the second-most profitable website for sellers, right behind eBay. If you want to market your Etsy shop, the key is increasing visibility. Let’s go over some of the industry secrets that have been exponentially increasing the visibility of brands, domains, products, and even individuals. Try out these Etsy marketing strategies to boost that ROI!
Understand the Costs of Starting an Etsy Shop
So, how much does it cost to sell on Etsy? First and foremost, it takes money to make money. It’s important to know what fees Etsy charges for you to list items, their cut of the profits, and all the essentials before jumping in head-first to selling on Etsy.
Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee to list a product, and charges again each time you renew the listing. The listings expire after four months, at which point their auto-renewing feature will automatically renew the product for another $0.20 unless you choose to opt out.
Etsy will also charge you a 5% transaction fee of the display price for each listing. Additionally, think about the costs of shipping, packaging, and creating your product when putting together your Etsy game plan. Learn more about Etsy’s fees and payment policy here.
After you’ve listed your items on Etsy, keep an eye on them to cultivate a successful and healthy Etsy store. Once you see listings that aren’t selling, remove them, and replace them with more attractive products. Remember to include accurate and detailed product descriptions, which we will talk more about later. Think about including different variations of the same product in one listing to attract customers and cut costs.
All of these little things can really add up in the end, so creating your plan of action ahead of time can be a life saver.
Understand your Marketplace
How do you start your Etsy shop? A good place to start is looking at the marketplace you’re working in. It’s pretty easy to spend a few hours getting lost in Etsy’s “trending now” page, which features unique and custom creations from the various shops on the page.
It’s worth it because a deep dive into seasonal bestsellers, what’s currently trending, and trends specific to your niche can help boost that visibility that you’ve been longing for. Etsy itself sells niche, handmade specialty products, and things like candles and stickers are surprisingly some year round best sellers.
Once you’ve found your niche and have taken note of what other successful sellers are doing, find some of the demographics of buyers. How old are they? What’s their gender? Where are they from? What are they searching for online? Are there seasonal trends related to this niche specifically? All of these questions can help you target your audience more accurately.
Research Keywords for Your Etsy Products
Let’s think about it: what are people searching for online? What are some of your users’ demographics and what are they looking for? What types of questions are people asking online related to your product? When someone has their credit card out and is ready to purchase, what are they typing into the search bar?
It’s likely that when a person is ready to buy a product, their search terms are made up of “long tail keywords”, or longer and more specific descriptions of a product, rather than searching for something nondescript like “soap”.
Name your products based on customer searches and think about all of the different keywords and keyword combinations that people search that are related to your product. Once you identify the correct keywords for your products, you can use a series of different methods in order to help increase the chances of popping up in searching queries.
For example you can ask popular questions and answers containing your keywords, or use the keywords featuring fellow competitors to the written content anywhere on your site or Etsy store. The more related keywords in your product name and description (along with content heavy pages like FAQ or blogs), the more likely that your product will be visible in a search engine like Google.
Link Your Blog or Website to your Etsy Shop
Etsy shouldn’t be your only online platform. Your blog, website, Amazon store — they should all be active, too. And by creating links to and from your sites, you’ll see more traffic to your shops.
By curating your website and shops to fit the brand and aesthetic that you and your audience will love, you not only have a larger chance of being seen online, but you will have created a persona that people will want to connect with.
Promote Your Etsy Shop on Social Media
If you don’t have social media accounts that are linked to your store, drop everything right now and go claim your social platforms. Think back to some of the items that you’ve bought because you saw them on social media. How long did it take for you to purchase after seeing the item? I’ll bet that you saw the item featured on your feed a few times before deciding that you couldn’t live without it.
What’s really going to influence users’ opinions about your product and the urgency of their need is your consistent presence in their social media feed — and it’s not as easy to be consistently seen as you’d think. Statistically, it takes about seven times for someone to come into contact with your product before they decide to purchase.
Social media accounts like Instagram can supplement your brand image and can advertise your products to followers in a nonchalant way. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter can give you the opportunity to connect with different types of users, learn from other retailers in the space, promote your brand, build authority, and can even act as an extension of your website.
Social media is an extremely powerful marketing tool and by entering the global community of retailers, you are not only earning new customers but you have the opportunity to gain insights into your industry. By operating in the same circles that similar stores work in, you’re gaining exposure to clientele, insights into what content users respond to, building professional relationships with small businesses, and who’s to say that you won’t make friends along the way!
Create an Email List for Your Etsy Shop
So, now you’ve got your Etsy shop just where you want it, you have your website running and you are all set with your social media presence.
What’s next? Maintaining a relationship with your customers so that they’ll keep coming back and referring friends of course! It sounds like a no-brainer, but even though you can communicate with customers via social media, that’s not always enough. You likely want a way to offer specialized discounts, handle custom orders and update loyal followers on new products.
Start by creating a mailing list for your Etsy shoppers. Friendly, informative newsletters sent at just the right time can show your followers that you care about them and their business, but you aren’t pushy or desperate. Because of your shared interest in the market you’re operating in, you and your clientele are kindred spirits and you’d like to enrich that relationship by keeping in touch.
Okay, so you’ve written some email templates and have a good idea of how you’d like to go about keeping in touch with clients. The next step is determining how you’d like to go about reaching out to them.
Automating the Email Marketing Process
Are you more of a “set it and forget it” person or do you like to set each step in motion yourself? For those of you who wish to automate your newsletters and alerts, try out email services like Mailchimp or Convertkit. Both platforms offer the ability to create and automate emails, as well as manage lists.
Mailchimp has designed it’s platform for any user, from novice to advanced users. Mailchimp offers beautiful email templates, drag-and-drop editing, auto segmentation builder, autoresponders, A/B testing and more. It is great for beginners, provides a copious amount of options when it comes to features, templates and ideas. It even offers a free version, which Convertkit does not. If you’re new to the world of email marketing, Mailchimp takes the cake.
Convertkit, however, is made for content creators. While they do not offer a free version, they do offer a free trial to dip your toe into their services. Their email designer, automation, sign up forms, A/B testing, and great support team are all lauded by the blogging community. Their goal is to create emails that mimic more of a human response, and though it is not as beginner friendly, it definitely is a fan favorite.
Both options are beloved by fans. Mailchimp and Convertkit are generally affordable and pretty user friendly, so they are both a great place to start when it comes to handling that client communication.
Find Brand Ambassadors on Instagram
You have all the basics down, but we’re not done just yet. Now that you’ve got your brand established, let’s utilize other sources to get you seen online. I’m sure that you’ve heard of brand ambassadors. Maybe one has even reached out to you and offered promotion for cash or discounts.
It sounds a little difficult to maintain at first, but “hiring” a brand ambassador to promote your brand and products is like hiring a marketing firm, just with a little bit of effort on your end and at a way lower cost.
So, how is it done? Your social media will be a huge tool here. You can simply find users with a larger following and who fit your brand aesthetic, and reach out to them.
You could also do shoutouts on social media to find enthusiastic followers, influencers from fellow retailers, or even hunt similar hashtags to find active users. The goal of promoting your product is to enrich the lives of your community and connect with clientele. Brand ambassadors can be the key to gaining just that.
Kindly strike a conversation and offer these influencers free or discounted products in exchange for promoting your brand to their followers. The influence of a prominent presence on one’s social media timeline shows users that you’re a trusted, genuine, and high quality brand.
You can either choose to offer free products for promotion online or choose to offer discounts and commission on products sold with a promo code. The former often yields better results because influencers tend to push your products more and promote more enthusiastically because they’re getting stuff for free. Yet, the latter allows for less risk on your end and still offers a reward to influencers based on the work that they do for you.
Add Free Items to a Customer’s Purchase
Adding things like free products with purchase, thank you cards, and little trinkets to help your customer bond with you and your brand can make all the difference when it comes to referring friends and brand loyalty. If you’re giving a free product, it can be something small and inexpensive, maybe a small sample of a different scent of hand soap.
Additionally, things like giveaways and contests engage clients more than normal posts would and increase traffic to your page while still building client trust. When you give something you didn’t promise, the customer sees that you care.
Interact with your Etsy Shop’s Customers
Lastly, a large part of building your loyal customer base on Etsy is interacting with your customers. This involves getting reviews and feedback. You’ll learn more about your customers by actually speaking to them! Your interactions can inform you of good products to promote and perhaps some bargain deals to create that will keep customers coming back for more.
Promoting deals for future purchases shows customers that you value their time and business. Catering deals and promotions to the trends of user purchases also shows customers that you care about them and that you’re sticking to your mission statement. Again, leaving thank you notes for customers, in the box and via email, relays to the buyer that you appreciate sharing your passion with them on Etsy.
Manage Your Inventory
Now that your products are flying off of the shelves, how are you going to manage all of that inventory? For starters, ensure that you have more product than you’re actively selling, just in case of a spike in sales.
Doing the labor after the order has been placed actually delays the entire process. Creating your product takes time and effort, but doing it beforehand allows for a quick response time to customer orders.
Making larger batches of your product at once inevitably saves time. For example, if you make a 1000 candles at once to sell on your Etsy shop, you’ll probably spend less time than if you made 20 a day for 50 days. You only have to set up and take apart your workspace once. You can make as much wax as possible at one time, and the process is over before you know it.
You’re All Set to Plan Your Etsy Marketing Strategy
To grow your Etsy shop, you want to make sure you first have 2 things. The first is a stream of communication with your customers. The second is a memorable brand that clients trust and that is visible on multiple platforms.
We want to leave you with a few tips before we part ways. Your goal is to appear as an authority in your field — the knowledgeable one, the trendy one, the one that’s ahead of the curve. Take that rhetoric to the places that your clients spend time like forums or Facebook pages. The amount and engagement of posts online along with the look & language of your Etsy store, website and social media creates an experience that your customers will love.
Now that you’ve got the secret sauce, aren’t you excited to get started?