Back to School Marketing Ideas

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

If you have my Etsy Shop Marketing Plan, you know that for the last couple of weeks you should have been pushing Back to School products big time. If you haven’t started yet, today is the day as back to school shopping is in full force, and not just for school supplies.

back to school marketing ideas

If you sell home décor, move all affordable decor items, such as art, pillows, bedding, etc., up to the forefront for the college crowd looking for dorm décor. Some currently popular Amazon & Etsy searches: Dorm Storage, Dorm Lights, Dorm Art Decor, Dorm Signs, Dorm Tapestry. 

If you sell kids clothing, every mom likes to buy a special back to school outfit, dress, shirt, etc., so move these items to the top of your shop. Even add a banner on the product photo that says, “Great for Back to School”. Some currently popular Amazon & Etsy searches: Back to School Hair Bows, Back to School Apple Dress.

If you sell bags/purses, move all backpacks (again, people are shopping for kids, teens and college-age) to your featured products and even make a special offer, “Buy 1 backpack, get a second of equal or lesser value for 30% off”. Some currently popular Amazon & Etsy searches: Back to School Backpacks with Supplies, Monogrammed Backpacks. 

If you sell beauty products, put together your own “Teen Pack” of items for the college or high school crowd. Some currently popular Amazon & Etsy searches: Back to School Makeup, Back to School Lip Balm. 

If you sell gadget accessories, now is the time to do a big push as parents are upgrading their kids laptops, phones and iPads. Some currently popular Amazon & Etsy searches: Back to School Bundle, Laptop Stickers, Laptop Case, 

If you sell kitchen/housewares, people are looking for lunch boxes, labels, and cooking supplies for the dorm. Some currently popular Amazon & Etsy searches: Back to School Cookie Cutters, Dorm Kitchen, Dorm Survival Kit. 

If you sell party supplies, teachers and parents are looking for ways to celebrate the occasion. Some currently popular Amazon & Etsy searches: Back to School Decals, Back to School Flags, Back to School Party Décor, Back to School Banner. 

This is also a good time to offer back to school bundles and kits, as well as special offers such as Buy any 3 items and save 15%, Buy 1 get 1 half off, Buy TODAY and get FREE shipping, and so forth.

BONUS TIP: If you live near an outlet mall, this is one of their busiest times of the year, so leave flyers or cards for your shop on windshields in the parking lot (if allowed).

My Etsy Shop Marketing Plan keeps you on top of every marketing opportunity for your shop, well in advance, so you maximize every sales opportunity.

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Should You Try Google Shopping Ads?

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

should-you-try-google-shopping-adsI have said it before, you have to advertise your online shop.  There are only so many free marketing ideas you can do and they still will not give you the traffic and return that advertising will.

If you have an online shop, including an Etsy shop, you may want to consider Google Shopping Ads. Over the last few months I have reviewed the advertising stats for many Etsy shops that have been running these ads, and I have to say, all the shops I have seen to date have had good success.

How to Measure Ad Success

Advertising costs should never be more than 25% of what you gross back in revenue. The reason is, you have to account for your profit margins. If your profit margins are 50%, this means if you spend $200 on an ad that grosses you $400 in sales (which means it then nets you $200 in profit), you are not making any money, just breaking even. The average return I have been seeing on Google Shopping ads is the ad cost averaging 20% or less on what the shop ends up grossing in sales. This is a good return.

BEFORE YOU RUN AN AD

Now, this is not to say that every shop will have the same success. If your current conversion rate is less than 3% (number of orders/number of views) do not run ads because you will just end up paying for click-through. Instead, identify and fix your conversion issues first (see my Etsy Shop Critique).

ETSY WILL MATCH YOUR SPENDING

If you sell on Etsy, and you want to try Google Shopping Ads for the first time, Etsy will match your ad spending for the first 30 days, up to $25. In addition, if you spend $25 within the first 30 days, you’ll receive $100 in Google Shopping credit.

By the way, this is a completely unbiased, unpaid opinion. I do not get compensated in any way for recommending these ads, either from Etsy or Google. I have always just passed on marketing advice that works, free of charge.

Sharing articles is a great way to draw attention to your shop, so be sure to share this with other shops! Here is the short link: http://wp.me/p7wuCn-1yxu.

Still not sure why your sales are lagging? Try my Etsy Shop Critiquemy Online Shop Critique or my Marketing Ebooks.

 

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

 

Not Making Sales? Time for a Marketing Checkup

 

sales-lagging-time-for-a-marketing-checkup

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Have sales at your online shop stalled? Then maybe it’s time for a marketing checkup.

SEO

When was the last time you updated your keywords and search phrases? The way people search is always changing, particularly since a lot of people are now speaking their searches into their phones as opposed to typing them. So try typing your main product word, i.e. “necklace” into the search boxes of Google, Amazon, Etsy, even Pinterest and see what types of searches fill down, and then update your keywords accordingly.

Advertising

You have to advertise your shop if you want to get decent sales. The money you invest you will make back and then some, so don’t fear it. A good rule is to make sure that advertising costs are no more than 25% of the revenue the ad generates. You have a variety of options from Etsy promoted listings (for Etsy shops), Google shopping ads, Google Adwords ads, Facebook/Instagram ads, Pinterest ads and ads on blogs. You don’t have to do all of these, but if sales have stalled it is time to try at least one and measure the results.

Publicity

If you are not sending out at least one publicity pitch a week, you are missing out on free traffic. Make a list of all of the blogs that your target market reads and pitch the blogger a story idea that would include your product. Start with the smaller blogs as they are more receptive to submissions. Need a refresher? Read my blog post, “How to Pitch Your Products to Editors“.

Email Marketing

What about all those people who have previously purchased from you? Maybe it’s time to get in touch with a special offer (buy one, get one half off), summer sale, a giveaway or just to show new product releases.

Social Media

Which social media site brings you the most traffic? Then double your “posting” and “following” efforts on this site and you will likely double your traffic. Maybe there is a social media site you haven’t tried yet, like Instagram. Now is the time to see what traffic it can drive. If you can’t come up with interesting content ideas try my Social Media Plan, which gives you creative content ideas for every day of the month for the last six months of 2017.

Still not sure why your sales are lagging? Try my Etsy Shop Critique or my Online Shop Critique to make sure that your shop is in optimal shape.

 

 

 

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

6 Killer Marketing Ideas for Your Lularoe Business

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

marketing-ideas-lularoe-business

Lularoe is a direct sales clothing brand that has become a billion dollar lularoe-marketing-ideasbusiness in just 5 years, selling their vibrant fashions through home based consultants, as well as finding success with Facebook pop up stores. Direct sales businesses can be lucrative, but it can take time. So here are 6 killer ideas to help you promote your Lularoe business, from my new ebook,  Marketing Ideas for a Direct Sales Clothing Business

6 Killer Ideas for Your Lularoe Business

  1. Since one of Lularoe’s most popular products is their leggings, attend free yoga classes in the park (or other free exercise classes in your town) wearing a pair of Lularoe leggings, along with a gym bag full of the leggings for on-the-spot sales.
  2. Have your yoga mat printed with, “Like My Leggings? They’re Lularoe”. Any print shop can do this for you onto a plain yoga mat. Free advertising!
  3. Suggest to your Lularoe consultants that they hold a home party to coincide with a TV show viewing party, like the finale of the Bachelor or during the half time at a Super Bowl party.
  4. Create paper door hangers to hang on neighbour’s doors (or hit up an apartment building) inviting people to your next Lularoe Facebook pop up shop. There are many shops that do custom door hangers on Etsy.
  5. Repackage older items, out of season items or stock that didn’t sell into value bundles for sale or “grab bags”.
  6. Post a countdown graphic daily on your social media sites, leading up to your next Lularoe Facebook Pop-up Store to create momentum.

Download my ebook Marketing Ideas for Your Direct Sales Clothing Business today and get another 147 awesome ideas, just like these. You’ll love all the inspiration!

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Create Products Editors Love

by Gail Online, Marketing Consultant

I have always recommended to my clients to come up with at least one product that is trendy, unconventional or whimsical in nature because these are the types of products that blog and magazine editors love. This product acts like a lure for your shop because it gets the media attention that brings the traffic to your shop to see what else you sell.

Here are some products (courtesy of Anthropologie) that editors would love and why:

MAKE IT PRETTY AND USEFUL

Tassels on purses or backpacks are cute accessories, but why not give them a dual purpose and add a USB cable for charging on the go.

PUT A NEW TWIST ON SEASONAL ITEMS

These sandals are interesting simply because they don’t match, have lots of bling and are right on theme for any summer editorial.

design it INTELLIGENTLY

Why would editors like this pencil case? Because it doubles as a pencil holder simply by standing it on its side.

GIVE IT A FUNNY NAME

Funny product names are always editorial worthy, like this mask to get rid of under eye bags called, “Lost Baggage”, a curse of the weary traveler.

FIND A NEW USE FOR A POPULAR IDEA

If you sell on Etsy, you know the demand for monogrammed products. Well doesn’t it just make sense that the best way to get members of the family to hang up their stuff is to give them their own monogrammed hook?!

Make it clever

What can I say; this “Love U Berry Much” bracelet is silly but clever and editors love clever products.

 

Not sure which product or service is right for your business? Ask me a question about what kind of help you need below and I will advise!

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Improve Click Through on Your Products in Etsy Search Results

by Gail Oliver, E-commerce Marketing Consultant

how-to-improve-click-through-on-products-in-Etsy-search-results

So you have optimized your Etsy SEO and your products are now coming up on the first page of search results, however, you still are not getting any traffic. It is one of two things – your price and/or your photos, as these are the only two visible factors in search results. Therefore, here are some potential reasons and solutions:

  1. Your price is way off the competition. If someone is searching for a trendy necklace, typically expecting a $25 to $40 price range, and your necklace is $200, they are probably not going to click on it. Solution: Try adding a circle or banner that says: “Less Expensive Necklaces in Shop” or “See our Under $50 Section”. This might encourage the customer to at least click on the photo to see what else you offer in their price range as opposed to dismissing your shop altogether.
  2. It is not the color/size/material they want. As a result, the customer assumes this is the only color/size/material it is offered in and doesn’t bother clicking on the image. Solution: Add a banner that says, “More Colors Available” to the photo. Same for size, style, pattern, etc. 
  3. Your photos look like everyone else’s. You do not want your photos to blend in with everyone else’s because it then appears to the customer as all the same product and it just doesn’t stand out. Solution: Do a search on your main search phrase and see the images that come up. If they are all on white backgrounds, then put your product in a stylized setting, and vice versa. In other words, do the opposite, not the same. Maybe even something as simple as adding a color border around the image might make it stand out more and differentiate it from others.
  4. There are too many other objects in the photo. I see a lot of product photos where people put all of these other objects in the image and the customer is not sure which one you are selling, so they don’t click on it because they assume the wrong product is the one for sale. Solution: There is nothing wrong with a stylized photo, but don’t over do it. Make sure your product is front and center, use no more than two other objects in the photo, and make sure that the objects are softly blurred out.
  5. The product appears too small. A larger image of a product will stand out in search results much more than a smaller one. Solution: Etsy has a built in cropping tool so use it for the shop view photo. See the difference below:
  6. Quite simply, the photo sucks. It doesn’t look professional, is poorly lit and/or poorly cropped (not all of the product is in the frame). Good photos sell products so invest in this area of your business. Solution: If you can’t afford professional photos, then just keep the photo simple in terms of styling as it is harder to mess up, such as a trendy overhead shot on a natural surface background like marble or concrete, and make sure to shoot the product in natural light using a flash, as in the example below.

2 more ways to improve click through!

My Etsy Shop Critique will improve upon every aspect of your Etsy shop – including a review of your photos – as well as advice on your Etsy SEO, your Google SEO, your products, your pricing, your listing descriptions and so much more! Get all the details on my Etsy Shop Critique and start seeing results!

☀Whatify.com increases traffic to Etsy listings by 10% on average by using cutting edge data analytics that tell you which of the first two images in your listing should be in the primary image spot in order to get the best click through. Get set up in less than 30 seconds and then sit back and let them gather and analyze your traffic data. Learn more.

FREE OFFER! Mention my blog with a link (Attention-Getting.com) on a Facebook Etsy Team page that has 5,000+ followers and I will rewrite one of your weakest product descriptions for free!

 

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Maximize Sales for Every Gift Buying Occasion

by Gail Oliver, Ecommerce Marketing Consultant

If you want your online shop to succeed, you have to advertise. There is no way around it. Your competitors are advertising, so you need to as well. I am not sure why so many shops fight it when it is one of the most effective and proven ways to drive traffic and sales.

Now, I also believe in spending your ad dollars wisely, especially if they are limited. Therefore, if your shop does the best during the high gift buying times of the year, such as Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas and so forth, then save your advertising dollars for these occasions to get the most bang for your marketing budget.

The key is to look at when people start searching and when those searches peak. Below are my recommendations for when you should run ads to maximize your sales opportunities as well as cash in on those early shoppers. Be sure to bookmark this page for reference.

Teachers Gifts                       

Searches start in November and reach their peak in December. They start again in early May and peak in late May, with some searches still in June, but searches are highest in December overall, so we can assume that Christmas gifts for teachers are more popular than end of year gifts.

RUN YOUR ADS: mid November to mid December; all of May.

Valentines Gifts                       

Searches start in late December right after Christmas and reach their peak the first week of February.

RUN YOUR ADS: late December to February 9th. 

Mother’s Day Gifts

Searches start around Valentines Day and then hit their first peak mid March, likely for the UK Mother’s Day. Searches start up again mid April and peak the first week of May.

RUN YOUR ADS: mid February to mid March; mid April to the first week of May.

Graduation Gifts                       

Searches start in early April, peak in mid May, with still some searches in June.

RUN YOUR ADS: early April to first week of June.

Father’s Day Gifts

Searches actually start in April as the second wave of people who are searching for a Mother’s Day gift likely decide to look for a Father’s Day gift at the same time. Searches peak by mid June.

RUN YOUR ADS: mid April to first week of June.

Christmas Gifts

Searches start in October, grow through November, but forget about what you heard about Black Friday. December is still when searches for Christmas gifts is the highest (those last minute shoppers).

RUN YOUR ADS: mid October to December 20th. 

Wedding Gifts

Searches for wedding gifts are popular all year long but particularly strong in December, November and May (in that order).

RUN YOUR ADS: early November to last week of December; all of May.

LATEST CUSTOMER REVIEW

“Some wonderful ideas to put in place and I know that in time, Gail’s advice will pay off in spades. Many thanks!”. Jill, FantailsandFeet on Etsy.

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.