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.

Creating Grabby Headlines for Your Social Media Ads

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

creating_grabby_headlines_for_your_social_media_adsIf you are running online ads, particularly on social media, you really don’t have a lot of space to use a lot of words. In fact, Facebook only allows 20% of an ad’s graphic to be text. Therefore, your ad’s headline has to have a big impact in just a few words in order to get clicked on. So, just how do you write a grabby headline?

One way to start is to figure out what is your customer’s problem or need. You can do an ad for your entire shop, or you can do an ad that focuses on a specific product, so let’s say you are focusing on advertising a specific product. The form you want the headline to take is as follows:

Descriptive adjective or feature | the product | target market

The more niche your target market is, the better. I have written some sample ad headlines to inspire you:

  • The Prettiest Statement Necklaces for Summer
  • Light Up Dog Collars for Night Walking
  • Adorable Baby Bibs for Big Droolers
  • Inexpensive Art Prints for Apartment Dwellers
  • Stunning Photo Invitations for a Rustic Wedding

Try to keep the headline to 6 to 7 words. We are just trying to get their attention, not make the sale at this point. The goal is to get them to click on the ad to learn more and this is where you try to get the sale as the ad links right to the product listing. Make sure that the ad links directly to the product in question, not just to your shop. You don’t want the customer to have to take too may steps to get to the product or you may lose the sale.

Now, maybe you want to advertise a sale or special offer. Then try one of these grabby headlines:

  • Any 2 Prints for $39 
  • Mother’s Day Jewelry 40% Off
  • Today Only 25% Off All Summer Decor
  • Shop 3 for $30 Pillow Covers
  • 50% Off Flash Sale 1 Day Only!

Facebook and Instagram ads are very affordable, but you want them to be effective, so try a grabbier headline and see if this helps your click through.

LATEST CUSTOMER REVIEW

“Very detailed analysis. I got great insight into how to run my business”. Paula, HandleWithCareCreations on Etsy.

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Latest Product SEO Tips

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

my-latest-product-seo-tipsWhen was the last time you researched how people are searching for your products? People are actually getting very specific about how they search, no longer just entering two or three keyword phrases but sometimes 5 to 10 keyword searches, possibly because they can enter the search phrase via an audio command as opposed to having to type it in.

A great way to find out how people might be currently looking for your types of products is to go to the most popular marketplace, Amazon, and use their auto-complete feature to see the searches that fill down.

For example, look at these popular very long-tail searches I found on Amazon:

  • Dog toys for aggressive chewers
  • Cute desk accessories for women gold
  • Galaxy s7 edge case with screen protector
  • Best hair growth products for women that actually work
  • Leggings for women with designs
  • Nose ring studs l shaped gold
  • One piece swimsuit with words for women
  • Elephant shower curtain black and white
  • Baby girl clothes 3-6 months summer dress
  • Tapestry wall hanging black and white tree

As you can see from the searches above people are getting very specific, likely because they don’t have a lot of time to look through search results. They know what they are looking for and they want to find it quickly.

You can use these long tail search phrases to your advantage as they are so specific offering less competition and a more likely buyer. It can also help you to see the type of features customers are looking for, in case you don’t offer these in your current product offerings. It may also help you to position your products differently, based on consumer needs.

etsy SEO TUTORIALS

If you need help mastering Etsy SEO, check out my downloadable SEO tutorials. I also offer a variety of very affordable Marketing Services and Products.

WANT TO KNOW WHAT I THINK OF YOUR SHOP?

It really helps to get a professional marketing opinion and find out once and for all what is stopping your shop from being successful. Get more details about my Online Shop Critique.

LATEST CUSTOMER REVIEW

“If you thought that Gail is a marketing expert, you are wrong! She is a magician!!” Alex, ADHWoodwork on Etsy.

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Easy Ways to Expand Your Product Line

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Are you feeling stagnant and wondering how you can take your current design talents and use them for other products? You would surprised at how you could easily venture into other, potentially more lucrative markets.

For example, let’s say you’re a jewelry designer. Take a look at this $1,200 beaded chandelier below, and see how your talents would lend nicely to a product of this nature.

Are you a wood worker? I bet you never thought you could find success in the popular market for nursery night lights, but it is actually quite simple if you simply adhere your wooden design to the night-light base. The ones below sell for $32 each.

Are you a painter but canvas, paper and walls are getting a little boring for you? How about trying the trendy water bottle market, like this $38 art water bottle below?

Maybe you work with marble and you’re getting a little tired of just making cutting boards. Then how about a sleek and classic $98 marble shelf?

Do you knit or crochet and want to avoid the season lull once sweater season is over? Two great ways to use your skills are a $285 hammock or a $210 dream catcher.

So, I hope these ideas have inspired you, if you are finding that you are just not making it in your current market. Another thing that might help you is my Product Consultation, where I inspire you with fresh ideas based on market demand, current trends and unique offerings that will set your business apart.

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Market a Product Instead of Your Shop

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

A lot of online stores spend their time trying to market and promote their shop as a whole, but sometimes you can might be better to focus your efforts on marketing a specific product from your shop instead. It still brings traffic into your shop to sell what else you sell.

Getting Publicity for Your Product

It is much easier to get publicity on a product than on your shop as a whole. As I have said in the past, your best chance to get publicity for a product is if it is:

  • Quirky or Unusual – Example: Unicorn Dog Sweater
  • Timely or Seasonal – Example: Beauty and the Beauty Body Wash
  • Part of a Current Trend – Example: Pom Pom Sandals
  • Is a Hot Seller for You (the media likes to write about success stories)

If you are still not sure how to pitch your product to the media, be sure to see my Publicity Pitch Service

Advertising Your Product

Did you know that you can advertise a single product (not just your entire shop) as an Google Adwords ad? This is different than a Google Sponsored Product ad. An Google Adwords ad appears at the top or bottom of search results with a much more detailed description of your product, and in my experience, gets a better click-through.

Promoting Your Product on Social Media

If you are going to post one of your products on social media, you have to make it interesting or it will get lost in the noise of all the other people who simply post their products. For example, Nordstrom posting a pair of Prada shoes, but surrounding it with clovers to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. If you still can’t figure out how to get your products seen on social media, be sure to get my downloadable Social Media Plan.

So, if you have had no luck promoting your shop as a whole, try zeroing in on one product and see if it makes a difference. Be sure to see more of my products and services at:

© 2017. Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Latest Opportunities to Get Publicity for Your Etsy Shop

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I have spoken many times in my Ebooks and Marketing Plans how there are many publications that will frequently write about Etsy “Finds”. Sometimes the writers find you on their own, but sometimes you can pitch them the right story idea and they might just go for it.

Here are some recent Etsy “Finds” articles that I found:

Bon Appetit: The Best Shops on Etsy for Vintage Kitchenware

Vogue: 12 Brilliant Indie Beauty Brands That Started on Etsy

Footwear News: A Guide to the Coolest High-Top Sneakers on Etsy

Essence11 Etsy Accessories That’ll Remind Them Not To Touch Your Hair…Or Lipstick

Insider: 15 Awesome Stationery Shops You Can Find on Etsy

Now, my first advice would be to follow these writers on their social media profiles in hopes that they take notice of your Etsy shop and might consider your products for a future post (if what you sell is relevant to their audience).

Then think about a timely story idea, make sure it has a grabby headline and email the writer the idea, along with a link to one of your listings that would fit nicely as part of the story. And remember, keep the pitch short!

If you are still not sure you can do this, check out my Publicity Pitch Service or one of my Marketing Ebooks that walks you through how to write a great publicity pitch. Good luck!

WANT TO KNOW WHAT I THINK OF YOUR SHOP?

It really helps to get a professional marketing opinion and find out once and for all what is stopping your shop from being successful. Get more details about my Online Shop Critique.

Latest Customer Review

“Amazing…as usual! I am never disappointed and will continue to trust Gail’s work. I have always seen instant and positive results. Highly recommend!!! You will not be disappointed. Thanks again for your help!” Isis, Mamis Little Muse on Etsy.

© 2017. Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

7 Reasons People Aren’t Buying Your Products

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I have often talked about how, on average, at least 1% of traffic should convert into a sale. It’s not a hard and fast rule because there are many factors that come into play, but, typically if 100 people view a product listing of yours, you should get at least 1 sale. If this is not happening, you have a problem.

While 1% is average, a very good conversion rate is 2 to 5%, but again, for this to happen you have to make sure you have done the following:

  1. Do you match your competition feature for feature? Maybe someone sees your necklace and likes it, but they want it in gold not silver, can you honor their request? Otherwise, they will keep looking.
  2. Have you left out vital information such as size, weight, materials, etc.? Don’t make the customer search for the info or feel they have to ask; they won’t.
  3. Are you priced comparable to your direct competition? If you are too priced high the buyer will keep shopping around. If you are priced too low, the buyer worries about the quality.
  4. Are your shipping charges crazy high? This is a deal breaker for many as shipping is seen as throw away money to a customer. Shipping should never be more than 20% of the price. If you can’t do that, work some of the shipping back into the price.
  5. Have you created a sense of trust with the buyer, such as good reviews, publicity in mainstream media, business awards, easy return policy, etc. There are many customers who will not buy from a seller with no return policy, it is too risky.
  6. Is your product photography top quality? Do your photos help to show the size and scale (how many times have you read reviews where people say the product was much smaller than they thought)? Do you have photos that zoom in on the details? Remember, they are buying it without seeing it or touching it, or you have to provide that same experience.
  7. Sometimes there are just little things that are turning off buyers, but you are too close to your products to be objective. This is where I come in. For a limited time I am offering a Quick Fix for just $15. I have an average conversion rate of 8%, so send me a link to one of your product listings and I will tell you exactly why people aren’t buying and what you need to change. Click here to order My Quick Fix from my Selz site OR from my Etsy Shop

latest customer review

“Etsy Shop Critique – Excellent! So helpful, thorough and precise! I’ve been selling on Etsy for over three years and thought I had learned just about all the hacks — I was wrong! Thanks so much!” Brittany, The Bohipstian on Etsy.

© 2017. Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.