Business Tips: Driving Traffic to Your Shop

When I first started writing this post, I was originally going to title it, “The Art of Promotion”, but I soon realized that I’m not trying to turn you all into MBAs.  The goal is to get your brains fired up and give you some ideas to help you drive traffic to your shops.

It can be excruciatingly disheartening when your shop gets no love, even though you have an awesome product, great descriptions and pricing that is aimed to drive sales.  It can leave you wondering, “What am I doing wrong?“  For many, the problem has nothing to do with their shops, but with their marketing and promotion efforts. Maybe they are not reaching their target market or they are limiting their efforts.

Most of us are artists, crafters, creators, NOT marketers; so the marketing game can become an almost paralyzing feat. Sometimes we wish we could do something that just went viral but that seldom happens.  Sometimes we try to concentrate on to many different techniques that we get overwhelmed. The fact is that there are so many different approaches you can take and there are 1001 ways to spend bundles of cash without results. So I decided to do some digging and share some of my own experiences and resources shared by other fabulous EcoEtsy members. So, let’s jump right to it.

Facebook Promotion App

HerbanLuxe & Besty & Bess joint giveaway stats

Over the past month, the Facebook topic has been hot and heavy in the EcoEtsy team forum.  Questions like, “do I need a fan page?“, “is it even worth it?“, “how do I start a fan page?“, etc, were asked.  I personally started a Facebook Fan Page for my new Etsy shop, Herban Luxe in January after my grand opening and like many, I had the same questions.  After reading a post in the Etsy Forums regarding the Facebook Promotion App, I decided to try it out.

The Facebook Promotion App, is a third-party application by WildFire, which gives you the ability to create sweepstakes, coupon, and other promotions.  You can then add a tab for your promotion on your Facebook fan page.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect the first time I used the app, but was more than pleasantly surprised to see that within hours of publishing my first giveaway, my page “likes” increased and the by end of my 3 day promotion, I had 235 entries for my giveaway.

For my second giveaway, I partnered with a fellow EcoEtsy member,  Betsy & Bess.  I created the promotion link and both of us promoted the giveaway.  The results were awesome. We had over 539 entries (check out our stats above).  Both our Facebook page “likes” increased and our shops gained exposure.

Since I’ve had great success with the app, I have been trying to partner with fellow Ecoetsians to host weekend giveaways.

Here is a video on how to use Facebook Promotion App.

If the you can not view the video, please click on Facebook Promotion

Project Wonderful

Project Wonderful Stats

Project Wonderful is similar to Google Adwords without all the complicated consideration.  Project Wonderful is an ad site where bloggers can offer space on their blogs for a profit and marketers can have their ads posted on those same blogs.

You create a button ad, then you create a campaign.  Your button ad will appear on participating blog sites – it’s that simple.

I’m a big fan of Project Wonderful for two reasons:

1. I can truly control my costs – all campaigns are prepaid, you can run a campaign with $5.  I  limit my campaign spending to $2 a day and budget my bid on ad space bid to as low as $0.01.

2. I get my shop’s button ad on blogs people are reading.  You can decided which on the types of blogs you want your button to appear.  (Tip: comics and comedy blogs drive the most traffic  – not sure why, they just do).

My conversion rate (conversion rate = total orders / # views) isn’t as high as with other marketing and promotion effort, but the exposure is great – I get tons of views.  Let’s face it, once we make peace with the fact that not all our efforts will turn views into sales – we can use different techniques to increase our exposure.

Advertising on Etsy-centric Sites

Etsy-centric sites offer low cost advertising  options as low as $15 for a week. These are great places to advertise for several reasons:

  • The sites themselves receive a large number of traffic.  As an Etsy seller I tend to visit them regularly myself.
  • They attract an audience that is interested in “handmade & vintage” items. This is a biggie, it brings you one step closer to your actual target market.
  • They are low cost options, $15 for a week is not a bad deal considering the fact that an Etsy showcase costs $7 one day.

Examples of Etsy-centric sites are:

I personally have posted ads on CraftCult and Craftopolis with good results.  They have usually generated about 25 to 30 clicks to my shop a day.  If I were paying per clicks at this rate, my weekly budget would be about $175 if I paid $1 per click.

It’s a great way to put your shop name out there and drive some traffic to your shop

Coupon Codes

Etsy Coupon Code Function

Last September, Jennifer of GreenEarthGoodies wrote a great post for EcoEtsy, “Do Promo/Discount Codes Work?” In her post, Jennifer wrote:

The idea with coupon/promo codes is to entice the customer to come back.  Hopefully they love your product and the plan is to give them extra incentive to return and buy more by offering a certain dollar or percentage off or even free shipping.

I completely agree with this statement – right on Jennifer! Since she wrote her post, Etsy implemented a coupon code function which totally rocks.  I’ve been using it regularly and customers are starting to catch on.

Sampler Boxes

Back in April 2010, Lisa of Lilfishstudios wrote a great post for the EcoEtsy blog, “Using Handmade “Sampler” Programs to Advertise Your Business“.  Sample boxes are one of those things that receive mixed feeling from “sellers” and “buyers”.

The concept behind sampler boxes is simple.  The sample box host puts out a call for samples sponsors who are willing to offer 25 or more samples of their products.  The samples are then grouped and sold.  In exchange, the sample box host offers participating sponsors a banner display on their website or even a review on Youtube, depending on the host.  Everyone who buys a sample box gets introduced to your product.

From a seller perspective, sampler boxes are a great way to build visibility for your shop – you know, get your name out there, but the downside is that if not planned right, they can be a bit costly.  You must consider the number of samples you are comfortable contributing.  If you can only offer 25 samples, it’s 25 more people who will be introduced to your shop.

I’ve participated in a few sample boxes and one of my favorites is, My Pretty Pink Box.  I’ve had the most success with this particular host because the box is focused on cosmetics, which is what I offer. I’ve tried others and received little to no traffic.  There are lots of other sample box programs out there, Lisa provides links to a few popular ones in her post.

Although there is no guarantee on the amount of traffic you will receive by becoming a sponsor in a sample box, it’s worth a shot.

Partnership for Cross-Promotions

The last strategy I’ll discuss is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, Partnership for Cross-Promotions.  I decided to tested this in my shop, I added a short message in my shop message recommending HerbanLifestyle’s, Naked Makeup Remover, which complements my own products.  I sell makeup, she sells a makeup remover, why not?  I can’t measure the result of this concept just yet, but it’s the idea I’d like to share.

As shop owners, developing relationships with each other and trying to figure out how we can complement each other should be a goal.  Many of us sell similar products so a partnership for cross-promotion may not work every time but what about developing a partnership with a shop who offers a product that complements your own?

Both shops would have to agree to promote one another either by including a message in their shop or even adding a link in a specific product description to the partners product which complements your own.

Now I know, many may not think this is a good idea, but if you think of it in the same way you think of…let’s say a blog – the more relevant outside links you have coming into your blog the better for your blog. The same should apply to your shop – don’t you think?  Just something to chew on for a while.

Well that’s it to now! Hope you found this post useful and would love to hear what has worked for you so share your comments below.

This post was written by

Myra @ HerbanLuxe – who has written posts on Eco Etsy.
Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

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About Myra @ HerbanLuxe

Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

Comments

  1. Thank you for all the great info! It’s nice to have it all organized in one place with step by step instructions.

  2. Really appreciate this article! Been having other bloggers write reviews & do giveaways for us, but thought I should try one myself on FB.

  3. Thank you for another great information packed article! So many ideas for new ways to promote our shops. My To Do list just doubled in size!

  4. Thanks for putting together all this information! It is a lot to think about.

  5. Yikes! The article didn’t mention that Wildfire is not a free service – but no worries! It gave me plenty of pocketbook friendly ideas.

  6. This is absolutely wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to put this together.

  7. Really useful tips! Do you think that those of us who are brand new should invest up front in advertising and promotion, our wait til we are more established?

    • Hi Tina;

      Since you are new you need to get the word out about your shop. I recommend Keeping It Simple. Start a “Marketing Calendar” where you schedule one marketing or promotion activity a month. For example:

      Month 1 Build Facebook Fan Page and add Etsy Tab – ask friends & family to share and post a link shop announcement. (I created a video tut for the etsy tab http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAJc6R7cI3k).

      Month 2
      Post a button ad on an Etsy-centric site for the month

      Month 3
      Get a blogger to feature me along with a giveaway

      The purpose is to give you some metrics. You can then see what is working and what isn’t.

  8. What a great post! I’m currently suffering from a major lack of traffic and have all but given up on it for now. I haven’t spent any money on advertising or promotions simply because I know that you can toss a lot of cash with no results if you don’t know what you’re doing (which right now, I don’t). The more I read about other people’s successes, the better I feel about it. Thanks for putting together this list of things to try!

    • Doris;

      Hope you try one of the techniques shared here. There’s no need to go overboard, try something – get some stats and see if it was worth it. If it works, use it again. If it didn’t put it in aside and revisit a few months later – it may have different results.

  9. .. i learn so much from this group ..thank you for a clear and informative post

  10. Wow, I love how this blog always seems to provide the answers to questions that pop in my head. A lot less work researching for me this morning thanks you! I greatly appreciate it (:

  11. Really great article Myra…some great ideas to chew on. I’m particularly intrigued by the Facebook app…I really should check that out.

    Thanks for the food for thought…some really valuable info here!

  12. Great tips!
    Thanks for sharing!!!