Online marketing tips for Etsy sellers that will get you to the popular table

etsy-tipsYou've claimed your Etsy name and built up your inventory, but how do you make sure anybody knows you exist? It's like that high school crush all over again!

Don't fret, my pet.

We can snag the Jake Ryan of the online retailer world.

Here are some handy-dandy online marketing tips for your fledgling (or totally veteran) Etsy business.

Photos are half the battle

You know that old saying in retail and real estate, "location, location, location?" In online sales it's all about photos, photos, photos. With the rise of Pinterest, WeHeartIt, and Juxtapost, buyers are consuming media via images a lot of the time. So your website and Etsy store needs to maximize that. Spend a little bit of money and research time on either a decent camera and setup, or a good photographer. Depending on your product, you may even need to hire a model. But don't neglect the first impression your product makes.

Have marketing questions for us? Want to get started with low-cost advertising on Offbeat Empire? Get in touch!

Consider your backdrop. Does an aged wooden table or burlap fabric make your rustic jewelry stand out? Would a forest backdrop and outdoor lighting make your antique lace dresses look perfect for a forest wedding? Consider your market and stage it accordingly.

Use the photo slots Etsy and other retail outlets give you to show multiple angles and lighting to maximize the likelihood that someone will like and share that photo.

Optimizing your Etsy store for search engines

Did you know places like your Etsy store and Facebook have their own SEO rank? I know, I know… you can't escape SEO. Keep keywords in mind when you're naming files and listings. You could list your product like this: "Handmade wooden necklace." But that's a missed opportunity. Cater the words to what someone might be looking for via the Etsy search and in search engines. "Handmade wooden lace beaded necklace for weddings" (or something like that!) could bring in a much larger audience. Here's more information on keywords and URLs. But when it comes to descriptions, write naturally (as opposed to a string of keywords) so that it's understandable to a customer.

Add new items as often as you can

Listing new items often is a great way to get your listings featured in treasuries, show up in "recently listed" areas, and let the customer know that you have lots of options. This is one of those times when quantity AND quality are both important.

Use your chosen social media platforms to share your work

You don't have to blanket all of them, but do utilize the ones you like to keep your items top of mind with your regular followers. And if you have a blog, even better! Blogs with quality content can drive TONS of people over to your store. Make sure you're linking to it often within your blog content and in your navigation.

Reaffirm your branding in your packaging

This isn't exactly "online" marketing, but it's definitely useful. Make sure to re-engage your customer with your brand when they receive your package. Include something: a business card, a thank-you card, a magnet, a letter, etc. that will remind them that you're totally cool to work with (and who the hell you are)! In our case, Offbeat Brides are often sourcing from multiple Etsy sellers and you'll want to make sure they remember you as a vendor when submitting their wedding.

Ask them to help you share your wares

If things went well with your transaction, ask for testimonials and referrals. You'd be surprised how often customers want to rave about you. If you really made a connection, ask them to possibly share their experience on review sites and the Offbeat Bride Tribe.

Start small with your advertising budget

Some smaller blogs will totally be down for reviewing your products if you give them a free sample or by allowing you to write relevant guest posts. But eventually, you'll want to graduate to larger blogs and their lower-cost advertising options. For instance (shameless self-promotion incoming), Offbeat Bride has banner ads that start at $20. If your products are a match with a blog, reach out and see if they can get you started with a lower budget. Then you can consider entering the big realm of search engine marketing with Google… but we'll save that for another day. The point is that re-investing in your business is how things get BIG!

Etsy Sellers (and other online retailers): what marketing tips do you have to share?

  1. I've always thought about opening up an etsy shop to sell cards and art prints, but it seemed so daunting! This post was super helpful! Thanks bunches 😀

  2. Speaking as a consumer, I would love to patronize Etsy for my wedding, but I find sorting through all of the vendors to be really painful. I've tried looking at the dedicated wedding page, but apparently vendors really hate it because it spotlights relatively few products. Honestly, at this point, I just tend to look at vendors recommended by other brides. This is a long-winded way of saying that good customer service and getting mentions on forums is probably a really good way to generate business if you're on Etsy.

  3. No doubt advertisement is the most important element of marketing, and I like your suggestion to start it with smaller budget at beginning.

  4. Well this is apropos. I've been thinking of expanding my antique business to Etsy , but it seems so daunting. But I've got to do something, since my grand plan of making fat money doing SEO articles via Mechanical Turk has failed miserably.

  5. Not an Etsy seller, but recommending that those interested in marketing to read The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited. Along with anecdotes, the book provides information on how word-of-mouth and other marketing create "buzz" and how it spreads among consumers. I had to read selections from it for work, and it's pretty engaging enough to not be boring (for the most part).

  6. One thing a marketing book I read (can't remember which, so sorry!) suggested was to test your advertising wording and campaigns by running similar ones with one or two changes. Log the results and learn what to tweak.

    For example, I ran a single product with two or three title options, and learned that "Make your own" got a lot more clicks than "DIY"…would have never guessed! Just be careful not to overwhelm your shop with a bunch of multiple listings, it looks weird. I only play with one or two at a time. (Also, don't list something that's one of a kind more than once, just in case both listings were to sell!)

    Facebook suggests the same theory if you run any of their ads. (I haven't had any success with those, but I can hardly say I was really committed. I've dabbled, at best).

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