It’s the beginning of the month… time to write your goals. One of the goals that I write down almost every month is to increase Etsy sales.
A little vague, I know.
Sometimes I even write down a percentage or amount that I want to increase sales by. Then, I wait.
Unfortunately, much to my disappointment, sitting back passively doesn’t increase Etsy sales. It’s a shame, but your product doesn’t just sell itself. You need to be proactive about selling it, which means that you need to be marketing – a lot – to see make more sales.
See Etsy is like anything else in the online world – if you build it, they will not come.
Even though I find that the Etsy search engine is better at displaying your work to potential customers, you can’t rely on that alone to grow. (Speaking from experience here.)
Just like any online shop, you need to get customers to visit and visit often. And to get these customers through the door – or onto your Etsy shop page – you need to use marketing.
I know that word again. But, think of marketing as just telling people (hopefully, the right people) about what you do.
So with this theory, to increase Etsy sales, you need to tell more people about what you do that month. The more people who know about your great products, the more sales you’ll get.
But how do I do that?
Don’t worry I’m not suggesting that you go out and hand out another hundred business cards (although, that could work).
In order to see an increase in your Etsy sales, you could add a new marketing strategy or adjust a current one.
Try something different for the month and see if it works. If you find an amazing increase in your Etsy Shop’s sales during that month, keep using that marketing strategy. If there’s no difference, then maybe try another strategy.
Remember what works in marketing is constantly changing based on your customer’s desires. The strategies that I used when I first started my stationery shop are very different than the ones that I’m currently using.
So you need to be flexible with your marketing strategies. And if you don’t feel like a strategy is working for you or your customers, then ditch it. Try something else. There’s plenty of ideas out there.
Here are 15 easy ways to increase Etsy sales this month. They are my favorites – not to be partial. And I’ve tried most of them to increase my Etsy shop sales.
If you’ve started your Etsy shop, you’re probably busy keeping up with the daily tasks of running a successful shop. Not worrying about creating branding to make your business memorable.
I get it. Branding can take a back seat to all of the other important tasks that you need to do to run your business.
But branding is really important. On Etsy, shops can start to look the same after awhile. So, making your colors, fonts and images stand out is important. Customers are more likely to return to shop’s who have branding in place. It’s helpful if they can remember the icon too. That image becomes linked to your brand.
When deciding on the branding for your shop, you want to make it memorable. Something that doesn’t look like everyone else’s and that your customers will remember.
Start by making sure you have a well designed shop banner at the top of your shop page.
You also need a matching shop icon which is the image that appears to the left hand side next to your shop name and a profile photo of YOU. Customers aren’t as crazy about purchasing from cartoon avatars.
Also, check your About page. Make sure that you’ve included photos of you, your workspace and the behind the scenes making of your products. This is one of the first places that customers go to get to know more about you and your shop before purchasing.
Most importantly, make sure everything matches. You don’t want to have one look and feel in your banner, only to have a different color theme in your shop icon. Your shop should seem put together and seamless when potential customers visit.
Organize with Sections
Think about the last time you walked into a book store. It might have been awhile. But, when you went in did you find one big pile of books? Or were the books sorted into different sections?
Can you imagine if you were looking for children’s books for your little one and had to sift through the entire pile until you found the nugget at the very bottom?
This is how potential customers feel when they enter an Etsy shop without sections. Your beautiful products look like they are jumbled into one big pile. And no one has time for sorting through them.
I’m always amazed how many Etsy shops don’t utilize the sections tool. It’s a great way to organize your shop.
Sections make it easier for your customers to find the items they’re looking for. So if you sell crocheted toys and your customer wants a baby rattle, they can click on the “Baby Rattles” section to see the products you offer.
The other awesome thing about sections is that Etsy now gives you up to 20 to organize your items better. It used to be 10. Turns out that you’re living in a wonderful time to start an Etsy shop!
When choosing names for your sections, choose keywords that describe the products you include. These section titles make it easier for customers to find your products and they are more likely to show up in search.
Use Coupons to Entice Potential Buyers
One of the new additions that Etsy added after the fee increases last year were new coupon options. Before these coupon code choices, you were not legally allowed to contact anyone who favorited your product. You also didn’t know if someone placed the product in their cart and it just sat there.
Etsy has changed this rule with these new coupon codes. Although you can’t contact a potential customer directly, you can choose to have the coupon sent. One option sends a coupon to anyone whose placed your product in their cart and hasn’t purchased it yet. This is based on a Abandoned Cart idea. Customers are more likely to come back and purchase a product that’s in their cart when they are reminded.
I have found much success in completing sales using this coupon code.
The other coupon option is to send a code after a person favorites your item. I haven’t found as many customers purchasing from this coupon reminder, but it might just be my discount isn’t high enough to entice them.
Originally, when Etsy announced these coupons there was a fee for each time they sent it out. This is one reason why I stopped using the Favorites coupon. I found it was costing me way too much money with very little sales return.
Recently, though, they’ve made these coupons free. So if you aren’t using them yet, they are a great free marketing strategy to add to your shop.
To set the coupons up, go under Marketing and click on Sales and Coupons. You can then create coupon codes for each version under Targeted Campaigns.
Be Consistent on Social Media
I love social media. It’s a great way to connect with potential customers, showcase new products in action and share behind the scenes glances.
As much as I enjoy using this marketing strategy, the only way for it to really work is to be consistent. Your followers don’t really like it when you show up here and there to share something.
They want someone they can depend upon to be at the party EVERY DAY.
If you only post on social media a couple times a month (as my hand raises on this one), try posting something every day for the next 30 days.
This is where batch scheduling comes in. Instead of creating individual posts, you can create a whole series of content in a couple of hours.
To start, create a social media content calendar and write down the type of post for each day.
Next, spend the last week of the month collecting the materials you need for your upcoming posting schedule. Make graphics, find free stock photos (or paid), take photos of your products in action, gather photos that customers have sent you to share. Whatever content fits with the posts that you’ve planned.
Then, schedule your social media posts for the month. The best part about using a scheduling tool is it lets you leave the posts and move on to your next project.
Your business looks wonderfully active on social media without the headache of needing to figure out what to post each day.
Build your Mailing List and Email Them
You’ve probably heard the saying “the money’s in the list”. And it’s mostly true. If you’ve built your mailing list correctly, it should be full of raging fans just waiting to purchase from you.
But as an Etsy shop owner, building a mailing list might not be the number one thing you’re focused on. Etsy doesn’t exactly make it easy either.
So if you haven’t started to build your mailing list yet, then this is the month to work on it. You can find some ideas for building your mailing list as an Etsy shop owner here.
If you already have a mailing list, do you email them? I spent years building a robust email list and it just sat there. I was too afraid to write an email and hit send.
Here’s a great thing I learned recently. The money’s only in the mailing list if you use it.
Your mailing list does not help with marketing or sales if it just collects dust.
So write an email. Let your list know what your shop is up to and apologize for being so quiet. If it’s been awhile, you might not want to try selling something in the very first email back.
But after you send a warm up email, send another email the following week. And then another. And another. Until your list gets comfortable hearing from you again.
And if you make your emails really valuable, they’ll end up high on your customer’s list to open.
Add New Listings
One thing that Etsy algorithm loves the best is new listings. The more the merrier in its eyes.
As with any website, Etsy wants action in your shop beyond just sales. The algorithm loves seeing you create new listings and grow your shop’s product options.
A great way to drive more traffic to your Etsy shop is by adding more product listings. Make a goal to create a certain number of new product listings for the month. And spread them out. I’ve discovered clumping new listings all into one week doesn’t actually help traffic.
Instead sprinkle the new listings throughout the month. The Etsy algorithm considers you more active and loves to send more traffic your way.
Not interested in creating new products?
Just because you make a new listing, doesn’t mean that you have to create an entire new product. Instead, get creative and group your current products differently. Or you could make a variation on a product – such as color, size or shape – of your most popular listings.
Snap More Photos
The thing that’s improved the most over my years of selling on Etsy are vendor’s shop photos. Between stock photo flat lays, improved photo photography and sellers who really care about showcasing their products in the best light (literally), product photos have become truly excellent quality.
I don’t miss the days of dark photos on the floors of basements.
Review the photos for any listings that aren’t getting views and sales regularly. See if there’s any way you can improve them. Maybe take photos of the products in action or in better lighting. Try snapping some of the angles that Etsy recommends in its product photos section.
Many times a product doesn’t sell because of how it’s presented to potential buyers – not the product itself.
Each Etsy listing can have up to ten photos – so use them. Remember your photos are how your customer experiences your product before buying. The photo section is important marketing real estate to convince a customer that they should buy.
Use Promoted Listings Strategically
Of all the advertising platforms that Etsy offers to shops, promoted listings is my favorite. But like all online advertising, it has to be used correctly to see results.
If you aren’t careful, every new listing that you add to your Etsy shop will be promoted. So, take the time to review your settings of your promoted listings to make sure your advertising dollars are spent strategically.
When choosing promoted listings, I focus on the items that are in season and listings that need a boost.
Before selecting items to promote, make sure the keywords are up to date and search engine optimized. There’s no point in spending money on promoting an item if customers won’t be able to find it.
Check your SEO
I know, SEO is another buzz word that people like to throw around. Think of SEO – search engine optimization – as one of those words people will use to find your listing.
What words or phrases will your potential customer type into the Search box to find what they’re looking for?
Not sure. No worries. I didn’t understand SEO until I was well into my business journey. I couldn’t understand why my Etsy shop got amazing traffic, but not enough buyers.
It turned out that I wasn’t bringing in potential customers because my search terms were off. The customers that were stopping by were looking for something else. Hence why they weren’t buying.
To make sure your listing has amazing SEO, check the keywords used in the title, product description and tags. Use words that your customers will search for and describe the product.
Overwhelmed by too many products?
If you have a shop with a lot of products, fixing the SEO for each one might be a bit overwhelming. Start with your most underperforming listings, since those probably need the most assistance.
Also, create a specific number of listings to review for the month. I find knowing how many I need to fix much more motivating and I’m more likely to get the job done.
Start a Business Blog
As you probably know by now, a business blog is my favorite marketing tool. I t’s the one way to consistently drive the right kind of traffic – you know the people that want to buy – to my shop.
Your blog also gives you a way to share about your products without directly selling. Customers get to know you and your products without the pressure to purchase.
If you don’t already have a business blog, maybe this is the month to start one. You can read about how to start your own business blog here.
If you do have one and aren’t currently updating it, create a blog post calendar and get writing. A business blog needs focused content that brings in potential customers who are interested in your products. It’s not a personal blog and you only really need to write about once a week (maybe even less depending on how much content you have).
Like everything else – be consistent. Choose a day a week or month that you want to publish your blog post and get writing. Your shop and audience will grow from there.
Not sure what to write? Here are my favorite business blog post ideas to get your started.
Write for Someone Else’s Blog
Better known as guest posting. If you don’t want to start your own blog or you already are blogging consistently in your own space, it might be time to venture onto writing for someone else’s blog.
Guest posting is a great way to get your work in front of another audience. Find other bloggers in your niche that accept guest posts and reach out to them with your ideas.
For example, if you sell jewelry, you could reach out to a fashion blogger and see if you can do a piece about the newest jewelry trends, outfit ideas for the summer or best wedding jewelry pieces.
Writing this kind of guest post establishes you as an expert in your niche. In addition, you get your work and yourself in front of an entire new audience.
Encourage Repeat Buyers
Getting new customers can be expensive. You have to find them, give them time to get to know your brand (at least 7 touch points before a new customer will buy) and be really patient with hopes that they’ll finish the sale.
On the other hand, repeat buyers already know you. They are interested in working with you and understand the quality of your product.
Although you always need to find some new customers to keep your business growing, focus on maintaining great relationships with your current customers.
First, encourage buyers to join your mailing list. Include the link with your shipping notification, in your packaging and even create a reason – such as a tutorial or opt-in – for them to visit your blog.
You can also boost the likelihood of your customer returning with a thank you coupon. This coupon code is sent 24 hours after the customer completes their purchase. It includes a discount or special offer on their next purchase. You can set up a thank you coupon in the Marketing section of your Etsy shop.
Create Pinworthy Images
Are you using Pinterest to help drive traffic to your Etsy shop? It turns out this might be one of the best kept secrets to increasing views to your Etsy shop.
But the images that you use in the product listing are not an ideal size for Pinterest. Typically, when those images are pinned, you don’t receive many repins or traffic. The pin mostly flops.
In order to use Pinterest effectively, you’ll need to create a unique product pin. You could create a collage with different product images, a single product image pin or a lifestyle pin showcasing your product in action.
To be most successful, this image should not be added directly to your product listing. After you create the unique product pin, you need to create a separate pin in Pinterest. When you do this, you add the listing to your Etsy shop. By connecting the pin and shop listing, it’s easy for Pinterest users to find your item.
You can find more details about using Pinterest to grow your online business and making unique product pins here.
Update your Shop Profile
Although keywords are important in your product listings, they are also key to include throughout your shop profile. Having the correct keywords that describe your Etsy shop and the products you create helps Google and Etsy assist your customers in finding you.
If you haven’t already, add keywords to your Shop Title (the phrase under your shop name), your Shop Announcement and About page. Include words and phrases that your potential customer might search for.
Remember, this isn’t a place to get fancy. I’ve used the shop title “Whimsical designs just for kids” as my shop title for years. But, it doesn’t really tell potential customers about what I sell. There are lots of different designs that can fit under “whimsical”. The search engines are probably a bit confused too.
I updated it to “Invitations and party designs for kids”. Although not as creative, it seems easier for search engines to figure out what my shop is all about.
Naturally, most Etsy shop owners’ goals is to increase Etsy sales. More sales means more money – so it makes sense that this would be on the top of everyone’s list.
Unfortunately, no matter how much I wish it did, increasing sales doesn’t just happen. You need to take action with focused marketing strategies to grow your online shop.
To work on increasing your sales this month, choose one new marketing strategy to try. And stick with it. I recommend only one so you can really focus on it. Many times I choose multiple strategies and they all fall flat.
Review the results at the end of the month and see if your sales increased. If not, try a different strategy. Not every marketing idea is best for every business niche. Figure out what grows your business with and use that.
If you want to learn more about creating an effective marketing strategy for your creative business, check out our First Steps to Marketing course. It’s a step by step course of making your first marketing plan.