How to Grow Your Etsy Shop’s Email List on Autopilot

How to Grow Your Etsy Shop’s Email List on Autopilot

SO email marketing.

It’s one of those things that you know you should be doing (since everybody and their dog coins the phrase “the money is in the list”), but if you’ll permit me, I’m going to make a guess that it’s probably been at least 6 months since you last emailed your list (no judging here—we’ve all been there and I'm currently digging out of an email marketing rut myself).

Your growth is probably feeling a little stagnant as well. Did you gain 20 subscribers last month? 10? 3?

If you’re just getting started with email marketing, it can be INCREDIBLY discouraging to try to grow your list from 0—because nobody really talks about how to do it-- they just tell you it's important to do (<-- worst advice ever). Add the fact that Etsy’s TOU’s make it EXTREMELY complicated to build a list and it’s no wonder you’re burned out before you’ve even started.

Well….

What if I told you that I could help you grow your list like MAGIC?

An Actual Step-By-Step Plan to Setting + Reaching Your Crazy-Big Revenue Goals

Raise your hand if you’ve ever written down “I want to earn [insert $ amount here] from my Etsy shop this quarter,” and then realized that you have absolutely NO idea how to actually make that happen.

Yup, I see you ;)

So many success coaches out there will tell you to visualize your goal or “manifest” the money you want to make, but have you noticed there's extremely limited information out there about how to actually make those goals happen?

Yeah, not so many people seem to talk about that ;)

Why?

Well, because it's a bit un-glamorous.

It's easy to get caught up in the glitzy dreams of dollar signs, but it's a lot harder to actually do the work and make those dollars happen. 

Maybe you've got a quarterly (or yearly!) revenue goal right now.

But I want you to answer this honestly: Do you have a step-by-step plan of how you're actually going to achieve it?

If you're reading this, then probably not. And that's totally okay! That's why I'm here to help :)

Luckily, there’s a lot less “luck” than you think involved in actually reaching your revenue goals—it just takes a bit of strategizing, execution (the hardest part!), and then evaluation.

And guess what? In this blog post I’m going to walk you through exactly that! #heckyes

So let's get started!

Step 1: Decide on a quarterly business goal

First things first-- you actually have to have a goal in mind (duh).

But I don't mean this as a "I want to grow my business this quarter," type of goal-- because what does that REALLY mean? Are you hoping to grow your traffic? Your conversion rate? Your profit margin? Your brand awareness?

Now you may be saying “Yes! I want all of those!” but I’m going to stop you right there—because by focusing on allllllllllll the things, you're already sabotaging your success. #letsbehonest

In fact, that lack of focus probably has A LOT to do with why you're not making the $$$ now-- because you're trying to do too many things all at once-- and doing a pretty crappy job at all of them. 

So instead of running circles around your business trying to do #allthethings, I want you to use each quarter to focus on ONE GOAL. That’s right—just one goal every 3 months. This doesn’t mean the rest of your goals aren’t important—it just means that you’re going to focus the bulk of your efforts on making this one goal come to realization. And then next quarter, you can switch it up to a different goal.

So for the purpose of this blog post, I'm going to use an example goal of growing my Etsy shop traffic.

Now I want you to notice that the goal I listed above is better than just "grow my business" as a goal, but it's still not great.

And that's because there’s no measurable outcome attached to it—and that measurable outcome is very important to actually achieving your goal because it leaves little "wiggle room" for interpretation.

Because if you say "I want to grow my business," you could get 10 more followers/day and even though you could consider that a win, it probably isn't going to do a lot for your bottom line. 

And is that helpful for your overall business growth? NO.  

But if you said something like "I want to grow my business from 5,000 to 30,000 views/month," then you've now got a measurable outcome and it will be a yes/no outcome on whether you achieve it or not. 

So take whatever goal you wrote above and now quantify it and turn it into a measurable outcome. 

Example: I want grow my Etsy shop traffic to 30,000 views/month

And there you have it—your quarterly business goal.

Step 2: Brainstorm ways to get there

As anyone knows, putting your goal out into the universe is great, but you need to have a plan on how you’re actually going to get there (hint: wishful thinking is not the answer I'm looking for here ;).

This is usually one of the harder parts for Etsy shop owners because there are--literally-- so many things that they could be doing at any given moment that it's hard to know where to start.

So they do a little of all of it. Try a few things out, don't see immediate results, give up, and try something new. 

Over and over and over and over again. 

Ringing any bells?? ;)

Here's my two cents about that: If you implement random strategies with random effectiveness, you're only ever going to make random sales. 

No matter what goal you set for yourself in Step 1, "randomness" is not the answer.

So let's get deliberate. 

I'm now going to make a list of things that I could possibly do that would help me reach my goal. 

But I don't want this to be any old list-- because putting things down like "post more on Instagram!" is vague and ineffective. Something like "post 4x/week on Instagram" would be a much better goal. 

But better yet-- write down ideas that are targeted towards an ideal customer you have in mind.

So in my recurring example, I made a goal to increase my traffic to 30,000 views/month. Now let's say that the product I sell is travel-inspired art prints (always trying to come up with new ideas besides baby headbands, ha ha!). Here is a list I've brainstormed of different strategies I could do to help increase my views and get me up to 30,000 views/month:

  • Get an article/product featured in an online travel website
  • Interact + comment on travel forums
  • Create a daily pinning schedule customized to my target market and stick to it
  • Create blog content that features items from my shop + links to them
  • Create product roundup blog posts featuring my items
  • Include direct links to my shop in all my social media profiles
  • Run targeted FB ads to lookalike audiences
  • Host a social sharing contest/giveaway
  • Launch a new product line
  • etc.

This list will be long. It SHOULD be long because I want you to list down alllllll the ideas you have and just brain dump it all out on paper. Plan on listing AT LEAST 10 ideas in this step of the exercise. You won't have to act on all of them-- but you do need to get them all out there on paper.  

Now you may be saying, "But I don't actually know what strategies will bring me 30,000 views/month!" and that's totally normal. We're not addressing that just yet. Right now we're just putting all of our ideas out there. Every single one.

Step 3: Pick 3-5 strategies to focus on

Once you’ve got a very specific list of ideas on how you could possibly increase your traffic up to 30,000 views/month (for this example, at least!), it’s time narrow down your list and pick 3-5 strategies to actually implement. 

How do you know which ones to pick?

Well, there's where it gets a bit tricky...

  • If you’re an active marketer of your shop, you probably know what strategies already work for your shop—and that’s great! Use that knowledge to DO MORE of the things that are working and scale the growth of your business. This is hands-down the FASTEST way to reach your goals. 
     
  • If you’ve never done a lick of marketing in your life, I want you to pick 3 marketing strategies from your list and try them out. And I don’t just mean for 2-3 days and then give up—no, I want you to commit to them for the entire quarter. You NEED those month-to-month statistics to evaluate what’s working.

To help with this, you're going to want to assign certain numbers to each of these strategies. 

So, for example, let's say I picked the following tasks:

  • Host a social sharing contest/giveaway w/brand reps
  • Launch a new product line
  • Interact + comment on travel forums
  • Create product roundup blog posts featuring my items

Because my goal is to reach 30,000 views/month, I need to ballpark where those numbers are actually coming from (because they obviously have to come from somewhere!). 

  • Host a social sharing contest/giveaway w/brand reps (10,000 monthly views)
  • Launch a new product line (10,000 monthly views)
  • Interact + comment on travel forums (2,000 monthly views)
  • Create product roundup blog posts featuring my items (8,000 monthly views)

Now, if this is your first time doing this, you won't know what those exact numbers are. THAT'S OKAY. The reason why we're doing this is not so much to try and guess the effectiveness of our marketing strategies as it is to make sure that you've picked strategies that are actually reasonable for achieving that goal. 

Step 4: Create an editorial calendar

Now that you have a few marketing strategies you’ll be focusing on in the next few months, it’s time to map everything out on a calendar to keep you on track. Remember—there’s nothing that can derail a shop faster than willy-nilly marketing without intention. If you’re going to put all the time and effort into planning out your revenue and marketing your shop, I want you to make sure it’s worth your time!

So take the different marketing strategies you’ll be utilizing and break them down one step further. If you’ve chosen the strategies:

  • Host a social sharing contest/giveaway
  • Launch a new product line
  • Interact + comment on travel forums
  • Create product roundup blog posts featuring my items

…you now need to schedule in their execution.

For example, “Host a social sharing contest/giveaway” may mean that you need to:

  1. Decide on a contest prize
  2. Set up a contest landing page + email collection form
  3. Make a list of possible brand reps to help spread the word
  4. Install social sharing buttons
  5. Create a social media campaign
  6. Write out a follow-up email sequence
  7. etc. etc. 

Each of those steps needs to be scheduled into your editorial calendar on the appropriate timeline to keep you on track for reaching your goal (you can use an online management program like Asana for this or even Google Calendar).

You're going to do this step-by-step breakdown for each of the strategies on your list to create an EXACT plan of how you’re going to accomplish things and aren’t working off vagueness ;)

Step 5: Execute

The hardest step of the whole process, ha ha! Execution is the make it or break it part of your strategy. Because while you can plan marketing strategy circles around your competitors, if you aren’t actually doing the work and executing (curse that blasted research and development stage!), you’re never going to make any progress.

..So get to work! Start implementing the tasks you've written out on your editorial calendar, giving yourself plenty of time to do so (hint: hustling the day of usually isn't the best approach to making this successful...sharing personal experience, here ;)

Step 6: Evaluate and review

Once you’ve neared the end of the quarter and have poured your little heart into reaching your quarterly goal, it’s time to evaluate and review the past 3 months (and not just because they might have been the longest 3 months of your life ;).

First things first—did you reach your goal? Did you come close? Give yourself credit for however far you’ve come since you started—even if you didn’t quite reach your goal.

Now it’s time to sit down and figure out what worked out well (yay!), what was a total flop (sigh…), and what you are going to do differently next quarter.  I recommend writing this down in a notebook or a Google doc that you can look back whenever you need to. 

While you're evaluating and reflecting, if you’ve found out that one of your strategies worked REALLY well at driving traffic, then I want you to DO MORE OF THAT. If it didn't work? Feel free to ditch it (seriously). 

So maybe creating product roundup posts on our blog worked out really well at driving traffic. Awesome! Do more of those!

But maybe hosting a contest/giveaway flopped hard and your ego is still a little bruised. It sucks, but now you know what NOT to do and can either ditch that idea completely or give it a (smarter!) makeover based off of what you learned and try again.

The most important thing is that once you’ve found something that works for you and your audience, KEEP DOING IT. Remember—you don’t need to reinvent the wheel every single time. That’s why you’ll see businesses host the same promotion every single year, or become a regular collaborator with a specific blog—they’ve found what works for them and they’re going to continue doing it.

That first year of business? It’s all about experimenting. Are you going to fail? Yup, almost certainly (and if you don’t ever fail, please share your secrets!). But stop looking at failure as a sign to give up—it’s not. It’s a chance to learn a lesson and approach things differently the next time.

So get to work—start planning out your quarterly goals and execution and see where you end up 3 months from now.

And be sure to keep me posted :)

xoxo, Morgan 

 

 

A step-by-step guide to turn VIEWS into SALES on Etsy

A step-by-step guide to turn VIEWS into SALES on Etsy

"How can I turn my views on Etsy into sales?!?!?!"

This is without a doubt the #1 question I am asked every. single. day. in my email inbox.

And today, I’m going to attempt to answer that because:

  1. it’s a really good question, and
  2. it’s definitely worth an entire blog post and not just a quick email response :)

Alright, so how DO you turn those visits/views into sales? Well that's the million dollar question, and today I'm giving you the honest answer....

Optimize your pinterest profile - a step-by-step guide for Etsy sellers

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Tired of hearing everyone tell you to "get on Pinterest"? I hear you! It's one of those really lame-o pieces of advice that people offer that-- while good in theory-- don't actually tell you anything. Like, okay, I'll "get on Pinterest," and now what?!?!?!?!

I'm here to help you figure out that "now what?!?!?!" bit ;)

You can't just hop onto Pinterest, pin a few recipes you like, some DIY craft products, and a biz article you want to read and then cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Well, you could, but you'll be hearing *crickets* instead of *cha-chings* (although, lack of sales = time to try out that recipe you just pinned. Silver lining to everything, folks ;)

But let's get real- Pinterest is ah-mazing for driving FLOODS of traffic to your Etsy shop, but you need to know how to use it right. As in-- probably not the way you're using it now ;) Pinterst strategy has an entire module about itself in Mastermind Your Marketing, so be sure to join the VIP wait list HERE :)

For now, I want to walk you through the FIRST step of optimizing your Pinterest marketing strategy-- which is optimizing your profile for CONVERSIONS.

Because here's the thing: You can have TENS OF THOUSANDS of followers, but if they're just following you for the recipes or craft tutorials you pin, they're probably *not* your target market (unless, of course, you sell cooking items or DIY craft kits. Then by all means, consider this my blessing to continue doing what you're doing :)

But for the grand majority of us, the followers we started out with personally on Pinterest? Not our target market.

So how do you actually *attract* the types of people interested in buying your stuff? Well, it all starts with a little somethin' somethin' called Pinterest profile optimization, which I'm going to walk you through right now. Basically, I want you to leave this blog post with a clear-cut idea of EXACTLY what you need to do to start attracting the RIGHT people to your Etsy shop via Pinterest :)

So let's get started!

Step 0: Create a business account.

Guys. This is so, so important. If you are using your personal Pinterest account for business, I want you to STOP—right now—and convert it into a business account stat.

Why a business account? Well, there are a dozen reasons, but access to analytics and promoted pins are at the top of my list ;) You’ll also get access to RICH PINS, which are pins that contain additional information (the bold text) about the pin itself (see examples below)

Rich pin example

Optimized Rich Pin

 

Non-Rich Pin (boo.)

As an added perk, Rich Pins also have a higher ranking in the Pinterest Smart Feed algorithm (we go into all the factors of that algorithm inside Mastermind Your Marketing), so it's an automatic way to boost your pin score-- pretty much a no brainer ;)

How do you enable rich pins?

  • They're automatically enabled for any pins coming directly from your Etsy shop, so you don't need to do anything to enable them on that end. Cheers to that!
  • If you are pinning from your website/blog (which I highly, highly recommend you have as an e-commerce seller), you’ll need to enable them. Follow the instructions HERE (which explain the process far better than I ever could!) to make sure they're set up and ready to go. 

Alright, now that you're all optimized for business, let's get the rest of your profile in tip-top shape!

 

Step 1: Your profile picture.

Alright guys—it needs to be said: Your logo is NOT a profile picture. Unless you’re a huge name-brand like Nike or Apple, I want to see your face as your profile picture.

I know you may not be comfortable in front of the camera, but guess what? Neither am I :) This is one of those “suck it up and do it” times. You can absolutely grab your iPhone and snap a quick selfie (note- I HATE that word), or better yet—invest in some professional business profile photos. Trust me—once you have them, you’ll find a million and one reasons and places to use them. They are worth their weight in GOLD, I tell you :)

Quick tip- your Pinterest profile picture should be the same as your Instagram and Etsy profile pictures as well—it’s important to maintain brand consistency, my friend!
***BONUS TIP*** Take it one step further and add some on-brand personality to your photo! If you’ve got a certain vibe or product you’re known for, by all means, show it in the photo! Here are some examples of brands doing just that!*

 

Step 2: Your name

Now this seems easy—you probably just think you need to type your brand name, (ie- “Little Highbury,”) and be done with it—but not so; This area is optimized for SEO, and I want you to make sure you’re taking advantage of that itty-bitty bit of SEO real estate—so include your biz name first, and then some keywords.

Your Pinterest name is searchable, so having a keyword or two in it? A FANTASTIC way to capture people's attention.

Quick tip- if you’ve got a focus keyword for your Etsy shop that you’re trying to rank for, make sure that you are using it here!

So for the example above for Morgan Nield, you can see here I’ve got: Morgan Nield // Entrepreneur + Etsy Strategist

So again, I've got my business name (Morgan Nield) and then some keywords that I want to rank for (Entrepreneur + Etsy Strategist).

 

Step 3: Your website

This is a no-brainer, but let’s touch base on it because there are some different options here :)

As a default, you’ll probably put your Etsy shop URL here. And that’s okay—good, even! In fact, most of the time I would recommend that, especially if that’s where the bulk of your online presence is.

However.

If you have a separate website/blog that you’re hoping to build traffic to, I want you to put it here. Meaning, if you’re on Etsy now, but you’re trying to build up your own Shopify/Squarespace/etc. store online, DON’T put your Etsy shop here—put your actual website :)

Quick tip – Link directly to your shop home page and not a specific product page. The only exception to this is if you’ve got a REALLY strong flagship product that you are known for almost exclusively—then you can link to that shop section. But as a general rule, linking to your shop home page = best option.

 

Step 4: Your Bio

Your bio. Oooooooh, your bio ;)

This is where it gets tricky because there is #somuchtosay, but only a small space to say it.

Basically? You’re going to want to condense your 30-second elevator pitch into about 5-10 seconds.

For this section, we're going to break it down into 2 parts:

  1. The intro
  2. The conversion

1-    The intro

In the intro, I want you to use the first sentence to describe who you help. Don’t give your back story. Don’t link to your shop. Don’t just list what you sell. DESCRIBE WHO YOU HELP.

Bad example:

“My name is Morgan Nield and I sell baby headbands, baby hats, and swaddle blankets in my Etsy shop.”

Good example

“We help stressed new mommas incorporate beautiful design into their hectic schedules with whimsical baby accessories and products.

You want your target market to read that sentence and feel like you're speaking DIRECTLY TO THEM. This is not a time to sound formal and corporate-- infuse your brand's personality into your copy and show them that YOU are the brand they have been looking for!

2-    The conversion

With traffic that lands on your Pinterest home page, we want to make sure you’re taking advantage of it—and it’s not lost traffic!

To do that, I want you to provide an opt-in incentive (or freebie) as a way for people to join your email list.

Then you'll be able tostart the “warming up” email marketing process—converting that casual browser into paying customer with a series of welcoming emails and pitch-free newsletters.

Quick tip - While it’s nice to have people click over to your Etsy shop from your Pinterest profile, it’s not likely in every case (as people aren’t always in the mood to browse a shop), however, if you provide a freebie incentive in your bio with a URL, you’re going to stand a MUCH higher chance of them clicking on it because there’s something in it for them; you’re not just asking them to buy your product—you’re giving them something designed to help them

You'll want to make sure your freebie helps your target market and NOT your competitor. For example, if you sell crochet wall art, creating a wall art pattern is NOT a good idea for a freebie—as you will attract people to your email list that already know how to crochet—and are therefore unlikely to purchase a crocheted item from you.

See what I mean?

Step 5: Your boards

Perhaps the most important factor of the equation ;) Your boards need to be focused on what your target market NEEDS and WANTS and is interested in.

If you’re like, “I have no idea what they want or need!”, then it’s time to take a step back and really hone in on and understand your target market. So stop, figure that out, and then come back to this article—I promise I’ll wait :)

Once you know exactly who you’re targeting, figuring out your Pinterest boards should be a piece of cake. Remember: you want all of them to resonate with and apply to your target market.

Here’s a quick breakdown on board creation that I recommend for product sellers (especially Etsy sellers):

  • (1)  Sole product board
    • This board should be 100% dedicated to content pinned from your Etsy shop, your blog, or any other brand-specific content.
  • (5-10) product boards featuring your product + other products under the same category
    • This board should be a combination of your own product pins + others’ pins from Pinterest or the web. Follow the 80-20 rule for pinning- 80% of your pins should be other peoples’, 20% should be your own pins.
  • (5-6) customer interest boards
    • These boards are dedicated to catering to your customers’ interest and problems. These boards don’t generally contain pins from your Etsy shop, but they definitely *should* contain helpful content from your blog. However, the grand majority of content on these boards will be from other people and should be helpful to your audience.
  • (5+) group boards
    • You’ll want to make sure to add group boards to your Pinterest profile so you can be sure to get tons of eyes on your pins, even if you’ve got a grand total of 3 followers ;) I recommend using a tool like PinGroupie to find group boards relevant to your niche. Make sure these boards have high engagement, high repins, and are niche-specific (ie- “Etsy sellers only” group boards are horrible to join because they have no focus. You’d be much better pinning your jewelry on a “Women's summer fashion” group board instead)

Congratulations-- you've now got a fully-optimized Pinterest profile and are ready to start taking advantage of all the targeted traffic that will be heading your way!

How to start driving traffic with an optimized Pinterest account

So now the only question that remains: How will you actually *get* that targeted traffic? Because if you're just starting out, those 13 people you have following you probably aren't going to help you go viral quite yet....

Instead, you'll want to work on mastering the Smart Feed, which is something we go into MAJOR detail about inside Mastermind Your Marketing. But here are a few general guidelines to get you started:

  • Pin 50-100 pins per day
  • Be consistent in your pinning-- you need to be pinning every. single. day.
  • Make sure your pins have good, strong links; delete any broken linked pins
  • Keep your pins and repins on-brand
  • Include alt text and optimize each of your pins for SEO

There are quite a few additional factors that go into ranking you within the Smart Feed, and if you want to know *exactly* how to optimize your pins to show up higher and higher on Pinterest, you'll want to join the wait list for Mastermind Your Marketing (enrollment opens back up September 2017), which will walk you through step-by-step the process you need to follow to get your pins actually SEEN.


Any Pinterest tips you've found work well for your Etsy shop? Share them in the comments below! #communitybeforecompetition

xoxo, Morgan

How to improve your conversion rate (and start making MORE $$$ with LESS traffic)

Increasing your online shop's conversion rate is a critical part of your Etsy success strategy-- in fact, you should look at your conversion rate BEFORE you look at increasing your traffic-- and here's why... >>

So you've got your Etsy shop opened-- congratulations! That's no small feat (I get exhausted just thinking about opening up a new one!) and you definitely deserve a pat on the back for a job well done.

But (as I'm sure you've guessed!) the work is hardly over. In fact, there's still a lot to be done-- and if you're anything like me, you're probably thinking that driving traffic to your shop is the #1 priority you should have.

But it's not-- and here's why:

You can drive ALL the traffic in the world, but if you don't have a profitable conversion rate (which we'll talk about in a minute), you're never going to be able to take advantage of those numbers-- and you'll be wasting a heckuva lot of marketing that doesn't translate into sales.

And let's be honest: sales? They're kinda a big deal when it comes to running an Etsy shop.

So let's dive into learning about conversion rates today and what you can do to make sure that yours is on par and converting at the rate it should be.

Soooo...what's your goal?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty numbers that come with calculating a conversion rate, I want to first ask you this: What is your goal?

I know, I know, that seems like a silly and pointless question. But it’s not—and here’s why: it’s going to be a lot harder to get to where you want to be if you don’t actually know where that is.

Just like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland says—

Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

(and yes, I’m an avid Alice in Wonderland fan, so thanks for humoring me!)

So before you start crunching numbers and figuring out stats, I want you to come up with a CONCRETE GOAL of where you want to be. What do you hope to earn this year in annual revenue?

This number doesn’t have to be huge—but it shouldn’t be super small, either (unless you really are interested in Etsy as more of a hobby). If you can aim for $1,000/month, that’s a really great place to start from and it’s totally doable—I promise.

But pick a number that's good for YOU and what you sell, and then write that down. 

"So what's this "conversion rate" thing I keep hearing about? "

Alright, so let's assume you're starting from square one and are completely new to the term-- so what actually is a conversion rate?

A conversion rate is simply the percentage of visitors that come to your shop and actually convert into customers.

***Note—this is VISITORS, not views ;) If you go off of views, you’ll calculate a much worse conversion rate and feel bad about nothing :) **

So let's take a look at a simple formula to figure that number out...

"How do you calculate a conversion rate? Does it involve math? I hate math..."

If it makes you feel any better, I hate math, too. But this is REALLY easy math and I promise it's not going to bring back any blacked out calculus memories ;)

You calculate your conversion rate by taking the number of sales you get per month and dividing them by the number of visits per month (NOT views). You can find this number either in your Etsy stats under “visits” or if you have Google Analytics set up for your account, you can grab them there, too :)

Below I've got a screenshot from May - June of my LittleHighbury stats

Note - It's important to use "months" rather than "days" because it will provide you with a MUCH better view of the overall picture and trends.

Alright, so based off my numbers above, I'm now going to show you how to calculate your conversion rate. Here's the simple formula to use:

Number of sales you get per month / number of visitors to your site per month = your conversion rate

Alright, so you can see that I had 622 sales and 11,750 visitors. I'll take that 622/11,750 and get a conversion rate of .052, or a 5% conversion rate.

So go ahead and do the same for your shop-- take a snapshot view of your last full month and calculate it out based on your sales and visitors.

"Okay, but what do I actually *do* with that number?"

Alright, so you’re armed with that 3% (or whatever your personal conversion rate is) and now you’re probably wondering, “what the heck does it even mean?!”

So let me break it down for you :)

In the e-commerce industry (which is the industry you are in if you sell on Etsy), the average conversion rate for any online shop is about 2%-3%. Higher than that means you are doing AWESOME (seriously—pat yourself on the back!) and things are clicking in your Etsy shop—people are clicking into your store and finding EXACTLY what they wanted. Kudos to you!

However. If you are lower than 2%, there’s something up with your shop. It’s not necessarily the products you sell (in fact, it most likely isn’t), but rather an underlying factor that needs to be addressed.

"So how do I go about fixing a low conversion rate?"

There are a number of things that could be wrong with your conversion rate, so as much as I wish there were a “one size fits all” answer, there isn’t. Sad, but true.

That being said, there are a few factors that tend to pop up over and over again, so let’s take a in-depth look at them and see if any of them are affecting your shop:

SHOP POLICIES

Are your policies super strict and stingy? People might be hesitant to order from an unheard of shop on Etsy—especially if you don’t allow refunds or replacement orders to be sent out.

I’ve had over 22,000 sales on Etsy, and I’m here to tell you that by having overly-generous return/refund policies in place, I’ve had MAYBE 50-75 customers that have taken me up on the offers. So while it may seem like a hard pill to swallow, trust me when I say this: It doesn’t happen that often. People just like the reassurance—they’re not usually out there to rip you off (although there is the occasional jerk…)

CATEGORIES

Is it hard to find items in your shop? If you’re using cutesy names like “little treasures” and “bling” instead of words like “earrings” and “jewelry,” you’re probably missing out on sales because people aren’t sure what categories to search under, and so they give up and leave. Also, using straightforward category names is a great SEO tactic—and one that will help you rank much higher in Google over time.

POOR REVIEWS

Are you getting a few lackluster reviews? While 3 and 4 start reviews are fine enough, they can be hard on your overall star rating. You’ll want to make sure your customer service is top-notch and that you’re communicating with your customers every step of the way to ensure you get those 5-star reviews you’re craving.

On average, getting 1 review per 10 sales is pretty average on Etsy, so if you’re getting at least that, stop worrying :)

**note – this poses the question, “Can I ask for reviews?” and here’s the answer: No. You SHOULD NOT come out and ask for reviews on Etsy. This is against Etsy’s terms of use, and is considered bad etiquette. So just don’t do it!**

PRODUCT NICHE

This is rare, but occasionally a shop can contain product that is too niche—and there just aren’t enough people searching for your items keywords (you can find out how many people search for keywords using a tool like Google Keyword Finder). This means you either need to a) educate your audience; or b) add another product line that appeals to a slightly larger target market (not too broad—but enough so that it’s getting a decent amount of views)

PHOTOS

Like it or not, photography is HUGE when it comes to selling in e-commerce because people can’t actually feel or hold your product—so your photography needs to do the story-telling.

Let me guess: you're probably not a natural photographer. That's okay-- I'm not either! But it doesn't give you an excuse for poor photos. You either need to a) learn how to take decent photos, or b) hire it out.

A lot of Etsy sellers protest the latter due to budget constraints, but if professional photography is out of your budget, consider trading goods/services with a local photographer (or family friend!) in exchange for a few professional photos. It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to get decent photos-- but you may have to be a bit scrappy if you're trying to save your pennies.

COPYWRITING

(I've got a super-detailed post all about this here!) When it comes to copywriting, your first couple of paragraphs should contain 2-3 targeted keywords and be filled with persuasive copy. During this section, you'll want to focus more on the BENEFITS of your product—and not just the features (ie – ask yourself “Why should they care about this?” and then answer it!)

Once you’ve outlined the BENEFITS of your product, it’s time to focus on the FEATURES—you know, all the details that people need to know before purchasing. These include sizing, materials, wash instructions, etc. Not super fun details, but vitally important :)

It’s helpful to have the actual features outlined with bullet-points (if at all possible) for easy readability and clarity. You want to answer every possible question a customer could have in your copywriting so that you secure the sale—and they have to reach out and ask before they purchase (a lot of customers are lost in this “limbo” stage).

If you’re looking for further copywriting tips, Courtney from The Rule Breaker’s Club is an AMAZING copywriter and someone worth looking into if you’re still stuck. Likewise, companies like Aeolidia offer copywriting services for small, handmade businesses if you’d rather just push the task onto someone else (no judging here!).

It's worth noting that the suggestions above are not a comprehensive list, but they're definitely a great place to start with if you're having trouble with your conversion rate.

"I've tried all of your suggestions but my conversion rate still sucks! What gives?!"

Like I mentioned earlier, it's not always easy to figure out what is causing your lack of sales, and if you're still stuck after going through the list above, it’s time to bring in some outside eyes.

Go ahead and grab some user testers from a fellow Facebook group or even just your friends and family. Have them peruse your Etsy shop and items and take note of any hang-ups or hesitations they experience while viewing your shop. You might be surprised at what turns them off from your shop—and how easy of a fix it can be :)

If nothing jumps out from some user testing, it’s time to stop being coy and JUST ASK YOUR DANG AUDIENCE. Seriously-- this is one of the most under-utilized methods out there, but it's also one of the dang most effective ones. 

So go ahead and ask your followers! Ask them why they have/haven't purchased from you before. Ask them about their hesitations. Ask them if they have any questions about your products. Here are some questions to get you started.

The most important thing is to make sure you avoid filler questions— because that's annoying for your audience and leaves them less likely to finish the survey. So make sure that every question you ask is important and will help you figure out how to fix your conversion problem.

A survey is something you can EASILY set up in Google Forms or SurveyMonkey, and the results? Invaluable. Also, if you choose to keep things anonymous, you’ll get a lot more honest feedback, for sure.

"My conversion rate is good-- fantastic actually! But I'm still not making the sales I'd like to..."

But what happens if your conversion rate is good (or even fantastic!), but you’re just not seeing the sales you want?

This one-- thankfully-- has an easy answer: DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC.

Seriously-- it's as simple (and as complicated, if we're being honest!) as that: stop spending time tweaking your SEO and reshooting your product photos-- and work on driving traffic INTO your shop. This will be, hands down, the BEST use of your time in this scenario.

"How do I actually drive traffic to my shop? Nothing I do ever works..."

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: If you’re spending all your time promoting your products on social media, you’re missing out on some KEY traffic driving strategies.

Social media is not bad—in fact, it can be downright awesome if used correctly.

But it’s not the end all when it comes to marketing your shop. In fact, it’s not even the highest converting way to promote your shop. True story.

So while you’re wasting your hard-earned dollars “boosting” your post on Facebook, or trying to think of yet another tweet for the day, consider this: there are much more profitable ways to market your shop.

I’m serious—you would be MUCH better spent to invest in crafting a really awesome blog post, sending out a promotion email to your list, or pinning on Pinterest strategically (and no, Pinterest is NOT a social media platform. It’s a visual search engine). In fact, feel free to download my 15 Ridiculously Profitable Marketing Strategies for your Etsy Shop download-- it'll give you a FANTASTIC starting place to start planning marketing activities that actually turn into sales.

 

And if you're REALLY serious about driving boatloads of traffic to your Etsy shop, you're going to want to create a marketing funnel that drives you traffic on autopilot. This the the system I walk you through step-by-step in Mastermind Your Marketing, and one that I've seen successes with again and again and again from my students. It's not luck, it's not magic-- it's just REALLY effective strategy.