"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
- it’s a really good question, and
- 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? What's the easy answer to this question?
There isn’t one.
(But you probably knew that was coming, or you’d have already figured it out by yourself ;)
The truth is there are A LOT of factors that go into making a sale on Etsy or any other e-commerce site, and there’s simply no way of knowing what exactly is going through any specific person’s head at a given time.
In complete sincerity, there could be a number of factors why that view you got at 10:58 p.m. on Tuesday night isn’t converting into a sale:
- They may be short on funds-- why don't paydays come everyday?!
- They may just be browsing-- a little window shopping is good for the soul, #amiright?
- They may be caught up by another distraction-- one of the 2,432,561 tabs they have open in Chrome.
- Or, the family cat *might* just be surfing the web while everyone else in the house is asleep. I've seen gif's of this on the Internet, and I'm convinced this is a more serious problem than we're giving attention to.
But I digress. What I'm trying to say is that there's no easy answer.
However. There's still hope! Just because you don't know the exact answer doesn't mean that you can't figure it out with a little experimenting!
In fact, you can increase the likelihood of someone purchasing from your shop by increasing your conversion rate.
But if your conversion rate is sitting pretty, but you’re still not getting the sales you expect, then sit back and read on—I’m going to show you one of my favorite strategies for taking advantage of those daily views and turning them into paying customers.
To some degree, most of us work pretty hard to drive traffic to our shops (and if you're not sure how to take charge and actually drive your own traffic to your shop (and hit hundreds of VISITORS per day), then you'll want to check out my exact growth strategies inside Mastermind Your Marketing.)
Because if you’ve worked hard to drive ALL that traffic—doesn’t it make sense that you’d want to take advantage of it when it does come?
Let's face it-- people browsing online rarely buy an item the very first time that they see it. So those hundreds of daily visitors you're getting? They *might* eventually turn into customers, but right now? They're probably just checking you out and keeping their wallets tucked away.
This is explained by this fantastic marketing rule called "The Rule of 7" (<-- I don't know if that's it's official name, but it's the name I've granted it for the purposes of this blog post). Basically, this says that a consumer needs to see your item/shop 7 flippin’ times before they’ll be convinced/motivated/persuaded to buy it.
(Now this isn’t always true—some people will purchase the first time they see your item. And if that’s happened that happens to you on a regular basis, congrats! That’s awesome! I will say that this happens a lot more frequently for shops selling lower price-point items-- so if you're selling pricey furniture, this is MUCH less likely to happen on a regular basis :)
So if someone needs to see your stuff 7x (on average) before they purchase, how are you going to get them exposed to your product over and over again?
Luckily, there's a simple answer and it goes by the name of EMAIL MARKETING.
Email marketing is one of the highest ROI marketing strategies out there, so don't knock it before you try it. And if you're overwhelmed even thinking about starting it, this blog post is going to walk you through the first few steps so you know EXACTLY what to do next! #heckyes
So how do you get started?
Step 1: Choose an email service provider
The first step to making the most of that Etsy traffic is to create an email list. I know, I know, you’ve heard it before and you already know all about it. But can I make a guess about something? You probably haven’t started it yet (and if you have, it’s probably been sitting dormant for a good 6+ months or so. Dust that puppy off, my friend!).
I was in the same camp as you probably are—I heard over and over again that I needed to have an email list, but I didn’t think it was actually important for my shop. That I could get by just posting on Instagram.
And then Instagram changed their algorithm. dun dun dun...
Email marketing is ideal because you own your list! Like, there isn't an algorithm alive that will touch how many emails you can send and who actually gets them-- everyone on your list is totally reachable.
And when people say the money is in the list, they aren’t kidding! I’ve got my email list to thank me for $1,300 sales days with LittleHighbury, and $14,000 sales days (say wha?!) with Mastermind Your Marketing. It’s freakin’ amazing.
So am email list? Non-negotiable. Get used to the idea because it's absolutely critical for turning visitors into customers.
To get started, you’re going to want to pick an email service provider. There are a million options out there, but I recommend one of the following:
I personally use (and am an affilliate for) ConvertKit because it's really easy to use and incredibly intuitive. However, it may not be a perfect match for you-- and that's okay! Take a look at all the options above before committing to the best fit for you!
*Note - MailChimp is free for the first thousand subscribers, but they’re notorious for having low open rates, which is something you might want to avoid.*
Step 2: Choose your opt-in offer
Next up, we’re going to start growing your email list. But to do this, we're going to have to take a step back and actually decide how we're going to get people to join. And not just any people-- we only want people on our list that are actually interested in our product (read: not your competitors).
A lot of Etsy sellers mess this part up—even if they don’t mean to--so keep reading to learn how to avoid that :)
The first part of this is to make sure that you’re offering something your customers are interested in, NOT your competitors. Most Etsy sellers make this error and offer freebies that their competitors love (for example, if you sell embroidered wall art, offering a free embroidery wall art pdf pattern is NOT a good idea! Offering a wall art styling pdf? Much better!).
Remember, your goal is to use your email list to make sales, so having your competitors on your list? Not profitable at all.
Make sure you’re creating a freebie opt-in incentive that your audience will eat up.
This can be any number of things, including:
- A look-book
- A checklist
- A PDF style guide
- A free download
From personal experience, it's important to note that some opt-in incentives are definitely more effective than others, so make sure you’re creating one that is really high-converting (read: people click on it and follow through with signing up) to take advantage of as much traffic as possible. I share my BEST ideas inside Mastermind Your Marketing if you’re wanting to bypass the trial and error and go straight for the good stuff ;)
Alternatively (and you’ll see this ALL the time with big name retailers), if you’re not up for creating a freebie opt-in, you can simply say “Sign up for our list for a 10% off coupon!” This is a really popular one that you’ll see time and time again with any big-name retailer (one that I never complain about when it comes to West Elm!).
That being said, you ARE a handmade biz, so your time and money is a *little* bit more valuable than a big-box retailer. You’re going to want to make sure you can keep your profit margins high, so I DON’T want you to offer a discount if you can help it (unless you sell digital, in which case—go for it! And if you DO sell digital, you’ll want to check out my friend, Kelsey over at Paper and Oats because she is the QUEEN of selling all things digital on Etsy and making an extremely passive income on the side :)
*Note—You MUST have an incentive for them to join your email list. Saying something mainstream like “sign up for the newsletter!” is a bad idea because a) EVERYONE says that, and b) it doesn’t give me a good enough reason to actually sign up for it. Let’s face it—we’re all getting dozens of emails every single day—what makes yours so special that we’d want to add another one to the mix?
Step 3: Make it easy for them to join
I’m just going to be straight with you right now: I know your brand is awesome, and YOU know your brand is awesome, but does the average casual browser know?
It’s your job to CONVINCE them that you are awesome. In fact, if you learn NOTHING else about marketing ever again, keep that in mind: It's YOUR JOB TO CONVINCE THEM YOUR BRAND IS AWESOME.
Don't leave it up to Etsy.
Don't leave it up to your customers.
YOU are in charge-- remember that.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why we can’t just assume that the casual browser will stumble from your Etsy shop to your website to a blog post to an opt-in form for your email list, m’kay? You need to MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM. I say this all the time when it comes to selling—make it easy for them to say “yes!”
To do this, you’re going to want to create a landing page on your website (a site separate from your Etsy shop-- you MUST have a site separate from your Etsy shop to effectively promote it) with an opt-in form. You can do this really easily in Squarespace using their cover pages feature:
Once you’ve created the new page and connected your freebie offer to it (your email service provider should offer you automatic delivery of content upgrades), you’ll want to write the website URL down—THIS is the direct link you will be promoting EVERYWHERE.
You’re going to share that landing page URL ALL over the stinkin’ place.
Note – you might be worried that this will annoy your audience. A lot of Etsy sellers tend to think that way so they mention it once and then wonder why it didn’t take off. That’s your problem—and it’s the same for ANY promotion-- if you just list it once and cross your fingers, you’ll be in for a sore disappointment. However! If you mention it in multiple places at multiple times, you’ll be growing your email list every single time you share it.
So where should you list your URL? Here's a brief (but not comprehensive) list of places to consider:
- On any blog posts
- In your product descriptions
- In your shop announcement text (but below the important SEO-optimized portion that we talk about inside Mastermind Your Marketing)
- As your automatic “thank you” message
- On social media
- As one of your product images
Everywhere you share it, you'll want to make sure that it's a clickable hyperlink so that all they have to do is click on the text and then enter their email in. You might also want to grab a first name, too—but that’s up to you :)
*Note- you CANNOT just add people manually to your list from Etsy email address. You need them to give their consent-- which is why we are creating a separate landing page for them to land on and offer up their email. Yes, you have access to emails from anyone that purchases through you on Etsy, but Etsy owns those emails-- and it's against the TOU to email them for any reason other than in relation to that transaction. Just don't do it.*
Step 4: Make the sale
Once you’ve got them on your email list, now what?
- Do you just let it sit dormant until you have something exciting to say?
- Do you send out a newsletter every 2-3 months?
- Do you walk them through an automated sequence from day 1?
These were the questions that used to plague me when I was just getting started with email marketing ;)
Through A LOT of trial + error and A/B testing (seriously—I feel like I am ALWAYS testing new strategies!), I’ve come up with an incredibly profitable system for utilizing your email list in the best way possible. It involves a combination of value-based (emails that help your audience with their specific problems) and promotional emails (emails that actually sell your product for you), and you’ll want to keep things at an 80/20 format :)
Basically, the idea is that now that you have that casual passer-by on your email list, you’re going to work to build a “know, like, trust” relationship with them so that they become more familiar with your brand and start forming an emotional commitment to it (whether they are aware of it or not!).
This isn’t a creepy sales tactic (well, it kind of is, if we're being honest...)—it’s sales psychology. People don’t usually buy things based on logic—they purchase based on emotion. It’s your job—as an Etsy shop owner—to make sure that you’re hitting that emotional chord with your email subscribers so that with every email, you're bringing them one step closer to making the purchase.
People don't usually buy based on logic-- they purchase based on emotion.
And if you're REALLY up for the challenge, let me introduce you to a method to taking it one step further: sales funnel sequences.
This advanced marketing strategy will increase the “know, like, trust” relationship you have been building with your audience on autopilot (seriously), and if you’re clueless on how to do that, you’ll want to check out the Exponential Email module inside Mastermind Your Marketing which will walk you through, start-to-finish, the EXACT emails you need to be sending to your list on a regular basis (I also share the exact step-by-step email (and social media!) sequences you’ll want to use for product launches, contests/giveaways, and sales emails so you’re making stellar profits with each and every campaign!)
And there you have it, my friend! The answer to what to do with all that traffic on Etsy-- convince them to opt-in to your email list so you AREN'T losing the traffic-- and you're making your fortune in the follow-up! xoxo, Morgan