Master Etsy Marketing: 20 Tips to Catapult Your Sales

'How to increase your Etsy sales?' That's the questions that every Etsy seller wants the answer to.‍

With the ever increasing number of sellers on the platform, your products and Etsy store can easily get lost among your competitors.‍

With multiple successful shops and a 6-figure business, I can assure you that there are some practical ways that you can improve your Etsy sales.‍

Here are 20 of my favourite tips to increase your Etsy sales.‍

1. Use Etsy SEO For Better Etsy Search Ranking

Etsy SEO is probably one of the most important things you can do to increase the visibility of your shop and products. And therefore, increasing your Etsy sales.

You probably already know some of the ranking factors of Etsy search engine: How well your title and tags match the shopper’s search, how well the product sells, how well reviewed is your shop, etc. They are crucial in allowing your listings to show up on the first page of Etsy search results.

One of the most important strategies I use about Etsy SEO is to do comprehensive keyword research. Keyword research is the process of finding out the search terms that your customers are using. And using the right keywords to make your product able to rank in Etsy search. A good way to find them is to use the autocomplete and the category functions within Etsy.

Using those long-tail keywords, you can now plug them in the title and tags of your product listing. Remember to 

  • Match the exact keyword in title and tag
  • Use all 13 tags to maximise the chance of showing up in search
  • Aim for longer keywords (2-4 words) as they have less competition and easier to rank

2. Write High Converting Product Description

A good and compelling product description will greatly improve your conversion rate.

There are 3 main purposes of product description:

  1. Entice and capture shopper’s attention
  2. Show how the product can improve shopper’s life or solve their problem
  3. Remove barriers of purchase

Many other Etsy sellers forget about these points and start listing out product features, like the colour, size, etc. They are important, but may not be the most effective when you want to capture the attention of Etsy shoppers.‍

Let’s look at this example from Lush:‍‍

Not only does this produce description mention important product features like ingredients and organic certification, it also uses descriptive language to highlight the positive feelings for customers who use this product like "ready for a peaceful night's sleep" and "dip into a dream".‍

By blending the body lotion's features with benefits for the user, customers can envision themselves using the product while knowing the relevant product features. Doing this can help boost your conversion rate.‍

3. Take Eye-Catching Product Photos

You don’t need an expensive DSLR to take product photos that sell. 

Natural lights usually give you the best results. Try not to use direct harsh sunlight, but light that is reflected off other objects, light through a thin curtain, or lighting in early morning / late afternoon. They will create photos with less harsh shadows, more even lighting, and overall a better result.

Learning photo editing tools are also essential. The photos coming out of your phone (or even your expensive camera) won’t be perfect. Knowing how to edit the photos to be brighter, more contrast-y, or correcting the colours, would mean whether the shopper clicks your product or not.

4. Develop New Products That Reaches New Customers

Listing fresh new products can have some great benefits for your shop:

  • Freshness of the store (which can help Etsy SEO)
  • Customers have a reason to come back (which can increase sales and conversion rate)
  • Explore a new market niche (which can improve overall sales)

If you have fewer than 30-50 products, one of the best things you can do to improve your shop is to list more products.

You may have some bestsellers in your shop that seem to be loved by many customers. Those products that constantly get sales, have good reviews and feedback, and create return customers. Look at those products closely and see what makes them standout. Reading the positive reviews of those products may help. You can then create similar products or products with variation on colour, materials and so on.

Another way to create new products is to check how you can fill the gap in your niche. Listen to your potential customers online. Find them from negative reviews from Etsy, Amazon, eBay, etc. or on forum. And see whether there is an opportunity that you can create a better product to fit their needs.

Finally, creating seasonal items is a good way to reach new customers. Make special versions of your popular items for Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and so on. Doing that has a good chance of boosting Etsy sales during those periods.‍

5. Focus On Products That Doesn't Convert Well

These products have already achieved one of the hardest parts: traffic. Now it’s time to find out the reasons why they are not selling and improve on them.

Bad photos, boring product description, missing details, too expensive or cheap are some of the possible reasons.

Listings like this could present an opportunity for you to improve and optimise them, therefore increasing the chances of making sales.‍

6. Use Etsy Advertising For Fast Growth

Yes, it costs money, but Etsy ads is one of the most direct ways if you want to increase your Etsy sales fast if you do it right.

Some simple strategies when using Etsy ads: 

  • Advertise your bestsellers first as shoppers are more likely to click and buy them
  • Then promote your mid-range products (those get sales but not as much)
  • Check consistently especially in the beginning and turn off the promoted listings that don’t sell (especially high views and no sales)
  • Make sure the cost doesn’t outweigh your profit
  • Good tool to use when you are running a sale as shoppers are more likely to convert

7. Create Branding That Customers Love

When you think about coffee, Starbucks pops into your mind. Sport shoes? Nike and Adidas.

Branding and brand awareness are one of the most important factors of success for a business. And it’s also one of the areas that most handmade sellers overlook.

Many people think branding is just the shop name, logo, or your business card designs, but it’s more than that. Branding encompasses the entire identity and perception of your Etsy shop in the eyes of your customers. It goes beyond just the visual elements. Effective branding creates a distinct personality for your shop, sets you apart from competitors, and builds trust and loyalty among your target customers.

8. Leverage Email Marketing For Long Term Customers

Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to build strong, long-term relationships with your customers. So they will return for future purchases. Your shop will be the first to pop into their minds when they need the thing you sell.

How do you get their email address? From your order.

But be careful!

It is against Etsy rules to just add your customers’ emails to your mailing list. So don’t do that!

Instead, you should ask them for a signup. Give them a signup link for your mailing list and entice them with benefits for signing up.

Be careful of NOT sending them a discount coupon code too soon. You don’t want them to go “I just paid full price 30 minutes before, and now I have a 10% off coupon that I could’ve used?” Not a good feeling.

Build up a good customer relationship with these emails:

  • Welcome email
  • Something extra for your purchase (e.g. care guide)
  • Check whether they like their purchase. Ask them for a review, and not hesitate to find you if there’s any problem
  • Coupon code for next purchase to make them feel special and encourage repeat purchases
  • Keep them up to date with new products and sales

9. Run A Sale The Right Way

Running a sale is a quick way to get some extra sales. But there are a few things to keep in mind if you don’t want to run into traps.

One of the biggest mistakes sellers can make is to run sales and give discounts so often that customers expect it. Online customers are smart. They can sense the prices and the pattern, whether subconsciously or not. And they wouldn't buy your products at full price if they know you may have a sale in a week or two.

You essentially make the discounted price your new ‘regular’ price, cutting into your profit margin.

So, knowing when to give discounts and when not to is crucial. 

Another point is that many customers are sick of the overly sale-sy phrases. “Mega sale!”, “only today!”, “limited offer!”. Over-using them or using them when you don’t mean it could jeopardise your trust from customers.‍‍

10. Create Product Bundle For Increased Order Size

Bundling your bestsellers with some other products can potentially increase order size and help you clear old stock. Make sure the bundle makes sense. The products in the bundle can be of similar style, target the same customers, and often used together (like notebook and a pen).

The price of the product bundle should be slightly discounted compared to buying the products separately.‍

11. Include Small Gift/Freebie To Impress Customers

Reciprocity increases sales and loyal customers.

Studies show that customers are more likely to come back and make a purchase if they receive a small gift or a nice surprise, especially for handmade items.

One of the good way to impress them is with a small gift. It could even be a sample of another popular product in your shop. It lets your customers test out another product and they may come back and buy that product.

However, this is not a time that more is better. Sometimes you don’t want to “devalue” what you sell. If you give another full product that sells for the same price to your customer for free. They would question whether the thing they purchase is worth that much in the beginning.‍

12. Encouraging Repeat Customers With Coupon Codes

As mentioned in the previous email section, coupon codes are a powerful way to entice your customers to return to your shop.

Other than sending them emails, another easier way to send them a coupon is using Etsy’s own system of a “thank you” coupon. Usually a 10-15% coupon would do the trick. After all, you want to reserve higher discounts (20-30% off) for big sales events like Black Friday.‍

13. Adding Scarcity To Your Product (Only 3 Items Left)

One of the strategies I use for my Etsy shop is to create scarcity. Etsy puts a red text “only 3 available and it’s in 8 people’s cart” to create scarcity and urgency for shoppers. It makes them feel if they don’t act soon, they may lose the chance of buying that popular product.

And you can use that to your advantage.

Put the quantity of your bestsellers to 3 or lower. It creates a powerful sense of urgency for your potential customers at 0 cost to you.

14. Offer Free Shipping

As of July 30th, 2019, Etsy changes the Etsy algorithm to give priority to product listings that offer free shipping over $35 or more.

Offering free shipping will improve your search ranking and potentially increase sales of your Etsy store. Having a clear shipping policy doesn't hurt either. ‍‍

15. Use Social Media Properly

Who isn’t on Instagram or TikTok these days?

They can improve your Etsy sale if done properly. However, many sellers have the mistake of seeing them as sales tools, and only posting product photos and expecting sales to come in. On most social media platforms, people are not looking to shop. So you may not get the engagement you hoped for if product photos are all you post.

Instead, you should post content that benefits or entertains people (and still keep it related to your shop). If you sell home decor, you can post content about how to style the product in your house. If you sell clothing, styling tips can be a good way to go. And if you sell a craft item, you can make short videos that show the behind-the-scene process.

16. Write A Blog To Generate External Traffic

Having your own blog is a long-term strategy to generate relevant traffic that can turn into valuable customers. However, be prepared to spend quite a lot of time, and results may not appear until months or even years later. It's not a fast way to increase Etsy sales.

The goal is to have your website show up in search engines like Google, Yahoo, or even social media like Pinterest. And then bring those visitors to your Etsy shop.

Write blog articles that help your target customers. So when they search for information, you can present yourself as an expert and provide them with the information they are looking for. If done right, you can even capture their email address and send them to your Etsy shop.

17. Have A Presence On Forums

When I talk about forum, I'm referring to forums external to Etsy like Quora and other similar sites. Don't waste your time promoting on Etsy forums as it's mostly sellers there, and no matter how good your product is, they are not likely to be interested in buying.‍

This is another way to be helpful to your potential customers. No one wants to see you just promoting your products on every forum post. Instead, use your expertise and skills to answer your potential customers’ questions. Show them that you are a trustworthy advisor. Show them you are an expert. 

If done right, the people reading that would be interested in knowing who you are. Have the information about your shop ready in your profile so visitors can visit your shop.

18. Promote With User Generated Content (Review Photos, Influencers, Etc)

User generated content (UGC) include photos that your customers post in the review, short videos that they post on Instagram, or even the product review of influencers.

They are effective and believable because it helps build customer trust and confidence.

But how do you get them?

One of the best ways is by asking your customers. Have a card encouraging them to upload a photo when reviewing the product. Or send them an email reminding them if you have them in your mailing list.‍

After getting permission, you can then use the UGC on social media posts, email marketing campaigns, etc.

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20. Auxiliary tools:Etsy Fees, Profits & Pricing Calculator

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