Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Marketing Strategies Critique: LillyPea

Our critique today is for LillyPea. The theme is prices and shipping. Please post your feedback in the comments!


  1. I am not sure why it says the theme is prices and shipping under your shop since it is marketing week but I will go ahead and comment on a few different things.
    1. I notice that you have not listed anything new since August? I also see that your blog has not been updated since then either. Is there a reason for that?
    2.Your prices and shipping seem okay to me. I would add how many cards are included in each listing and the word card in the titles so they come up in searches.
    3. I would move your teams, and other sites to your profile.
    Your cards are very nice though. I hope some of my suggestions will help with future sales.

  2. Your prices and shipping are very consistent which is great when shopping in your shop. Prices seem reasonable too. Good luck!

  3. Round 2!

    The Shop - Front Page, Quick Fix suggestions

    When I first opened your shop page, I did a quick once over - your front page was looked over first, then I headed to your profile. After I was done examining your shop presence, I headed out to your social networking presences. You mentioned in your profile that "busy" is a predominate aspect of your life. Keeping that in mind, I'm making a concerted effort to provide suggestions that are resource and time-efficient. I will make note of any suggestion that steps outside this parameter and let you approach them however you wish.

    These are a few quick housekeeping-type things on your front page that I think will make your main shop page more user-friendly and SEO friendly.

    Upon opening your shop, the first thing I noticed was how long the shop announcement was. The social networking and external web site info could be moved to your profile. You could also combine the first three sentences into one paragraph. This would shorten the shop announcement considerably and move some of those items into immediate view. Also, consider rewording "I hope you take a moment or two to browse". It sounds a little anxious to me, but rewording this can turn into invitation to browse: "Please take a moment or two to look around". In your closing statement, I think you could probably drop the "I hope you come back". Again, sounds a little anxious. Maybe something like "Thank you for visiting my shop. Come again soon to check out my new items!" carries the sense of enthusiasm all the way through the end of the statement.

    You can always make reference to your social networks in your shop announcement and, for the customer's convenience, provide an in-site link to your profile. In-site links (i.e., linking anywhere within does become an active link on Etsy pages. Doing this provides them with immediate access to this information without really making them hunt around for it. They also now have the option read the information now or bookmark it for later reading.

    The second thing I noticed was your shop title - between the shop announcement and your banner. Etsy has done a lot of work in recent months with regards to search engine optimization. The shop title is now an opportunity to further describe your store so that it is more browser - and Google-friendly. Consider taking this opportunity to briefly describe your cards. Delicious Fun? Whimsical Greetings? Playfully Spirited? High-end? Girly Sophistication? Choose words and phrases that are descriptive of you and your items' style and personality.

    The third thing I noticed were the shop sections. If you will be building these sections up in the near future, keep them. Otherwise, I'd delete them. Etsy doesn't require you to use them. Deleting them also allows your profile and contact information to move up the page, also putting it in your user's immediate view.

    The Shop - Photos, Not So Quick Fix suggestions

    My next suggestion is one of those time resource hogs. Luckily, it's one that can be broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks. That task would be the ever popular photos. My initial glance over your gallery made me think that you're either shifting between photographic styles or not quite sure what to do in terms of styling your photographs. I'd personally like to see more visual cohesiveness with your backgrounds. Sometimes when we are a as close to our crafts as we are, it's easy to become frustrated with our own work. If you're up to the task of defining a photographic style that will brand your shop, I would get resources from two different groups that you have at your immediate disposal - 1 - People who are members of Etsy Greetings and 2- those who are not.

  4. Fellow greeting team members have had to go through the photo battle, too. We understand what it means when a card won't stand up like you want it to or lay as flat as you'd like it to. We all have had to figure out different methods of photographing cards that are minimalistic in design to cards that are laced with intricate detail. Find photos that you like from other group members and don't hesitate to ask how that photo was achieved. The very first week of this makeover series focused on photos and there was a lot of good information passed around on the blog and the e-mail list.

    The next resource - those who are not Greetings team members, or even card makers - are going to look at your photos with a different set of eyes. Ask members of your other teams, even friends who are not on Etsy, to evaluate your photos. They're not as close to the craft as we are and more likely to point out things that a customer would notice rather than a fellow card maker.

    I know photos can be a hair-pulling experience. The only concern regarding photo quality that I notice is how much the white items glare against the black background. Again, I'd turn to the photography discussions to retrieve advice. I believe we even have a few photographers on the Etsy Greetings team and I'm hoping you'll consider cohesiveness as your next task.

  5. The Shop - Individual Listings, Ways to Make Google and Etsy Shoppers Find You

    My areas of focus here pretty much pertain to item names and tagging, followed up with words regarding contact accessibility.

    Using style names like you do for your items is a pretty popular method for a lot of stationery designers and is a pretty effective way to stand out from other cards. The item name is also another SEO-friendly opportunity as well as an Etsy search opportunity. If the name 'Devon' came up in association with your shop name on Google, my first assumption would be that 'Devon' is somehow a person, not an item. Consider expanding upon your item name a bit, something like "Devon Blank Everyday Greeting Card". There are many ways our items can be found now, so consider using any opportunity you can to pull shoppers into your shop. Otherwise, shoppers searching for a Blank Everyday Greeting Card might not find Devon.

    My next focus pertains to tagging, and this is something that can be done pretty quickly, too. I came across a tagging resource just yesterday that I found quite helpful. When I happen to dig those up, I'll e-mail them to the group. Great tagging is another way to attain visibility on Etsy and often will open you up for opportunities for inclusion in things like Gift Guides, Treasuries, Etsy Finds, etc. which leads to more visibility.

    I noticed that you didn't use color tags on your items, at least on the handful of items I looked at. Please consider doing this. A lot of gift guides and treasuries are made based on color, especially offbeat color names. Just in the past month alone, I've made treasuries based on crimson, aubergine, charcoal, asparagus green and persimmon. I was able to quickly narrow down the items I wanted by using a companion descriptor with the color name. Let's take the color ''Green cards' for example. A search for 'Green cards' on Etsy will bring up a pretty broad selection of Green cards. But then try a search for Asparagus Green, Olive Green, Lime Green, Emerald Green, Jade Green, Grass Green. These are going to turn up different results. These will also turn up for anyone who does perform a 'Green'-only search. If you find yourself short on tags, start throwing in color tags.

    As mentioned on the e-mail group, one member has had success renewing often. Looking at your listings, it seems some time has passed since you've listed new, relisted or renewed anything. Each of these tactics will keep your place near the top of Etsy's search result. Hopefully, your budget will allow you to so. Social media is also a popular way to spread the word about your shop. In the past month or so, I've actually learned a few tactics that I use that take no extra time for me and allow me to hit up to three different audiences in seconds. That will be discussed in the next part.

  6. Social Media - Tactical Considerations

    I've got a few time-saving/time management suggestions here, as well as a Twitter visibility trick I stumbled upon just this week.

    My first time-saving tactic is this: make Facebook and Twitter work for you. Every time I log on for the first time, I will make my first post about anything Etsy or handmade on my Facebook Fan Page. I have my Facebook Fan Page set up so that the post shows up on Twitter. I also have Twitter set up so that it writes that very same post on my *personal* Facebook page. In one step, I have reached out to three different audiences instantaneously. If you can set this up, then try to post something regularly to stay visible, even if it's something like "Have a Great Weekend/Happy Holidays/May the force be with you from" every Friday from the Facebook Fan Page.

    The Twitter visibility trick I learned this week was the power of the hashtag (the # sign). Maybe you use this already, but for those who don't or didn't know about it, it's a pretty fun trick. Put the # at the front of important words you want to emphasize. When that word shows up on Twitter, it turns into an active link. You click on that active link and you see a list of Twitter users that also used that word. It's a good way for people to find other people.

    For example, a few days ago, I posted on my Twitter page: Simply Said » Blog Archive » Kansas Etsy Team Forming My blog post reached my followers which is fine and all, but today I posted the a similar message that went like this: Still looking for people in #Kansas on #Etsy to join the new Kansas Etsy Team! This time, the words #Kansas and #Etsy have become active links. Anyone who isn't a follower who clicks on a link with #Kansas or #Etsy will be directed to a list that has my post in it. Doing this method has now exposed my message to a completely different and a fourth audience. Lots of potential to be seen!

    Moving on to the blog. Your posting method does contain an interesting mix of content and just personable enough to keep me interested. Looks like some time has passed between posts here as well. I'm just as guilty on the blog thing, so I've been formulating my own approach to more regular blogging. Hopefully, this will help us both!

    What I'm considering is working out a schedule so that I can post on a regular basis, be it Sunday and Wednesday of each week, every third Thursday, or the 1st and 15th of the month. Something regular. If I feel like I have nothing too terribly interesting to share from my corner of the world, I'll likely do something like point my reader to a handmade news related item, area craft shows, whatever. Keep it short and sweet. THEN post that link on my Facebook Fan Page, # signs in front of important key words in my comment, and click 'Share'. Now I have reached five different audiences in just a couple of steps.

    These are some quick social promotion tactics I've stumbled onto that I hope are worthwhile approaches for you, and for others as well.

    Jen S.
    Simply inviting Cards

  7. Wow, how to follow up an opus like that?

    Nonetheless, a couple of quick thoughts.

    Lots of fun cards in your shop, some great variety, which I like.

    Jen had mentioned this as well, but I'd like to see you include more in your titles. The titles are given a lot of emphasis in search engine positioning -- any words used in them are more likely to come up in, say, a google search. I'm an internet professional in another life and getting good search engine positioning is the holy grail of the web. If you can get some of your listings to pop up near the top of the list when someone types in some keywords into google, you are doing well.

    (I was reminded of how important this was because for the last few weeks I've been extremely curious about some of my sales -- I've been trying some different promotions and I would love to know which ones are actually working or not. I finally asked one of my customers and she told me that she'd done a search on google of "pop-up and mechanical cards" and my shop had come up on the list. Anyway, I'm just relating this to let you know that I know that search engine positioning sounds kind of dry and techy, but it can result in actual sales!)

    So, in your titles, I would suggest including the word "card" at least, but ideally, you would include some words that would make the card sound enticing.

    Etsy did an article that contained a ton of great adjectives to get your mind thinking about descriptive words to use -- I'll hunt around for it.

    Otherwise, just brainstorm some good words. I know that when I'm hunting around etsy, the sheer volume of products can overwhelm me so I sometimes will narrow my search down by typing in some words like "unique" or "whimsical" just to see what pops up.

    I really like the simplicity of your avatar, but the text is a little hard to read -- can you increase the size of it a bit?

    You use up many of your photo slots, which is great, but some of the photos are virtual repeats of each other. I know it's hard sometimes to do different views of a card, especially if it's blank, but rather than do several straight on shots, perhaps also include a shot of the card's back? One of it open? Maybe you can show it half in the envelope? If you do something cute with your packaging, show how it will arrive for your customer?

    If you're slow on sales and don't have anything to write on your blog, how about doing a giveaway? You can clear out some items that might be just sitting around and generate a little traffic to your site!

    Here's my giveaway on my blog:

    Key to this is promoting your giveaway! You don't want just one entry on your blog -- that's just annoying! Here's some stuff I did to make sure that people found my giveaway:

    Registering your giveaway at the various blog giveaway sites is free!

    Just some thoughts!