Monday, August 2

More than lemonade

Oh, is she going to talk business? Yes. Just for a moment, and you can drink your lemonade while I talk. Yes, I know it's summer, but fall will be here before you know it. If you are planning any advertising for your business, now is the time to think about it.
I don't pay for a lot of ads, I am fortunate to have some editorial mentions, and well, I am just plain cheap. Research costs nothing but a little time and I'm going to share that with you.
I love lots of popular blogs and they won't like what I am about to say. Those sidebar ads that run hundreds of dollars a month don't work. They are tiny, there are 20-30 on each page, and folks don't click and buy.
How do I know this? For three months, I've stalked 4 popular blogs with etsy shop ads as well as commercial websites. I've kept track of the number of sales the etsy shops had before and after. There was no measurable increase in the amount of sales in over 70 shops I watched. Fully 30% of the shops had less than 10 sales that month.
I know this isn't scientific, but it was enough to convince me. We sell impulse items. Will customers bookmark and return later? Perhaps. But not to justify an ad budget like that that.
What do you think? Where do you advertise, or do you?
Tomorrow, I'll be back to tell you what DOES work for me.
Until then, close your wallet and kiss the ones you love,


jodie said...

Very true. With my relaunch, I don't plan to fork out a pile of money for ads. I'm on BigCartel, so I get some good traffic from them without having to pay for relisting or advertising. Plus, I've been looking into affiliate-style programs so that I'll basically only have to fork over money when something sells, which makes far more sense to me than the gamble that is advertising.
Plus, I'll be sending press kits out, which will cost a little....but still cheaper than advertising on a site with decent traffic.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Interesting analysis. I have not done any pay advertising. I have fun with the grass roots style using social networking and crafting sites! I have been very fortunate with ebay and never do any marketing with that shop. Of course the fees add up though.

I'm interested in hearing what does work for you!

Rebecca said...

Wow... I'm amazed at your "research" ... and what a very resourceful way to do it! There was a time in my life when I would've taken on such a task, but not lately; I just wouldn't have taken the time. But I'm agreeing with you, that folks don't look at those ads and don't click and buy. I'm basing that on myself and my own online shopping. And you are right about the spur-of-the-moment shopping, the impulse buying. It's usually the way most jewelry sells, but also other items too.

No advertising for me to date. So I'm looking forward to your post tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Can I some back and report in November? :) I just booked a slot on a huge blog from mid-October till mid-November, but that includes a spotlight post, which will hopefully be more effective than the actual ad - and $100 is still affordable. I also have some penny-ante Project Wonderful ads that definitely get me traffic and hopefully some sales when this terrible summer is over.

Other than that, most of my marketing budget goes into local markets. Expensive enough.

Let's see if it is worth the effort - just launching the business right before summer wasn't the smartest thing to do, but I had no choice.

Hugs from Hamburg,

Catherine Ivins said...

Wow- that's brilliant research Sherry! I have been suspecting that- first because we are so blanketed with this stuff that we all ignore it (online advertising, I mean) and because the chance of the right buyer stumbling upon my ad is probably about the same as stumbling upon me in the post office. I will be back tomorrow!

xo- Cat :)

Lemon Jitters said...

Thought-provoking. Although I don't think we can lump all advertising together. But I do agree that the sidebars get cluttered. (Although I click on ads that catch my attention. And usually heart for later but rarely buy).

Side note- is that your photo? I'm loving the jar glasses and I'd like to see the original post if there is one!

Kathy said...

I am so glad you are talking about's something I've been thinking about as I revamp and restock my shop.

Tim Vidra said...

Very nice. I enjoyed my lemonade while reading. Looking forward to the follow up on this topic!

lisaroyhandbags said...

wow Sherry! look at you doing all that research for us! brilliant work! I've often wondered how much traffic those tiny ads actually generate and obviously, not much. Other than promoting my website & Etsy shop at the craft fairs I've done or at the shop that sells my bags, I haven't done any other advertising. : )

Orion Designs said...

Thanks for confirming what I already believed. I was too lazy to do that research myself. Looking forward to reading about the things that do work for you.

Sherry said...

Thanks so much for your insightful comments. I wrote a short comment on Part 2.

Waterrose said...

What great research. I really think that some advertising is necessary. But, as you know, you really do need to brand and be somewhat consistent. I also believe that if you are seen in several different places that people begin to get that "oh I recognize that shop/brand." Then they feel more comfortable purchasing. But, it doesn't mean that you have to be on the "top" blogs. When you place you advertising there, you are competing with a lot more advertisers, once again.