Hi friend! If you’ve joined us for the Cyber Week crash course MID series, then this is the place to catch up on the steps I’ve already discussed via email!
I also invite you to join the Goal-Getting Facebook group here to get the most out of this free series.
Before we can get organized or come up with a plan of attack, we’ve got to know exactly WHAT sort of exciting holiday promotion you are going to offer your shoppers.
And let me just say this right off the bat – If you don’t like discounting your work, that’s okay! As handmade sellers a lot of us are anti-discount, which I totally get (because a lot of us also don’t price high enough to begin with!).
We don’t want to devalue our work, attract high maintenance bargain shoppers, or cut that profit margin too low! But there are plenty of other ways to attract shoppers looking for a Cyber Week deal without having to offer a coupon code or slash prices.
I love the idea of offering more for free, especially if you’re choosing add-ons that are easy and low cost for you to offer.
>> All orders placed during Cyber Week will arrive already gift-wrapped with a bow, and include a blank holiday card. How easy would that make life for your customers who are looking for easy gifts?
>> Everyone who places a hair bow order of $20 or more during Cyber Week also gets a free matching hair pin! Throw in something low cost for you that you have oodles of lying around your workshop.
Another non-discount idea – think about having a limited time design, product, or bundle set that you only offer during those few days. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real y’all.
>> Love buffalo plaid? Check out my limited edition buffalo plaid holiday cards, available now until Cyber Monday only.
You can create a demand for something that feels luxurious, exciting and exclusive.
>> Thinking about buying this crocheted baby blanket? For Cyber Week only, I’m offering this exclusive baby bundle featuring the blanket with matching booties & hat for just $X.
I also really love the idea of a doorbuster (also invokes FOMO!) It has the potential to drive mega-traffic and excitement. If they know a hot deal is going to run out after the first 5 people snag it, they want to be one of those people!
Jot down any ideas you’re interested in doing and nail down the specifics. If you want to do a coupon code, what’s the discount going to be? Which products will it apply to? Will there be a minimum purchase required? If you want to do free shipping, is it on certain items or the entire shop? If you want to do a bundle, what’s in the gift set? What could you do as a doorbuster? How would you set up these offers logistically in your shop?
Don’t forget the last part of that action step – make sure it makes financial sense for you to offer whatever deal you’re pondering. By that I mean literally – can you afford it? I don’t want you to offer free shipping if it means you’re in the red when you make a sale.
Take a look at your profit margin before you nail down your promos. I don’t want you losing money with holiday sales! If you need help analyzing your pricing strategy and your profit margin, this resource was made just for you. Make sure your pricing strategy is SET UP for profit NOW, before the holiday sales start pouring in!
Envision your ideal customer. What do they value most? Saving money? Getting their order quickly? Luxuriating in snagging an exclusive deal or design? Not having to spend time wrapping stuff? With these thoughts in mind, how will they respond to your offer?
If your target customer doesn’t care about free shipping, then this isn’t going to drive an increase in sales or traffic for you. You want to choose something that’s going to get YOUR people excited and make NOT adding that item to their cart too hard to resist!
How will your promo work in the real world? Is it something you can logistically set up in your Etsy shop or on your own site? Setting up a coupon code is easy, but doing a doorbuster or offering a BOGO sale on specific products might take a little more logistical work to figure out.
I don’t want you to overanalyze this or feel the need to make it really complicated. If it’s too confusing, your customers aren’t going to understand how they can take advantage of your offer. So keep it simple enough for you to set up on the backend and for your customers too!
There aren’t any rules here – you can pick one of the ideas or you can use them all if you want. Just make sure to figure out what works for you, your bottom line AND your people.
I’d love for you to come answer my poll on FB about which option(s) you’re going with! Let’s see what the most popular deal will be this year and bounce off ideas.
To wrap up, now’s the time to set your promotional offers for this year. Take time to brainstorm and consider/compare your options now, before email #2 hits on Thursday. We will build an entire marketing plan around this promo over the coming weeks!
In Part #1, you decided what sort of promotion you want to offer this year. That might’ve been a discount, free shipping, a free add-on, or something else.
With that in mind, we’re going to take it one step further and nail down your promotional calendar, marketing plan and timeline.
What I mean by that is – when will you offer this deal (or those deals), and for how long? And what will you do in advance of that to promote the upcoming deal(s)?
>> Will your offer start on Black Friday? Thanksgiving? the day before Thanksgiving?
>> Will you offer the same deal through Cyber Monday? Or maybe you want a handful of rotating deals for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, etc.?
Decide now if you want to have a deal or deals all weeklong or maybe just on a specific day. As a handmade shop, you may want your best deal to hit on Small Business Saturday (#shopsmall!) or as an online shop, maybe you want to capitalize on Cyber Monday. Or maybe you just want the same deal all weekend long to make life easy!
Get out your planner of choice or even just a piece of paper and actually jot down what day(s) will be what offer. It’s time for you to get a visual on what your plan will look like.
Make sure to pick a timeline & strategy that is going to be doable for you in real life.
Remember that if you are going to switch it up a lot (offering different deals on different days), that’s going to mean more time creating different marketing materials and graphics, more emails and social media posts announcing the different offers, etc. If you are ready for that – great! You’ll hopefully be generating a ton of excitement about what deals you’re offering!
If you want to simplify things – that’s fine too! Picking one deal and sticking with it for all of Cyber Week can still drive plenty of traffic and will take less time to plan for in advance.
Also, think about YOUR Thanksgiving week! Will you be traveling on certain days? Will you be away from your workspace or computer? If you’re not going to be available to log into your shop and set up coupons or change text, don’t set a timeline that’s going to be really tough for yourself.
Keep your sketched out timeline handy. We will refer back to this for scheduling our content and creating our marketing materials later on.
Take your promo sketch and jot down any important marketing activities you know you will want to do, like send out emails, record a FB live, publish a blog post, etc. Will you offer “early access” to a special group of people? Now’s a good time to consider logistics of this marketing tactic as well.
You don’t need to get TOO detailed here – one of our future steps will involve scheduling your social media posts for Cyber Week – so you don’t need to mark down every single post on each social media outlet right now. I just want you to sketch out the days you’ll perform your major marketing pushes.
Here’s a good example of a sketched out promotional calendar with some marketing activities noted in orange:
You may prefer doing this in a to do list app or on a digital calendar or in the pages of your physical planner…do whatever works best for you!
Etsy now has some cool features to help you plan out your promotions in advance. You can create a coupon in advance, or better yet, put your shop or certain categories on sale in advance too. (That’s another decision you should make in advance – do you want to offer a coupon code or do you want to just have your listings shown as “on sale”? Both have pros and cons!)
Now these features on Etsy will only work if you choose to offer a percentage off, a coupon code, or free shipping. You can set minimum purchase thresholds in Etsy now which is great.
If any of these capabilities apply to the deal you’re planning, go ahead and set up & schedule the sale in advance on Etsy now. If you have a separate site and have the ability to schedule your offer in advance over there, go ahead and do that now too. This will save you a bit of time later and your sale will go live in your sleep!
So before I send you the next email, I want you to have your promotional offers chosen AND a timeline in place.
Let me hold you accountable! Hit reply and share your timeline with me (just snap a quick pic or screenshot!) or you can even share it in the Goal-Getting group on FB if you feel comfortable!
These things in place (your offers and your timeline) are the BIGGEST piece to the Cyber Week puzzle! So great job on getting it done. In email #3, we’ll start getting your inventory ready for Cyber Week!
With steps #1 and #2 done, it’s time to totally shift gears and think about your physical inventory. We want to make sure you have what you need – or can order what you need ASAP, so you are ready to meet the holiday demand.
It’s time to crunch some numbers, [FIRST NAME GOES HERE]! I want you to gather any relevant data you have access to regarding what sells in your shop. If you can, jot down any of the following:
You can find these numbers in your Etsy shop manager (click Stats > Listings to see sales stats for a particular time period OR click Listings > turn on quick stats for all time sales numbers).
Based on what’s sold well/not well thus far this year and over last year’s holiday rush, you can likely make some educated guesses as to what is going to sell well this year. I encourage you to take it as far as setting an orders goal and breaking up those orders amongst your product categories.
If you want more detail on how to work backwards from your recent results to forecast what will sell this holiday season, I recently did a quick exercise in the Goal-Getting Group where I show you how to do just that. Check it out here and let me know if you have any questions about the work!
With that info on hand, work backwards to check your stock levels. I want you to be able to answer two questions:
>> What finished goods do I need to create more of ASAP?
>> What raw materials & supplies do I need to order more of ASAP?
Based on the estimates you just made, do a quick supply stock check and see what items you are short on. It’s time to re-order any raw materials or supplies for your finished goods like yesterday. If you’re running a bit low on that fabric or those beads, reorder now!
If you get your supply orders in now, you will hopefully be stocked up by Thanksgiving – with plenty of time to turnaround any orders you get from Cyber Week. You do NOT want to be a in place where you run out 3 days before your shipping deadline and are frantically rush shipping materials to your house or making late night craft store runs!
There are other items (besides just your raw materials & supplies) that you may need to design or re-order now to receive before the holiday sales rush.
This is a great time to stock up on business cards, flyers, and other printed materials that you may want to throw in your holiday shipments. Take advantage of those orders to encourage people to join your list, follow you on social media, purchase again, or share their purchase on social media.
Keep in mind any printed materials you may need for in-person holiday events and craft shows as well.
Now is also the time to check your supply of anything you need for filling all those orders you’re going to get! That means checking your stock of shipping labels, printer ink, ribbon, gift wrap, mailers, bubble wrap, boxes, bags, etc.
If you plan to offer gift wrapping, make sure you’re stocked up on wrapping paper options, note cards (for writing gift notes), stickers, tags, gift boxes and color-coordinated ribbon.
If you’re in a rush, here are a few quick & inexpensive bulk products for you available on Amazon (note that these are affiliate links!):
If you make similar or the same items over and over, you can create your goods in advance and have them ready to ship. Even if you create custom products, there is likely some “pre work” you can do in advance to make filling holiday orders quicker and easier for you.
After doing your inventory forecast exercise, you will know if you are short on certain goods you expect to sell well this season. I want you to nail down a plan to create those finished goods between now and Cyber Week (or at least do the “pre work”).
First, brain dump the work that needs to be done. For example, that may look like this for a business that sews baby blankets:
>> Order all supplies needed as determined from previous exercise
>> Pre-wash all minky fabric
>> Pre-wash all satin fabric
>> Iron all satin fabric
>> Cut ten 4″ x 4″ squares of each color minky
>> Cut five 6″ x 6″ squares of each color milky
>> Cut forty 4.5″ strips of each color satin
… and so on. You may offer customized baby blankets where the customer can have a name embroidered and choose their own colors, but there is still some work that can be done in advance to streamline the order fulfillment process.
I want you to brain dump what YOUR prep list looks like.
Next, take your brain dump list and lay it out on your calendar of choice. That may be your physical planner, your phone calendar, or an app like Asana. Assign a week or a specific date to tackle each task, with the goal that this work is DONE before Thanksgiving week.
Start actually DOING these action tasks now, and keep up the work as we go through this series.
Before I send you email #4, I want you to have your promotional offers chosen, a timeline in place, and know where you stand when it comes to your inventory & supplies.
You’ve done a great job so far! In email #4, we’ll talk about getting your physical workspace organized and ready for Cyber Week sales.
In Part #3, we worked through forecasting what products you’ll sell over the holiday season. You (hopefully) checked your supply levels, re-ordered any materials and packaging supplies you may need, and came up with a plan for creating or prepping your inventory.
Now, we will shift our focus to literally preparing your physical workspace or craft area to get ready for the upcoming flurry of activity. Prepping and organizing your workspace will help you work more efficiently, and that means saving time and sanity!
If your materials & supplies are spilling out of every shelf, nook, and cranny of your workspace, it’s time to get them organized. I know that this task could take a week in and of itself, so don’t stress. Turn on some music or your favorite podcast, and spend an afternoon cleaning & organizing.
Again, think about your bestsellers and gather the items you’ll need close on hand to fill the majority of those orders. Pull those materials and put them on top of the stash piles or in the front of your cabinets.
If it’s time to trash some stuff and clean up, do it. If you need to source and gather things that have gotten tossed around your studio space, do that. This may be finding all the zippers scattered around your area and putting them together in one box. Or it might mean opening all the drawers to find all your pliers and hand tools and getting them in just one drawer.
The goal here is just to get your space a bit more organized and streamlined so you can spend your time creating products & filling orders, rather than wasting time trying to find where you put your thingamabob. This also means getting your finished goods that are already made more organized too. Sort things into categories so that when an order comes in, you’re able to easily pull that item and get it packaged!
To make this process more fun, I invite you to take a before & after pic of your work area! Then share BOTH with us over in the FB group here. I mean, who doesn’t love looking at craft studios online??
Make sure you’ve got a dedicated corner of your workspace solely for packaging and shipping orders.
Set up a table or a flat & clean area where you can efficiently package all your orders for bulk mailing. Bonus points if you have it set up so easy that you can have a volunteer elf help you package orders!
In your shipping station, you’ll want:
Set this up near your label printer! Make sure that printer is ready to go. You want a label station set up as well with back-up ink, paper, and shipping labels nearby.
When you’re actually filling and packaging these orders, you’ll also want your list of orders (however you like to do that), your beverage of choice, and some entertainment (music, Netflix, or your favorite podcast!).
I just mentioned having your orders list handy. If you anticipate getting a lot of orders this season and you need a better system for keeping track of them, check out this article I wrote on automating the process. In this quick tutorial, I show you how to automatically dump all your orders from different sources into an Asana board to help you easily keep track. This system will keep you from losing any orders in the holiday hubbub, and it uses all free tools!
Don’t forget that brain dumped list of inventory creation or “pre-work” we talked about in email #3. Keep moving forward with your action tasks on that list as we go! A fully stocked shop means an increased change of sales come Cyber Week.
So far we’ve come up with a marketing plan & timeline, ordered any supplies we need, and organized our physical workspace.
Today, we shift gears back to the computer to work on creating ALL the graphics and imagery you may need to promote your Cyber Week sales. Designing, editing, and creating graphics & photos can be a huge time suck, so doing it in an orderly batch system well in advance is going to make your holiday season tons easier.
First thing’s first, pull out the marketing timeline you drafted back from email #2. I want you to look at that and make a list of every single promotional image or graphic you want on hand to help spread the word about your sale. Keep ALL your shop sites and social media outlets in mind. Here’s a list of ideas:
Your list will likely include two main types of images:
Graphic images for within your shop – You want visitors to immediately know you’re hosting a holiday sale as soon as they land in your shop. That means changing out your banner images. It’s also a great idea to have at least one promotional graphic about your sale in any applicable listings in your shop. Consider making the last image of each listing something about your holiday offer and include info on your holiday shipping deadlines.
Graphic images for social media & emails – Depending on your usual posting frequency and how long your sale lasts, I would suggest making at least 6-10 graphics especially for social media listings, along with a FB banner for your group and/or page. Keep in mind the ideal image sizing for each social media platform. You can potentially tweak & re-use these images for your listings, site, and email list as well.
>> Facebook offers us some good holiday inspiration here, along with more info on how to capitalize on holiday-timed ads here.
Now that last action point focused on graphics, which I (loosely) define as things you’re creating in some sort of graphic creation software like Canva.
But – you likely need some photos of your actual products on hand as well. Now I want you to make a list of any photos you need to take for the holiday season.
>> You may want product photos to use in your graphics (I think putting text on photos of your products is a great idea, for instance – use those beautiful products as a backdrop for your marketing graphics!).
You also may want to re-do or spruce up your product photos in general before the holiday rush to get the most out of that traffic. Clear, beautiful photos are usually the #1 way to increase your sales.
Consider taking holiday-themed photos of your products to update your listings as well. Show your items in their holiday environment (with peppermints and mittens in the background for instance) or as gifts (in a nicely wrapped, just opened box!) so your potential customer can really visualize how gifting it will feel. These are great for your lead image on each listing.
If you need to take additional photos of the gift wrap, ribbon, or holiday packaging you can provide, make sure to add that to your list as well.
Once you get your list of needed photos & graphics made, it’s time to get out there and take your photos.
If you’re taking holiday-themed product photos, go around your home and gather all the holiday decor you have on hand to use as props. You know what? Go ahead and turn on your favorite holiday songs, burn that Christmas candle or diffuse some peppermint, and get in the holiday spirit. Let that translate to your photos!
Here’s some sage advice directly from Etsy’s holiday guide for sellers:
Whether you deck every hall of your shop with holiday-themed merchandising or you opt to make just a handful of seasonal adjustments, ask yourself this question: What’s the best way to show that my items make great holiday gifts? Consider adding seasonal designs to your collections or organizing a special photo shoot to show off your items’ context for the holidays.
Read more tips from Etsy on this topic here.
Set up your photography station or light box (this one comes highly recommend on Amazon and ships via Prime if you need one ASAP!) and get to photographing. Remember that bright, clear lighting is super important (and hard to get this time of year, so grab a natural light floor lamp if you need help!).
Spend the afternoon getting ALL your photo-taking out of the way if possible. Make sure to check them off your brain dump list as you go!
Looking for some inspiration for your holiday photos? Here are some examples from some amazing Etsy shops:
Once you’ve taken your photos, upload them into your editing software of choice (or just edit them on your iPhone, I’m not gonna judge you!). Brighten, whiten, crop – do whatever you need to do to make them shine!
>> In case you’re curious, this is absolutely my least favorite job as a handmade shop owner. I *hate* taking product photos! Things will sit around for weeks waiting for me to take photos.
Now that you’ve gotten the photos done and uploaded onto your computer, it’s time to create any graphics you put on your list.
As you create graphics, keep your brand image in mind – you want your graphics to match that look & feel. Don’t get crazy with your fonts or color palette. Try to select about two fonts and a limited color palette and use that for all your graphics. Keep it consistent and professional so your audience recognizes that this sale is from YOUR brand right away.
You will want to create branded graphics that have info about your sale included. Just a quick blurb of text is best, without being too text heavy. Grab their attention and then you can explain the finer points in your post or caption itself. I suggest graphics for announcing & publicizing the sale and some reminders about the sale (if you plan to do some of those “last minute reminder” type of posts).
I encourage you to share at least one graphic you create OR a holiday-themed photo you have in the Goal-Getting Makers group on FB so we can all get inspired!
Once you’ve got all the graphics on your list created, save them somewhere handy (and make a back up). We’ll actually upload them to your shop & schedule them in social media posts early next month!
That’s it for today! I know that batch-creating your graphics and batch-taking your photos can be a big task. Feel free to break out the work over the course of a few days.
Tackling this giant to do now instead of the night before Black Friday (or not even having these well-thought out, styled, on-brand images done at all!) is going to make a HUGE impact on your Cyber Week traffic & sales. It’s a huge part of your marketing campaign and will hopefully drive oodles of traffic to your site.
So far we’ve come up with a marketing plan & timeline, ordered any supplies we need, organized our physical workspace, and created all the graphics and photos we need.
Today, it’s all about words, words, words. Get in the mood to get your writing on and let’s get typing! We are focusing on drafting ALL the marketing copy surrounding your Cyber Week sale, and then scheduling said content.
Grab that marketing timeline you made back in email #2 and let’s brain dump your list of needed CONTENT for the holidays. Keep those graphics you designed in mind.
I’m not talking about your shop listing descriptions and that sort of written content (not today, at least), I’m talking about all of your marketing-related content. These are things like:
Make a list of all the written content you want to publish during your holiday sales period, and assign a date and even a time for each bullet point on your list.
Here’s the awesome part – you’ve already created an arsenal of amazing graphics & images to go with all this written content! That’s like two-thirds of the battle, am I right? Now we’re really just adding the words to go with those images.
Let’s tackle the biggies first and write out any marketing emails or blog posts you plan to release during your Cyber Week promotion.
If you have an email list, I would suggest sending out at LEAST two emails about your promo – one to announce it, and one to remind your list that it’s about to end. Those “last call” emails tend to have the highest conversion rate.
>> For any blog posts or emails that are deadline-related, I highly recommend using a countdown timer. Seeing the time remaining before an offer runs out can be a huge motivator for your customers. Check out MotionMail timers, which are totally FREE!
After you’ve drafted your content, upload it to your email provider or blog platform of choice and schedule those babies. Just about any email or blogging service should allow you to schedule publication in advance. If you are in need of an email service that does this, I highly recommend ConvertKit.
Scheduling your emails & blog posts now means having more time in the heat of the moment to answer customer questions, package orders, etc. Or just sit back and enjoy your turkey leftovers. Or sleep in!
Take a look at your brain dump list and zero in on any social media posts you listed. Let’s start with Facebook.
First, I suggest using a third party scheduler like SmarterQueue (which I also highly recommend – it can post to pages AND groups!) to load and schedule all your FB posts in one place. But if you don’t use a service like this, you can still schedule your posts directly within FB.
Get on your FB page or group, type in your post, add a graphic (you ALWAYS want some sort of image or video to expand your organic reach), and add your link if needed. Then, click the dropdown arrow next to the “publish” button and select “schedule”. Select the time and date you want this post to go live.
Rinse and repeat for all your FB posts, and check them off your brain dump list as you go.
Repeat this same process for Instagram. Now unfortunately, IG doesn’t offer the ability to schedule posts within itself. You can use third party apps to do this now, and I recommend and use Tailwind. With Tailwind, you can upload your IG post images, written copy, and even hashtags in advance. Schedule a time and date for your post, and you’re good to go.
Even if you don’t use Tailwind or a scheduling app for IG, I suggest you at least type out your posts and hashtags in advance. Email them to yourself or get them on your phone somehow, along with the images or graphics you plan to use. Set alerts in your calendar for when you want each post to be published. Then, during Cyber Week, you’ll get your alerts and have everything ready to copy to IG from your phone.
This isn’t really about scheduling written content, but since we’re chatting about social media, now is a great time to create a holiday gift guide featuring some of your products on Pinterest. Create an on-brand board filled with products and gift ideas that would appeal to your target customer. It shouldn’t be ONLY things from your shop, but make sure you sprinkle your own items in!
Once you get your gift guide board curated, that’s a great asset to share as part of your promotional efforts. This makes a great topic of conversation for sharing on social media or email. And creating it a few weeks in advance gives you some time to gain traction on Pinterest as well.
I welcome you to share your Pinterest gift guide (or any blog post gift guides you create!) here on my FB page.
Our two emails this week are going to focus on getting your shop streamlined, automated, and prepared for all the traffic of Cyber Week. That means answering any customer questions or concerned within your shop BEFORE your customer even has to convo you, so you can increase conversions without having to do any extra work. Basically, we want to put your shop on auto-pilot as much as possible so you can maximize your time & work efficiently.
Today, we’ll work on your storefront. Thursday, we’ll shift to your individual listings.
First, I want you to open a word document and draft your holiday shop announcement. You can update it now if you wish, but chances are it may include some info about your Cyber Week sale that you don’t want to release just yet. That’s fine. Let’s just take the time to craft a well-thought out announcement.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, your shop announcement is this special little top section of your Etsy shop where customers (theoretically) often look for news and an intro to your shop and your brand. It’s pretty specific to Etsy, but your non-Etsy shop may have an equivalent as well.
Things you’ll want to cover in the announcement (and anywhere else you can in your shop):
>> Once you have that drafted, I want you to set an alarm on your calendar now reminding you when it’s time to upload your holiday banner and your announcement text.
Start with your Etsy Policies page. This can be edited by going to your Settings > Info & Appearance > Policies tab. Make sure all this info is up-to-date and adjust when necessary. Pay close attention to your shipping info and your refunds/exchange policy.
Etsy allows you to list answers to FAQs under their standard required policies. I want you to get at least four FAQs in this section for your customer. If you need to dig through your history of convos to get some examples of questions, go ahead. Try to anticipate their questions and their needs right here. Help your customer help themselves!
Good ideas for FAQs are…
I know I’m focusing on Etsy here, but these concepts apply to your other storefront sites as well. Bottom line, no matter what this section or page is called where you sell, make sure you’ve got this info easily accessible somewhere!
Next, update your About page if necessary. Give the customer a peek into who you are – that’s what makes buying handmade so special – the ability to get to know the maker!
That being said – don’t talk TOO much about you. I love you and think you’re great, BUT – this is also a good opportunity to show your potential customer how YOU can solve THEIR problem with YOUR product. Your about page should really answer the customer’s question – “But how can this shop really help ME?”
Finally, update your Message to Buyers with any helpful info like processing time, etc. You can edit that by going to Settings > Info & Appearance and scrolling down.
This is likely to be your busiest time of year. I encourage you to make it as un-stressful as possible. If that means extending your processing times, then do it! From your shop dashboard, you can go to Settings > Shipping Settings to edit your shipping profiles.
Now is also a good time to make sure your shipping prices (that your customers pay you) reflect your current shipping costs. I don’t want you to lose money because your shipping prices are out-dated or underpriced!
Finally, you can make sure you have shipping upgrade options set up if you plan to offer rush or upgraded shipping this time of year.
You may have done your best to be super informative and get all those FAQ answers sprinkled throughout your site, but alas, you will still get plenty of people asking you those very same questions. This is why two super handy tools were invented – snippets (in Etsy convos) and canned responses (in Gmail).
Snippets allow you to save any text in the Etsy convo box for future use. For example, if you anticipate getting asked about your holiday shipping deadline a lot, you can draft a response similar to the one I’ve used as an example below.
To save a snippet once you’ve typed it in the convo box, just hit the little conversation box icon on the right. Give it a name, then click save. Now, anytime you’re in a conversation where you want to insert your snippet, you can hit the icon again and select your saved snippet to insert. Easy peasy!
The exact same ability exists for Gmail, except it’s called canned responses. To use canned responses, you first go to your Gmail settings, then click the “Advanced” tab. Click to enable canned responses.
You can access canned responses (and create, save, or insert them) by clicking on the three little dots in the bottom right side of any drafted email.
Canned responses and snippets are not only helpful for quickly answering questions, but for ANY type of message you sent often. I love using them for when I’m sending proofs to customers for approval. I also use them for email or message signatures (we’ll talk about that in the BONUS action next!).
If you want to send out an automated message to your customers letting them know their order was received and any other info, snippets are a great way to do that was well.
You’re likely about to get a lot of traffic to your shop. You’re also likely to interact with a lot of potential customers. You can maximize this exposure by encouraging all these potential customers to join your email list and follow you on social media. Even if they don’t buy this holiday season, they may convert at a later date.
Make sure you sprinkle in info on how to join your email list (and WHY to join your list!) and where to find you on social media throughout your shop announcement, about page, etc.
I also encourage you to create a convo signature and an email signature now with the same info. Mine looks like this, and I can easily insert it at the bottom of every convo I have via Etsy Snippets:
I have one last helpful action step if you anticipate getting a lot of orders this holiday season. It’s especially useful if you (a) get sales from multiple sources and/or (b) do a lot of customization or personalization with your orders.
If you have trouble keeping track of outstanding orders during busy times or you want a better way to visualize your workflow, you can use two free tools, Asana and Zapier, to automatically create a to-do board of your orders. Watch my video tutorial here to get it set up in less than 15 minutes!
Last time, we discussed getting your storefront prepared and organized for Cyber Week. Today, we will apply those same concepts to your individual product listings. We want to set up your listings in a way that:
If you’re anticipating or worried about handling a large amount of orders, it’s worth considering removing certain personalization or customization options. How you do this and whether you’re even able to of course depends on your products.
For example, for my custom designed journals, I may normally offer 10 font options and 10 color options. Prior to Cyber Week, I might narrow that down to just 2 font options and 5 color options. Or maybe I’ll even just pick the most popular font choice and offer that one only. Weaning down on ALL the options means fulfilling those orders will be easier and more streamlined on my end.
This could mean only offering a pared down selection of chain lengths, fabric patterns, yarn colors, frame sizes, etc. It’s usually best to keep your most popular options and leave off the ones customers choose the least often. It’s especially helpful to do this for any products that are part of your special offer (like a doorbuster item). Taking away some of the options makes it easier for buyers to make a quick decision AND easier for you to fulfill orders within your time frame.
This really only applies if you’re on Etsy, but now’s the time to tweak your tags to anything relevant for your upcoming offer. That may mean something literally about the day it’s going on sale or about the holiday purpose of your item. You may want to add the following tags, if relevant, to your listings:
Try to get as specific as you can with your “gift” tags. Don’t just do “Christmas gift”, use tags that describe who it’s for, how it’s used, etc. Remember that tags are all about getting found in Etsy’s search results, so you want to be matching the phrases that people are actually searching for.
I think it’s totally okay to add these tags now even if your sale hasn’t started yet. So save yourself some time and go ahead and do it!
Updates from Etsy: Etsy has announced their “Cyber Week Sales Event”. Any items on sale for at least 10% off will be included in the event, which they are hosting from November 20-26. Within that sale, if you ALSO offer free domestic shipping, you’ll be included in another “super sale” within the Cyber Week event.
To be honest, I am not totally sure how all of this will work, but we can assume if you choose to participate you will rank higher in Etsy search. If the sale you planned already meets these parameters, make sure you go into the marketing section of your Etsy dashboard and check it out.
If you’ve got your listings in edit mode adding those tags, go ahead and make sure to add any other keywords or copy you need. Some of this may be blurbs you already typed up during our previous action steps; here are some examples:
You can type out your blurb once and just copy/paste in all applicable listings. I find that a bullet point list is best for this because lists are always easier for your shopper to read and digest. For example:
“HOW TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR BABY JOURNAL:
// Select your favorite color option from the drop down menu
// In the “Note to Seller” box at checkout, make sure to include the name you want printed on the cover of this journal.
// If you don’t specify a name, I will contact you via Etsy convo within 24 hours, if you don’t respond within 72 hours, your order will be canceled.
// You can expect a proof of your design via your Etsy email address within 48 hours of your order
// All journals ship via USPS Priority Mail within 2-5 business days unless otherwise specified.”
“**HOLIDAY DELIVERY OPTIONS**
// Green & red holiday gift wrap (shown in the last photo) plus a personalized gift note is available for an additional cost of $3. Just make sure you select the holiday upgrade from the dropdown menu to add this to your purchase.
// Christmas delivery is guaranteed for all items ordered by 12/9. Expedited shipping options are available at checkout once you add this listing to your cart.”
Etc. etc. and so on. Using clear and concise bullet points outlining exactly how this process works helps set expectations, answer questions before they arise, and gives your shopper confidence in their buying decision.
It’s also important to add any keywords to your titles and the first few sentences of your listings if there are holiday keywords or phrases you hope to rank high on. For example, you may want to add “Gift for Mom” or “Black Friday sale” to your title. Including them in MORE than just your tags improves your search rank!
Since you’re working in your listings already, now’s the time to upload any holiday staged photos or any sale-related graphics you previously created way back from email #5. Upload any holiday or gift wrap images now!
If you have any listings that are super specific to your sale or promotional offer (like one with the doorbuster info or coupon code info), obviously you may need to wait to upload them until your sale is actually live. Make sure you note that on your calendar or set an alert on your phone to remind you!
Make sure your listing quantities match what’s in your current inventory or what you are able to create within your processing timeframe. Put your listings on auto-renew for that quantity if they aren’t already. You don’t want to be wasting time manually renewing things during this busy season, and you don’t want to miss a sale if something “sells out” just because you had the wrong quantity!
Etsy is offering their “targeted offers” ability free to sellers through December 31. A targeted offer is the ability to send a coupon code to either abandoned cart shoppers (those who add your item to their cart but fail to check out) or recently favorited shoppers (people who favorite something from your shop). You can choose one of these to send a coupon to. Etsy normally charges 10 cents (I think?) per coupon code sent, but they’re allowing you to try this feature out for free during the holiday season! If you’re okay offering a coupon code, why not try this out?