I learned this the hard way, so now I will share the results with you. For one month featuring my RetroChaletStudio upcycled "art store" on Craftopolis, here are the results. First you must understand how it worked.
Cost: $54 for 4 weeks.
Users: Are mostly Etsians wanting to make treasuries. I figured, those who use Etsy sell on Etsy and often shop on Etsy.
Ease of Use: Excellent, upload a small banner and you are all set. In this case it was this one:
Both of these ideas were nixed, though I liked them a tad better I wanted to keep it simple.
So, when you clicked on the small banner I had uploaded, you could go direct to the shop. Additionally, a "Mouseover Feature" enabled people to go direct to see one of my "3 Etsy featured items"
Both of these features run each day for 4 weeks.
Note: The banner only shows a percentage of the time, according to Craftopolis, you get "at least 100,000 impressions a week. Most of the time ads get around 110,000, but we guarantee 100,000. "
Now for the results:
new views = 57
New Hearts = 12 (unsure how many from Craftopolis)
Sales = $40, only $20 of which I could attribute to Craftopolis.
Percent of total monthly visits to my store = 7.25%
Overall I must say Shannon & the staff there were definately helpful and easy to work with. Though I didn't see a huge increase in sales, I'm not extremely dissapointed, as my art has it's own niche' - and I was hoping for at least a 10% increase in traffic. Realistically, I ended up with almost 2 new visits per day.
Now, I wonder how it would work if I was selling something highly desireable , like upcycled purses or vintage items instead (and not funky artwork?).
Now, let's backtrack as for the same month I decided to "promote" my own shop, but my other shop that sells Vintage, which is RetroChalet.
RetroChalet sells some of my art and jewelry, but mostly vintage goodies.
So, I decided to use these avenues: Facebook, My personal web, and FLICKR
Here are those results:
Facebook brought me 78 visits, Flickr 24 and My own site referral at 56. Altogether that's 158 new visits from my self alone. So it just proves that you are your own best advertising.
I should add you have to do some work on each of your sites to do this.
FLICKR - Upload photos and make sure you are using tags , so that people all over FLICKR can find your items. For instance I tagged a Vintage Cast Iron Mailbox as industrial, blue, cast iron mailbox, griswold, etc. So, anyone on Flickr searching for cast iron griswold mailboxes woudl have found mine. Ironically, it sold quickly.
FACEBOOK - I used my main account which is under my real name, Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer, which has almost 1800 friends. That's a lot of friends (some I gained by playing a facebook game, then to put your items out to. I also use the free application with "MY ETSY" on it.
I also use both the Ira Mency (for the Etsy Recyclers Guild Team page) and Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer account to link to sites who have 10,000 or more users, sometimes commenting on a photo and saying "I love this item, (or this fabric, or this idea, etc) my shop
http://www.retrochalet.etsy.com/ sells a lot of these. Thanks for sharing this photo!".
Now you have added a link to your own store onto a site or page that gets thousands of views. Of course you can't do this twenty times on the same page, but just once in awhile. Also if the user allows you to add photos you can do so, and put something like "this wonderful item available in my RetroChalet shop on Etsy."
USE OF PERSONAL SITE: Whenever you have your own website, make sure you are using keywords so that googlebot can find you. If you are using a web hosting service, make sure they are taking advantage of that. On Verizon, they use a really easy web builder which gives you a space under "Page Properties" to describe keywords on each page for the search engines to find you. Also make sure to use a tab and redirect. For instance, I used to talk about my Etsy shop on my website, show pictures of recent items, blah blah blah, but now I have a tab that says BUY VINTAGE in the sidebar on http://www.iramency.com/ and just to click on it, you are redirected RIGHT to the shop. I do think a redirection works better and these results are proof positive it does work better.
ADDITIONAL MARKETING TOOL:
Cherri Miele of http://www.cherspassion.etsy.com/ had also told me about using the same type comments with your URL links on other websites and on direct blogs that get a lot of users.
In other words, go to a site that gets a lot of hits, for instance, http://www.everythingetsy.com/ (a very cool site by the way and one of her faves) where you can browse around and leave a comment about something you like. It will ask for your name and URL link, there you can put a link to your shop, blog or personal web. (keeping in mind all of these sites should direct people to your Etsy store!!!) Do keep in mind, most of the comments must be approved by the moderators so you want to keep it really on the up and up and not spam out sales and all that jazz.
I really never tried this before until Cherri mentioned it to me, because for some reason it never crossed my mind that all these blogs and personal sites DO INDEED have places for comments on their articles or posts. I must admit I tried it and went to Poppytalk (a cool design site on Blogspot which gets a ton of hits each month) . I later tried the Everything Etsy also. I left a comment, a nice message and my URL.
As of now, I have gotten 3 referrals from each of these to my store according to Google Analytics in the past month.
If I had the time to visit 50 blogs a month and do this, and could get 3 direct hits from all 50 blogs, that's another 150 hits to my store.
If I could then visit 25 websites and do this, and hope for 3 new referrals that's another 75 hits to my store.
Add that to my already 150 FLICKR'd, DIRECT SITED, and FACEBOOKED driven visits, and that's 300-325 NEW hits I could be expecting a month!
That's better than most PAID advertising out there.
I urge you to use this, it's wonderful and over time you can learn what everything means. It has really helped me a lot. Go HERE to read more.