We’re used to asking people to sign up to newsletters and email lists. We might need to tweak how we do it and refine our “consent process”. But the basics stay the same:
People actively send us their details.
But personalized advertising and analytics happened in the background. No questions asked.
Google “email marketing best practices” and you’ll get millions of results.
But also unsurprisingly. The internet is chock full of marketers wanting to tell you how to write can’t-say-no subject lines and make-money-while-you-sleep drip campaigns.
But what about the basic email best practices? You know: how to send emails that are legal and ethical.
Just like you need to have a basic understanding about tax laws and business registration laws, you need to get the gist of how to keep your customers’ details safe and secure.
Understanding your obligations will help you:
- Know what information you can ask for and how to ask for more.
- Deal with any customer requests about their data.
- Vet the tools and services you use to make sure they help you stay compliant.
- Inform your customers if they might be affected by a security breach in any of the systems you use.
Luckily, it doesn’t need to take you all day. It’s just a simple record of the different sources of people’s information, where you store it and what you do with it.
In fact, you can do it with just 7 questions!
Get to know your obligations as a business owner, for the data you collect and store for your customers, contacts and website visitors.
The legal side of business is boring.
Super, incredibly, put-you-to-sleep boring.
So boring this article needs a disclaimer!
But there are very good reasons to stay on the right side of the law – including some you might not expect!
The website had been live for a month and it was all going downhill.
It didn’t start out like this. There were hundreds of hours poured into making everything just right and carefully crafted campaigns sending visitors every day. The first reports showed good revenue and a frankly fantastic sales conversion rate of 3%.
But the next time I looked, it was 2%. Then 1.5%. What was going wrong?
Well, nothing. It was exactly what I expected. But to a stressed-out business owner, these numbers looked terrifying. The site is failing!
Why would two people interpret such obviously bad results so differently?
Updated January 2018: Almost everything in this article is still true today, even after Etsy overhauled their Shop Stats in 2017.
Reading and understanding the numbers around your shop’s traffic is super important. If you can do this, you can better understand where you should focus your marketing, what parts of your shop could be improved, and make sure you’re seeing real benefits from all your promoting efforts.
There are two sources for this information: Etsy’s built-in Shop Stats and Google Analytics (“Analytics” or just “GA”). They both have their pros and cons, so you’ll most likely continue to use both hand-in-hand to gauge your performance. But when should you use each one?
Love him or hate him, Josh Silverman is one of the big names of 2017. Not a politician or part of the Hollywood elite, but creating controversy nonetheless at a place that’s close to our hearts.
When Silverman stepped in as the new Etsy CEO earlier this year, his mandate was growth. That meant growth for shareholders, but also growth for sellers.
The past few years haven’t been easy, for Etsy or sellers. Despite their increasing Gross Merchandise Sales, 2014 through 2016 saw the average amount spent per buyer and per item fall. More buyers who buy cheaper things for less is not a good outcome for handmade businesses trying to crack a luxury market!
Despite this, sellers as a whole haven’t welcomed Silverman with open arms. They see him representing “big capitalism” and fear the changes he’ll bring will destroy the last vestiges of the Etsy they once knew.
A scary story, perhaps. Let’s take a break for a moment and think about ourselves…
A few weeks ago, I visited the Etsy forums.
Did the hair stand up on the back of your neck?
Ok, so it’s not quite that scary in there. It’s just a lot of very passionate sellers who are trying to run a successful shop and are worried about changes to their platform that might make that harder.
And rightly so. It’s never nice to have the rug pulled out from under your feet.
So it didn’t surprise me one little bit to see the plethora of threads, discussions and yes – complaints – about the new Etsy Shop Stats that were released earlier this year. Sellers were talking about why the changes were made, the things they couldn’t find anymore, and the new numbers that didn’t make sense.
So what do I think? Should you be throwing in the Etsy-Shop-Stats towel or running back to it, arms wide open?
A long time ago, when I worked in retail, I envied the prim, organised merchandisers whose sole responsibility (as far as I could tell from behind the counter) was to fluff around with enticing displays of gifts and stationery.
I know I’m not the only one!
Now as Etsy sellers, we get to “merchandise” our own online shops every day.
Check how our listing thumbnails look all together in the catalogue.
Pour over a new product page to make sure every detail is perfect.
Go through our shop policies with a fine tooth comb to make sure we aren’t accidentally committing ourselves to replacing unwanted items with a lifetime supply of Starbucks…
And I know—because I’ve spent my fair share of time there—that we do a lot of this “fluffing around” in our public shop front. You know – the exact same view that our buyers see.
The pages of our shop where our Google Analytics code runs. Those pages.
Oh… I think we have a little problem to fix.