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If you are a sticker maker with an Etsy shop, (or even if you are wanting to make stickers to sell) then it is likely that you have heard of the importance of good product photography. However, there are many other ways to increase your sales and make more money at the same time! In this blog post, I'm going to cover:
- Etsy SEO
- how to make your listings stand out
- sending freebies with orders
- and more!
Affiliate links are included in this post.
Making and Selling Stickers Online
Whether you design your own stickers and cut them out on your Cricut or Silhouette, or you buy designs and have them printed from a print company, if you have a sticker shop you probably want to make more sales.
Haven't started your sticker shop yet? Read my guide: 3 Ways to Make and Sell Stickers Online.
Might as well get this one out of the way, huh? Everyone wants to learn how to take better photos of their stickers!
One of the main factors in selling anything on Etsy is photography, but it's even more important when you are selling stickers! If you have a great photo, the customer can't help but be excited about your product and want to buy it.
Sticker photography is actually much simpler than taking photos of most products, but it's also really easy to mess up (eek!) so follow these tips to make your sticker photos pop:
- keep the background clean (or blurry if it's messy)
- take photos outside and inside – see which ones look better for your lighting situation
- keep it simple
- use best sellers as inspiration for your own photos
I recommend shooting on a light box or in front of the window, using natural and/or artificial light from both sides. Even if you don't have access to any other type of lighting, I would still try photographing outside for two reasons: there is no glare (a big problem with glass) and the light is much more even.
Read Etsy's photography guide if you need to hone in on your sticker photography.
Costs of Running a Sticker Shop on Etsy
To increase your profits, you need to either raise your prices or decrease your expenses. In order to decrease your expenses, you have to know exactly what you are spending per sticker, including:
- design costs
- printing costs
- packaging costs
- shipping costs
and shop costs like:
- listing fees
- transaction fees
Some people start a small shop and don't realize it's going to take off, so they don't track their expenses down to the penny. I urge you to stop everything right now and set up an expense spreadsheet so you can track down to the 1/10th of a penny even.
Yes, right now.
If you don't have a handle on your expenses, they can easily get away from you and eat into your profits. When it's time to scale your biz, you're going to be clueless about what you should charge for new stickers because you don't know how much they are costing you to make.
Etsy SEO (Search Engine Optimization for Etsy Sellers)
If you google “Etsy SEO,” you will find many search results that can help you figure it all out – but why not go straight to the source? Yes, Etsy has a free SEO guide right on their website!
Their guide includes 39 articles. You don't have to read all of them, of course, but their advice is where you want to start considering it's their website and algorithm that is going to get you found and make you sales. 🙂 I have summarized their articles – and my own experience – in my free Etsy SEO Guide as well.
The first thing you should do is make sure your listing has a title and description. The title and the description are two of the most important factors in search engine optimization, so it's important to keep them detailed, even if they seem superfluous at first glance.
- you have keywords for people who may be searching for your specific product
- you use a catchy title and description that is going to draw people in (if you have any good stories about your sticker's creation, for example)
- your tags are relevant to the content of the listing so that someone looking at all listings tagged with “Stickers” will see yours on page one
If you haven't gone through Etsy's SEO guide, start there. If you're still struggling to rank on the front page, be sure to read through my Etsy SEO guide as well. It is important to understand how Etsy search works, which requires reading up on all things related to the topic. While this can seem tedious, it's key to success.
Also, stickers are a suuuuper competitive niche! So you are going to have to create unique designs if you want to stand out.
How To Make Your Etsy Sticker Listings Stand Out
It's not enough to have a good product, you need to let people know about it. In this day and age, where there are millions of Etsy listings at any given time, you can't rely on your shop name or the fact that someone might be looking for sticker art in general to sell your work. To stand out, you have to get creative.
Creative Etsy listing descriptions will easily make your stickers stand out, because most people aren't going to take the time to put that much effort into their listings. I like to use a template and let Jarvis help me write my Etsy listings because it saves me tonnnsss of time. If you haven't tried Jarvis yet, read my Jarvis Guide or send me an email and I'll let you know if Jarvis is right for your biz.
Add attributes to your listings. This is actually an Etsy SEO tactic but it helps increase visibility so I included it here. 🙂
From Etsy: Attributes are additional types of information sellers should provide about their products while creating or editing a listing to help describe what they’re selling so that buyers can easily find just the right item. Attributes differ from open-field listing tags because they’re limited and category-specific. They’re created by Etsy based on extensive research into buyer search behaviors. Because attribute options are limited to a structured set of data, like a fixed list of color options or types of gemstones, they can be surfaced to buyers across different types of shopping experiences in a more systematic way.
Attributes are basically extra tag spaces. Cha-ching! Adding attributes ensures your buyers are finding your stickers!
Take better pictures. Yes, we already covered this but if you realllly want your listings to stand out, you're going to have to make sure your pictures are truly freaking amazing. Look on the front page of Etsy when you search for terms like “rainbow sticker”, “laptop sticker”, “pit bull sticker” and look at their photos.
What do almost all of the listings with a “bestseller” tag have in common? Simple, awesome photos. You can take these with your phone. It's all about lighting and staging.
Branding, Packaging, and Shipping Your Stickers
Branding and packaging are sooooo important. Don't skimp on this part because other sticker shop owners are kicking ass with both of these things and you want to make sure you keep up.
I usually don't worry what other shops are doing, but when it comes to branding and packaging? I totally do.
Really want to make more money with your sticker shop? Take this Learn to Make Stickers course
Mailers to use
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to packaging. These are my preferences from experience with shipping stickers and other small items over the years.
I like to use flat cardboard mailers because they're sturdy and affordable. When you first get started, you can order mailers here but once you're able to scale your business, you can find cheaper options by ordering in bulk.
You can use bubble mailers but those are easier to pierce, and unfortunately mail carriers are overworked, underpaid, and don't have the time or energy to make sure our packages arrive safely.
Tissue paper + string
Tissue paper and string go a long way in making a package look beautiful, and they're cheap AF.
I have included a handwritten note in every. single. package. I've shipped out over the years. When you start shipping dozens of packages a day, this can be difficult, but that is where helpers come in! My kids have been writing my thank you notes for years and they really enjoy it.
Should I offer free shipping?
Absolutely! Etsy actually rewards shop owners for offering free shipping by ranking them higher in the search results.
Does that mean you have to lose out on shipping? No! Calculate the cost of your packaging + shipping and include that in the price of your sticker.
As you probably know, shipping one sticker isn't very cost-effective for the buyer. You can offer bundle deals to offset the costs for your customers. Instead of getting a 1-sticker order, offer a bundle deal and turn each customer into a 3- or 5-sticker order.
Freebies with Orders
Should you send a freebie with each order? The answer is yes, yes, yes! I know there are debates on this but I've owned Etsy shops for more than 10 years now and I have always delivered a little extra somethin' somethin' with each order and my 5-star reviews have reflected how happy this makes my customers.
I truly believe the right freebies create repeat customers. Anyone can make and ship a sticker but making shopping with you an experience for your customers is going to keep them coming back to your shop.
Do not – I repeat DO NOT – send anything like glitter or confetti with your orders. Just no. Do you know how annoying that stuff is to clean up?
Bonus tips: TikTok & Shortcuts
Confession: I don't use TikTok much, but you should! Sticker shops are blowing up every day because of videos on TikTok and your shop is no exception.
Create videos of:
- your creation/drawing process
- your every day life as a biz owner
People LOVE these videos, y'all. And I bet you already knew that because you love these videos, too. So go create some!!
And shortcuts? THEY EXIST! Start with this sticker template set – it'll cut your creation time in HALF!
You've made it to the end, and now you're ready to take your sticker business from mediocre to a smashing success! I hope that these tips will help you increase your sticker sales on Etsy this month. I'd love to hear about your progress. Leave a comment below! 🙂
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