How and Where to promote your store

Cloth Pad Shop will never get as much traffic (and therefore sales) as somewhere like Etsy.  That doesn’t mean CPS can’t be successful, it just means that you may have to work for it.  But as with most things in life, you get out of it what you put in.

The benefit of promoting your CPS store is that not only will you get more traffic (and the aim is, more sales) but you are also helping to promote CPS as a whole and bring more customers in for everyone.  It’s supporting our CPS community and helping to draw people away from other big sites 😉

You can’t sell what you don’t have, to people who don’t know you have it!

Getting yourself and CPS known….
The 2 main sources of traffic into CPS is from google and from facebook links.   Word of mouth (people talking about a brand) is a fabulous form of advertising.   So it’s in your best interest to blab on about CPS and your store whenever and wherever you can! Google ratings work by the links to and from sites have. So the more places linking to CPS, the higher our ranking goes up. The more the CPS name is dropped, the more people think about it when they want to buy pads.

Now in saying that, please don’t spam (I have a hatred of spam myself, and we don’t want to have CPS associated with annoying spam! that’s counter-productive)…. don’t be annoying about it, Check forum/group rules relating to advertising before you post…. but where the situation arises – please advertise yourself and CPS.

I can see from comparing the Statcounter site stats with the amount of sales our sellers get – that the stores who upload stock regularly and make the most sales are also bringing the most customers in with people coming in from facebook to their store.  It’s not coincidence!

How to go about promoting yourself…..  Here’s some tips!

Regularly Add Stock – The main store page shows the most recent products first – so if you want to have high visibility in the store, adding new stock regularly makes you more likely to have products on those first few pages of the store.  The more often you add stock, the more often you have a reason to promote yourself as well.

Tell people – When you add new stock, make sure you let people know!   Post to our facebook page, post on twitter, instagram, other cloth pad groups (that allow stocking notices) – everywhere you can think of – to let people know you have new stuff available.

Tell people – A LOT!! – You are competing with every other padmaker out there, so you need to make sure that when people think about buying pads, or recommend pads to someone else – your brand is one of the brands they think of.  One way to keep fresh in people’s minds is to have your name out there more.  If you don’t, then the other brands who do get their name out there more, will come to people’s minds more.

Don’t tell people too much – ok having said to promote yourself at every opportunity, a balance is good 🙂  If people feel they are being “spammed” they tend to switch off and won’t pay attention any more. Or they may even leave/unlike the page.   So advertising is good, but flooding customers with sales posts can be worse.  What is too much?  Depends on the person, but that’s why we recommend no more than once a week at most!

Announce upcoming stocking – Let them know you will be stocking in a week, or give the date – to let people get excited and ready for you to add new stuff.

No new stock doesn’t mean nothing to promote – Even if you don’t have new stock added, or for example you make to order so don’t do instocks – there are other ways to get your name out there.  Show off a new fabric you’ve added to your collection, or a new pad shape or pattern you can do, photos of the latest custom order you sent out.  Remind people that you’ll make to order.  If you are happy to modify your patterns to do extra length or something then mention that also.

Fun and interesting can be promotion too – It doesn’t always have to be posts of “come buy my stuff” – if you do photos showing off your sewing room, or new fabrics you’ve bought… even posts telling of a funny story you heard or a new recipe you tried … if you’re identifying your store name when you post it, then you are in a way still advertising your business.

Get customers in – DON’T FORGET to include the link back to your store so they can actually get there! 😉

Tag – “tag” CPS when you post on your own fb page or twitter, and when you are posting on the CPS fb page tag your business page – to cross promote them both.  To “tag” type in the @ symbol then start typing in the name  (eg “@cloth pad shop”) and you should see a pulldown menu – select the page you want to tag (if there’s a few choices, double check the icon for the page to make sure you are selecting the correct one)

Reward return customers – perhaps include a discount code or a free offer card with their order so they are inspired to buy from you again..  If you’re prepared to keep records of customers who order from you, you could do a punch card type situation where for every 3 orders they place with you, you’ll give them a free something.

Offer an Incentive – Given we’re getting a lot of competition these days in the industry, sometimes you need to stand out, and sometimes you need to offer an extra incentive to make your pads even more attractive.  Some suggestions:

Themed stockings – Special themes you know people will like
“Free shipping weekend”  – offer free shipping for a special limited time period to encourage sales
Discount codes/specials  – Special limited time discounts off the cost of items, or a “free gift with your order” deal.

Where to advertise

Facebook – one of the largest free advertising platforms on the planet really.  We have a fb page to advertise stocking announcements and other promotion posts – you can be added as a page author if you have a vendor account, where you can post as the page.  You can also share posts from your own page to the CPS page.

Twitter – CPS has a twitter account that select vendors with good standing can be given login details for  (or else posts can be made on your behalf by someone who does have access), but we also have a “list” page which shows tweets from all the CPS member twitter accounts.  If you’re not on that list, let us know your twitter account and we can add you.

Blog – Sign up for a wordpress account (its free), and let us know your e-mail address and you can be added as an author and you can post about your store there to your heart’s content! The more the blog is used, the more people may read it, and the better traffic it can bring.     Blog about your newest fabric purchases – whatever you like… it doesn’t just have to be “here, I have these for sale” type posts – those are good too though! Some customers like to know about the person behind the business.

Instagram – Select vendors with good standing can be given login details for our instagram account  (or else posts can be made on your behalf by someone who does have access),  Add your best looking photos.  Check the previous photos to see which tags the previous photos have been given to give us more exposure.  To make it a nicer blend of photos rather than big amounts of the one seller – please don’t upload more than 3 photos in a row, let others add photos before adding more.

Youtube – We can add you to the account as a manager which will allow you to upload videos to the youtube channel.  Think about videos like “What I Wore This Month”, a tour of your sewing space, A video showing off your pads (especially how your pads work if they are non standard AIO designs).

Mailing List/Newsletter – We use “Mad Mimi” as our newsletter program, and we send out occasional newsletters for the customers to find out about CPS happenings – not many stores take advantage of this unfortunately – but if stores give me information to put in a newsletter, I will happily send newsletters out. If I have nothing to put in a newsletter, none get sent out.  Any store can send me info to include in newsletters – tell people about your stocking dates, when you have something new – give exclusive discounts to the mailing list members (send them a code, so only they will know it and fee they have got something special) – AND tell people you’re doing so on the blog or your website so that people know to sign up to our newsletter!!! The more people who use this, the more those people on the list will be pestered about CPS, and the more likely they are to continually come in to have a look at stuff.

Physical places –  Leave business cards in places you feel you might attract customers.  Check before leaving cards/flyers in case the business doesn’t allow it, but some places might allow you to leave advertising material.  Some community areas (like supermarkets and shopping centres) have notice boards.  Try ladies toilets, healthfood stores.   We have printables you can use.

What To Say When Promoting Yourself

Some vendors have said they sometimes avoid advertising because they don’t know what to say to promote themselves.  It can be a bit difficult to put yourself out there and promote yourself – but it really is important to advertise, and hopefully some of these suggestions will help.

You need something a bit more eloquent than “come buy my stuff” (although that could be quirky enough to work!).  Make sure you speak in 3rd person (eg “Obsidian Star has added new stock to their store”  rather than “I have added new stock to my store”) when posting on the CPS fb  page or twitter as it is used by multiple stores and if everyone said “I have new stock” it would be confusing because who is “I” today?    Mention your business name and give the link to your store. You can tag your page as well.

But sometimes it’s nice to have some fun with it. One time I’d bought a LOT of fabric and needed to boost sales to put some money back into my account, so I did a promotion that was:  “Obsidian Star is having a  “Help I’ve spent too much on buying new fabric and now I need to sell stuff before my husband finds out” sale” which made people laugh, because it’s relatable!  You probably wouldn’t have as much success with a “I need money to buy a new pretty dress, so please buy my stuff” type sale announcement though 😉

Some suggestions (feel free to cut and past, or modify them or take inspiration from them) – replacing “YourStore” with your store name obviously

Stock added:

“(YourStore) has restocked with some (theme) themed pads – check them out at http://yourstore.clothpadshop.com”

“Just added to Cloth Pad Shop – these lovely pads are made from (fabric) and are (size) long.  Find them at http://yourstore.clothpadshop.com”

“You’ll find (number) of new pads available now at the (YourStore) store on Cloth Pad Shop.  We have pads ranging from pantyliners right up to night pads!  http://yourstore.clothpadshop.com”

“Celebrate (season/festival) with these gorgeous pads from http://yourstore.clothpadshop.com”   

“For (theme) fans, (YourStore) has recently stocked a huge range of (theme) pads!  Including (theme), (theme) and (theme) designs.  Head on over to the (YourStore) store to purchase http://yourstore.clothpadshop.com”

“These lovely (YourStore) custom made pads are on their way to (name or “a customer”), but if you’d like custom pads like these, you can find a huge variety of options available at the (YourStore) store – http://yourstore.clothpadshop.com”

“Hot off the sewing machine!  (YourStore) pads in (sizes).  http://yourstore.clothpadshop.com”

Coming soon:

“(YourStore) has an upcoming (theme) themed stocking, featuring (fabric) and (fabric) pads.  Available on (date)  Don’t miss out!”

“(YourName) from (YourStore) is hard at work sewing and will be adding new stock to her store next week!  Stay tuned for sneak peeks and further details.”