Welcome to Curious Business

Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, April 20, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Personally, I always resented Mother’s Day and all of the other Hallmark Holidays. Even though they’re just blatant commercial opportunities, you can’t ignore them without seeming callous. So, like everyone else, I grudgingly bought cards and small gifts for these annoying non-holidays. Don't get me wrong; I loved my mom. It was the obligation to shop for some token thing that I didn't like...and making that process easier was one of my main motives for founding Curio City. Anyway, I no longer took any note of Mother’s or Father’s Day after my parents died.

Professionally, the nice little spike in last year’s sales graph puts Mother’s Day in a whole new light. This May 13 is the second major milestone on the gift store calendar. Determined to avoid repeating The St Valentine’s Day Massacre, I started marketing to Mother’s Day last Sunday.

These "Mom" golf balls are really the only thing I have that directly targets mothers. Curio City isn't really about blatant holiday themed merchandise, so I don’t expect much from them. Their main purpose is to tie together my Mothers Day landing page. The landing page is an important concept in search engine marketing. You don’t want your ads to dump visitors at the front door and make them hunt for whatever prompted their click – rather, you want to take them directly to their object of desire. I may not get many shoppers drawn specifically to mom-themed merchandise, but I certainly benefit from the general up-tick in online shopping.

My pay-per-click ads at Google, Yahoo, and MSN are variations on “Is your mother ordinary? If so, go shop somewhere else. Curio City sells unusual gifts.” These ads link to my landing page. I updated the signboard on my main page to mention the holiday. Soon I’ll start updating my news page with shipping info. It isn’t much, but it should goose sales a little bit. Anyone who arrives via a PPC ad should know that they won’t find cliché gifts at Curio City.

The death of typewriter key jewelry is going to hurt. I’m negotiating with another company to test their jewelry. I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull that together in time for Mother’s Day or not – we have an agreement in principle, but there are some logistics to resolve.

My ad in Gentry Magazine came out about a week ago. This is a quid pro quo for a favor that I did their publisher last year. I just went thru the digital version of their May issue, and my ad is definitely there on page 100, with a working link to my front page. The ad cost me around $150 out of pocket, and a few hours’ time. My overall traffic is up marginally, but the only solid result so far was an advertising sales call from a competing magazine. What a disappointment...I expected at least a few sales from it. I guess I should’ve advertised a specific product, rather than my site in general. Oh well, another opportunity missed is another lesson learned, and their second edition isn't out yet. There is still some potential.

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