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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, November 07, 2008

Here We Go Again

This is it. My third Christmas. Curio City should collect literally half of its annual income in the next seven weeks. Half of November’s business will come during Thanksgiving week alone. LY’s sales numbers are formidable and plan looks insurmountable. Every day during this period needs to pull the weight of five non-Christmas days.

It’s too late now to affect the results very much. All I can do is strap myself in and manage the wild (I hope) ride. I pulled out all the stops this week, taking my open-to-buy back into deep red ink, raising the spending limits on my ad campaigns, and increasing many keyword bids. Traffic obligingly rose from a post-move nadir of 121 visits to peak at 213 on Tuesday.

Wheeeee! How’s it going so far? It depends on what you expect.

If maintaining my YTD growth rate and reaching plan is the goal…not so well. I’d need to do an impressive amount of business to do that. The economic news keeps getting grimmer by the day. Expecting dramatic year-over-year increases is not at all realistic right now.

If matching LY’s results is a reasonable goal, then things are going better. I might squeak that out this week. Then the targets for the next two weeks get a little bit easier.

My wife still intends to send out the product-announcement email that I created for newspaper gift guides. If she does that, there’s a slim chance that one of the 50-or-so recipients will give me a little ink. Even one small media mention would be a huge deal…assuming that I can get stock. Two of my new vendors are having trouble filling orders.

Reasons to hate Yahoo: A Yahoo muckety-muck sent out an email reassuring advertisers about Yahoo’s strengths in light of their collapsed agreement with Google. She does not explain, for us in the peanut gallery, exactly what that agreement was – a merger, I suppose. But messages of reassurance from on high almost invariably mean that a company’s circling the drain. Lo and behold, the minimum bids on another 25-30 keywords rose last week to ridiculous heights. I deleted most of them. It looks like they’re milking the biggest players for all they’re worth, and everyone else can go hang -- who the hell can make any money while paying 75 or 90 cents a click? I still regard 30 cents as an absolute ceiling, and anything over 25 cents is a hard sell. And yet, rather than fold my Yahoo tent once and for all, I instead increased my daily spending limit (see “pulled out all the stops” above) and nudged up a few bids. If I’m going to hit my numbers, I need every click I can get. Even the expensive ones.

1 comment:

  1. MAtrix3:07 PM

    Interesting that you mentioned Yahoo, i just stoped my ad compaig today with them. When i realized that few month ago i was spending 30$ on them a month (and few 100$ for google), but this month alone they charged me 3 times 30$ a pop. They also removed a lot of minimum from bids it seems, as i am paying as much for click as i pay for google, the problem is, google is much better targeter. I actually pay about 1.15 a click, but that's mainly because each client for me worth much more then to you. I of course have much lower conversion rates the nyou, as only some visitors will request evaluation. Yahoo went crazy, were robing me blind when i was not looking.

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