The Martha Effect

The Martha Effect

Let me take you back to Tuesday, January 24th 2:02 PM. I get a DM on the Etsy sellers app.

"We are excited to potentially feature your item in an upcoming marketing campaign. Your item may be featured by a celebrity curator as well as highlighted on Etsy's channels!"

The key word there is MAY

Etsy has reached out before but often one of the lanterns will be used in an instagram reel or something. It's a nice bit of extra exposure but doesn't really amount to much.

Next I receive another DM from another Etsy employee - March 17th

I'm reaching out as we are looking to promote the following item from your shop as part of an upcoming Spring PR campaign, to potentially be featured in local media coverage

Another key word - POTENTIALLY

They were requesting high-res images which I duly sent but didn't think much of it at all.

Then March 27th comes and my phone starts going off like crazy. When someone hits the little "like heart" you get an alert much like a text alert. Bu-bing!

Then another DM comes in from the first contact. ....

We’re so thrilled to share that your product(s) have been featured in the iconic Martha Stewart’s curated Etsy Collections. .....


Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing.Bu-bing..... all day long.

Also ka-ching! I don't think I need to tell you what that is.
Ka-ching!Ka-ching!Ka-ching!Ka-ching!Ka-ching!Ka-ching!Ka-ching!Ka-ching!Ka-ching!Ka-ching!..... All day long... and for days.

So we were entering the slowest phase in retail. The months after Christmas and before Mother's Day. The retail doldrums. But all of a sudden it was like Black Friday. These days it seems like anyone with a instagram account calls themselves an "influencer", but I can tell you.

Martha is influential

Now Martha has been an icon for decades because she has incredible taste. I’ve had her cookbooks her magazines and I make her cookies at Christmas, I’m not an Uber fan but I’m definitely a fan. More so for her business acumen, she built a catering business into a media empire. Say what you will about Ina, she hasn't done that.

The way I see it, I could tell some guy changing the tires on my car that I sold my products on Etsy and he would have no clue what Etsy was. But if I told the same guy that my product had been curated by Martha Stewart he would be seriously impressed.

So the effect around here in lantern-land was just nuts. We were so busy and we weren’t really prepared but we stepped up. We got everything done. We got everything out the door in two days or less just like we promised and it was quite thrilling.

Then I received another DM, this time to say that some of those curated items had also been additionally, selected to have the Martha Stewart "good thing" seal and mine was one. I cannot believe my luck. I have no idea why, but all of a sudden the slowest month of the year is almost on par with the busiest month of the year and that’s what I would call the Martha effect.

And for those of you who like data:

I compared the first week of the campaign against the first week of the prvious campaign we were part of:

  • Martha sold 43% more lanterns
  • Average purchase value 21% more
  • Total value of the week was 75% more
  • The number of purchases of multiple lanterns... 300% more

Martha is influential!

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