Fee-Free Contest: And The Winners Are…

winner

Well, that was quick.

24 days have passed and the Fee-Free Contest has come to a close. Aside from sharing the list of winners, the OpenSky team wanted to provide some other interesting takeaways from the contest. Before you skip down to the bottom, please take a minute to read.

First off, (and this may sound clichéd) it’s important to note that every Merchant that participated in the Fee-Free Contest is a winner. In fact, the community as a whole is a winner. And here’s why:

OpenSky Merchants have gained 65,000 new follows throughout the Fee-Free Contest. Merchants have collectively marketed this community to contacts EVERYWHERE, and in turn, that has boosted the awareness of OpenSky as a shopping destination for every Seller. In the end, that’s just the type of boost our community needs this time of year. This influx of followers is key to the success of the small business community you’re building, and equally important to the success of each individual Merchant.  

With the contest behind us, you may be asking, “What’s next?”  It’s time to take your new followers on a journey with the posts that you create and share.

OpenSky’s Ripple Effect

As we’ve mentioned in the past, increasing the number of followers is the first step in successfully tapping into the ripple effect that is OpenSky’s social shopping network. Every follower you have is an opportunity to reach even more people – consider it an “IN” with friends of your new followers. It works like this:

infographic

So that makes sense, right? Every person that follows you has a network of friends that they can share your products with. The more you engage with them via posts, the more they’ll share.  The more they share, the more exposure you get.  It’s the OpenSky ripple effect.

Create Posts. Engage your Followers. Watch the Ripple Effect happen.

Now that you have even more followers, it’s time to start posting. Post in your feed everyday – whether it be posts that feature promotions or brand building posts. Broadcast these posts to your followers all over the web – on OpenSky, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Keep your fans updated and remind them that they are only a few short clicks away from getting a loved one the perfect gift this holiday season.

And remember — when you broadcast those posts on your other marketing channels you make 100% from every item sold to the people you’ve invited (Not to mention the 10% bonus you make when that member shops from any of the other small businesses on OpenSky). It’s a win-win!

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Even though the Fee-Free Contest has come to an end, don’t let up now – with only 18 days left before Black Friday keep spreading the word about your brand’s page and products.

Without further ado…Congratulations to the 10 Fee Free Contest Winners!!!

Rank Merchant
1 shoplulu
2 crazydogtshirts
3 bottledupdesigns
4 paperscissorsrock
5 pure-impressions
6 funk-and-fabulous
7 soulku
8 baconery
9 whiteplum
10 savor

Fee-Free Ranking Update 11/4 + New OpenSky Video

feefreegraphic

Only 4 days left to participate in the Fee-Free Holiday Contest!

Remember, through Nov 7th, Invited Followers count double, which means iIt’s still anyone’s game.  Merchants have made some serious headway in the last 5 days alone via inviting new followers.

The most up-to-date Rankings are listed below – see where you are and use the next few days for your last big push!

For more info, tips or trick on driving followers, click here.

If you’d like to use OpenSky’s new video, please do so by sharing on all your marketing channels.  Use it to build your following and help to grow our community!  Let’s show the world that there’s a better way to shop, and it’s called OpenSky!

Here’s the link to share! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB4_yi1VT8Q

Rank Merchant URL
1 shoplulu
2 sugar-knife
3 bottledupdesigns
4 bootights
5 funk-and-fabulous
6 fashion-club-usa
7 baconery
8 soulku
9 pure-impressions
10 hautechic
11 paperscissorsrock
12 silver-continent-jewelry
13 lilywang
14 olive-yew
15 crazydogtshirts
16 whiteplum
17 savor
18 notsoapradio
19 httpwwwetsycomshopnotwallpaper
20 good-societea
21 lexi-lu-jewelry
22 the-alchemy-shop
23 belleza-jewelry
24 latikasoap
25 skinny-coconut-oil

Update: Fee-Free Contest Standings + Two Limited Time Offers

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Congrats to the Merchants in the Top 10!  Great Job! We had to post the top 50 merchants (listed at the end of this post) because the competition is sooo close! If you’re not in the top 50 you still have a good shot to win. Keep up the good work so you can ensure you place in the Top 10 at the conclusion of the contest!

This week, we’re adding a little Halloween treat to the contest, which should really help each participant make serious headway in driving their follower numbers.

Invited Followers Count Double!

From 10/30- 11/7 (last day of the contest) all followers that you originate through your OpenSky page will count double toward the Fee Free holiday contest! So this is the week you should be sending an email out to all your mailing lists and this is the week to be promoting on your other social media channels. Invite your friends, family and fans for the chance to win a commission free holiday season. No OpenSky fees, no credit card fees, 100% of every purchase will go to you. To review the rules check out the original blog post.

Need idea’s on how to gain followers? Click here for some more ideas

Advertise your Posts and OpenSky will split the cost!

Yup you heard us right.  When you sponsor a promotional post on facebook or twitter, OpenSky will split the cost on any approved post.   Take this as an example:

Cost of Sponsored Post on Facebook: $60
Merchant Pays: $30
OpenSky Pays: $30

Here’s how it works:

  • Send an email to merchantadsolutions@opensky.com of exactly what you’d like to do. Please include:
    • The image you will be using in your post
    • The OpenSky Everyday Price & Promotional Price
    • Duration of your Promotion
    • Comment or Caption of your Post
    • Cost of your Ad & Reach or Impressions
    • Why you decided to use this form of advertising?
  • Important Criteria for Approved Posts
    • All ads need to link to your OpenSky product, as selected in your posting tool
    • OpenSky must approve any advertisement before you run the ad in order to qualify for reimbursement
    • Once the ad runs, you must provide OpenSky with Proof of Cost
      • Send screenshot of Ad Summary from Facebook
      • Provide performance data on your ad (downloadable reports from your Advertising Service)
    • OpenSky will reimburse you for half the cost of the ad within 30 days

With these two programs together, you have the opportunity to win a Fee-Free Holiday season, pay half price on advertising, and increase your followers. It’s a win-win-win.

So now that we have upped the ante, who’s going to win this? Game on!

Here are the current standings from 10/15 to 10/29

Rank Merchant URL

1

sugar-knife

2

shoplulu

3

bootights

4

bottledupdesigns

5

funk-and-fabulous

6

baconery

7

soulku

8

crazydogtshirts

9

fashion-club-usa

10

olive-yew

11

hautechic

12

lilywang

13

paperscissorsrock

14

silver-continent-jewelry

15

notsoapradio

16

overstockart

17

pure-impressions

18

igourmet

19

lollique

20

good-societea

21

savor

22

yasujutaro

23

httpwwwetsycomshopnotwallpaper

24

zoe-and-piper

25

jessiegirljewelry

26

belleza-jewelry

27

tumericalive

28

delhutsondesigns

29

naturalskinshop

30

mimiscookiebar

31

latikasoap

32

onelifejewelry

33

skinny-coconut-oil

34

ayelet-naturals

35

moodysisters

36

rawrutes

37

lexi-lu-jewelry

38

nativeunion

39

hudiefly

40

naiad-soap-arts

41

old-factory-soap-company

42

rockhill-designs

43

the-alchemy-shop

44

healthycravings

45

dorotheasclosetvintage

46

tracy-anderson-method-studios

47

gourmet-kitchenworks-llc

48

2live2love

49

beipiatti

50

beautyaddicts

Best Practices: Passively & Actively Gaining Followers

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OpenSky-Logo (2)

Grow Your “Reach”: Passively & Actively Gaining Followers

Like other social media sites, a key to success on OpenSky is making sure you’re always growing your reach. On Facebook that’s “likes” and on Twitter and OpenSky that’s “followers”.  Essentially your “reach” is the number of people you can touch with the posts you create.

So now you get it, but how do you gain followers? How do you build your reach?  Here are a few basic tactics.

Passive Tactics for Gaining Followers

  1. Add your OpenSky link to the signature of your emails
    • Every time you send an email you could be passively marketing to people, effectively growing your following without trying.  Just add in a link to your OpenSky page in your email signature and prompt every person you communicate with to follow you.
  2. Add a “social icon” to your website
    • Anyone who comes to your site is clearly a fan. Get them to support you on social media and tell their friends. Adding a social icon is another form of passive marketing, that can work for you without having to do much.   In fact, don’t stop at your website – add an OpenSky logo next to any place you currently showcase other social icons linking to facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, etc.
    • See how Hunny Bun did it:

    Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at 4.05.28 PM

Active Tactics for Gaining Followers

  1. Post your OpenSky Link on all your social media platforms
    • Utilize your other social media platforms to get followers. When you post, give your followers a reason to also follow you on OpenSky.  Every merchant uses OpenSky a little differently, but here are a few common ways Merchants are using OpenSky.  By articulating the value of following, you’ll be helping yourself get people to understand why they need to follow you on OpenSky.  For example, merchants say,
      • “Follow me because…..
        • “I’ll be using OpenSky to exclusively release new products.”
        • “I’ll be using OpenSky to run exclusive sales. Follow me so you’re the first to learn about them.”
        • “I’ll be using OpenSky to sell exclusive products – items I don’t currently sell on my own website or other selling platforms.”
        • “I’ll be using OpenSky to share news and updates on our business, upcoming products and key announcements.
        • Take a look at the Pintrest board that Overstock Art added:

        Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 2.08.29 PM

  2. Send an email to your mailing list or add your OpenSky link into your newsletter
    • Your fans signed up for your newsletter for a reason! Update them on your OpenSky launch, and explain to them why they need to make sure they’re following you!
    • Take a look at Olive Yews email from last week.  There is clear value provided – follow and get access to some amazing sales – it’s that easy.

    Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at 2.19.29 PM