Cause Marketing for eBay Sellers: Put the Ribbon to Work for You
By David Yaskulka
Ever see that little blue and gold ribbon in your eBay search results? If not, you likely will soon. Why? Because consumers love what it represents: an eBay Giving Works listing with at least 10 percent of their purchase price helping a great cause.
Savvy sellers pay attention to the people and programs Meg Whitman features in her annual keynote at eBay Live to try to predict eBay's promotional strategy. Last week in Boston, before introducing PayPal President Rajiv Dutta or eBay North America President Bill Cobb, Meg introduced the community to Kristin Cunningham, head of eBay Giving Works. She even showed us a six-minute movie on the topic.
eBay Giving Works was one of the hot topics at eBay Live, and not surprisingly, eBay, many of its most successful PowerSellers, and the top Certified Solutions Providers are ramping up their use of this little ribbon. That ribbon allows small and medium size businesses to run world-class cause marketing programs
How can you put the ribbon to work for your business?
All you have to do is register with MissionFish (eBay's nonprofit partner in running eBay Giving Works), and designate any listing with at least 10 percent for charity. You can do this from "Sell Your Item," in TurboLister, or through ChannelAdvisor (http://www.channeladvisor.com/missionfish) or Infopia (http://www.infopia.com/partners/givingworks_main.html).
This month, in celebration of eBay Live! and "the power of all of us," eBay and MissionFish are spotlighting organizations that promote "Empowerment through Entrepreneurship (http://www.missionfish.org/empower).
Spotlight on Empowerment through Entrepreneurship
Some amazing nonprofit groups are participating, including various Goodwills, Heifer International, Disabled Online Users Association, Momentemps and dozens more. As always, every eBay Giving Works listing features the ribbon icon in search results along with enhanced searchability and marketplace differentiation.
This month, I recommend listing on behalf of one of these outstanding organizations in the spotlight. That means the ribbon will bring you additional traffic.
Those in Boston last week at the eBay Live conference might recognize Africa Direct (http://stores.ebay.com/Africa-Direct), a Platinum PowerSeller, from Meg's keynote video and from the Community Hall of Fame Awards Saturday night (right before Kool and the Gang hit the stage). Africa Direct is promoting empowerment twice. First, it promotes African micro-enterprise by procuring crafts celebrating the people and art of Africa. Second, it supports Heifer International through eBay Giving Works (yes, with the ribbon!), which promotes small farm entrepreneurship to fight hunger and poverty worldwide.
Africa Direct co-owner Elizabeth Bennett has taken the ribbon to heart, saying, "The eBay Community has embraced MissionFish and eBay Giving Works as a way for sellers and buyers to use eBay transactions as a way to give back...to causes and organizations which have meaning for each of us."
It's always a good idea to piggyback on any nonprofit receiving extra traffic, such as those "in the spotlight." Through July, also consider the spotlight on "Helping Animals" (http://www.missionfish.org/animals) - always a favorite of the eBay community.
You can also piggyback on the super-high profile celebrity charity auctions for which eBay is famous - you'll find them on the eBay home page and on givingworks.ebay.com. These get thousands, tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of visitors. Just look at the listing to see which nonprofit is benefiting, and you can choose the same one for your listings. Of course, every one of those campaigns is turbo-charging the power of the ribbon.
According to MissionFish Executive Director Sean Milliken, "MissionFish and eBay are actively promoting the event. Participating sellers will benefit from shoppers looking for exciting, fun ways to empower people to be self-sufficient through the power of running their own businesses."
I hope to see the ribbon working to help your business grow (and make a difference at the same time)!
David Yaskulka is Vice President, Product Marketing for KOMPOLT (http://www.kompolt.com), a marketing agency that builds brand trust through high-profile, high-value charity auctions on eBay Giving Works (http://givingworks.ebay.com). He also serves as a marketing consultant to MissionFish (http://www.missionfish.org), which powers the eBay Giving Works program; as Marketing Chair of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (http://www.gopesa.org); and as a consultant to Wall Street firms covering ecommerce. Previously, David was CEO of Blueberry Boutique, which became the world's largest shirt and tie seller on eBay. David has been featured in dozens of articles, eight books (including Secrets of the eBay Millionaires), and in a PBS special.
About the author:
David Yaskulka is CEO of Blueberry Boutique, the leading shirt and tie auction seller (http://www.blueberryboutique.net), and is principal of Blueberry Consulting, providing ecommerce marketing and strategic philanthropy services (http://www.blueberryconsulting.com). David also serves as Marketing Chair of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (http://www.gopesa.org), is quoted widely in the media, and is featured in five books. Previously, he served as Chief Marketing Officer for PR and ad agencies and leading nonprofit organizations. His favorite sales on eBay have benefited the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Disabled Online Users Association, the Organic Exchange and other worthy charities. You can contact him at david (at) blueberryboutique (dot) net.
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