Communicating with customers is the lifeblood of a business, but if you’re selling on Etsy you need to follow their guidelines about how to do it. Because of spam laws and how they’re changing, it’s important to be careful about gathering emails and marketing to customers.
Can you send emails to Etsy customers? It’s okay within certain parameters.
It’s legal to email Etsy customers if the email is transactional, which means that it deals directly with a current sale or potential sale. If the email contains coupon codes, notifications about sales, or other promotional activity, it may be in violation of spam laws and Etsy’s Terms Of Service.
You need to make sure that your communications with customers falls within Etsy’s limits, because the truth is that when someone shops on the Etsy platform, they’re not your customer to email freely, which is what I’ll talk about next.
Table of Contents
- Whose customer is it?
- Does Etsy offer email marketing?
- Can you collect email addresses from Etsy?
- How do I get people to sign up for my mailing list?
- Other ways to have people sign up for your mailing list.
- Messaging customers after a sale.
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links that will pay me a small commission if they’re used to purchase something. To see the entire affiliate policy click here.
Whose customer is it?
When a customer shops on Etsy, they can opt in to receive emails from Etsy or not. This means that they’re giving Etsy permission to email them, but it does not mean that Etsy sellers have permission to email or send unsolicited messages outside of communicating about an active transaction.
As far as emailing goes, the customer belongs to Etsy, not to us as sellers.
That means that if we want to be able to email them other than for asking questions about the current sale, we need to get them to sign up for OUR email lists. They’ll need to opt in to a separate list so that we can send them marketing emails.
How should you do that on Etsy, though? There’s no direct way to let people sign up, but there are places where we can give people the opportunity to subscribe to our email lists.
Does Etsy offer email marketing?
Etsy does not offer a way for customers to sign up to receive emails from individual shops by opting in directly. There is an email integration with Aweber that will send an email to customers when an order is placed that asks them whether they would like to sign up. And if you don’t use Aweber, you can put your email signup link in other places in your Etsy shop.
If you use Aweber you can connect it to your Etsy shop and it will send each customer one email when an order is placed to ask if they want to sign up for your email list.
You should check the message to make sure that it’s clear that they don’t HAVE to sign up, because some sellers have had experiences with the emails that didn’t make that clear.
The important thing when having someone sign up for your mailing list is to make it clear to them that they’re signing up for marketing emails, not just for notifications about their order. There has to be a clear opt-in notification to make emailing them legal in most countries.
Because Etsy doesn’t have a specific way to let people sign up for each individual shop, you’ll have to use an outside email service. I use Mailchimp for my email list and mailing list classes… click my affiliate link to get a $30 credit when you sign up: Powered by Mailchimp (#ad)
Regardless of which email service you use, you can put links to your signup forms in a few places on Etsy.
Can you collect email addresses from Etsy?
You can’t collect customer emails from your Etsy orders and sign people up to your email list without their permission. However, you can put the links to your mailing list signup forms so that customers can copy and paste the link and sign up before they check out on Etsy.
Links that go off of Etsy are usually not live, but sometimes they do work in the Etsy app. You can put a signup link in your listing descriptions so that people can click it or copy and paste it if it’s not live.
You can also put a link in your shop announcement. This won’t be a live link, but customers will be able to copy and paste it to sign up.
If you have a shop banner, you can add the link to the banner so that it’s visible to people who come to your shop’s home page.
It’s okay to add links in your Etsy shop, you just can’t lead people off of Etsy to shop on your website instead. That’s something that you have to consider when setting up your signup offer, which is important to add in order to get people to sign up!
How do I get people to sign up for my mailing list?
To get people to sign up for a mailing list, you’ll usually need to offer some type of an incentive like a shop discount code or something that’s associated with your shop. The offer needs to be attractive enough to entice people to take the time to sign up for an email list that they don’t need to sign up for, so it needs to be something worthwhile.
Some things that you can offer include:
- A discount code for your shop
- Free downloads
- Offers for special sales for your email list members only
- Early access to new collections
- Members-only Facebook group access
- Members-only tutorial videos
- Free gift with first purchase
- Free shipping for members on orders over a certain threshold
There are a lot of things that you could offer, and you’ll have to decide which one is the most valuable for your customer base.
Some people will want a discount code, while others will prefer early access to new collections or something else.
If you do limited numbers of each product in new collections, you might want to offer preview days to your mailing list subscribers so that they can shop before people who aren’t subscribed.
Something that you need to keep in mind is that you’ll need to make any coupon codes available on both your website and Etsy if you have a website. You can’t offer a coupon that’s only good on your website if the customer used a link from Etsy to sign up.
Also, if you’re offering a freebie, it’s illegal in many countries to require someone to sign up to get it. You’ll need to check to see if you have to give everyone the free item or coupon code even if they don’t sign up.
Other ways to have people sign up for your mailing list.
Having people use a regular link to sign up for your list isn’t the only way to get people to subscribe. You can also use other methods that are convenient and quick for people to join your list by using their cell phones to sign up.
You can use Textiful to let people text a word or a number to a specific phone number. I use this at the top of my butterfly wafer paper listings and I get a good number of people signing up that way.
You’ll need to check to see which texting services are available in your country, because it varies by country due to privacy laws.
Another way that you can offer people a signup is by creating a QR code for your signup link. There are multiple free QR code generators, and you can make one for your url.
You can put a QR code on your business cards, in your listing photos, and on your shop banner.
Another simple way to get people to sign up is at in-person events using the good old-fashioned pen and paper method. If you ever do in-person shows you can collect signups and add them to your email list manually.
Just make sure that your signup sheets have a clear indication for people that tells them they’re signing up to receive marketing emails.
Messaging customers after a sale.
You can also send customers who have purchased from you a message about joining your email list. There’s a message to the customer that you can set up that will go out automatically after an order is placed, and you can add signup information there.
You can set this message up by going to your settings in the shop dashboard, then scrolling down on the Info and Appearance page to the section where you can create the message.
This message will go out to every buyer after they purchase something, and it will give them the information about signing up.
You can also add inserts into your packaging, including business cards and information about subscribing to your email list. Make sure that the cards present all of the benefits of signing up!
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