If you sell on Etsy you need to know how to manage the Etsy messaging system, and you need to pay attention to your messages!
The Etsy messenger system is how customers will contact you with questions about potential orders, requests for custom orders, and when they need help with an existing order.
The messages are also used to calculate the Star Seller rating, if that’s important to you!
How to use the Etsy messenger system.
Etsy messages are located in your shop dashboard on desktop, and at the bottom of the screen on the Etsy Seller app.
When you tap or click on the message icon, your messages will show up, with any new ones that you haven’t responded to showing a “first time reaching out” badge. (The message will have their name and profile picture on it, but I’ve deleted the one above for customer privacy purposes.)
Any new messages will also show up in bold, so if a message is part of an ongoing conversation, you’ll be able to see if you need to answer someone even if the “first time” badge isn’t there because you answered already.
Clicking on each message will open it to let you see the full message, and if the customer has linked to a listing to ask a question it will also be linked for your reference.
How to send a message to another seller on Etsy.
You can send messages to other sellers on Etsy, but unless you’re also buying from them, please think twice about whether Etsy is the best place to do that. Because of the Star Seller system requiring responses, and since sellers will be penalized if they don’t answer your message or mark it as spam, your message might be better off sent somewhere else.
You especially don’t want to start spamming people, because if your messages are marked as spam too often Etsy will prevent you from messaging people at all!
I know people who have been banned from the Etsy messaging system because they were sending out too many spammy messages, so don’t get caught up in that.
The Etsy messaging system is intended to be used for transactional messages, not for random marketing.
If you do have a legitimate reason for sending a message to another seller, go to their shop homepage, click on “contact” under their photo, and you’ll be able to send the message from there.
On the Etsy app, go to the shop’s homepage and click on the message icon at the top of the page.
To see the full Artisan Shopping Directory sections, including signups for discounts, click here.
Who can send messages using the Etsy system?
Customers who are registered on Etsy can send messages to Etsy sellers, but guests can’t. If someone is using the Guest Checkout and tries to message a seller, Etsy will prompt them to sign in. If they place an order as a guest, though, they’ll be able to leave a message with the order.
You can still send messages to people who have checked out as a guest if you have to, and Etsy will forward it to them as an email.
Other Etsy sellers can also send messages to other sellers on Etsy using the same messaging methods as customers.
However, sellers shouldn’t be randomly contacting people, whether you’re sending messages to buyers or sellers.
Unsolicited messages on Etsy can be considered spam, so use the system carefully because you can lose the ability to message people if Etsy takes away your convo privileges!
Read this article about what messages you can send to people before you go crazy trying to spam people with messages they didn’t ask for: Can You Send Coupon Codes To People On Etsy?
Which messages count as Star Seller messages?
You need to answer the first message in a conversation within 24 hours in order to qualify for the Star Seller program.
This can be ANY first message, including new threads that the customer starts even if they messaged you before, or any message that’s a help request from a previous customer.
Etsy has started consolidating every message from the same customer into one message thread, but sometimes that doesn’t work and different threads get started.
You need to respond to the first message in any thread within 24 hours of receiving it, or mark it as spam, in order to take care of the Star Seller requirement.
If a customer sends a message with an order it’s not supposed to be counted as something that needs a response, but because Etsy’s system is inconsistent, you should send a response to everything to make sure that you cover your bases.
If you respond to a message on an order, Etsy should combine it with any other messages that you’ve sent the customer so that it’s all in one place.
You don’t need to respond to EVERY message because that would be a ridiculous never-ending message.
But sometimes mistakes are made, and Etsy calculates your response rate incorrectly. If that happens, you can see where they went wrong with the message CSV file.
Where to find your message response record on Etsy.
If you want to check what your message response rate is, go to your shop dashboard on desktop, or click the three lines on the bottom of the Etsy seller app.
Choose Star Seller, then click on the Message Response Rate to open up the next window.
You’ll be able to download a spreadsheet that has all of the messages that have been received in the recent time period to see which ones Etsy says you missed.
Sometimes you can erase those if you go in and mark them as spam, but it can take a day to update.
If there’s a mistake on your Star Seller messages, Etsy support CAN’T fix it for you. The help manual suggests that you post in the Technical Issues section in the Etsy Forums if you think there’s something wrong, but it won’t help to get on chat or a phone call and complain.
What if a customer isn’t answering my messages?
If you need to send a customer a message to get information about their order and they’re not answering, they might have checked out as a guest, or they might not have opted in to receive messages from Etsy.
I wrote another article that goes into more detail about this, and you can read that here: What if a customer isn’t responding?
The short version is that you can use their email address to ask them a specific order-related question, but that might not work, either.
You can extend the processing time or cancel the order, but read the article I linked to above for the full story.
Can you use Etsy messages like an email list?
Someone asked if you can use Etsy messages like a notification system for your previous customers. The answer is no.
Sending people who have messaged you in the past anything about new listings, sales, coupons, etc. is considered to be unsolicited messages, or spam.
You have to remember that the Etsy message system doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to Etsy.
If you have people on your email list you can send them as many notifications through email as you want to, but you can’t use the Etsy system that way.
For an article about what is and isn’t allowed as far as emailing Etsy customers goes, click here: Can you send emails to Etsy customers?
How to set up notifications for when you get a message on Etsy.
You can set the Etsy Seller app up to send you a notification every time someone sends you a message on Etsy. It’s a good way to let you know when you have something that needs a response so that you don’t miss messages.
On the Etsy Seller app:
-Click on “More” on the bottom right.
-Scroll down to App settings and click on that.
-Click on “Notifications.”
-Toggle the notifications that you want on or off.
Turning the message notification on will let you know if there’s a new message.
How to used saved messages on Etsy.
Etsy lets you save some common responses that you can reuse as a shortcut, and they provide a few to get started. You can customize them or create your own.
Under the message response window on desktop, you’ll see buttons that will let you choose from the pre-written responses provided by Etsy.
You can also click on “saved messages” to open up a window that lets you create your own messages. This video shows what you’ll see the first time you open it up. After the first time it skips the little welcome message and takes you directly to the message screen.
You can also write and save your own messages.
On the app, just tap “saved messages” and the options will open up.
I have one message that I’ve saved that says “I’ll get it in the mail tomorrow for you” because my customers are constantly writing in a panic telling me that they need their orders as soon as possible!
Can Etsy see your messages?
Yes, Etsy can see the messages that you send and receive using the messaging system. If you have a problem with an order and the customer files a case, they’ll be able to go in to see the entire conversation about it, including any solutions you tried to offer.
I’ve been on chat with Etsy support when they went in to look at my convos, so they do have the ability to do that.
Nothing is private since the system belongs to Etsy and we’re using it at their discretion.
This shouldn’t bother you unless you plan on abusing the system in some way. In most cases of normal use it won’t matter!
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