Should You Turn On Etsy Abandoned Cart Or Favorites Coupons?

Updated Aug. 2023

Etsy offers some types of coupons that are targeted to certain customers in certain situations, like their Abandoned Cart, Recently Favorited, and Returning Customer coupons.

Sellers can sign up to have these turned on and sent to customers, but should you?

As a general rule, Etsy targeted offers are a good way to contact customers with promo codes without violating any spam laws or Etsy’s Terms Of Service. Customers have to opt in to receive these offers, and Etsy limits the number of times they’re sent. They also don’t cost anything for the seller to use, so there isn’t a financial risk to sending them out.

Having said that, Etsy has also started sending targeted offer coupons to customers using the Etsy convo system, and it looks like it’s your shop that’s contacting people.

If you feel like that’s too spammy (I do) then you should NOT turn these coupons on.

There are definite pros and cons to using these coupons, so it’s important to weigh all of the options before you decide whether to turn them on.

should you turn on etsy abandoned cart or favorites coupons?

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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.

What Are Etsy Targeted Offers?

Etsy targeted offers promo codes are sent out to customers if the seller has activated them and if the customer has opted in to receive marketing emails from Etsy. They include the Abandoned Cart coupon, the Recently Favorited coupon, and the Returning Customer coupon.

Etsy send these coupons out, sellers don’t.

Photo of the Etsy targeted offers
Etsy targeted offers.

Targeted offers can be set up in the Marketing section of the seller dashboard, and they’re free to use. If you have your codes set up, Etsy will send them to customers on a schedule that limits the number of emails they receive.

The Abandoned Cart coupon is sent to customers who put items in their carts, then leave without purchasing.

The Returning Customer coupon is sent to customers who have purchased something from a shop.

The Favorited Item coupon is sent to customers who have favorited something recently.

Not every customer is going to get all of these coupons every time they shop on Etsy, though, so that they’re not overwhelmed with discount offers.

Please note: Etsy has been testing sending coupons out to customers more frequently, so these timelines are the official ones as of August 2023, but they might not be 100% accurate.

Offer nameWhen is it sent?Other information
Abandoned Cart24 hours after the customer leaves the cart.* Customers need to opt in to receive Etsy marketing emails in order to receive these offers.
* Emails are only sent once every 2 days.
* Emails contain a maximum of 6 offers.
*If the items are removed from the cart within 24 hours of putting them in, the email won’t be sent.
Favorited Item48 hours after the customer favorited an item.* Customers need to opt in to receive Etsy marketing emails in order to receive these offers.
* Emails are only sent once every 7 days.
* Emails contain a maximum of 6 offers.
*If the items are unfavorited within 48 hours of being favorited, the email won’t be sent.
Returning CustomerWhen the order is completed.*These offers will also be shown to people in the “your offers” section in their profiles.
*Etsy occasionally sends these offers out to customers who have purchased from you at random times.
Etsy Targeted Offers Information

How often does Etsy send out coupon codes?

Etsy sends out coupon codes on a schedule that ranges from 24 to 48 hours for the Abandoned Cart and Favorited Items to almost immediately for the Returning Customer coupon. There are limitations around how many offers can be included in each email, and how many emails a customer can receive in a specific time period.

The Abandoned Cart coupon is sent out 24 hours after the customer left items in the cart without purchasing, and is only sent once every 2 days. There’s also a limit of how many offers can be included in each email they’re sent.

The Favorited Items code is sent out 48 hours after a customer favorites a listing, and is also limited to one coupon from a shop in the space of 7 days. Each email also has a limit of 6 offers per email, so even if a shop has this offer activated, it might not be sent out too often.

When a customer buys something, Etsy sends out a thank you coupon when the order is completed. This might encourage a customer to come back and purchase from that shop again.

Etsy only sends the cart and favorites coupons to customers who have signed up to receive marketing emails when they signed up for an Etsy account. People who check out as a guest won’t receive the discount codes, and neither will customers who haven’t signed up to receive them.

The short version of this is that your targeted offers aren’t guaranteed to be sent out to every customer, and if they are, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be used.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and since they don’t cost anything to use, you might as well turn them on. However, there could be reasons why you wouldn’t want to use all of them.

Etsy also sends out coupon codes that are specific to Etsy itself occasionally, but sellers don’t pay for those. You can read about them here: Why did Etsy give my customer a discount?

Should you use the Abandoned Cart discount code?

It’s worth it to use the Abandoned Cart discount code, because they have been shown to recover sales that might not have been made. On the other hand, they can also train customers into waiting for sales. Because Etsy doesn’t give sellers the option to send out a simple reminder email, you’ll need to decide whether to send out a coupon or nothing at all.

Remember that not everyone will get the Abandoned Cart coupon, so it’s a toss-up whether a customer will even receive one. It’s not like everyone who leaves a cart will get emails with discount codes, so in this case it might not train people to wait for a code to come.

I’ve had offers sent to me within 2 minutes of leaving certain websites, so I can see why people would get used to this, but on Etsy it’s not guaranteed.

However, for ecommerce carts, it’s been shown that around 77% of shopping carts are abandoned, so it’s worth trying to get those customers back to your shop.

Because of how Etsy sets up this coupon, I would say that it’s worth turning it on, and I do use it in my shops. However, I set the discount to a lower percentage than the value of my email list signup code so that people still have an incentive to sign up for that.

For an article about what you should do when someone favorites your Etsy listings, click here.

Should you use the Recently Favorited discount code?

Using the Recently Favorited promo code is a good option because it’s only sent out in specific time frames, so customers won’t be trained to expect them. There’s no cost for having them sent out, and they can give a customer a reason to purchase something they had been looking at previously.

This is another situation where you should set the discount to be less than the value of the email list signup discount if you offer one.

Never make a transactional-type coupon be worth the same or a higher amount than your email list code. That will devalue the benefit of signing up for the list.

My email list discount signup is 20% off, and my Recently Favorited coupon is worth 10%. People rarely use the 10% code, but they do sign up for the email list.

One possibility is that the Recently Favorited coupon might get people to come back to my shop, then they see the higher discount for signing up for my email list, so they do that. The purpose of the favorites code is to get people to come back to your shop, so as long as they do that, it’s a win.

The "Your Offers" section in your Etsy profile.
The “Your Offers” section in your Etsy profile.

Should you use the Post-Purchase Thank You coupon code?

The Post-Purchase Thank You coupon is the one that you should be careful about using. Because it’s a coupon that’s linked to individual buyers, Etsy uses it in a more aggressive way than they do the other discounts. It’s possible that it will be used more often by customers because it’s shown more often.

The thank you coupon goes out to customers when the order is completed and the shipping confirmation is sent. Any customer who places an order will get this coupon because it’s considered transactional and Etsy doesn’t have to get opt-in consent to send it.

Because of this, it’s a coupon that Etsy sends to more people, so there’s a higher chance that it will be used. If you want to activate this one, make sure to adjust your prices to give you room for a discount that won’t cut into your profits.

The problem with this coupon code in particular is that Etsy also uses it in the “Your Offers” section of your user profile, and it will occasionally send them out to customers at random times.

Etsy uses this one a lot more, so it’s a lot more likely that people will use it. On one hand that’s great if it leads to an additional sale, but it also means that you need to take this into account for your pricing.

Again, set the value of this coupon to be less than anything you offer for signing up for your mailing list so that the incentive to sign up isn’t taken away.

I don’t use this one coupon code because Etsy does tend to plaster it all over the place. I have about a 5-10% use rate for my discount codes, and if that goes up my profits go down.

I want to be able to plan for how often people will use my coupons on average, so if Etsy is pushing this one, it will throw my plan off. I’ve chosen to turn this one discount code off because of that.

Can you send these coupon codes to Etsy customers yourself?

The short answer is no, you cannot send unsolicited discounts and coupon codes to customers when they favorite an item or if they’ve made a purchase from you in the past. Those are considered marketing emails, and customers need to opt in to receive those. They may have opted in to Etsy’s marketing emails, but they did not choose to receive messages or emails from individual sellers unless they signed up for an email list.

If they did sign up for your email list, you can send your subscribers coupons and sale offers, but you aren’t allowed to send people coupons for favoriting your items or your shop.

And yes, I know that people do it “all the time.” That doesn’t mean that they’re allowed to do it, it’s still considered to be spam and against Etsy’s Terms Of Service.

If your messages are marked as spam by customers often enough, Etsy will cut off your ability to send any convos to people even if they’ve sent you a message to ask a question! This means that you won’t be able to communicate with customers at all, so DON”T RISK IT.

There’s a place to add a message to customers when the order is placed, and you can put a coupon code in that so that it’s sent automatically. If you don’t want to set up an official Returning Customer coupon that Etsy sends out when they feel like it, you can always create a normal discount code in the shop coupons section and put that code in the message to buyer.

Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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