Can You Email Etsy Customers?

By Chris Shaffer •  Updated: 10/14/23 •  9 min read

 If you've been hanging around the brand creators community for any length of time, you've probably heard Scott or myself talking about how much we love email marketing.

Not only is email marketing an extremely profitable way to drive e-commerce traffic, but it's also extremely simple once you get the hang of a few basic concepts.

This however can also beg a bit of a question, If you're selling on Etsy can you email customers and take advantage of all the benefits that email marketing has to offer?

Thankfully, The answer is a straightforward Yes…with one small caveat.

You have to have the buyer's permission to send them marketing communications outside of Etsy.

Want to buyer has opted to hear from you, you can email customers from Etsy the same way you would any other customer in any other e-commerce environment.

Etsy themselves not only confirms this in their documentation, but they actively encourage sellers on the platform to build an email list and have several direct integrations with email service providers, like Aweber and our friends over at EverBee.

The Importance of Building an Email List:

The most obvious reason most people think of building an email list is that it gives you a direct way to communicate with your customers.

Although having access to buyers inside of a platform like Etsy is nice, your ability to be seen by your potential customers is always limited by how often they decide to show you in search.

The same thing goes for building social media channels.

Having a million fans on your Facebook page is great until you realize that only a small fraction of them will ever see what you post.

On the other hand, when you have an email list, you not only have a more direct relationship with your customers (The only thing standing between you and them is you hitting send on the email), but customers are more likely to make additional purchases via email.

In fact, email marketing is considered the highest return on investment channel in the e-commerce world.

Depending on the survey you'll look at you'll see anywhere from a 42 to 1 up to over a 70 to 1 return on investment reported on average by e-commerce marketers.

Using this channel with Etsy is no exception to this kind of return.

In fact, we recently sent one email to our list that resulted in several sales inside our Etsy shop including one that was over $330, and in the last month alone we've generated over $2500 in sales from email alone.

Etsy's Rules on Email Collection:

Etsy's rules for collecting emails are fairly straightforward.

The only real requirement they have is that a contact has actively opted in to hear from you.

Essentially, once a customer has purchased from you you may send them an email asking if they would like to receive further email marketing communications from you.

Find clicking the button or link in the email to confirm, customers can be added to your email marketing list and can be sent marketing emails in the future.

This process, known in the email marketing world as a double opt-in, is fairly common and can easily be implemented with just about any email marketing software.

It's important to keep in mind that this is an explicit requirement from Etsy to use email marketing with customers that come from the platform.

Although there are alternative ways of gathering emails from Etsy buyers, if you send them any marketing material and have not followed this explicit process, you could not only risk losing your Etsy account if discovered but also potentially face legal problems depending on where that customer lives.

Although this does mean that you won't get access to every person who purchases from you on Etsy, The people who end up on your email list will be your most raving fans and potentially your most frequent customers.

Choosing the Right Email Marketing Service:

Although it might be tempting to try to just copy and paste all of the email addresses from your buyers into the blind carbon copy section of your regular email inbox, having an email marketing service will make your life a heck of a lot easier.

Not only do these services ensure you comply with all relevant laws (something to BCC method does not do), but they'll make sure you are ending up in the inbox of your customers and allow you to get a better understanding of what's working and what's not with your list.

When it comes to choosing a provider, there are two main considerations for resellers.

The first consideration is that the email service has a direct integration with Etsy.

Although you can use any email service provider you want, if your provider does not have a direct integration, you not only have a few technical hoops to jump through but you also risk potentially violating the only rule he has in place in terms of emailing their customers.

Additionally, if you're not an email marketing ninja, you'll also want a service that offers you a variety of different pre-built templates and campaigns.

Having pre-built campaigns will help you get over the writer's block That so many marketers use as an excuse not to send email marketing and they'll help make sure you have all your bases covered when it comes to all of the different campaign types that can lead to email marketing success.

With both of these factors in mind, my current favorite platform for Etsy sellers comes from our friends over at EverBee.

I can hear many of you saying, aren't they that tool I use to figure out how well other people's products are selling on Etsy?

And the answer is yes…they do that as well.

Because they know how important building your brand is and how powerful email marketing can be for e-commerce sellers, they recently added an email marketing feature to their platform.

They not only have a direct integration with Etsy, meaning it is seamless to import any of your customers into your email marketing database, but they have a few different pre-built campaigns including:

When to Send Emails to Etsy customers:

There's never a bad time to send an email to your list of customers, but there are a few specific situations I wanted to talk about below.

Customer Service + Review request 

The first time I would consider sending an email to my auntie customer is essentially immediately after the purchase.

One of my favorite campaigns to send it's what we talk about as a review request campaign.

This campaign, as the name would imply, is designed to help make sure our customers know where they're order is at all times, take care of any potential customer service issues, and eventually ask them to leave us a review.

Assuming they've already received the email asking if they'd like to hear more from us and they've opted in, The campaign may look a bit like this:

  1. Order and shipping confirmation
  2. Confirmation of order receipt (a few days after they should have gotten the order)
  3. An email addressing any frequently asked questions and asking if they have any problems with what they've received.
  4.  A Review Request email

Product Launches and Holidays 

Another time you should send an email to your list is whenever you launch a new product or set of products and run a discount or promotion, like for Black Friday or Christmas.

The reason I lump these two categories together is because the campaign you would run here is fairly similar.

These types of campaigns follow what we refer to as the four-email profit push framework.

  1. Send an email to your customer list announcing the new products or the discount you are currently running
  2. Send an email to anyone who did not open the first email reminding them of the product launch or discount open
  3. Send an email gently reminding them of the deadline for their discount
  4. On the last day of the promotion send an additional email (or two or three) letting your customers know their discount will expire that day.

This profit push framework is the same one that we've used across all of the different brands that we've worked with and it works for selling both digital and physical products.

Cross and Upsells

The last campaign I wanted to talk about in this article is what e-commerce marketers refer to as a cross-sale or up-sale campaign.

Essentially, if you have a variety of products that go together, such as knives and a set of cutting boards, since you know which products a customer has you can send them emails promoting the products that go along with what they already have.

In the example of the knife and the cutting board, if a customer purchased one of our custom knives on Etsy after they've had some time to settle into their new purchase we would send them a few different emails directly promoting the cutting board that goes with it.

For something like this, I like creating a small or medium-sized discount on the complementary product and then using the profit push framework discussed above to send a limited-time campaign.

This allows us to not only bring awareness of the complimentary product to our customers, but it also gives us a solid chance that even if they weren't ready to buy the complimentary product already they will to take advantage of the discount.

Quick Recap

Contrary to myth, Etsy Sellers not only take advantage of email marketing, but it’s one of the single most important skills that you can master.

If you’re interested in learning the exact process we use to build and leverage of our email list, you’ll want to check out the Etsy Email Playbook here.

Chris Shaffer

Chris lives at the intersection of business strategy and growth tactics. Having consulted with dozens of different businesses (as well as building several of his own), he brings a unique perspective on what's working across the eCommerce world in businesses of all shapes and sizes.