Email Marketing for Etsy Artists

Hi, my name is Rebecca. I’m an Etsy shopaholic, and it’s been 48 hours since my last Etsy purchase.

I make it my priority to visit the site and scour its virtual pages for unique items and vintage clothing deals daily. I know Etsy like the back of my hand, and I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Throughout all of my countless searches and purchases, I have not seen one shop owner actually use email marketing to spread the word about their Etsy store.

Last year, Etsy sold $180.6 million-worth of goods and by April 2010 the number of items sold soared to a whopping 1.3 million. If you think that’s a lot, just imagine how much more sellers could make if they used email to connect with customers!

It’s surprising to think that so few people actually use email to market their Etsy shops, but it’s also a golden opportunity. Find out how email can help crafters and artists become successful on Etsy.

Going Against the Norm

Going Against the Norm

Like the eBay of the handmade community, Etsy has done an incredible service for crafters worldwide by providing them a space to sell their products online without high overhead or a need for in-depth computer knowledge.

But the community is catching on, and Etsy is becoming saturated with similar products. Shopping for silkscreened tees? They’re a dime a dozen. How about organic, hand-milled soap? Take your pick from hundreds of shapes and scents.

This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to profit from selling on Etsy. Rather, creative individuals just have to be even more creative if they want to succeed selling on the popular site. They have to do something that sets them apart. They have to start an email list.

The Benefits of Email for Crafters

The Benefits of Email for Crafters

  • Although Etsy doesn’t allow HTML web forms on shop pages, you can still offer visitors a way to sign up for an email list by linking to a hosted web form.
  • Email gives sellers a way to keep in touch with existing customers to share exclusive offers, discounts and promotions. It also helps them thank customers, with the understanding that if they purchased once and are interested in a product, they’ll likely purchase again.
  • Email newsletters and educational PDFs can help serious sellers approach the over-saturated market and gain an advantage over the rest by teaching people who are searching for popular products how to make their very own.
  • Using the AWeber PayPal parser to automatically add customers when they purchase makes it easy to immediately deliver PDFs and digital products.
  • It’s much more reasonable to ask subscribers to forward an email to a friend instead of expecting them to remember a URL or an Etsy shop name.
  • Because Etsy provides an RSS feed of all active shop products, sellers can send customers an email each time they add new products using the Blog Broadcast tool.
  • Broadcast QuickStats let senders see exactly how much money their email campaign is earning, plus which products are the most popular and most-clicked.

When General Emails Aren’t Enough

When General Emails Aren't Enough

Anyone can market their Etsy products via email, which is great because not many sellers seem to be using the medium right now. But what will happen when more and more people catch on?

Put simply, it will become even more important to remain unique. That’s when sellers will need to focus on (or create) even more specific content that fits their particular skills. General newsletters will become the norm, so they’ll really have to dig deep and find out exactly what knowledge they can share that sets them apart. They’ll have to create a niche for themselves.

Abby, of Abby Kerr Ink, feels strongly about what she calls nichification. In her newsletter, Inklings, Abby asserts, “Mostly, you need a niche because you just can’t do everything, let alone do it well. And the best thing is, that’s totally okay. In fact, it’s optimal and sane.”

As Abby puts it on her blog, to be truly nichified means a business is “unapologetically focused, at least a tad fanatical and ruthlessly focused on its right people.” Every newsletter will not speak to the needs of every Etsy shopper – and it shouldn’t. Etsy was created as a place for creative individuals with unique products.

Just as Etsy celebrates one-of-a-kind work and promotes artistic diversity, I look forward to seeing the different kinds of newsletters that crop up in the next few months on Etsy. I will certainly be on the lookout!

Not on Etsy? You Can Still Get Specific

Setting yourself apart from the crowd is always a good idea, no matter what the venue or circumstance.

Think about what makes your business unique; that attribute is the #1 selling point for your email newsletter, so take your distinctiveness and run with it!

Then, come back and tell us how it works for you in the comments below.

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9 Comments

  1. Great blog post with great ideas! Will implement when I start selling on Etsy soon!

    10/26/2010 8:34 am
  2. I market my jewelry to my Etsy customers!! When folks sign up for my list they get a discount on my jewelry I sell on Etsy!! LOVE IT :)

    10/26/2010 2:59 pm
  3. Hi, great article and definitely food for thought.

    I have an Etsy store which I don’t really promote, and I’ve been thinking about it more lately and am about to add some new products.

    The limitation of NO HTML has been a negative for me on Etsy, and I’m not sure whether people will bother to highlight a link, open a new window, paste it to visit a website or form — but there’s only one way to find out :-)

    It’s worth a shot.

    And to see how many people sign up via Etsy, I’m thinking it’s a good idea to create a NEW form for my Abfab Silk Newsletter, for testing purposes.

    OK – I’ll give it a try and see what happens.

    While I’m at it, I will also make a Twitter form and post it on my Twitter account – hadn’t thought of that :-)

    Keep up the great suggestions, I really appreciate them!!

    10/26/2010 4:26 pm
  4. Great article. I have some of my handmade wooden clocks on Etsy, with more to come soon. A newsletter is a great idea which I need to add to my arsenal of marketing tools.

    10/26/2010 11:32 pm
  5. I’m glad to see that so many Etsy users read our blog!

    Teena -

    Hosted web forms are perfect for Etsy. When you click on the link to the hosted web form, it automatically opens and your visitors can fill out the form without having to open a new window or do any cutting and pasting.

    See them in action here: http://www.aweber.com/blog/new-features/hosted-web-forms.htm

    10/28/2010 9:58 am
  6. Great article with great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

    I have an etsy shop: Debrosse Hardesty and my husband and I sell our art on our site.

    We are always looking for new ways to reach out to our customers.

    Thanks so much!!

    10/31/2010 7:43 am
  7. Joshua Bretag

    I personally create unique squeeze pages for my partners etsy account and it converts at 50% currently from the etsy store to the link and sign up.

    So it works!

    10/31/2010 9:12 am
  8. Great idea. I do try to keep in touch with my previous customers through convo email. You get that to communicate with them. But I wished I could reach the people who heart me on specific items. Even though you may have traffic that does not guarantee sales.

    1/23/2011 1:05 am

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