why you need a mailing list with an etsy store

In the competitive world of Etsy, where thousands of creative entrepreneurs showcase their products to Etsy customers, having a mailing list can be your secret weapon for success. 

No matter what product you sell through your Etsy shop, you should have a mailing list in place.

You should have the means to drive your Etsy customers to your mailing list, so that you can continue to connect with your audience, drive even more traffic to your Etsy store from your mailing list, and as a result boost sales over on your Esty. 

In this post, we’ll dive into why you need a mailing list with your Etsy store, and explore effective strategies to encourage people on Etsy to join your list.

1. The Importance Of A Mailing List

a. Direct Communication

When anyone makes a purchase from your Esty store, you have the ability in Etsy to be able to send those customers messages inside Etsy’s platform.

However, it is against Etsy policy to add any customer to your mailing list inside the platform with over-spammy messages pushing those people to join your list. And you certainly cannot add anyone to your mailing list without their prior permission.

You must be really careful. A few complaints about spammy behaviour like this to Etsy, from your Etsy customers, could see your Etsy store being shut down.

However, your mailing list is really important, because it provides a way for you to stay in contact with your Etsy customers on a much deeper level, and to be able to continue sending your Etsy customers emails about products and services that might meet their needs.

Your mailing list gives you direct communication with your Etsy customers outside of Etsy’s platform.

Unlike social media or Etsy’s platform where algorithms can limit your reach, your emails land directly in your subscribers’ inboxes.

In addition, in the awful event that for any reason your Etsy store is shut down (and it happens more often than you think), having your Etsy customers on your mailing list means you continue to have a way to communicate with them, so that you don’t lose every one of those customers if your Etsy store disappears.

I have seen six figure Etsy sellers without a mailing list have their Etsy stores shut down without notice, and those sellers had no way to communicate with their Etsy customers except through social media. This almost ruined their businesses and their family lives that were dependent on their Etsy income. Don’t let this be you. 

If you have not created a mailing list for your small business, I urge you to do that now, and I have a few blog posts that you might find useful to help you do that, which you can find here:





b. Repeat Business

Building a loyal customer base is crucial for your small business long-term success.

With a mailing list, you can focus on adding new subscribers, and then keep that audience engaged with you through marketing emails.

In those emails you can share product updates, promotions, and exclusive offers, increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases.

You can also send a regular email newsletter to the subscribers on your mailing list, sharing all your small business news to help your audience get to know, like and trust you more.

It’s also a good idea to add some value into your email newsletter by sharing tips and tricks your audience might find useful, to help them become more invested in your email newsletter, and make them more likely to open each email you send. 

Your goal through your marketing emails and email newsletter, is to build a relationship with your customers in a way it is difficult to do on Etsy.

That way you can keep customers with you for the longer term, and raise awareness of your Etsy products through your mailing list.

Email campaigns are a really important part of your business strategy, to help keep your Etsy customers with you. 

c. Brand Authority

A well-crafted newsletter can position you as an authority in your niche.

Where other Etsy sellers may rely purely on Etsy’s platform to get customers and drive sales, the fact that you’re prepared to go one step further and encourage your Etsy customers to join your mailing list where you remain in regular contact with them, separates you from the masses of Etsy sellers who will never take the time to do this.

You’ll have more credibility and be seen as an expert, when you have strategy around building your mailing list, driving your Etsy customers to your list, and staying in regular contact with those people.

d. Marketing Flexibility

You have full control over your email marketing campaigns.

You can more easily tailor your email messages to meet your audience’s preferences and needs, allowing you to create strategic marketing campaigns that really target your Etsy customers on a deeper level.

Mailing lists give you the ability to tag your subscribers based on the actions they take in your small business.

This then gives you insight into the spending habits of your customers, the products and services they are searching for and buying, allowing you to put together email campaigns that really focus on the core needs of your Etsy customers.

2. How To Encourage Etsy Customers To Join Your Mailing List

First and foremost, it’s important to know where you can present the opportunity to join your mailing list to your Etsy customers.

You have to be careful about where you do this inside Etsy’s platform.

I’m really cautious about promoting my mailing list inside Etsy.

Currently the only way I do this is with a QR code on my Etsy shop banner, that anyone can scan to join my list.

That QR code leads to a landing page away from Etsy, and on that landing page the incentive I offer to people to encourage them to join my list, is the opportunity to be part of a great giveaway.

You can see the offer that I make through the QR code on my Etsy shop banner, by clicking the link below, which takes you to the URL attached to the QR code on my Etsy shop banner.

Click here to see the offer I make through the QR code on my Etsy shop banner.

Let’s look at some ways you can encourage your Etsy customers to join your mailing list, that will not put your Etsy store at risk.


a. Offer An Incentive

Offering an incentive to people to encourage them to join your list is a great way to get your Etsy customers to take that step.

You need to provide a compelling reason for Etsy shoppers to subscribe to your mailing list.

Your incentive could be a coupon code or discount code, it could be a free digital downloadable you use as a lead magnet, that gives tips and tricks that relate to your Etsy customers.

It could be you offer a mini training of some sort, a live or evergreen event that your Etsy customers can attend.

The first thing to do, is to consider what type of incentive you’re willing to offer to your Etsy customers, so that they are happy to fill in an opt-in form and join your list.

Remember, you have to offer this incentive in a way that will not go against Etsy’s policies, and I’ll share with you how to do that in section 3. below.

b. Have A Landing Page and Sign Up Form

You’ll need a landing page set up, with an opt-in form that is separate to your Etsy platform (you cannot do this inside Etsy).

On that landing page you will need to sell your incentive (see 1. above), to encourage your potential mailing list subscribers to opt-in and get your incentive.

Many of the email marketing service providers (such as Mailchimp, Mailerlite), give you the ability to be able to create a landing page and opt-in form with their free plan, so that you can get people on to your mailing list.

Remember, on any landing page you create, you need to sell the advantages of people opting in to your mailing list, to receive the incentive you have to offer, to encourage them to take that step.

c. Have Your Incentive Accessible

If you’re offering some sort of digital downloadable, pdf guide, mini video training or similar as an incentive to encourage your Etsy customers to join your mailing list, you need to be able to store that freebie somewhere, so that you can give people access to it when they subscribe to your list.

If you’re offering anything that is video related, it can easily be stored on You Tube and the video(s) set to private, so that only those people you give a link to can access the video.

If you’re offering a file type downloadable that is in PDF form, you can create this easily in Canva, and many of the email marketing service providers give you the ability to be able to upload and store those PDF files on their platforms. You then have a link you can share with your Etsy customers when they subscribe to your mailing list.

If you’re offering a discount code/coupon code as your incentive, that information can simply be put in an email that you send out to your Etsy customers when they subscribe to your list. This can be set up as an automated email with your mailing list provider, so that the email is sent automatically to your subscribers inbox, as soon as they fill out and submit your mailing list sign-up form.


d. Email Your Incentive

When you’ve created your landing page, your opt-in form, and you have your incentive ready to go, you should have an automated welcome email set up in your mailing list service provider.

That welcome email should have a great subject line that encourages your new mailing list subscribers to open the email.

You can send one or more emails as part of your welcome email sequence.

I have a blog post that will give you some deeper ideas about your welcome email sequence, and you can find that blog post by clicking here.

In the first welcome email, you should make it very clear to your email subscribers how they can access the incentive you have offered them.

When you have the above three steps in place, and you’re ready to start to offer an incentive to encourage your Etsy customers to join your mailing list, you then need to consider where you can make that incentive visible to your Etsy customers, without violating any of Etsy’s seller policies.

Your goal is to make your incentive visible in as many places as possible.

3. Where To Encourage Etsy Customers To Join Your Mailing List

Let’s first of all look at places you can make your opt-in visible INSIDE Etsy’s platform, without putting your Etsy seller account at risk:

a. Opt-In During Checkout

I know many Etsy sellers who include an opt-in checkbox to encourage people to join a mailing list during the Etsy checkout process.

This make it easy for customers to join a mailing list without additional effort.

However, I don’t think this is a strategy that works particularly well.

Most Etsy customers will skip past this option.

In addition, adding your opt-in this way means you don’t have the opportunity to really sell your incentive to get people on to your mailing list.

Whilst this might be the easiest way to drop an opt-in, it’s unlikely to be the most effective way.

I don’t currently use this way myself. I prefer to make my incentive offer visible by other opportunities, where I can share more content/messaging about WHY my Etsy customers should consider subscribing to my list.

However, there’s no reason not to test this if you wish, to see if any of your Etsy customers are willing to give you their customer email addresses via this method.

b. QR Code

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, you can have a scannable QR code in your Etsy shop banner, that encourages any Etsy member to subscribe to your mailing list.

Below is an image of my Etsy shop banner, with the QR code visible (you can try scanning the QR code if you’d like, to see where it goes, and what the end location looks like, to get some insight into how you can use this method for your Etsy store):

The QR code for your Etsy shop banner, and your Etsy shop banner can both be created inside Canva for free.

Canva is where I created mine.

Your banner QR code does not have to lead to a landing page with a giveaway like mine does. It can lead to a landing page promoting your own incentive that’s a coupon or discount code, a pdf downloadable, mini video series, live or evergreen event etc..

c. Etsy Message

When an Etsy member makes a purchase from you, you can send them a message in Etsy.

In that message you can thank them for their purchase, let them know they can reach out to you any time with any questions they may have, and then gently tell them that they can get your freebie (your incentive), and then you type the url they have to go to, to get that incentive.

This should not be overdone by sending multiple Etsy messages to each customer – it can be spammy, lead to complaints to Etsy, and ultimately put your Etsy store at risk. 

d. Shop Announcement

You can include the url to your incentive inside your Etsy shop announcement.

Again this should be done gently, in a non-spammy way, and give insight into the value your Etsy member will receive if they decide to sign up to your freebie/incentive.

Your join my list incentive should not be the only message in your Etsy shop announcement, because that space is also a great way to use Etsy keywords and good written content, to let your Etsy customers know about the latest products and services available in your Etsy store.

e. About

Again, you can include a url to your mailing list signup on your about page in Etsy. Follow the same rules for shop announcement above. Don’t overdo this, don’t make it spammy.

f. Digital Sales

This is the big one for me.

Everything I sell in my Etsy store is a digital downloadable.

With every one of those digital products, I make sure that at the beginning or end of the digital downloadable there is a promotion page for people to sign up to my mailing list.

I have QR codes and typed out urls on the promotion page. I share what the incentives are, and tell people how they can get hold of those free incentives.

This is the core way I add Etsy customers to my mailing list, and it’s an easy way to promote your incentive, without in any way going against Etsy’s seller policies.

Below is a screenshot of a promotional page from one of my digital downloadable products on Etsy, showing you how I have set a promotional page up in a digital product, as part of my email marketing strategy. You can scan the QR codes on the image below to see where they lead, and the onwards journey that promo QR codes lead to. 

All of my digital downloadable products are created inside Canva, and I use the free QR code generator inside Canva to add QR codes to each of my digital products.

This is a direct way and an easy way to encourage Etsy customers to join my list, away from the Etsy platform. It’s a safe and effective way to do this.

g. Products

​Similar to ‘Digital Sales‘ above, think about how you can add QR codes to your products.

For example, I used to sell a hard copy business planner, and inside that planner was a QR code to encourage people to join my mailing list.

You may have product tags that are attached to your products that are, for example, ‘how to use’, or ‘care instructions’. There’s no reason why you can’t test adding a QR code that’s an opt-in to your mailing list on those tags.

You have to think of as many different ways as possible to add people to your email marketing list, and as long as you get the buyer’s consent at the opt-in form stage to add them to your list, so that you’re falling in line with legislation, and as long as any QR codes do not interfere with the quality and look of the product you’re selling, you should consider all places you can add a scannable QR code to encourage people to join your list.

Yeo Valley yoghurt do this exceptionally well – they have QR codes on the underside of all of their yoghurt pot lids.

h. Product Packaging

You can add scannable QR codes to all of your product packaging, including some cute labels you add to your parcels, printed QR codes you stick on wrapping paper, QR codes on business cards, leaflets, tags and other business stationery you send out with orders.

There should be a message that goes with all your QR codes to let your customers know what the QR code is for, and what incentive it offers.

i. Social Media

If you know your Etsy customers follow you on your social platforms, and even if you have non-Etsy customers who follow you on your social platforms, be sure to have content that inspires your audience to sign up to your mailing list to grab your incentive.

This way, when anyone joins your mailing list as a subscriber, you can use your email marketing platform to create email marketing campaigns to send to your subscribers, to promote your products in your Etsy store, to encourage more traffic to your Etsy platform.

4. Summing Up

The bottom line is that Etsy has strict rules when it comes to sending unsolicited commercial messages to your Etsy customers.

You should be very careful about breaking those rules, and make sure your Etsy store abides by applicable Etsy policies.

At the same time, it’s vital you find ways to grow a mailing list of subscribers from your Etsy customers, so that you can have peace of mind that should anything happen to your Etsy store, you’re still able to communicate with Etsy customers because they have joined your mailing list.

Your mailing list gives you a way to communicate regularly with your Etsy customers, and helps you build a deeper more connected relationship with them.

When you do this, you can use your email marketing campaigns to continue to remind your subscriber list about the amazing products and services you sell.

At the same time you can share other communications with your mailing list subscribers about you, about your business, about your subscribers wants and needs, including tips and tricks you can share to keep your mailing list subscribers invested in your for the longer term.

A great strategy for your small business is to make sure you have a mailing list in place and that you are driving your Etsy customers to subscribe to that list. It will safeguard your small business for the future, and potentially make you more sales as well.


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