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Etsy Offers Pay-to-Play Email Marketing Campaigns

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Etsy logoEtsy updated its Sales and Coupons tool so sellers can now send special targeted offers in the form of a unique coupon code directly to shoppers who’ve added the seller’s items to their carts.

However, in addition to discounting the items for sale, sellers must pay 10 cents in order to get their coupons included in the emails. Some sellers may welcome the opportunity to advertise in new ways, while others have objected to having to pay for inclusion in the targeted emails.

Etsy explained, “Shoppers who have added any of your listings to their cart, but navigate away without purchasing, will get an email offering them a coupon for that item.”

Each automatic email send of a special offer costs the seller $0.10 USD. “For each targeted offer campaign you create can have an unlimited monthly budget (recommended) or you can set a monthly limit on spending.”

In response to sellers who questions why they should pay when Etsy already sends out reminder emails at no charge, the company responded: “In the free emails, Etsy only sends the last item added to the cart or favorited. Paying for targeted offers guarantees the seller will be shown in the reminder email.”

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It also answered other questions:

Who will receive my targeted coupon?
As of now, shoppers who have opted in to Etsy’s promotional marketing emails and recently added an item to their cart and abandoned it for 24 hours will receive your targeted coupon offer. If someone has abandoned one of your items in their cart but is not opted in to Etsy’s promotional marketing emails they will not receive a coupon and you would not be charged for a send to that person.

How will the shopper receive my targeted coupon?
Shoppers will receive your targeted coupon via an Etsy email. If they have multiple items in their cart from different sellers like you running targeted coupon campaigns, they’ll see all available coupons in the same email.

Sellers had concerns, including a seller who said paying for click-throughs would be more beneficial than paying for emails.

Another wondered, “won’t this ‘train’ buyers to hold things in their cart waiting for a ‘reward’ (discount)? Classical conditioning, eh?! And then we are paying Etsy AND making less because of the discount. Confused.”

Etsy has been focused on adding functionality that give sellers the ability to discount prices through sales and coupons. It has run some sitewide sales that promote on-sale products and must balance the benefit of generating excitement among shoppers with the possible deterrent that could arise if shoppers hold off on making purchases in the hopes the items they want will go on sale.

When Etsy introduced the seller coupon functionality last year, it said a recent survey it had conducted revealed 71% of Etsy buyers look for the best deal on products for which they are shopping. “Special offers like sales and coupons can help create loyal customers and encourage repeat business,” the marketplace wrote. “They’re also a great way to get the word out about your brand and products.”

Etsy will release a special episode of the Etsy Success podcast on April 24th that answers some of top voted questions about the new tool. See the April 11th announcement on the Etsy boards.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

2 thoughts on “Etsy Offers Pay-to-Play Email Marketing Campaigns”

  1. Etsy needs to concentrate on getting the fundamentals right, like fixing a “broken” search and abandoning regionalization which have badly impacted many international sellers. You are supposed to be a global site Etsy so get back to basics. All these little bells and whistles are just more of re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

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