Etsy offers sellers several tools to help them market to shoppers. In addition to allowing them to offer coupons and participate in sales such as the Cyber Week sale that ran November 20 – 26, 2018, it offers a feature called Targeted Offers.
Etsy Targeted Offers can help sellers reach shoppers who have shown an interest in their items. During the holidays, Etsy is waiving the fees for using the feature.
We’ve received several targeted offers from sellers, and they are very effective. For example, I “favorited” a pin (which is very compelling to do on Etsy, by the way). A few days later, I received an email from Etsy with the subject line, “10% off something you favorited” – it contained a 10% off coupon code for the item I had favorited.
Inside, the email said:
Get 10% off this, straight from the shop-owner
Add to cart & apply coupon
Please note that this coupon is available at the seller’s discretion and can expire at any time
An Etsy spokesperson confirmed that the email I received offering a discount on a recently favorited item was part of the Targeted Offers functionality Etsy added to its Sales and Coupons tool we had written about in April.
The initial iteration of Targeted Offers allowed sellers to create and send a coupon to buyers who had left one of their items in their cart. In May, Etsy announced that sellers could also send targeted coupons to buyers who had recently favorited an item.
The good news – Etsy usually charges 10 cents per targeted offer email, but on the Seller Handbook, it states:
“To help you have a successful holiday, we’re waiving all fees on Targeted Offer fees, starting on October 23, 2018. Sends will go back to being $0.10 per send on January 1, 2019. Happy Holidays!”
Here are the two types of Targeted Offer campaigns you can run:
1) Buyers who have left your item in their cart
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 after 24 hours.
Buyers can receive an offer email for this audience every 2 days and can receive a max of 6 offers per send.
2) Buyers who have recently favorited your item
Shoppers who’ve added one your items to their favorites will get an email offering them a coupon for that item after 48 hours.
Buyers can receive an offer email for this audience every 7 days and can receive a max of 6 offers per send.
I encountered a potential downside to the feature. I put an item in my Etsy shopping cart, but decided to wait to see if I’d receive a targeted offer. I did, hurray! However, I never got around to buying the item after all. That means it may reduce impulse shopping, even if you don’t personally use the feature.
An important caveat to sellers who use the feature: In the Etsy Seller Handbook, it states: “Note that the coupon will apply to all items in your shop.” We checked with Etsy to see, Does that mean someone could buy 5 items and get 10% off on all 5 items? Or buy 5 of one item and get 10% off all 5?
An Etsy spokesperson confirmed that targeted offer coupons apply to all items in a seller’s shop. “In both examples you provided, a shopper would get 10% of all items they purchase from a shop that sent them a targeted offer 10% coupon.”
We suspect sellers would like more refinement so they can choose to put certain items on sale, not their entire inventory.
Etsy can invite sellers to participate in sales and run targeted offers because they manage the payments flow. In a few years, eBay may be equipped to offer sellers similar marketing tools. (It does now offer Store owners “Promotion Manager.”)
You’ll want to set a budget if you continue to use the feature once the charges kick in again on January 1st, and be sure to read all the details about using Etsy Targeted Offers.
Update 12/14/2018: Etsy announced yesterday it is making Targeted Offers free for sellers “indefinitely,” see more information in today’s Newsflash. Be sure to monitor future fee changes if you use this tool.