Free Email Marketing checklist
Does email marketing make you nervous? Do you have no clue where to start? We walk you through each and every step of how to set up and launch your email marketing strategy for your Etsy and blog business!
The Complete Guide to Email Marketing for Etsy Sellers
There are millions of people who are on Etsy every single day who are just simply browsing and aren’t ready to buy yet.
My question to you is how do you get that customer back after they’ve logged out of Etsy and go on their merry way? How do you get them to remember you after they’ve gone and come back and are ready to make a purchase?
I don’t know about you, but when I was only marketing on Etsy, there was absolutely no way from me to get them to come back to my shop instead of the thousands of others.
Yes, I can have a fantastic brand with quality photos and show up on the first page of their Etsy search, but that doesn’t stop them from going to my competitor’s shop and buying from them.
The only way to get these types of customers back and only looking at what you (and only you) have to offer after they’ve left Etsy is through your email list.
Email lists are the perfect solution for reminding people that they want to buy something (even if they actually aren’t looking to buy!).
Getting your customer’s email is giving you direct access to them whenever you want. They don’t have to be on Etsy to see your shop, they don’t have to be on Pinterest to save your pin, and they don’t have to be on your social media pages to see your latest posts. You can send an email to them and know 100% that they are going to see it.
With this, you have the power!
What’s even better is that email marketing does not just have to be about selling.
It’s mostly about connecting with your audience with regular communication to your email list.
Some of those emails may be informational and some may contain info about things you sell or affiliate products that you feel strongly about.
Either way, email marketing for your Etsy shop and blog is essential to your success long-term.
In this complete guide to email marketing for Etsy sellers, we are going to be going over each step you need to take in order to build your email marketing strategy for your blog and Etsy shop. We don’t hold anything back in this guide and tell you absolutely everything that you need to know.
Navigate through this table of contents below to jump ahead to certain parts!
- Step 1: Devise a Plan
- Step 2: Choose Your Email Service Wisely
- Step 3: Sign Up for ConvertKit
- Step 4: Develop a Freebie
- Step 5: Set Up Your Welcome Series
- Step 6: Add a Form to Your Website
- Step 7: Add Your Email Incentive to Etsy
- Step 8: Collect Those Emails
- Step 9: Send Out Weekly Emails
- Step 10: Track, Test, and Revise
- New to This Whole Website Thing?
Before we begin, if you’re more of a list person, I’ve compiled all of the following steps into a checklist for you to follow. I still recommend reading the entire guide because we highlight how to complete each step with its own tutorial.
However, if you want a quick refresher that’s easier on the eyes and to keep track of your progress, download the Email Marketing Checklist!
Step 1: Devise a Plan
I don’t advice you to start your email marketing strategy without a plan.
The more email incentives (more on this below), sign up forms, and welcome series you include, the quicker it can become confusing for you and your audience.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you begin:
- Will I have one freebie for each main topic to offer, or multiple freebies?
- How often will I send out emails to my email list?
- Do I want to set everything up and forget about it, or be actively involved with my email marketing strategy?
- Will I offer inline sign-up forms, or will I direct my audience to a landing page?
You don’t by any means have to have it all figured out right now, but have a sense of the strategy you are going to take when starting your email list.
Side Note: It may feel like we’re working background at times, which in a sense we are! However, I believe this is the best order to develop your email marketing strategy in the most straightforward and hassle-free way possible!
Step 2: Choose Your Email Service Wisely
There are a lot of email newsletter service providers out there that all offer different features and amenities.
It’s so important that you choose wisely because it can be a hassle switching in the future.
Also, you want to find a service that works best for your business and what you plan on doing for your email list (this is why it’s important to come up with a plan before you start!).
What is an Email Service Provider?
An email service provider is a company that helps you send our email marketing messages by offering an email marketing platform or email tool.
Many companies offer the software as self-service, which means you can send create and send the emails by yourself without any help.
To keep your email marketing efforts compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act, you really must use an email service provider.
Here are some basic functions of an email service provider:
- Maintaining an email subscriber list for distributing messages
- Sending emails to the email subscriber list
- See statistics and reports of email campaigns and individual emails to measure success
- Create a double opt-in process when people sign up – which is the best practice
- Give your list an option to “unsubscribe” in every email that you send
Features to Look for in an Email Service Provider
The first thing you should do is read through the Terms of Service.
Some providers, especially the free ones, have limitations on content. For example, MailChimp isn’t an option for many business owners because they prohibit work from home content. This is the same for many others. Free sounds good, but it always comes at a cost.
Your next step should be to analyze the ability to grow with you. I switched over to ConvertKit and it was a great decision for my business because they allow me to do more advanced targeting and offer multiple subscriber gifts to the same list.
Consider your long-term goals in addition to your budget!
Here’s a short list of the key things you should be considering when you’re deciding on which one to choose:
- The reputation of deliverability (I was with MailChimp before and it was a hit or miss if my automatic emails would be sent or not. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to my business, maybe is just not good enough)
- Platform support
- Ease of navigation and reporting
- The flexibility of email-creation editors
- How easy it is to create both simple and complex nurturing programs (such as for your welcome email, which is essential
- The flexibility to segment your email list based on certain criteria
- Price of sending emails via cost per thousand or subscription
Why I Recommend ConvertKit as an Email Service Provider
There are a ton of functionalities within ConvertKit and that’s why I believe it’s the best Email List Building Service for Blogger:
- You can design the look of your email and send it from a dedicated email address
- I love their analytics because it shows you exactly how fast you are growing your list and who is unsubscribing and why!
- Their No.1 Tool for me is their Automation Tool. You can create visual automations where certain events trigger automatic emails, which are sent to your subscribers! Without you lifting a finger (for example, your Welcome Series)!
- It allows you to create your unique Email Header which suits your Blog Branding
- You can integrate ConvertKit with all kinds of other businesses and services including E-Commerce (such as WooCommerce) meaning it tracks your sales and sends automatic thank you emails!
- You can Tag people who may have clicked a link, indicating their interest in one of your products or posts. Once you know who is interested in what, you can start targeting your audience to specific products and services!
The bottom line? After trying multiple email service providers, I wasn’t able to accomplish exactly what I wanted to do in regards to building my email list until I came to ConvertKit!
Step 3: Sign-Up for ConvertKit
First, head over to ConvertKit and click the “Try It For Free” button.
Next, you’ll want to choose whether you are migrating from another provider (MailChimp, Mailerlite etc.) to save your subscribers if you want to create a brand new account.
If you are moving from another email service provider, find the service in the list ConvertKit provides you and go through the process as explained. It will slightly differ from service to service.
Basically, you will need to create a CSV. file export of your old subscribers and import them to ConvertKit.
If you are new to the whole list building thing, select whether you have your own website already or if you are just starting out!
As a last step secure your ConvertKit login and enter the email address you would like to use and define a password.
After you sign up for ConvertKit, I suggest that you learn more about the service by watching the intro videos. Though it’s a simple service to learn, their videos are extremely detailed and walk you through each component of their services.
As a side note, email sending is disabled until your account has been approved by ConvertKit. To do this, just click the yellow bar on top of the window:
Click on the yellow bar and enter the URL to your website and press “Request Approval”. Once ConvertKit has approved your request you will be able to send out your first email to your subscribers!
In the meantime, you can start to learn more about ConvertKit through their introduction video and start to create your own set of forms and sequences.
Let’s move on with the next steps of developing your email marketing strategy.
Step 4: Develop a Freebie
I can’t tell you how important it is that you offer something for free in exchange for your audiences’ email address. It will make a day and night difference in your list building success.
A lot of people just need one more little push to get them to sign-up.
The Purpose of a Freebie
Subscriber freebies, or content upgrades, are usually just something small that you have created that has some perceived value.
The purpose of your freebie should be to help solve your audience’s problem even further than what your blog post was able to accomplish. It is usually a tool they can use or an additional resource that they can turn to for help.
For instance, if you are writing about the steps it takes to knit a blanket on your blog post, you might want to provide either a video tutorial or a knit pattern as your freebie offer.
My general rule for content upgrades is that my blog post tells my audience how to do something and my freebie shows them how to do something. That way, there’s always value in that freebie.
The Best Freebies to Offer
Your freebie doesn’t have to be huge or complicated. Some of the best-used freebies can be made in under 30 minutes!
Here’s a list of proven freebies that do well to grow your email list:
- Cheat sheet/Checklist/Worksheet
- Email Course/ Video Course
- Roundup of Resources
- Free Access to…(something that your audience will find beneficial
- Bundles/Kit (a collection of insanely helpful resources, tools, and materials, all in one place)
How to Design a Freebie
However, I advise you to attempt designing a freebie of your own. Not only will you save some money, but you’ll realize it’s not as hard as it seems and your audience will appreciate it so much more coming from you!
Here’s a few design tips for creating your freebie in Canva:
Research your Topic
Google your topic and see what comes up.
If you find that there are a lot of results talking about your subject then you may be on to something!
Designing Your Freebie in Canva
Remember to keep it simple! You don’t want it too fancy where if someone wants to print it out it wastes all of the printer ink.
Here’s a list of things to always include in your freebie and design tips to make an irresistible content upgrade:
- Choose your style
(portrait layout – choose the US Letter layout OR landscape layout – choose the Presentation design)
- You can make a cover for your checklist or worksheet in Canva. You can also create a back cover with your copyright and company information
- Give it an awesome headline
- Provide a numbered list to make it easier to read
- Give them any links to resources (you won’t be able to link web pages directly in Canva. Once you have downloaded your .pdf file, go to PDF Escape to add your hyperlink)
- Keep your branding in perspective (colors and fonts)
- Call to Action (let them know what to do next)
- Add some information about you and your business (this would be a great time to link them to one of your products on Etsy or a specific page on your website)
- Download it as a High Quality PDF
Step 5: Set Up Your Welcome Series
We’ll talk about your sign up sequence a little later in the guide, but before you set up your form and such on your website, you should set up the series of emails that you are going to send your audience after they have signed up for your email list to get their freebie.
A Welcome Series is a series of three to four emails that you set up to automatically send to your new subscriber for a few days after they fill out the opt-in form.
The point of this welcome series is to introduce yourself, tell them more about your business, tell them what they can expect out of being a subscriber to your email list, and if you’re interested, funneling them through your sales funnel.
We’ll walk you through each step of the Welcome Series briefly, but if you want an even more in-depth explanation of what to send, when to send it, and the email scripts that we use for our own welcome series, sign up for our Email Marketing email course HERE!
Why You Need to Setup a Welcome Series
A welcome series is a great way for you to establish your authority within your niche, build trust with people who may not be very familiar with who you are, and set the tone for future email communications.
Introduce Old Content to New Readers
A welcome series allows you to put new eyes on some of your older content, essentially giving subscribers an organized tour of your blog.
This is a win-win for both of you because you get eyes on your older content, and your new subscriber gets access to a list of related blog posts that can help them solve their problems without the hassle of searching for them.
Showcase All You Do
If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of projects going at once!
For the average viewer, especially ones that are newer, it can be a turn off if they are being pitched to join everything that I am working on.
A welcome series can help you share all of your projects, but in a more inviting way, without overwhelming them with too many options.
Set Up an Introductory Email
You’ll want to send this email immediately after someone signs up for your email list. Included in this email will be the link to your freebie + an introducing yourself.
Let your audience get to know you by sending out an email with a few facts about you and tell them what they can expect in terms of the content and frequency of your emails.
Set Up a Short Email Sequence
For the next couple of days, send your new subscriber two to three more emails that provide them additional value.
I generally like to send informative mini-posts that I think they could relate to, access to even more freebies that they can download, and lists of additional resources from my blog posts and other tools from the internet that they can take advantage of.
With this sequence you can do a few things:
- Introduce yourself in a more personal way
- Offer a little bonus (eBook, course, or printable) as a second gift for signing up
- Send out a couple emails with some teaching or knowledge that you offer
Set Up a Sales Funnel
As we mentioned in this blog post, setting up a sales funnel is a great way to offer your services and products to your audience without having to pitch directly to them every day of the year.
You literally set it up and let it collect money. And the best part? You’ve already done the bulk of the work with your welcome series, you just need to set up a few more emails!
To set up your sales funnel, after you have sent valuable and intriguing emails to your new subscriber for the past few days, you’ll want to end your Welcome Series with an offer to purchase one of your items to help them solve their problems.
This system works because you’ve spent the last few days giving to your audience and providing them with a great deal of value, you’ve even offered them an additional set of free resources and tools.
By ending this series with a chance for your audience to purchase from you, they will be more likely to follow through with the transaction because they have built some trust with you.
Related Post: The Most Profitable Sales Funnel for Etsy Sellers
How to Set Up Your Welcome Series on ConvertKit
In order to send out these little sequences automatically and send a link that allows your audience to download your file, you need to use an email service provider that offers automations.
ConvertKit is the absolute best email service out there when it comes to automations!
It’s the most simple set up and then you can forget about it until you want to make some changes. I’ve never had any problems with an email not sending when it was meant to, and they do a great job with not duplicating emails when my audience signs up for more than one sign-up form.
We walk you through the entire process of setting up your freebie and welcome series on ConvertKit, from beginning to end, in this tutorial!
Make sure you read through it carefully before moving on to the next steps!
Related Resource: Email Marketing Email Course for Beginners
Step 6: Add a Form to Your Website
Now that you have the back end of your email marketing strategy down, now you want to embed your signup form onto your website so your subscribers can see it!
…psst! We go over how to design your form in this tutorial. Please read through it before you continue!
Before we get started, I wanted to mention a super important part about email marketing and your sign-up forms.
There is a Purpose to the Sign Up Form! It’s called PERMISSION!
There is a law called CAN-SPAM, which governs all commercial email messages that are sent.
To stay in compliance with this law, only send email marketing messages to people who sign up to your sign up form to get onto your email list.
DO NOT send emails to people who don’t sign up to your email list!
This includes people who leave a comment on your blog post with an email attached to it, people who hand you their business cards, or people who purchase from your Etsy shop.
They must sign up for your form for you to lawfully be able to send them emails.
If you do craft fairs or if you do in-person marketing, you are allowed to collect emails from people if you have them add their name and email to a paper list.
This list must make it clear that they are agreeing to receive email updates from you.
If you remain genuine and follow these simple rules, you’ll have zero problems!
Where You Can Include a Sign-Up Form On Your Website
There are several places on your website that you can place your sign up form:
- The top bar
- A pop up form
- In the sidebar
- A slide in
- A form in the footer
- Throughout your blog posts
- On your About Page
- On your Contact Page
You can and absolutely should put your signup form in all of these places. It would be even better if each place offered a different freebie or if you customized your site to show certain freebies depending on which page your audience lands on.
Don’t worry about being annoying. Odds are, your audience is glancing over these forms anyways, which is why you want to include it as much as possible! The more chances you give them to sign up for your list, the more likely they will!
How to Embed a Sign-Form on Your Website
The answer to this question is not quite so simple.
The steps to embed a form to a website will be different depending on the website theme and email service provider that you have chosen.
See What Options Your Email Service Provider Offers
Some email service providers, such as ConvertKit, offer opt-in forms, pop-ups, and landing pages as part of their service.
You can build these right on their site and copy and paste a snippet of code onto your site to get the box to appear.
Some email service providers also offer WordPress plugins to make it easier for you to integrate the forms.
Embed Your Form Using the Divi Theme
As many of you already know, I swear by and use the Divi Theme from Elegant Studios as my WordPress theme (learn why I’m so in love with Divi!).
One of the reasons I love Divi is because of the simplicity of doing just about anything.
What’s cool about Divi is that you can customize your sidebar to show certain things depending on the blog post, while many other themes only allow you to show one sidebar design throughout your entire website.
For example, if I’m writing a blog post about email marketing, the people who are reading this blog post wouldn’t be interested in a social media freebie or a Pinterest freebie. So, having that signup form in my sidebar wouldn’t be very effective.
With Divi, however, I can customize my sidebar to show a signup form that advertises an email marketing freebie in the blog posts that talk about email marketing, social media signup forms where I talk about social media, so on and so forth.
As a result, my email list has exploded with subscribers because I’m only showing freebies that they would actually be interested in!
To embed a form onto your website using Divi, simply go to ConvertKit, click on “Forms”, click the form that you want, and choose “Embed”.
You’re given the option of how you want to embed your form. Click on “HTML” and copy the code.
Head on over to the back-end of your WordPress blog.
For the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to be embedding my form in my sidebar by these steps work the same anywhere you want to embed your form on your website.
Click on the blog post that you want to edit the sidebar in and open it with the Divi Builder.
Hover over your sidebar and click on the “+” sign that appears.
Click on the “Code” module.
Do the command “Control + V” to past the code from ConvertKit into the box and click the check mark to complete.
And that’s it! That’s all you have to do to embed your form onto your sidebar using Divi!
The steps are the same in every place that you would want to embed it onto your website. Just add the “Code” module through your Divi Builder and past the code in the box.
Done! A simple to setup email form in minutes!
Step 7: Add Your Email Incentive to Etsy
The initial setup of your email marketing strategy is almost complete!
Your last step is to add it to your Etsy listings to funnel your potential customers to join your email list.
First, think about a freebie you would give to your subscribers for joining your list. You can offer free shipping, a percentage off their order, or even a printable they could benefit from — the sky’s the limit.
The key is to make it something that would be way too irresistible to pass up.
If your freebie is beyond a discount, be sure that it is relevant to your products!
Create an Image
Create an image that will fit into your Etsy listing photo space.
This graphic should give your customers direction on how to subscribe, the link to subscribe, and what freebie you will give them in exchange for their email.
You can create a very simple graphic in Canva, my favorite tool for creating for all my graphics, workbooks, and so much more.
Add Image to Etsy Listing
You’ve designed your image, now it’s time to upload it to your shop listings.
Once uploaded, arrange your photos in the order you see fit.
Some sellers arrange this photo to be the second photo a customer will see when clicking through the photos, the last photo, or somewhere in between. I encourage you to play around with this and see if you notice a big difference depending on where you place the image.
Add Your Email Incentive to Your Description
To take it a step further. Add your email incentive in the description as well along with a link.
Just in case your customer doesn’t scroll through your photos, they’ll have an opportunity to see that you offer a freebie in the description. Make sure that you provide a link that they can copy and paste inside of the description!
To monitor your email list performance on Etsy sign up for a bit.ly URL to give you an idea of what is and isn’t working for you. This helps with making any necessary changes to optimize your results.
Step 8: Collect Those Emails
This is the fun part!
Watch your email subscribers start rolling in day after day.
ConvertKit makes this super easy to analyze and even fun in the form of a chart and a display of your total net subscribers, your open rate, and the number of subscribers you’ve gained each day.
In addition to adding your form to your website and Etsy listing, you can go a step further and add them to your social media accounts to get even more subscribers!
Facebook allows you to create a Call to Action button that displays alongside your header image. You can direct visitors to a landing page or connect your newsletter service’s app if one is available.
Make a public post that announces your email list and the freebie that your following would get in exchange for subscribing.
On Instagram, you can only link to a website one time, which is in your description.
I recommend creating an Instagram landing page which links to multiple things: your website, your freebie landing page, your Etsy shop, and your other social media accounts.
As we mentioned in this blog post, it’s best to offer your freebie in your Pinterest description with a link that links directly to your freebie landing page.
In addition to this, I also create pins that advertise my freebies. Once someone clicks on this pin, they are redirected to my freebie landing page.
Other Social Media Profiles
For your other social media profiles, I recommend creating a landing page on your blog to collect emails and put that link in your online bios.
You can create landing pages right on your site and just embed an opt-in box.
If you use ConvertKit, you can use their landing page feature to create a page. (You can share their link or if you use the WordPress plugin embed it right on your site.)
Another great way to advertise your email list is by guest posting!
If you are out guest posting around the web, remember to include your freebie in your author byline and direct people to your landing page or sign-up box.
The remaining information from the guide is going to be going over the maintenance side of your email marketing strategy, which including what to write about to keep your email list nurtured week to week and how to track your progress
Step 9: Send Out Weekly Emails
Now that you have your audience subscribing to your email list, you don’t want to stop there!
Your Welcome Series, though crucial, isn’t enough to build a strong relationship with your audience!
In order to keep your subscribers thinking about you and craving your content, you need to show up to their inbox frequently. After all, they didn’t just sign up to get your freebie, they signed up to hear from you too!
By emailing them frequently, I don’t mean every day (please, don’t do this!). I’ve had a few bloggers send emails every single day for months on end, and by the time I decided to Unsubscribe, I wasn’t even reading their emails anymore.
The most important thing when sending an email is to send value.
So, in this case, quality is far more important than quantity (which means less work for you anyways!).
What’s the magic number of emails to send out a week?
I don’t have an answer to that because it completely depends on you, your workload, and your audience!
Personally, I send out an email twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday in the morning. I’m not quite sure why I decided on this schedule, but it works out perfectly for me, and my email tribe hasn’t complained so I assume it works for them as well.
Pick a day in your calendar where you usually don’t have much on your to-do list and start with that day. Start off with emailing once every two weeks to see how it fits into your schedule.
If you feel like you can do more, then bump it up to once a week!
Now that that’s settled, you may be wondering what you should even send to your email list (don’t worry, I was worried about this too!).
Here are some great ways you can engage with your audience:
- Share your new products
- Share behind the scene action or news about your business that affects your audience
- Implement a strategic series of emails to persuade your audience to purchase your items
- Reminders about sales
- Share your latest blog post
I know it seems easier than it actually may be.
Despite everything I know, I still struggle with it!
But, once you start to get to know your audience, what they like/dislike, and the main problems they need solving, writing emails to them becomes like second nature.
If you want a more detailed breakdown of emails you can send your audience, check out this blog post!
Related Post: What to Send Your Email List as an Etsy Seller
Your readers have given you their email address with the expectation that you will deliver content that they are interested in.
So, if you blog about organic skincare tips and you suddenly start sending email about parenthood – people may unsubscribe.
Likewise, if you start bombarding your readers with daily emails that contain a heavy sales pitch, they might unsubscribe.
Be genuine in your communication and make life easier for them by providing actual value!
Step 10: Track, Test, and Revise
Once you have everything in place to begin email marketing, your next step is to track, test and revise.
With most newsletter service providers like ConvertKit, you will be able to see how each box or landing page is converting. This is such great information to have as you will be able to see if one offer is converting better than others if you offer more than one subscriber freebie.
You can also split test to see if different colors or verbiage makes a difference!
New to This Whole Website Thing?
This blog post is apart of a 5-part blog series made up of mini-guides to walk you through the entire process of starting, managing, and growing your blog for your Etsy shop!
We don’t hold anything back in these guides…by the time you’re done reading through them, you’ll know absolutely everything that we know!
Phew! You did it!
You now know the most important steps to when it comes to email marketing for Etsy sellers!
Take a moment and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
- Have you set up your email marketing strategy yet? If so, what’s the one thing you learned through the process?
- Are you hesitant about creating an email marketing strategy? Tell us your concerns in the comments below!
- Was this complete guide to email marketing for Etsy sellers helpful?
Until next time,