Why I Won’t Be Using Etsy’s Email Coupon Tools

Creative Entrepreneurship

Why I Won't Be Using Etsy's Email Coupon Tool | Merriweather Council

What is Etsy’s email coupon tool?

If you are currently an Etsy seller, you have likely heard about a recent marketing option they’d made available.

Etsy has rolled out the option for sellers to pay for emails with offers (coupons for percentage or dollar amount off the total or free shipping) to would-be buyers who have either favorited an item or placed it in their cart.

Surprising right? Longtime sellers know that Etsy has long discouraged sellers from reaching out to those who have favorited items directly with coupons. Though, to be honest, this was likely more of a spam-mitigation approach. In any event, Etsy is now offering to automate this for sellers at a cost of 10 cents per email sent. You can read more about it here.

I got quite a few emails about this from blog readers and students! So I wanted to address my feelings on the matter here.

If you listen to my podcast you know I’m super against discounting first orders via an opt-in or something and also not into automatic coupons that send after an initial purchase. But this new thing might be even worse!

How does Etsy’s email coupon tool work?

Here’s how it happens:

  • A person comes to your shop and sees something (for full price, no offer of a code if they give you their email or anything like that)
  • They like and add it to their cart
  • Life happens or they are waiting to process their transaction til payday or something…
  • But in the meantime, a coupon fired off to them for 15% off after just 24 hours


They already saw and liked and didn’t need an additional discount to think about purchasing it. This isn’t just a reminder about an abandoned cart, it includes a discount.

A breakdown of the costs

I’m not into it. Also, you have to pay to have these emails sent to customers. So let’s evaluate that.

It’s ten cents per email. If 5 people per day put one of your items in their cart and don’t buy it that’s $0.50 per day. That’s about $15 per month – then you have to factor in the amount you didn’t make (the amount people saved cumulatively from discounts) and that’s what it cost you to do this.

Probably total savings would equal at least $30. So for $45 you’ve diminished the relationship with people who wanted your work even at full price + trained them to wait for a discount before buying. Plus, guess what? You still don’t get to maintain that person’s email address for marketing purposes as per Etsy TOU. (With your own coupon opt in you get the email at least!)

You are basically paying Etsy to do more of what people always complain about Etsy doing.

It’s so easy to get hyped on short-term gain and lose track of the big picture. In the long run, I think you’ll prefer to have customers who buy for the first time from you at full price or who at least had to be loyal and actively following you to take advantage of a sale or promotion.
Hard pass.

What are your thoughts on this?

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hello + welcome

Oh, hi! Welcome to The Merriweather Council. I’m Danielle and I am a maker in business and mentor to other makers in business. I teach you how to turn your crafty tendencies into profits!

Oh, I’m also really into crafts, boy bands + iced coffee. Email me anytime to say hello or send cute Backstreet Boy videos or dog pictures .. or whatever! danielle (at) merriweathercouncil.com Thanks for stopping by.

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