EP358: How to Build Your Email List Using Etsy

EP 358 Blog Feature

Having an Etsy shop is not the same thing as having a jewelry business.

I’m not trying to be harsh here, m’dear. Lots of designers get their start on Etsy, and it can be a great platform for growing your brand – if you use it strategically.

The problem with third-party platforms like Etsy is that you don’t get much control over your business.

I’ve seen designers making 6-figures in Etsy sales get their shop shut down overnight without a second thought.

Does that mean you should boycott Etsy? No, not at all. I means you should use Etsy as a tool for building your email list.

Meet Lauren Shaddow. She’s our community manager here at Flourish & Thrive Academy and a fellow jewelry designer.

Like most designers, she started selling her jewelry on Etsy as a hobby. The sales kept flowing in, and Lauren realized that if she wanted to get serious about her business, she needed to be strategic about driving customers off of Etsy and onto her personal website.

This can be tricky. Etsy has strict rules about what you can and cannot promote on their platform. Luckily, Lauren has become a bit of an expert on the topic.

So much so that we’ve hired her to help us build courses for our programs on how to use Etsy to build your email list – without breaking the rules.

Lauren sat down with me to share some ethical strategies to use Etsy to grow your brand, and the maker mindset that could be getting in the way of your growth.

Download the show notes here

Navigating Etsy’s Fee Avoidance Rules

A lot of jewelry designers think that promoting an email list on Etsy is against the rules.

Lauren reassures that’s not true at all – Etsy actually encourages sellers to build an email list!

But they do have a strict policy against “fee avoidance.” Here’s what that means for small business owners… 

  • You cannot stop a customer from buying on your Etsy shop, redirect them to your website in the middle of a transaction, or use the Etsy platform to explicitly tell customers to buy from your website instead.
  • You can ask customers to join your email list, link to your branded website in your About section, and include your business card in packages.

Be mindful of the language you use, especially when linking your website on the platform itself. 

Adding something brash to your bio like, “Help me out by making your next purchase on my website instead,” is just asking for Etsy to crack down on your shop.

Lauren recommends a more subtle approach, like adding your website to your message signature. For informational purposes, of course.

Make A Pretty Sign Up Link For Your Email List

No matter what, your number one priority should be getting customers onto your email list and away from the strict limitations of Etsy.

Promoting your website on Etsy can be a bit of a policy grey area. That’s why Lauren highly recommends promoting the link to your email list as your primary focus. 

Not only does this build a lasting connection to your customers, it’s also less likely to be in violation of Etsy’s fee avoidance policies. Win-win!

If you don’t already have one, the first step is to choose a platform for your email list, such as Klaviyo, Mailchimp, or Shopify.

Then you’ll want to create a “pretty” link that redirects to your email list sign up. Something simple and easy to remember, like yourwebsite.com/join. 

Promote Your Email List On Etsy

The final step is to take that link and promote the heck out of it!

You can put the link to your jewelry brand’s email list in all kind of places on Etsy, like…

  • Your shop announcement
  • Your FAQ
  • At the end of your product listings (pro tip: use the “bulk edit” tool to make your life a little easier)
  • In your message signature
  • On your business card in packages

Lauren shared an extra sneaky strategy that blew my mind. Etsy’s algorithm prioritizes product listings that use all ten photo slots. So, if you don’t have enough product photos, create a simple graphic in Canva with the link to your email list on it!

Wondering if you’re allowed to promote your email list on Etsy? Listen to the full episode above for more tips and tricks on how to ethically grow your audience and promote your jewelry brand on Etsy!

xo, Tracy


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