How To Sell Digital Products Online

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Why Email Marketing is So Important for Digital Product Etsy Shops

November 14, 202310 min read

Etsy sellers can use many marketing tools, like social media, to entice customers to purchase from their shop. However, one of the absolute best tools is email marketing!

Building an email list and sending regular emails to your audience has incredible benefits that will leave customers returning for more. Keep reading for an overview of the top benefits of email marketing and why it’s an essential part of growing a successful digital products business.

(This post contains affiliate links and you can read the full disclosure here)

Control Over Marketing to Customers

While Etsy customers can bookmark or favorite your products, there are few ways to market your products to them on the platform, which is where an email newsletter and social media come in. 

An email newsletter allows you to build an ongoing relationship with potential buyers and past customers — both have already indicated interest in your products, making them more likely to purchase from you in the future, especially if you keep your products front of mind. 

While acquiring new customers is always great, fostering an ongoing relationship with customers can be even more profitable! Once they’ve bought and enjoyed a product from you, it’s much easier to convince them to purchase again than to convert a new customer who has never used your product before. 

This is a HUGE advantage and one I strongly recommend creating for yourself by offering a newsletter. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of sending out emails, stay tuned. I’ll touch on my favorite system, which makes email marketing far more manageable and less time-consuming later on.

Ability to Grow Off Etsy

As a third-party platform, Etsy can close your shop or kick you off the platform at any time, leaving many hard-working Etsy sellers in a challenging situation. Unfortunately, this is entirely within their rights because they own the platform. 

I don’t say all this to scare you but to help you prepare for what could happen. 

You are subject to other businesses ' whims when you only have products offered on Etsy and marketing efforts through third-party platforms like Facebook or Instagram. They could unfairly kick you off, the website could shut down, or you could make a small mistake and be shut down. 

These are terrifying scenarios, especially when you’re earning money you depend on through these platforms. 

But these situations are less anxiety-inducing if you have a strong email list that gives you access to past customers and many of your biggest fans.

Email is something that isn’t going away. Even if your email provider shuts down, you can take your email list, upload it to another platform, and send off emails the next day. 

While selling on Etsy has so many perks (like exposure to many customers), not owning any part of your business is a situation that too many Etsy sellers are in, so I urge you to start building your email list. 

Not only does having an email list give you SO many opportunities to make more sales and share new launches, but nobody can take it away from you. If you lose your Etsy store and social media tomorrow, you could relaunch a digital product store elsewhere and inform customers in a massive email blast.  

Email Marketing

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Greater Access to Metrics

Etsy is a fantastic platform, but you can only access specific metrics like traffic sources, views, and visit numbers. In contrast, you can access many more metrics through your email provider when you have an email list. 

These detailed metrics will help you identify what appeals most to readers. 

For example, what subject lines increase the number of email opens? 

What emails increased sales or clickthroughs? 

Analyzing your newsletters’ performance will help you write better emails and subject lines in the future, improve your sales, and give you detailed insight into what your audience is most interested in — powerful information that can help you develop even better products! 

The Powerful Call to Action

Most email newsletters include (and yours should, too!) a call to action. 

Simply put a call to action is what you want to drive your email subscribers to do after reading the email. This action could be following you on social media, checking out a new product launch, or visiting a blog post on your website. 

Now, you definitely need to balance your call to action with helpful content that benefits your reader first and foremost. You don’t want them to unsubscribe after a few pushy “salesy” emails that left them bored and unengaged with your content. 

This is where offering freebies or unique content that fits your niche is really important. 

Consider your niche and what your audience values. 

Are they looking to organize their lives? 

Interested in finding the best gifts for their loved ones? 

Tracking their healthy habits?

Your emails should address these pain points with valuable tips and tricks to help your reader better organize their life, find the perfect present, or keep up with healthy habits year-round. 

Then, sprinkle in a solid call to action, such as sharing a new launch, which is the perfect choice to help them tackle their messy pantry or stay consistent with their workouts during the holidays. 

While you can send occasional newsletters sharing exciting announcements or more personal emails sharing your story (a great way to build a connection with your readers), most should focus on providing fantastic value that will prompt your audience to open your emails. 

Create real value for your readers so they’re excited to take action and purchase your new product, shop sales, and check out your social media. 

These calls to action are invaluable for building hype around your new launches and will help you to massively increase your business’ revenue as your email list grows. 

25 Digital Products

Not Dependent on an Algorithm

Etsy frequently changes its algorithm. Same with other e-commerce websites or social media platforms you may use to market your products. 

Unfortunately, the algorithm is completely out of our control. While we can adapt our marketing strategy to new algorithms, we will never have complete control over how our products or posts show up. 

An email newsletter solves this problem completely. There’s no algorithm. You completely own your email list, and any changes you make are your decision. 

I cannot overstate the importance of being able to reach your audience directly. 

As we discussed, this also reduces the fear of being kicked off the platform and losing access to your audience. Many sellers are also nervous about the algorithm changing and their shop no longer appearing in search results, impacting their sales negatively. 

An email list means you can directly sell your products to your audience with a simple email that lands right in their inbox. You don’t have to compete with similar products in search results first, as the potential customer is taken right to your shop and product. 

Showcase Your Newest Launches and Promote Sales

Think about email marketing this way. You have direct access to your audience and can easily share new products and sales you’re running. 

Having your email appear in past customers’ inboxes allows you to compete with big shops like Target. They have one email in an individual’s inbox, and so do you. You have an equal chance to entice readers to click on your call to action and purchase from you.

You can advertise sales and launches and even offer exclusive deals and coupons for your email subscribers. Discounts are a great way to add value to your newsletter and encourage readers to open your emails more frequently. They may even spread the word to friends or family who buy similar Etsy products! 

A final tip for advertising your sales. Create urgency by putting the time remaining in the subject line of your email. For example, “Huge Sale Only 3 Days Left!” 

This wording entices the reader to click now and purchase before the sale ends. 

Email Marketing

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Share Sneak Peeks and Behind-the-Scenes

In addition to sharing new launches, consider giving readers a look behind the scenes of your product development and sneak peeks of the product before launch. 

Everyone likes to feel like they’re getting a sneak peek before everyone else. This makes us feel special and creates excitement about the product launch. 

You can share photos, a few paragraphs about your upcoming product, or a video explaining your creative process. Even pictures of your workspace (bonus points if you catch your adorable dog or cat in the photo) nurture further connection with your customers. 

A deeper connection creates a deeper sense of loyalty, improving the likelihood that they will make further purchases.  

Create Brand Recognition

Your Etsy Shop is a business, meaning it’s also a brand. So, is your brand recognizable? 

Familiarity is a powerful marketing tool because we’re more likely to purchase from a familiar shop whose products we’ve enjoyed. It’s a safer option rather than risking our hard-earned money on a new shop. 

When you send out regular newsletters, you keep your name and business name fresh in your customers’ minds. You should also use consistent colors, fonts, and other visual identifiers that make it easy for customers to see that your Etsy shop, newsletter, and social media are all part of the same brand. 

Think about Target with its signature red and bullseye logo. Both are easily recognizable, and customers know what to expect, whether shopping online, in-store or receiving emails from Target. 

Create the same effect for your business by keeping your colors, fonts, and visuals simple and consistent. 

Wait, Is Email Marketing Even Compliant with Etsy’s Terms?

There’s been confusion for years about whether email marketing on Etsy complies with Etsy’s terms. I’m happy to report that EverBee, one of my favorite Etsy tools, has launched EverBee Email, which is entirely compliant with Etsy’s terms around email marketing.

Not only is EverBee Email incredibly easy to set up, but it has a vast, constantly growing library of templates that are helpful for anyone short on time or nervous about creating their first email.  

The best part? EverBee Email will automatically pull products from your Etsy shop and integrate them into your emails. Plus, you get unlimited free order emails to help you grow your business. 

I strongly recommend checking out EverBee’s platform (the product research and revenue analytics alone are worth it!).

Email Marketing

Otherwise, you can use platforms like Mailchimp, but you’ll need to double-check that you’re staying compliant with Etsy’s terms and conditions, as Mailchimp isn’t explicitly designed for Etsy sellers. 

Lastly, remember that you should never add customers’ emails to your email list without their consent. This is against Etsy’s policies and illegal in many countries. Instead, focus on creating an enticing offer that will have them scrambling to join your email list. 

Final Thoughts

I strongly encourage you to start building your email list as soon as possible, even if you are a brand new shop owner (the sooner you start, the sooner you create a large audience). 

Start by creating a solid offer and hook, such as a freebie, that entices customers to sign up for your newsletter, then continually offer real value alongside product updates to keep readers engaged with your emails. 

Interested in learning more about marketing your digital products shop? Digitally Purposed, breaks down all the steps I took and everything I learned about building a six-figure digital products business on Etsy (in only a few months!).

Our community, Digitally Purposed, is different from anything out there. Not only does it lay out a step-by-step guide to launching and marketing your digital products business and helping you overcome common misconceptions, it also has one of the best private support communities dedicated to helping you every step of the way.

Plus, we have weekly training on the most requested topics like marketing, design tutorials, niche research, along with live Q&A calls and new PLR products!

Just need some feedback? Personalized shop audits are also included!

Selling digital products online requires constant learning and we'd love to support you!

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