3 Etsy Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Here are 3 common Etsy mistakes you probably don’t realize you’re making.

Etsy mistakes

1. You rely on Etsy for record-keeping.

You need a proper email list, and you need it now! I don’t say this to panic you, but rather as a word of caution. Etsy can close your shop without warning (they’ve done it to me in the past), and without proper record of your customer’s emails, sales and transactions, the aftermath is a nightmare.

Don’t wait until you absolutely need a mailing list; that’s a mistake I made with both my Etsy shop and this blog, and it was a costly one. When I first started out, I was keeping track of my email opt-ins with my gmail account. By the time I transferred the Energy Shop list to Mail Chimp, I had 250 emails to import, and the service  was a lifesaver.

Mail Chimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Once signed up, you can build a landing page where your customers can opt-in. (Click here for my Energy Shop example.)

The reason I chose Mail Chimp for my Etsy shop is because it’s a slow-growing list. The reason that it’s so slow-growing is because Etsy does not have email opt-in forms on storefronts, even though they KNOW how important email lists are to small businesses.

The only way for me to get customers on the Energy Shop list is by including a link to the opt-in page…

  • in my Etsy shop announcement (though the link is not live),
  • with my “thank you for your order” automated emails,
  • as a response to custom requests that I’m not able to fill at that time, and
  • on my own social media accounts. I’ll occasionally post the email opt-in page before a big private sale to entice more Facebook and Twitter fans to sign up.

I use Aweber for this blog, and pricing starts at $19 per month. Using Aweber, you can connect to your Etsy in 6 simple steps and, after a sale, your new customers will automatically be subscribed to your list (after confirmation on their end). Here’s how to connect your accounts:

  1. Login to your Aweber account
  2. In the upper right-hand corner, find the label “My Apps”
  3. Under “My Apps”, scroll down to find “Etsy”
  4. Click on the “Etsy” app, and hit the “enable” button
  5. Click “Allow access” on Etsy (make sure you’re logged into the Etsy account you want to link)
  6. Follow the steps prompted by Aweber to choose which list you’d like to add new sales to

2. You rely on Etsy for traffic

The internet is vast and ever-expanding, and you leave business on the table when your marketing strategy is based on the Etsy marketplace. You need to set up your shop’s SEO to improve your global rankings for all the searches taking place outside of Etsy.

To improve your SEO, you’ll want to pay attention to three places, in particular: (1.) The shop announcement, (2.) your tagline, and (3.) your categories. Here’s what comes up when I search for my shop:

Energy Shop SEO ETSY

Next, notice where you’ll find those words and sections on my Etsy storefront:


As you can see, Google pulls my shop name and tagline first, my shop announcement second, and my most popular shop categories third. Be sure to use relevant keywords that will help your customers find you in all three areas.

3. Inconsistent Lighting (Product photos)

You’ve heard this tune time and time again: perfect that product photography! Click here for a list of my do’s and don’t of product photography. But wait, there’s more …

Make sure you use the same lighting (shoot at the same time of day with the same type of weather in the same spot, i.e. clear sunny day at 1 PM near kitchen window) for consistent lighting throughout your storefront. When you’re first starting out with product photography, it seems like a small detail, but it makes a huge impact to the storefront’s overall cohesion.

Bright, overexposed photos next to dark, shadowy photos diminishes the value of your offerings and is a noob giveaway! Learn and apply this lesson early on.

Here’s to your success and all the best,

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  • I’ve been on Etsy for several years. I haven’t experienced being shut down but I have found that the inner workings of their business are not necessarily in the best interest of my business. Etsy is its own business with its own interests.
    Etsy has a purpose, but, at least for me, is not the only way to market my stuff.

  • so here’s a question: I just googled my own shop and of course it shows the same basic information that yours shows–shop announcement, etc. Is it worth it to change the shop announcement to fit the current shopping trend (e.g., Valentine’s Day, Graduation, Mother’s day, etc.)? What about a shop category that changes with the current trend? Thoughts?

    • No, you want to set it and forget it. It can sometimes take Google ages to read your site again, so updating frequently will mean a lot of outdated announcements in search.

  • Hi Lisa,
    Great read! I have been with Etsy for awhile now and I am still trying to figure out the ins and outs. I have a few questions- first, how do you send opt ins ” with my “thank you for your order” automated emails,” I just went on Etsy forums and read through and did not see anywhere to generate an automated email. I send a convo to every one of my customers after they make a purchase and would love to know how to generate an automatic response.

    Second, while I was on Forums, I saw that more people said they hate getting emails and that they would never solicit a customer via email… But almost every blogger that I follow says getting emails is the best marketing tool out there. Are you really getting sales from email lists? When I check my shop stats almost ALL of my visitors are from direct URL or within Etsy itself. Just wondering because I don’t blog or think I have another ounce of time to even devote to a blog- I can’t keep up with all this social media and I’m trying to direct my energy to the one that will work best to drive sales.
    Thanks for your time,

  • Oh my goodness! Great tip on the “message to buyers” for your opt-in! I had never thought of that! I’m on Etsy & have a dot.com & have been racking my brain on how to get Etsy buyers on my list. Thanks!

  • Hey Lisa,

    I have a question about the Aweber service. . . I have set up the app for them to manually pull the addresses on sales going forward, but question is… do I need to manually import all the prior to me doing this addresses? I want to capture these email addresses for future saving emails, etc. but want the most simplified way of doing that! 😛 Thanks for your tips!

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