eBay Tips 2008: eBay Shops Email Marketing

No primary category set

Even if an eBay Shop doesn’t necessarily float your boat as a way of selling, you can still gain benefit from the suite of marketing tool available to Shopkeepers. In particular, the email marketing feature is a powerful facility that can help you sell more. Bear in mind that it does take time to get up to speed so if you start now you’ll hopefully be able to start moving the dial in time for the Christmas Rush 2008.

Build a mailing list
Email Marketing is only effective if you have a good cohort of people receiving the mail. You have to recruit people and that can take time. Start now and include the sign up link prominently in your Shop, all your listings, every outgoing mail and also flag up your mailing list in your despatches. There’s no magic number but aim to recruit at least 100 members. Many Powersellers have lists totalling hundreds, even thousands.

Craft a mail
eBay helps you build the mail, so no HTML skills are necessary. Think about what you want to say, match the design of your email to your Shop and promote specials or lines you want to shift. It’s important that you project a friendly tone and a feel that’s reflective of your on-eBay brand. Ultimately, of course, sending out emails is about selling more but you don’t just do that with overt selling messages. Connect with buyers any way you can: share news, tell stories or express a view.

Constantly bombarding your list isn’t a clever strategy: experiment with timing, content and design to understand what works. Interestingly, purely commercial messages might not necessarily be the most fruitful approach. Simply reminding people that you’re there and still open for business (being ‘front of mind’) can be enough. One of the most effective emails I ever heard about just a cheery Christmas greeting thanking the recipient for their custom and hoping to see them again in the new year. The email, despite including not marketing messages, prompted an influx of purchases.

That’s all on Shops, folks.

Visit Dan at wilsondan.co.uk.

9 Responses

  1. I’d suggest changing the generic mailing list name from “General Interest” to “Special Offers”, or something more enticing. You can run different mailing lists for different interests too: I have a “Wholesale” one, whose popularity (it got to 200 members inside a week) was just amazing.

    Also you can create a promotion box on the front of your shops to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list; it drums up interest much more quickly than assuming people will use eBay’s weeny “add to favourites” link and sign up that way.

  2. When you finally send an email to your subscribers, it might be worth checking after a few days how many have opened and read it. Mine have such a low opening rate that I had good a look at my 150 strong mailing list. My first subscriber joined in December 2004! Yikes. I clicked on all my subscriber names and only 4 out of 150 have bought anything on ebay in the last 12 months! Some editing has been done!
    No doubt email marketing does work for some (I have made purchases from sellers ebay email marketing), but not for others.
    I use it mostly for spying, and I am sure that other sellers do too, so still valuable!

  3. Don’t believe the numbers eBay reports ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

    Way back when you could write your own HTML in emails and include your own pictures mine NEVER showed a single email opened. eBay’s figures for opened emails just aren’t that good – email programs can strip out pictures (Oh and for those who opt to receive HTML emails shop marketing emails are junk code anyway ๐Ÿ˜ )

    If you really want to know how effective they are do something like include an offer that you can track eg “On item xxxxxxxxxxxx I am willing to accept best offers of ร‚ยฃ19.99” and see how many you sell at that price.

    Send emails with a call to action that you can actually track and measure, after all sales are what you’re after aren’t they? ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Good tip.
    I did try a few “techniques” like that last year but no takers. I even had 2 freebie givaways (buy 2 of such and such, get a free blah blah) and still no takers.
    The one I sent last week has a freebie offer too but no-one has bitten yet.
    I sometimes wonder if the emails do arrive as I notice that ebay sometimes doesn’t send them on time or even at all. There was a period in November December where it skipped sending every other week.

  5. “There was a period in November December where it skipped sending every other week.”
    I might be wrong but are you sending out automated emails? Maybe not, but for anyone that is seriously think about not doing so. I know you can but send too many too often and people won’t open them.
    Always craft your own email, use a suitable title (that’s what people see in their inbox) and remember that sometimes less is more.
    Send me something everyweek and I’ll ignore it, send me something infrequently and there’s more chance I’ll read it ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Yes, I upgraded from one a month (and whenever new lines came in on my specialist cosmetic ranges, I had lists for 2 specific brands) to one a week in October and the results were the same.
    I have adopted allsorts of tricks since December 2004 and the trend stays the same so I’ll give it a miss for a while.

  7. We send one every 8 or nine weeks to past punters, always drags at least one of them back..
    Keep the offers updated, tired offers will be binned that’s for sure!

  8. There were (and still are as far as I can see) some major problems with automated marketing emails: many of the ones I get on a regular basis have no content than the seller’s feedback table: not much of an incentive to buy. For the five minutes it can take to put an email together, it’s not worth not sending something fresh and different and better crafted.

    *But* one of the things that does annoy me about the way eBay work it, is that NARU members are not removed from the email marketing list. If you’re over your free allocation and paying for emails, you are being charged for emails to NARU members: I don’t know if these get sent or not, but either way they’re a waste of money. Fortunately the money is only 1p a time, so your list has to be very enormous indeed before it makes much of a difference.



Repeat Buyers flagged in eBay orders


Start listing on eBay as 1st step to a new business


How to offer free post discounts on eBay with multi-buy discounts


Sellers add eBay Multi-buy listings to 12 million UK listings in 3 weeks


Etsy CEO on selling vintage: a ‘real treasure of Etsy’

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide โ€“ companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars