September 3, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 59 Comments

How to integrate MailChimp with eBay?

Today I’ll be showing you exactly how to build an e-mail list from your eBay customers, using two simple (and free!) tools – a PayPal account and a MailChimp basic account.

To quickly answer the first question of how to connect your eBay account to MailChimp, well you can’t…

Unfortunately there’s no one-step integration possible at the moment. However, you can integrate your PayPal account with MailChimp which is essentially the same thing as most payments on eBay go through your PayPal account.

So to set this up, you need 2 things:

  1. A MailChimp account. The reason I’m recommending MailChimp for eBay start-ups is because the basic account is FREE to use! Yes, MailChimp is completely free for your first 2000 subscribers.
  1. A PayPal Premier or Business Account. Personal accounts won’t do the trick as they don’t have an Instant Payment Notification (IPN) feature enabled.

So once you have successfully opened your MailChimp account, here’s what you need to do:

Step 1 – Creating a List

Just follow the on-screen instructions and fill out all the required information, which I’ll run through below:

List Name – just give it a simple name that you and your customers will recognise… It can be just your eBay Shop name or “eBay Shop” plus your shop’s name like this:

eBay Shop “Andrew’s Treasures”

Default From Name – again, either your eBay shop’s name or your company name – whichever you use on your eBay account and listings.

Default Reply to Email – your default customer service e-mail. Make sure you use a valid e-mail address here as people will often reply to your newsletters and you want be able to reply to those e-mails.

In the “Remind People How They Got on Your List” field, write something along these lines:

You are receiving this email because you made a purchase from our eBay Shop “Andrew’s Treasures”.

This will be included in every e-mail you send, in the footer section, so that people know exactly where this e-mail is coming from and why they’re receiving it. Obviously, each email will also contain a clear unsubscribe link.

Then there’s your company name and full address to comply with the CAN-SPAM act.

In the notification settings you can ask MailChimp to send you an email whenever a new subscriber is added to your list but this is probably over-kill! A more suitable choice would be to get a Daily Summary report email – so you keep up to date and monitor your subscriber success rate.

Lastly, you can let customers select the format of the email but this doesn’t relate to eBay / PayPal integration so leave that untouched.

Once all the info is added, click the Save button to create your new list!

Step 2 – getting the IPN code

Go to Account > Extras > Integrations and find PayPal from the list. Click on the PayPal block and choose your list from the dropdown box. Select the list we just created in step 1 – in my case, eBay Shop “Andrew’s Treasures”.

From the 5th line, make a note of the Notification URL – you can simply copy and paste it into Word.

Step 3 – configuring your PayPal account.

Login into your PayPal account and go to Profile > My Selling Tools > Instant Payment Notification Preferences.

In the Notification URL text box, enter the URL you just saved from MailChimp.

Click save and you’re done!

Step 4 – Putting Everything Together and Making it Work!

It’s easy to integrate PayPal with MailChimp BUT the key to success with e-mail marketing lies in your ability to get your subscribers to actually opt-in to your list. For that to happen, the first thing you need to do is go to the Design a Form page and from the dropdown list choose “Opt-In Confirmation Email”. This is the first e-mail that goes out to your customers once they purchase something from you on eBay.

In this email, there is a subscription confirmation link and people will ONLY be added to your list if and when they click that link. So it’s crucial to get people to open your emails and click on that link – if they don’t then all your hard work will be for nothing.

So what can you do to make them to open the email and click on the confirmation link?

Well that’s obvious really – give them something valuable in return for signing up to your list! Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – would you want to sign-up to some advertisement filled newsletter of no actual value that you’ll just automatically delete anyway? Probably not!

Don’t just say – “hey, please sign-up to this newsletter to receive further news from our company” There’s NO VALUE in that for the customer whatsoever. A much better approach would be to:

  • Offer a free gift to your customer in return for signing up to your newsletter. This can be something like a product related video guide, an eBook, PDF or simply a free accessory they can claim from your online shop.
  • Offer a discount code/voucher which can be redeemed at your online shop. Don’t forget to add an expiry date to create scarcity as that always drives up response levels.
  • Offer an extended product warranty for people who sign-up to your customer mailing list.

And so on!

I’m sure you get the point; you need to give away something valuable in return for getting your customer’s email – as that is worth a lot more to you! If you deal with low value items, or very small margins where it isn’t feasible to offer additional items, your best bet would be to go for the info product route – a video, eBook, PDF guide or tutorial as that won’t cost you a thing to create and give away.

If everything else fails and you simply can’t come up with a good idea or your niche is not suitable for any of these ideas, then at least edit that Confirmation email with a personalised message saying thank you for the order, and offering free future product updates and special ‘existing customer’ discounts if they sign up to your mailing list.

Your conversion rate (no. of sign-ups) will be significantly smaller with this approach but still, that’s better than nothing, right?

Sign-Up Thank You Page

If you’ve done a good job and converted your customer into a subscriber, once they click on that confirmation link, they’ll be forwarded to a Thank You page. You can edit this via the same Design a Form page by selecting “Sign-Up Thank You Page” from the dropdown menu.

I highly recommend that you use the custom URL setting and re-direct subscribers to your own website, if you have one. Then you can create fully optimised and targeted, time sensitive deals for your customers.

For example:

* You sell Custom Made colouring books for children.

* Once a purchase is made on eBay, your customer receives a confirmation email via MailChimp.

* In the e-mail you say: Click here to get this Pencil set for just £2.99 (50% OFF regular price)

* When the customer clicks on that link, they’re redirected to the Deal of the Day page of your online shop, with the special pencil deal @ 50% off which is ending in just 2 hours and 45 minutes.

How do you think such a related, time sensitive offer will appeal to someone who just purchased the colouring book from your eBay shop? Odds are it’s highly likely they’ll be interested and will make another purchase. So not only will you have a high opt-in rate to your mailing list, you’re also introducing people to your store AND making additional sales. Talk about three birds with one stone…

But what if you don’t have an online shop?

You can still use this technique – just don’t re-direct customers to a custom URL but use MailChimp’s built in editor to create a special offer page with the offer linked to an eBay Buy It Now listing.

Or here’s another strategy – if you can’t create a special, related offer as you sell loads of different products, you can use the free shipping angle to create a special offer. So on the Thank You page, say something like this:

* FREE Shipping for any additional items you purchase from our eBay Shop within the next 30 minutes!

Again, this is a very strong call to action as your customer sees great value in this offer, especially if shipping charges are ordinarily quite high.

Obviously, you’ll have to calculate what kind of deals you can offer to your customers based on margins etc. as there’s really no point in just making a sale for the sake of making a sale. Your ultimate goal is to make profit, after all. But with these examples I just wanted to show that there really are options in almost any niche market and I’m sure you can come up with a good offer for your customers too.

What happens next?

Once you have a list of active subscribers, even if it’s a small list of a few dozen emails, then you should start sending out weekly or bi-weekly newsletters. Depending on your niche and the products you sell, here are some content ideas you can use in your newsletters:

  • New product announcements
  • Product reviews
  • How to guides
  • Product Videos
  • Product A vs Product B i.e. comparison reviews
  • Special, limited time offers
  • Discount codes
  • Testimonials
  • General news about your business
  • And so on!

Again, every e-mail you send out should contain some sort of VALUE to your customers – even if it’s just a discount code. People nowadays received a huge number of emails and get bored with empty talk pretty soon, so don’t let that happen! All it means is that they’ll simply unsubscribe from your list or even worse, mark it as SPAM, which is never a good thing and can severely impact the overall deliverability of your email campaign.

With MailChimp’s free account you can send out up to 12,000 e-mails per month. This means that even if you’ve reached the limit of 2,000 subscribers you can still send out 6 ‘email blasts’ per month to your list, which should be more than enough.

As I said, usually you’d want to send out one email every week or every two weeks. More than that would probably be too much and you won’t be able to offer enough value in your emails and while once a month may work well for some specific niches, in most cases that’s probably too long for people to really remember you. So to be safe, you should stick with weekly or fortnightly mailings.

Alright, that’s about it – I think I have covered most of the important things you need to know about list building. Remember – this costs you nothing to implement so get going as a subscriber list can be a powerful tool for your business, and it’s really stupid not to take advantage of it.

Thanks,
Andrew 

59 Comments
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  1. Hi Andrew,I have read and followed the process you have guided, but paypal has changed their interface, I can not find the “y Selling Tools > Instant Payment Notification Preferences.” can you check this and guide me again please

    Thanks

    Mas

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mas,

      You’ll find those settings under Profile > Profile & Settings > My Selling Tools > Instant Payment Notifications.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  2. Hi Andrew

    Great post, especially that its best on the web 🙂

    Thank you for great content and good work

    I did every step you suggested but it is still not working, I read every comment to this post and follow your answers and still nothing.

    Here is the problem:
    When I run test buy to see how emails are sent for opt-in and confirmation, nothing happend. Buyer email is automatically added to my list but opt in email is not sent and I subscribe for paid MailChimp account and still nothing.

    Can you help? Maybe this is not working in 2016?

    Thanks
    Pete

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Pete,

      It should work.

      Did you check junk mail folder?

      If nothing is there, contact Mail Chimp to help you sort out this.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  3. I have 3 separate ebay id accounts for selling different niche products. Payments from all three of these accounts go into my one paypal premier account. Paypal does not highlight which payment came from which ebay account.
    Therefore, How can I set up Mailchimp so that I can send different offers to the 3 ebay niches if all sales are shown as one paypal account.?
    e.g. I would not want to send craft related offers to my vintage collectible buyers.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Cee,

      Unfortunately that’s not possible if all payments go into one PayPal account.

      Andrew

  4. This doesn’t work because PayPal only allows one notification and the ebay cart notification to PayPal takes priority.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      no, Terry, it does work.

      Here’s an updated instruction on PayPal integration part:

      http://kb.mailchimp.com/integrations/other-integrations/integrate-paypal-with-mailchimp

      1. Hi Andrew,
        with reference to details in the update link above,
        I see:
        “If you’ve set up a shopping cart system that processes transactions through PayPal, our integration may not be the best choice for adding buyers to your list. Each PayPal transaction can have only one notification URL, and most shopping cart systems send a transaction-specific URL to PayPal so you can track payments in the shopping cart program. This overrides the MailChimp IPN needed for the PayPal account.”

        Does this mean that the process will no longer work with Ebay as they use a “Add to Shopping Basket” system?

        1. Andrew Minalto

          No, it still works with eBay & PayPal.

          They’re referring to shopping cart systems/online shop systems outside eBay.

          Andrew

          1. Thanks Andrew,
            I am so confused with this process – it does not seem to work for me.
            I have set everything up as you have suggested and as soon as some-one buys and then pays through Paypal, their Email address/details is added to my MailChimp list but none of the Optin/Thank You messages I have set up in MailChimp are getting sent.
            Could you possibly advise please?

          2. Andrew Minalto

            Autoresponder messages only work with paid Mailchimp accounts.

            Free accounts doesn’t have this functionality.

            Andrew

  5. Hi Andrew, thanks for the post! I’ve followed your directions and I’m good to go, but I have 2 questions.

    1. Say I get a repeat buyer on ebay who doesnt opt in for the newsletter, but buys from me frequently. Will they get an opt in email after every purchase?

    2. I got some signups to the list before I completed the opt in email. Should I delete them so I only have opted in addressed on my list?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kyle,

      Thanks for your comment.

      1. No, if they are already on your list, they shouldn’t receive the opt-in email on every purchase.

      2. Yes, you can safely delete them as chances of people confirming on those old sales are very slim.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Thanks for your response Andrew! Sorry, I wasn’t very clear on question 1. Supposing they NEVER want to be a part of my mailing list. Are they going to be asked to join every time they buy something from me?

        1. Andrew Minalto

          yes, I think so.

          Andrew

  6. hello Andrew,

    I still do not understand what it means.

    I have done everything on the list and paypal syn. Few hundreds subscribers were imported to the specific list. New subscribers were also automatically added to the list once they paid by paypal. I read the tutorial of signup and asked mailchimp about that then they told me that I need to create campaign to let buyers signup the list. But I tested it as one of subscribers, I can not signup when I filled in the email address because the web page stated that I have subscribed the list before. So what is the exact meaning of a list, subscribers and campaign? If subscribers were added to the list, why they have to do the signup action?

    Kind regards,

    Thank you.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Stephen,

      If you have people ON YOUR LIST, already confirmed their subscription, you don’t need to ask them to sign up again, before you can do any mail outs. Not sure why they gave you such advice.

      You should be able to send out newsletter already now, to group of people you have been adding to your account via PayPal set-up.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,

        You responded me really fast. I do appreciate your professional advice.

        Actually I also followed your instructions and it works!

        For instance: the action ‘Investigating It Further’ in the post “A Complete Guide to Buyers-Scammers on eBay”.

        I did followed your instruction, apologized, said I will be investigating, and did enclosed a declaration and ask the buyer to fill in their name and sign saying they didn’t receive the item so that I can send it on to Greece post office for their investigation.

        Then the buyer responded me quickly that he received the item few minutes ago and said thank you. So I am sure he actually had received the item few days ago.

        You are really a kind man. You know if we followed your instruction, and everything carefully and seriously. It will be succeed.

        P.S.: I am a UK top rated seller with premium service.

        God bless you. You did helped a lot of people.

        Kind Regards,

        Stephen

        1. Andrew Minalto

          That’s great to hear Stephen, really!

          You made my day! 🙂

          Andrew

  7. Hi Andrew,

    This is a superb workaround, thank you!

    If I also use Paypal on our website as well as eBay, does this mean my website customers will get the confirmation email from Mailchimp as well, or is there a way that only my eBay customers get it?

    Thanks,
    Jen

    1. Andrew Minalto

      yes, all customers will get that email as it’s linked to PayPal account you use, via IPN settings.

      For online shop orders though you want to check whatever they don’t have a direct plugin to connect your shop’s customers with MailChimp. IN Big Commerce for example this is built in by default.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Brilliant, thanks Andrew!

  8. Hi Andrew, thanks for a great article!

    We would like to create an automated order email process for eBay customers; whereby a customer will receive a tailored automated order email depending on the product they have ordered. The tailored email would include item and service specifics, such as: delivery lead time, extended warranty cover, care and maintenance etc etc

    We would require around 10 different product specific automated response templates/emails.

    Is this possible using the MailChimp software? If not are you aware of a product on the market which could handle this level of automation?

    Many thanks,
    Matt

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Matt,

      No, unfortunately you can’t do this with Mail Chimp as it would send same email to all customers. It would be same case with any auto responder service really.

      Can’t really think of any such software that would work with eBay sales…

      Sorry, not much help, I know!

      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew

        No problem and thanks for getting back, and for ruling out MailChimp.

        The hunt continues ..

        BR, Matt

  9. Hello Andrew,
    Thanks very much for this. I implemented it last weekend and got a 100% sign up rate from eBay sales so far! I’d better give them some good content…
    Quick question… is there a way of automating this list building in the same way with Amazon sales, as the payment platform is different?
    Thank you,
    Val

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Val,

      Great to hear that! 🙂

      No, unfortunately you can’t do same on Amazon as far as I know.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Ah that’s a shame!
        Thanks anyway

        1. Andrew Minalto

          no worries!

  10. eBay has rules for sending out emails to eBay customers. After reading it though, all of the rules seem to apply only to emails send within eBay. Here it is:
    Policy overview

    Members can send messages to each other through eBay. We encourage open communication between our members but we don’t allow our members to use these options to send spam, offers to buy or sell off eBay, threats, profanity, or hate speech. We also don’t allow members to exchange email addresses or links that do not directly help buyers and sellers complete a transaction on eBay.

    Make sure you follow these guidelines. If you don’t, you may be subject to a range of actions, including your messages being blocked, limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

    Please remember that we don’t have control over communication unless it takes place through eBay. Also, posts on eBay discussion boards aren’t covered by this policy. However, we do have a discussion boards usage policy.

    This statement makes me believe that you can send emails outside of eBay:
    Please remember that we don’t have control over communication unless it takes place through eBay.”

    What do you think?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jim,

      Yes, of course – you can do that. As long as you have customer approval (confirmation/sign-up email to your list) and you include un-subscribe link in each email you send out, this is fine. This is exactly what this guide is all about really.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  11. Hi Andrew,
    My eBay store is a few years old and I have many past customers.
    Can I send them all an initial email and add them to my list?

    Regards,
    Steve

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Steve,

      Technically you could do that but… if those are old emails/customers, many of them will just ignore or mark as spam your email (which is not good) as they won’t remember you. Unless you work in a niche with lost of repeat customers/sales where most of your customers are in regular contact with your brand/shop.

      Andrew

  12. […] my Easy Auction Business video course I mention countless times how important it is to collect the email addresses of your eBay customers. If you’re still not familiar with how this works, here’s a quick […]

  13. Hi Andrew

    I am having trouble setting up the Account in Mailchimp.
    I enter the details i.e. Select a list and get the IPN etc, but there is no save button

    When I close the browser and re-open it nothing has been saved.
    Can you help

    Regards
    Jeff

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jeff,

      You really should contact Mailchimp support for stuff like this.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  14. Hi Andrew,

    Is there anyway to send a list of email addresses the initial opt-in email request?

    I have now set it up so that when an item is purchased they get sent the opt-in email, but I would like to be able to send it to my list of previous customers!

    Kind Regards,
    Chris

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, you can do this by importing existing email list to aWeber/MailChimp when program will automatically send out confirmation required email.

      Just don’t do this with old lists as then most people will see it as a spam.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  15. hello, thanks for the awesome information…. i had a quick question> what if a customer buys more then one item? or orders multiple times in a month? will they receive a newsletter opt-in email every time ?
    thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No, as their email will already be in the data base.

  16. Hi Andrew, after finding this really helpful post I linked my PayPal with an aweber account. The first day was fine but the last two days sales have plummeted.
    Do you know if linking customers to an autoresponder affects your standing with eBay, and their search results?
    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Rick,

      Of course it doesn’t, in no way.

      eBay doesn’t know that you’re using an auto responder system in back-end. So in no way they would change your listing rank because of this.

      It’s just probably a co-incidence as sales fluctuate on eBay all the time.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  17. Excellent EXCELLENT write up Andrew. I love how you went the extra mile to explain, whats next. NOBODY does that…

    My question… Have you ever used this method while segregating a list? Say I want ebay buyers to go into group ‘buyers’ and then say, signups from my website or facebook go into group ‘signups’

    Is there a way to do this? or do you have to have 2 lists? or just simply make your messages general enough to cover lookers and buyers?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Trisha,

      Yes, you can definitely do that by creating various lists for various email sources.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  18. Hell Andrew, have attempted to implement this all yesterday. And i think i have done something wrong.

    Everyone who has bought from me since then has been added to the list.. I thought they would get an email, and only be added if they signed up.

    Have i done something wrong?

    I got my girlfriend to do a test purchase, and she didn’t get an email, but i got her name and email address data in my list.

    bit confused what i have done now.

    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Liam,

      Make sure you have Double Opt-In setting enabled as only then people will receive confirmation email with a link in it.

      If you have done that, it should work.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Thanks for the quick reply.

        I can’t find any option to change the opt in settings. Have emailed their customer support to see if they can work out what I’ve done wrong.

        From Liam.

        1. Hi, I also have this same problem. Everyone who has bought from me gets added to the list. They do not receive any emails to confirm their subscription? I do not see any double opt in settings in mailchimp.

          1. Andrew Minalto

            Yes, they have changed how it works now and all payPal emails are automatically added to your list.

            To make them comply with double-opt in rules, you would have to send out an autoresponder email which asks for confirming their subscription or un-subscribing.

            Andrew

          2. Hi, so when the email address is added after a Paypal transaction, will MailChimp send an email to them automatically, asking them to subscribe?

            or are the buyers unaware that they are actually on my MailChimp List, until i contact them and ask them to subscribe.(through an upgrade & autor esponder)

            Reason i ask is that they are already “subscribed” in my list (without optin in?) or is it because there has been a transaction through paypal – it is deemed as ok for them to be opted in, without actually pressing a button.

            Also, say i sold 20 things in the last day or so, and only 6 email addresses have been added???? – are they getting an email from Mailchimp after the purchase? (conformation optin screen).?

  19. […] case of information products is to use an auto responder service, such as Mail Chimp. Check out my Mail Chimp guide here to learn how to connect it to your eBay […]

  20. Thanks for the great post. How do I send the confirmation email to my customers? It states this will be the first email they receive about the opting in after they make a purchase but I am not sure how to set it up to send it. Or does it automatically get sent once the email is transferred over from Paypal? Also is there a way to get send an email to former customers to see if they want to opt in? Thanks in advance

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes, MailChimp, (aWeber or ant other auto responder service) will send out that confirmation email automatically. You can even customize it to increase open rate and click through rate.

      No, you can’t send such emails to former customers, at least not automatically. You can though manually collect/export email addresses from PayPal, import them into MailChimp so it sends out email asking to join your mailing list.

      But do this only for recent customers who have bought something from you, to stay within SPAM ACT rules.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Thanks for the info. I am only using the free service. Looks like i might want to upgrade to use the auto responder.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Yes, auto responder feature is the one that actually makes these services so valuable.

          Thanks,
          Andrew

  21. Hi Andrew, I have been wondering how I can build my email list for my ebay shop so this is really great advice thanks!

    I am just wondering……has anyone ever complained to ebay about you contacting them in this way? Also, if you have a custom shop template, is it possible to add a mailchimp sign up form in the sidebar?

    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kate,

      Thanks for your question.

      1) No, I have never had any problems with this. People SUBSCRIBE to the newsletter in first place + each email contains the un-subscribe link so if someone wants to stop mailing, he just have to click on that link and it’s done.

      2) I’m not 100% sure. While technically that’s possible, I don’t think it’s ok with eBay rules. I know for sure that you can’t collect emails via listings and almost certain that same applies to shop fronts.

      Hope this helps Kate!

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. That’s great, thanks so much for your reply

        Kate

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