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Sarah Waggoner

Ads on Etsy: Tips for Turning Clicks into Sales

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Etsy ads can be a great way to promote your shop and get more sales. But it’s also easy to find a lot of sellers who tell you they aren’t worth it. So what’s the truth? Are ads on Etsy worth a try? They are if you know how to run them effectively. Let’s learn how.

The Basics: How Do Etsy Ads Work?

Etsy Ads allow sellers to market listings to potential buyers completing searches on the platform. Your ads will be shown to shoppers based on the keywords that you’re using in your listing title and tags.

What are the Benefits of Advertising with Etsy Ads?

Advertising with Etsy Ads can offer a ton of benefits, including increased traffic and improved sales. Advertising listings with Etsy ads also lets you easily monitor your return on ad spend so you know what is effective in your campaigns and what you need to change each week to be profitable.

How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on Etsy?

The cost of advertising on Etsy varies depending on a handful of factors including the demand and saturation of your niche. As more buyers search for the keywords that you’re targeting in your ad campaign, the cost of those ads can go down.

However, low-demand or high-competition niches can drive up ad costs because more sellers are attempting to bid for keywords that aren’t being searched for often.

What is the Return on Investment of Etsy Ads?

Calculating the return on investment (ROI) of your Etsy Ads can help you determine the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. But it’s not easy to estimate what that ROI will be before starting your Etsy ads campaign.

We talked in the last section about how ad costs depend on the demand and saturation for each keyword, which you don’t have a lot of control over. Your ROI, however, also depends on a whole lot of other factors including your conversion rate, listing cost, and profit percentage.

How Long Does It Take For Etsy Ads To Work?

Etsy ads are an algorithm of their own, so they do need time to optimize once you start them. Once you turn on your Etsy ads, you should leave them to optimize for at least 30 days.

If you’re not profitable after those 30 days, you’ll want to start making small changes to your strategy to reach your goal ROI.

How to Set Your Etsy Ad Budget

Because you need to give the ads algorithm time to work, you need to set a daily budget for your Etsy Ads campaign that you feel comfortable losing for up to 30 days.

You will most likely be profitable before 30 days is up if you’ve properly chosen relevant keywords for your listings, but it’s best to start with a budget you know you can afford to lose.

Select which Products to Advertise

Choosing which products to advertise is an essential step in running a successful Etsy Ads campaign. Etsy listings with high conversion rates will perform better because you need fewer buyer clicks to get a sale on these listings.

Let’s work through an example. If you have a listing with a 1% conversion rate, it will take 100 clicks to get a sale. Let’s say you’re spending $0.10 per click, then each sale will cost you $10.

If you have a listing with a 5% conversion rate, that listing will only need 20 clicks to get a sale and your advertising costs will be $2 per sale.

That example shows you how important it is to choose your listings correctly for your Etsy ads. Want to learn more about conversion rates? Listen to this podcast episode.

Types of Etsy Ads

Etsy offers two types of ads: Etsy Onsite Ads and Etsy Offsite Ads. Onsite Ads appear within Etsy search pages, while Offsite Ads are displayed on external websites and search engines.

Onsite Ads

This ad type is a great way to increase visibility and attract more shoppers to your listings with less risk of losing moeny. Onsite ads appear in Etsy search results after a buyer completes a search on the platform or Etsy app. The ads appear next to listings that are ranking organically and look like normal listings except for a small “Ad” notice as shown below highlighted in yellow.

Etsy ads shown on a search results page

You’re charged for these ads each time a buyer clicks on the listing being advertised.

Etsy Onsite Ads have a lot of benefits including:

  • Easy to start advertising

  • Targeting buyers who are already on Etsy to make a purchase

  • Easily measured returns from the advertising dashboard

  • Lower cost per click compared to social media advertising options

As far as paid advertising goes, Etsy onsite ads are the easiest to manage and make profitable through an easily controlled daily advertising budget and easily monitored ROI.

How much does an Etsy ad cost per click?

The cost per click of an Etsy ad depends on factors such as your bid amount and the competitiveness of your keywords. Sellers in competitive niches with a lot of sellers bidding on the same keywords and sellers in low-demand niches with few buyers searching for their products will have a higher cost per click on their listings.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to estimate your cost-per-click bid until you turn on your ad campaign. You aren’t currently able to edit your bids on Etsy, but I’m confident this feature will return in the future.

Offsite Ads

Offsite Ads are a convenient way to reach potential buyers outside of Etsy. Etsy handles all aspects of Offsite Ads, including ad creation, placement, and bidding, making it easy for sellers to increase their sales from outside of the platform. The ads will appear on search engines and social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. You will only get charged for these ads after you’ve made a sale from them. That makes this much different than onsite ads because if you’ve priced your listings correctly, they’re always going to be profitable.

You can opt out of Offsite Ads if you have made less than $10,000 in the last 12 months on Etsy. If you’ve made more than $10,000 on Etsy, you are required to participate in the offsite ads program. The the good news is that you’ll get a discount on the fee.

Offsite ads cost 15% of the sale total for sellers who are under $10k in revenue and only 12% for sellers who are required to participate.

How to Use Your Etsy Ads Dashboard

The Etsy ads dashboard contains a ton of information about your ads that you’ll want to use to optimize your ROI. Make sure to check out your impressions, click-through rate, cost per click, and total ROI to measure their effectiveness.

Manage your Budget and Advertised Listings

While you aren’t currently able to manage your budget through a custom bid on the CPC (cost per click), you can edit your daily budget as needed.

Your biggest tool in making sure your ads are profitable is managing the listings that are included in your ads. Monitoring your conversion rate for each listing you’re advertising will help you understand how profitable your ads can be.

Tips for Running Successful Etsy Ads

I recommend starting with one to two listings if you want to minimize financial losses when you start ads. It might take a few weeks to figure out what listings are going to be the most profitable. So making small changes can help you learn quickly without wasting a lot of money.

Test different types of listings

You can, of course, test different types of listings while trying to learn what your best Etsy ads strategy is.

Many sellers I work with do well with listings that have a higher Average Order Value (AOV) so their ad costs are a smaller percentage of the sale. I have other sellers, however, who do well advertising listings that have a lower cost because their particular niche has a low amount of competition.

You won’t know what will work for you or your shop until you test your ad campaign.

Can you be Successful on Etsy Without Ads?

While advertising on Etsy can help increase sales, it’s possible to be successful on Etsy without ads. If you don’t want to use Etsy ads, you’ll want to focus on getting found in organic search results. The best way to do this is through full product lines and properly formatted SEO. You’ll also want to send traffic through your marketing efforts too, like your email list or social media pages.

Learn more about SEO in this blog post.

Frequently Asked Questions:

It’s normal to have a lot of questions before you attempt to start your ads campaign for your Etsy shop. I’ve answered a handful of them for you below.

What if I want to set a daily budget higher than what I’m currently allowed?

Unfortunately, you need time to do this. Etsy wants to make sure that you’re trustworthy before letting you spend a lot of money on your ads. Start advertising by using the maximum amount of your budget each day. Etsy will increase that daily budget for you at regular intervals.

Is it better to advertise more or Fewer listings on Etsy?

This is very dependent on your Etsy shop. If you have a lot of listings with a high conversion rate, you can advertise more individual listings. If you don’t have a lot of proven bestsellers yet, you’ll want to advertise fewer listings to maximize your ROI.

Is one dollar of Etsy ads good?

It can be if you’re in a non-competitive niche with low saturation. If you have a lot of competition for your keywords, however, that might only be enough for a few clicks per day.

If you try to start your advertising campaign with $1 per day and don’t seem to get a lot of traffic, you’ll want to increase your budget or improve your SEO.

How do I turn off Etsy Ads?

To turn off Etsy Ads, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Shop Manager

  2. Click on “Marketing”

  3. Click on “Advertising”

  4. On the Advertising page, you’ll see your active advertising campaigns. You can turn your ads off from here.

How do I advertise on Etsy for free?

This is a good news, bad news situation. Unfortunately, there are no ads on Etsy that you can run for free. The good news is that Etsy as a platform has over 90 million buyers and is growing annually. You can get a lot of traffic on Etsy without advertising through proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques.

How can I get Etsy to spend my daily budget?

If Etsy isn’t spending your full budget each day, you’ll want to increase the number of advertised listings in your Etsy shop.

You might also need to check your relevant keywords to make sure they’re getting searched for currently.

Are Etsy Ads Worth It?

Overall, Etsy ads can be profitable if they’re set up correctly and applied to the right listings. That makes them a great way to promote your Etsy shop. The keys to making Etsy ads work are to advertise listings with a high conversion rate, price your listings correctly to maintain profit on each sale, and set a daily ad budget that you can afford to lose while your campaigns optimize.

Your Etsy ads performance is going to vary by niche and with each keyword that you’re targeting. Make sure to be patient and let the algorithm figure out how to best help you make a profit in your Etsy shop ad traffic.

Have more questions, Etsy seller? Drop them in the comments below.


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About Author:
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Sarah Waggoner is a full time Etsy Seller with over $700,000 in sales. She helps handmade and digital sellers get daily sales on Etsy without all the complications.

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