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Sarah Waggoner

How to Make Etsy Offsite Ads Work

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You may have heard a little about Etsy offsite ads. There are a lot of Etsy sellers complaining about them in Etsy communities, but are they right for you? Keep reading to find out more about Etsy’s Offsite ads program.

How Do Etsy Offsite Ads Work?

The offsite ads program is easy to use. When you opt-in to advertising, Etsy will show your listings on partner sites and networks. These include social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

These partner sites then choose which users to show your listings to based on who is most likely to purchase.

Etsy pays the upfront advertising fees associated with the partner sites for offsite ads.

Are There Ad Fees?

There are fees for offsite ads, but as an Etsy seller, you are only charged when you make a sale through the program. This is great because Etsy is taking the risk of the upfront advertising fee.

If your shop has made less than $10,000 USD in the last 12 months, you’ll be charged 15% of the sale cost. If you’ve made over $10k, you’ll be required to participate in this program but will be charged a discounted advertising fee of 12%. These percentages are on top of the normal Etsy fees for your shop.

You aren’t charged for Etsy offsite ads if a buyer clicks on an offsite ad for another Etsy seller who is opted into the program.

You also aren’t able to control your budget for these ads because you are only charged when you make a sale.

Can I Pick My Listings for Offsite Ads?

Unfortunately, you can’t choose what listings Etsy shows for your offsite ads. If you opt-in to this program, then Etsy can choose the listings they think will perform the best.

You might notice periods of increased traffic without sale conversions from offsite ads, but this isn’t something to worry about. Etsy can tell where the traffic is coming from and the lowered conversion rate won’t affect your Listing Quality Score.

Eventually, Etsy will find the listings with the best conversion rates and focus more on those.

And remember, you aren’t paying for ads until you make a sale. So the listings that don’t convert for ads won’t hurt you.

How to Improve the Chances of Your Listings Appearing on Etsy’s Offsite Ads

Offsite ads are sometimes shown on platforms that buyers aren’t specifically going to for shopping, so spend some time thinking about what makes you stop your scroll on social media.

Gorgeous product photography is a must-have. Make sure your photos are well-lit and perfectly in focus. You might consider some eye-catching lifestyle images of your product in use to stand out. It should be immediately clear what you’re selling in these images because shoppers will have little clues besides a photo as to what they’re being shown.

You will also want to improve your listing page in other ways. Increasing your conversion rate, making sure your description is easy to read, and keeping processing times low can help get your listings shown.

How can I opt out of Etsy offsite ads?

If you’ve made less than 10,000 USD you can opt out of Etsy offsite ads until you hit that revenue limit. You can turn these off by going to “Settings” then selecting “Offsite Ads” and following the instructions on that page.

Should I Use Etsy Offsite Ads

Offsite ads on Etsy are a low-risk way to advertise your listings on platforms outside of Etsy. While Etsy sellers often complain about the ad fees for this program, your shop should be able to handle a 12-15% fee on occasional sales.

I like to think about the fee as a coupon. You should be able to offer your buyers a 15% off coupon. If you can’t, then your products are not priced correctly and you should revisit your pricing to maintain profit.

Offsite ad sales volume will be fairly low for most shops at less than 5% of total sales.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where are offsite ads shown?

Etsy states offsite ads are shown on “Offsite Ad Channels” and with “Publishing Partner Sites.”

Ad channels include social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. They also include Google, Google Display Network, and Bing.

Publishing Partner Sites can be thought of as affiliates of Etsy and include BuzzFeed, Martha Stewart, Real Simple, and more.

What is the Google Display Network?

The Google Display Network is a collection of over 200 million websites and apps where ads can be shown. You can learn more about it here.

How do I cancel offsite ads on Etsy?

To cancel offsite ads, go to your shop manager. Click “Settings” in the menu on the left of your screen, then click “Offsite Ads.” You can follow the instructions on that page to cancel.

How to cancel Etsy Offsite Ads

What is the difference between Etsy ads and offsite ads?

Etsy ads, formally known as promoted listings, are shown on the Etsy platform. This can include the app or their website. They’re shown to buyers in the search engine results on the platform after buyers enter a search term into the search bar.

You’re charged for these ads when a buyer clicks on the listing, regardless of whether they purchase from you or not.

Where to see Your Etsy offsite ads statistics

You can learn more about your shop’s offsite ads stats by going to the menu as shown above in the shop manager. Etsy will show you what sales came from offsite ads as well as how much you paid in fees.

Why was I charged an Offsite Ads Fee on a sale from a returning customer?

Offsite ads have a 30-day attribution window. So if a buyer clicks on an ad and makes multiple purchases from you within 30 days, you’ll be charged the ad fee with each of those sales.

Conclusion: Are Etsy Offsite Ads Worth It?

Etsy’s offsite ads program is a relatively risk-free way to get your products shown on new websites to an audience that you wouldn’t normally reach. While you do need to make sure that you’re pricing your products appropriately, offsite ads are worth it for most sellers.


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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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