Etsy Advertising: The Ultimate Guide to Promoting Your Store

Etsy is the go-to marketplace for more than 81.9 million buyers and 4.3 million sellers. From artwork and unique decorations to vintage jewelry, it features over 60 million items in every category you could think of. The platform isn't as big as Amazon or eBay, but it brings together artists, designers, and crafters from all around the world. 

These talented professionals do more than just showcase their work and wait for buyers to contact them. They also spend hours optimizing their listings, engaging with prospects, and taking photos that tell a story. Some leverage social media marketing, Etsy advertising, and search engine optimization, or SEO, to expand their reach. 

Running an Etsy shop is no different than operating a traditional business. As a seller, you need to promote your work, dress up your storefront, and seek new, creative ways to attract buyers. 

Etsy ads can generate exposure for your online store, but there are some aspects you should consider before jumping in. 

Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of Etsy advertising, how to set up and manage your campaigns, and what to expect in terms of pricing. 

Etsy Ads 101

Whether you're a side-hustler, artist, or someone looking to change careers, you can use Etsy to turn your passion into a business. 

About 80% of Etsy vendors operate a one-person business, and 97% manage their stores remotely. What's more, 87% of vendors identify as women, which shows that Etsy can be a viable option for female entrepreneurs. 

Starting an Etsy store couldn't be easier. It takes minutes to create an account, select a template, set up your storefront, and list your products. The challenge lies in attracting and engaging customers. 

Depending on your niche, you may be competing against hundreds or thousands of other sellers. Like it or not, it takes more than just a great product to stand out from the crowd and make sales. 

You also need to think outside the box and come up with a marketing strategy that allows you to reach the right customers at the right time — and that's where Etsy ads can help. 

Launched in 2019, Etsy Ads is a service that allows sellers to promote their listings on and off the platform. Simply put, your adverts will show up on Etsy and third-party platforms, such as Google Shopping, Buzzfeed, Real Simple, and the major social networks. 

This service works similarly to Google Ads, but it appeals to creative entrepreneurs. Therefore, it's easier to use and more intuitive than other advertising tools. 

Just like Google Ads, it provides the tools you need to set up and manage your campaigns, track the results, and make changes along the way. 

What Are the Benefits of Advertising on Etsy?

Etsy features millions of items in different categories, from jewelry and clothing to vintage furniture. The competition is tight, and your products can easily get lost in the crowd. 

What Are the Benefits of Advertising on Etsy

As a seller, you have several options when it comes to promoting your Etsy store. There's social media marketing, Google ads, Bing ads, and so on. Google Ads and other similar services involve a learning curve and require technical know-how. The last thing you want is to spend hours trying to figure out how to set up your campaign and get things going. 

Advertising on Etsy, on the other hand, is much easier compared to other services. Plus, you can always sign up for Etsy Offsite Ads to have your listings promoted on third-party platforms. With this option, you'll only pay when you make a sale — but more on that later. 

The biggest advantage of using Etsy Ads is the exposure you'll get. This service will put your products in front of potential customers who have already shown interest in similar items. Etsy will display your adverts to specific buyers based on their browsing history, demographics, and other data. 

Sellers use this tool to raise brand awareness and increase sales. What's more, Etsy Ads can make it easier to reach new buyers who otherwise might not have found your store online. 

Last but not least, you can leverage paid advertising to drive customer loyalty and retarget buyers who have already visited your Etsy store without making a purchase. On top of that, Etsy ads work great for product launches, seasonal offers, and special promotions.

Who Should Be Using Etsy Ads?

Etsy ads can be a powerful marketing tool, but they don't guarantee success. Plus, you may not need them in the first place. 

With onside ads, you'll pay a fee every time someone clicks on your advert. So, if you only have a few items for sale, it may not be worth using this service. The same goes for Etsy sellers who offer low-price items, such as $1 keychains. In either case, you can use ads to increase sales, but the fees will add up. 

Etsy advertising campaigns will likely yield better results for established stores and those selling higher-priced items, like vintage jewelry, home furniture, or leather bags. 

For example, established sellers already have a reputation and repeat customers. Therefore, they may need fewer clicks on their ads to make a sale, resulting in lower advertising costs. 

If you operate a small Etsy store, consider using Etsy Offsite Ads or social media marketing. As your business grows, start experimenting with paid ads and adjust your campaigns as needed. 

How Etsy Ads Work

As discussed earlier, Etsy sellers can advertise both onsite and offsite. With either option, their listings will compete with other similar listings for ad space based on several factors, such as:

  • Your shop's history
  • Listing quality
  • Targeted keyword(s)
  • Search relevance
  • Bid amount

For example, an established vendor whose listings are optimized for online search will get a higher quality score than a new seller with poorly optimized listings. A higher quality score translates into lower advertising fees. 

Basically, Etsy uses an auction system to determine where your ads will show up and how much you pay per click. 

Offsite Ads work slightly differently. If you choose this option and someone makes a purchase within 30 days after clicking on your ad, then you'll pay a fee. However, Etsy won't charge you for clicks that don't convert. 

All sellers are automatically enrolled in Etsy Offside Ads, but, except for those with an annual sales revenue of $10,000 or higher, they can opt-out anytime. 

If your annual earnings exceed $10,000, you cannot leave the Offsite Ads program. However, you'll receive a 3% discount on advertising fees. 

This brings us to the next point...

Etsy Advertising Fees: Know What to Expect

What you'll pay for advertising on depends on your daily budget and the type of ad. Here’s a quick breakdown of the fees and costs associated with this service. 

Etsy Advertising Fees: Know What to Expect

Etsy Onsite Ads

The fees for Etsy onsite ads are calculated based on the bidding system described above. Therefore, you'll need to set up a campaign to see the exact numbers. Your ads will be displayed to buyers who search for products or services on the platform. 

Every penny counts when you're a small business owner, and that’s why it’s important to set a daily budget you're comfortable with. 

Etsy recommends spending around $3 to $5 per day on advertising until you learn the ropes. You can start for as little as $1 per day, but no more than $25. 

If, say, you type "earrings" into Etsy's search bar, you'll first see sponsored listings that sellers paid for. These are labeled "Ad by Etsy seller."

Etsy Offsite Ads 

The Offsite Ads program uses a more predictable pricing model. With this tool, your adverts will appear on Google, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms, including third-party publishers like Shape, Martha Stewart, and MyWedding. 

Here's how it works:

  • Vendors with less than $10,000 in revenue per year pay a 15% advertising fee per sale
  • Etsy stores earning $10,000 or more per year pay a 12% advertising fee per sale

The costs are quite high, but you can still make a profit — depending on your sales volume and average product price. 

Also, remember that you'll only have to pay when a customer places an order within 30 days of clicking on your ad. 

If your Etsy store generates less than $10,000 per year, you can leave the program anytime. Simply log into your account, click Shop Manager, select Offsite Ads, and turn off this option. 

How to Get Started with Etsy Ads

Setting up an Etsy advertising campaign takes minutes, but that's just one piece of the puzzle. You'll also have to fine-tune your listings and use quality photos that catch the eye. SEO, especially keyword research, is essential to the success of your campaign. 

Ready to get started? First, decide on the following aspects: 

  • Your daily ad budget
  • The product(s) you want to advertise on Etsy 

If you're new Etsy ads, promote your entire inventory rather than specific products. 

With this approach, you'll gain more accurate insights into customer behavior and how your listings perform. Later, you can focus on your top-performing product listings to make the most of your ad spend. 

Another strategy is to advertise your best-selling item or product category, suggests Etsy. This approach is suitable for shop owners on a tight budget, as well as for those who have been running ads for 30 days or longer. 

Alternatively, you can choose to promote new products, seasonal offers, or special deals. 

Next, take these steps to set up your campaign:

  1. Log into your Etsy account
  2. Click Shop Manager 
  3. Select Advertising under Marketing
  4. Set your daily budget, or maximum ad spend
  5. Click Start Advertising 

Etsy sellers also have the option to target specific countries or regions. 

For example, it doesn't make sense to display your ads to European customers if you only ship in the U.S. In this case, you can set up Shipping Profiles and adjust your campaigns accordingly. 

Easy Hacks to Get More of Your Etsy Ad Campaign

Anyone can set up an Etsy Ads campaign with just a few clicks — that's the easy part. You also want to make sure your ads stand out from the crowd and drive sales.

First, learn to use the Etsy Ads dashboard to track promoted listings. Here you can see how many people clicked your ad and the revenue earned for every dollar spent, among other metrics. 

Next, leverage this data to fine-tune your listings and optimize or remove those that perform poorly. 

Easy Hacks to Get More of Your Etsy Ad Campaign
  • A good starting point is to use Google's Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or other keyword research tools to find relevant search terms related to your products. 
  • Choose keywords and key phrases with high search volume and low competition — especially long-tail keywords, which include three or more words.
  • Place your target keywords in product and image titles, descriptions, categories, and tags. 
  • Shop owners can add up to 13 tags per listing, so take advantage of this feature and sprinkle your keywords naturally throughout the content. 

If you follow these steps, buyers will find your product listings more easily. Plus, your ads may receive a higher quality score, resulting in lower fees. 

Here are other tips to help you out:

  • Take high-quality photos to make your Etsy listings stand out.
  • Write compelling product descriptions that include your targeted keywords.
  • Study your competitors to see what they are doing well and what you could do better.
  • Use A/B testing to experiment with different types of ads and determine which ones perform best.
  • Focus on new listings, seasonal products, and special offers when advertising on Etsy.
  • Add descriptive tags to help buyers navigate your listings (e.g., "gifts for teachers," "handmade Christmas candles").
  • Run your Etsy ad campaign for at least 30 days to get better insights into its performance.

Remember that marketing is an ongoing process. You can't just set up an advertising campaign and leave it as is. Continue to make changes and switch things up at least once a month or so.

Etsy Ads Don't Guarantee Success 

By now, you should have a better understanding of Etsy advertising and what to expect. What many sellers fail to realize is that setting up an ad campaign doesn't guarantee success. 

You can spend thousands of dollars on ads with little or no results. This may be due to one or more of the following factors:

  • Etsy ads cannot compensate for poor SEO practices, bad marketing copy, or bad product photos. If your adverts have low conversion rates, it might be time to rethink your SEO strategy and conduct A/B testing. 
  • Another aspect to consider is that Etsy Ads have their limitations. This tool can generate exposure for eCommerce businesses, but you could end up missing out on potential clients who use other platforms, such as Poshmark or threadUP, to find products online. 

For example, sellers who use Etsy Ads and opt out of the Offsite Ads program may find it difficult to reach prospects outside the platform. Your potential clients may spend more time on Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms, and they may not see your ads on Etsy. 

  • You can choose to re-enroll in Offsite Ads, but the costs will add up quickly. Remember that Etsy charges listing fees, payment processing fees, and transaction fees — just to name a few. 

Your best bet is to get creative with your Etsy marketing strategy and look beyond ads. Consider using additional tools, such as social media, Google AdWords, press releases, and guest blogging, to build your brand and boost Etsy sales. 

For instance, you could write and publish press releases whenever you're launching a new product on Etsy. Sign up for free press release distribution services like PRLog,, or to have your content published on multiple websites. 

Another option is to contact bloggers in your niche and offer to write a guest post in exchange for a link back to your Etsy shop. 

At the end of the day, what matters is having high-quality listings and original products that resonate with your audience. As a seller, you can leverage visual content to attract, engage, and retain customers.

Harness the Power of Visual Content to Drive Conversions 

Product photography is an integral part of eCommerce and digital marketing. Bad photos can drive away potential buyers and lead to revenue loss, no matter how great your product is. High-quality images, on the other hand, can increase sales and strengthen your brand. 

A 2016 BigCommerce survey found that 76% of consumers expect to see photos that bring products to life and tell a story. What's more, 83% of buyers find product photos "very" or "extremely" influential. 

The numbers don't lie. As a seller, you need professional photos to reach your audience and stay competitive. Great photos can also make your adverts more appealing, resulting in more traffic and higher conversion rates. 

For starters, make sure your images are in line with Etsy's guidelines

All pictures must be in .jpg, .png, or .gif format and meet certain size requirements, such as 500 x 500 pixels for shop icons and 2,000 pixels in width for listing images. 

Choose a stunning first photo for each listing and use an image editing tool like Pixelcut to resize it. With Pixelcut, you can instantly remove the background from an image, add special effects, and adjust the lighting, contrast, or other elements. 

Also, note that Etsy sellers can use up to 10 images per listing. This gives them the freedom to experiment with different angles, props, backgrounds, and so on. Leave your comfort zone and check out these product photoshoot ideas for a boost of inspiration. 

Get More Clicks on Your Ads without Spending Extra

Optimizing your Etsy listings is cheaper and more effective than running dozens of ads. Sure, more ads equal greater exposure, but you can get similar results with two or three adverts that speak your customers' language. 

With the Pixelcut app, anyone can produce great product photos for Etsy, eBay, and other platforms. You may use our tool to remove distractions from your Etsy photos, replace the background, add layers, or use pre-existing designs. 

Another cool feature is the wide selection of templates, backgrounds, and overlays. These elements can make your photos more engaging and "clickable," leading to increased sales. Plus, you can use them to develop a unique brand identity on Etsy and beyond. 

Pixelcut also supports batch editing, which could save you hours of work. On top of that, you can use the app to adjust and repurpose your photos for different platforms. 

Don't let your ads go unnoticed. Join Pixelcut today to create product images that will make your adverts memorable!

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