If you’ve started a store on Etsy and not getting much sales, then you’d most likely be considering investing in Etsy Ads. At the same time you may wonder if Etsy Ads are worth it. In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about Etsy Ads and then evaluate if its something you should invest in.

What Is Etsy Ads?

Simply put Etsy Ads is an option for you to advertise your items to buyers in the Etsy marketplace. By default you’re items will be displayed. However if you’re just starting out, your items may be listed right at the bottom of searches, so you barely get any visibility.

It’s really simple to use. If you enable this option all your items will be automatically selected to be advertised. If you only want to advertise selected items, you can just tick / untick the checkbox for each item. Then you decided your maximum daily budget, and that’s it, you’re ready to go.

The drawback though is that there are barely any customisable options. You can’t decide your target audience, have different images for your ads, nor set a minimum bid for each click.

What Is Etsy Offsite Ads?

In addition to Etsy Ads, Etsy also offers another advertising options to Etsy sellers. As the name suggests, Etsy Offfsite Ads do not appear within the Etsy marketplace. Instead these ads appear outside of the Etsy ecosystem. For example, Google Shopping Ads, Facebook / Instagram Ads, Pinterest and other platforms.

Every seller is automatically signed up for the Etsy Offsite Ads program. This is basically a profit sharing model, and there is no upfront cost. You items may appear randomly on the Etsy Offsite Ads, and similar to the usual Etsy Ads, you can no customisation control over this. You can choose to opt out of this program at any time.

How Much Do Etsy Ads Cost?

Etsy Ads are charged on a pay-per-click model. The cost per click varies, but in most cases you should be aiming at around $0.15 per click, with a conversion rate of over 2.5%. You’d most likely be running at a loss for anything worse than the above. (unless you have very high profit margin)

Etsy Offsite Ads on the other hand is somewhat different. As mentioned above there is no upfront cost to the Etsy Seller should you choose to participate in this program. Etsy will charge 15% of the sales only when a successful purchase is made.

Can You Optimise Etsy Ads For Sales?

Although we’ve mentioned multiple times that there’s barely any customisation options for Etsy Ads, but its still possible to optimise the Ads such to target the right people as much as possible.

Understanding Etsy SEO. The long and short of this that your listing title, description and tags play a big factor when it comes to optimising Etsy Ads. Etsy will look at these factors to try to determine who to show the ads too.

Hence you need to be specific when crafting the text for each section of the listing. Being too vague may attract “window shoppers” who are just browsing around without a purchase intent. Being too specific with your text may result in very little people seeing your Ads, as Etsy would have trouble finding the right audience.

Are Etsy Ads Worth It?

Etsy Offsite Ads would probably be a no-brainer for an Etsy Seller to take up. Since it’s a profit sharing model with no upfront cost, and in most cases you should be pricing your items with at least a 25% – 30% profit margin. So there’s still profit to be made even when Etsy takes a 15% cut.

The usual Etsy Ads that appear within the Etsy marketplace may be a bit more complex to consider whether they are worthwhile to invest. Here’s some points that you can consider for evaluation.

  1. Decide on a daily budget. It should be something you can afford and run for at least 30 days consecutively without making major changes. This would allow Etsy to learn and optimise the ads to the best target audience for conversion.
  2. Monitor the cost per click. This would vary base on the items that you’re advertising. Items with better engagement (e.g. higher click through rate), may have a lower cost per click as compared to another item in your store.
  3. What is the conversion rate from these ads? Meaning the number of people having to click on your ad, before making a single purchase.
  4. You should look at the conversion rate for each item, and not for the entire store. As you may have products that convert better than the rest. Identify which are your winning products, and pause the Etsy Ads that are running for the other products.
  5. Ideally you should let an advertising campaign run for at least full month or two, with no drastic changes. Alternatively I generally would remove a non-performing product after at least 200 – 300 clicks. (i.e. meaning at least 200 – 300 have viewed the product and is not interested.

At the end of the day its finding the right balance. If you continue running Etsy Ads, you’ll definitely make a sale sooner or later. However whether your profit margin is enough to cover the advertising cost is another question.

If you setup your Etsy store in the best possible manner, and optimise every aspects of each listing, you should be able to bring in visitors naturally to your store. Don’t forget Etsy has over 300 million visitors each month, and its less competitive to show up in searches within the Etsy marketplace as compared to Google.

I’ve been running successful stores on Etsy without a single dollar spent on Ads so its definitely doable. Of course, running Etsy Ads may further scale up your sales too. You just need to do it the right way.

I hope the above helps gives you a better understanding of Etsy Ads and Etsy Offsite Ads, and also help you evaluate whether advertising on Etsy is worth it. If you have any questions, do leave them in the comment section and I’d be happy to help.