If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that Etsy is one of the best places to sell printables. I like it because it allows publishers to set up a shop with a unique URL and benefit from Etsy’s massive SEO advantage to attract new customers.
One of the ways that Etsy is helping shop owners expand their businesses is through their Offsite Ads program. In this post, I’ll explain what you need to know about the program, including how it works and the best ways to take advantage of it.
What Are Etsy Offsite Ads?
Etsy Offsite Ads were introduced by Etsy in February of 2020 as a way of helping Etsy sellers make sales and grow their shops. The ads appear in a variety of places, including:
If you normally pay for Etsy ads, you should know that Google ads are now included in the offsite ads program. Any money you pay to advertise on Etsy will be used for onsite ads only.
Offsite ads are generated by Etsy, which means that as a seller, you don’t have direct control over when and how they appear. Etsy has automatically opted every seller into Offsite Ads, although some sellers may be able to opt out if they desire.
How Much Do Etsy Offsite Ads Cost?
One of the appealing things about offsite ads is that you only pay a fee if someone clicks the add and purchases the item advertised. In other words, you’ll make money from a sale that you wouldn’t have made without the ad and pay a fee to Etsy.
There are two tiers of fees, which break down like this:
- If your Etsy shop made less than $10,000 in sales in the most recent 365 days, you will pay 15% of what you make on the sale.
- If your Etsy shop made more than $10,000 in the most recent 365 days, you will pay a discounted fee of 12% of what you make on the sale.
That might seem like a lot, but I think it’s important to remember that you’re paying for sales that you would not have made without an ad, and that will justify the cost for many Etsy sellers.
Who Can Opt out of Etsy Offsite Ads?
As I mentioned earlier, Etsy announced offsite ads in February of 2020 and opted every store into the ad program. However, some shops can opt out if they choose to do so.
Let’s talk about who’s required to participate. According to Etsy, any shop with more than $10,000 in earnings in the most recent 365 days is required to participate in offsite ads. That coincides with the bracket where you will pay the discounted rate of 12% for any sales that you make from your ad.
Shop owners with less than $10,000 in earnings in the past year can opt out if they choose. If you’re not sure whether you can opt out, you can check the Stats section of your Etsy dashboard to review your annual sales. To opt out, follow these steps:
- Click Shop Manager
- Click Settings
- Click Offsite Ads
- Click Stop Promoting My Products
- Confirm that you want Etsy to stop promoting your products
If your sales are low enough to allow you to opt out, I suggest stay in for a while just to see how the offsite ads impact your sales. While the fees might seem high, a significant increase in your sales will increase your earnings. And you can always bump your prices slightly to offset the ad fees.
How to Make the Most of Etsy Offsite Ads
As a shop owner, you cannot decide which products of yours will appear in offsite ads, or even whether your shop will be featured. Etsy will decide that based on their algorithms. Keep in mind that their goal is always going to be to increase traffic and sales, which means they’ll focus on the products they believe are most likely to sell.
Does that mean there’s nothing you can do to increase your chances of being featured in an offsite ad? The short answer is no. You do have some control over whether your shop and products are featured. Here are some pointers to help you.
- Create high-quality product listings that show off your products to their best advantage.
- Make sure your product images are attractive and clear.
- Encouraging customers to rate your products on Etsy.
Etsy sellers with high customer ratings are more likely to have their products featured in offsite ads than those with low ratings. You may want to follow up with customers who have purchased your products to encourage them to rate the products on Etsy.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Etsy Offsite Ads?
There are upsides and downsides to Etsy Offsite Ads. I know a lot of people who have expressed anger at being automatically enrolled, but I think there are some benefits to consider. Let’s start with the pros:
- Etsy takes care of all the work in terms of creating the ads and targeting them to potential customers.
- You pay only if you make a sale, meaning that Etsy assumes all the up-front costs of advertising.
- Shops with under $10,000 in sales may opt out of Offsite Ads.
Here are some cons to consider:
- The shops with more than $10,000 in sales cannot opt out.
- The fees range from 12% to 15% of your sale price, which is high compared to some other advertising options.
- You can’t control when or if your products appear in Offsite Ads.
I don’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all answer for whether Etsy’s Offsite Ads are worthwhile. My recommendation is to track the sales that come from ads to get a clear picture of how these ads impact your sales. It may be that you see a substantial increase in sales that offsets the costs of the ads. If you don’t and your sales allow you to opt out, then you can do so.
Etsy’s Offsite Ads are a hot topic of discussion among Etsy shop owners. It remains to be seen how they will impact sales, but it’s worth tracking your results to understand how they’ve impacted your shop.
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