Behind the Scenes of Etsy Ads Revealed!

Behind the Scenes of Etsy Ads Revealed!

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Etsy Ads History
  3. The Problem with Limited Data Tracking
  4. Lack of Control Over Cost Per Click
  5. The 30-day Attribution Window
  6. The Challenge of Profitability
  7. Tips for Evaluating Etsy Ads Performance
  8. Alternatives to Etsy Ads
  9. Conclusion


Welcome to the very first episode of "Off the Record"! In this late-night version of my YouTube videos, I'll be sharing personal opinions and experiences with Etsy. As someone who has worked on thousands of Etsy stores across various niches, I have a unique perspective that provides insights into the platform. In today's episode, "Etsy Ads Exposed," we will delve into the reality of advertising on Etsy and discuss some of the controversial aspects of Etsy ads.

Understanding Etsy Ads History

Before we dive into the current state of Etsy ads, let's take a brief look at their history. Prior to February 2020, Etsy ads were known as promoted listings. Many sellers loved this advertising tool because of its affordability and ability to control cost per click. However, in an effort to increase revenue, Etsy rebranded and introduced Etsy ads in May 2020.

The Problem with Limited Data Tracking

One major issue with Etsy ads is the limited data tracking. Unlike organic search results, which provide lifetime stats, Etsy ads only track data for the past two years. This makes it challenging for sellers to analyze long-term trends and make informed decisions regarding their advertising spend. It is essential for Etsy to provide lifetime data to sellers who are investing their money in advertising.

Lack of Control Over Cost Per Click

A significant change introduced with Etsy ads is the removal of the ability to set a specific cost per click. Instead, sellers enter a sealed bidding system where they have no visibility into how Etsy is spending their money. This lack of control leaves sellers uncertain about the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns and makes it easier for Etsy to spend their budgets without delivering the desired results.

The 30-day Attribution Window

Another issue with Etsy ads is the prolonged 30-day attribution window. When a potential customer clicks on an ad but does not make an immediate purchase, Etsy allows them up to 30 days to return to the platform and make a purchase. While this may seem advantageous, it skews the attribution and makes it challenging to determine the true effectiveness of ads. A shorter attribution window, such as 48 to 72 hours, would provide more accurate insights.

The Challenge of Profitability

Many sellers struggle to achieve profitability with Etsy ads. While some may see initial returns, it is crucial to consider all costs involved, including product, packaging, shipping, and time. Often, sellers realize that they are not making any profit once these costs are factored in. Evaluating the return on advertising spend is necessary to determine if Etsy ads are truly driving profitability.

Tips for Evaluating Etsy Ads Performance

If you are using Etsy ads, it is essential to carefully evaluate their performance. Look beyond the surface-level numbers and dig deep into your figures to calculate your true return on advertising spend. It is recommended to aim for at least a four-to-one profit to spend ratio, with six-to-one being considered safe. However, this may vary depending on your business model and product offerings.

Alternatives to Etsy Ads

For sellers who are struggling to achieve profitability or are dissatisfied with Etsy ads, there are alternatives to consider. Exploring different advertising platforms, focusing on organic SEO, or diversifying marketing channels can help you reach your target audience effectively while maximizing your return on investment.


In conclusion, Etsy ads present various challenges for sellers, including limited data tracking, lack of control over cost per click, and an extended attribution window. It is crucial to evaluate the profitability of your Etsy ads and make informed decisions based on your business goals and budget. Exploring alternatives and diversifying your marketing efforts can also contribute to your overall success on Etsy.

I am a ETSY merchant, I am opening several ETSY stores. I use Etsyshop to find ETSY stores and track competitor stores. Etsyshop really helped me a lot, I also subscribe to Etsyshop's service, I hope more people can like Etsyshop! — Ecomvy

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