Pinterest campaign hands Etsy a prized gift: big returns

Shopping and collection ads delivered Etsy a 12x increase in incremental return on ad spend (iROAS), driving sales from new and existing customers.

A person placing a small pot of succulents onto a floating wooden, triangle shelf hanging on a plain white wall. On the shelf is also a wooden clock, one white flower in a small glass and wooden sculpture of grapes. A large plant is on the floor next to the shelf.

The magic of gift-giving is finding the special item for your loved ones. And Etsy sellers are known for delivering on that wow factor, stocking their virtual shelves with handpicked, handcrafted goods and other merchandise.

Etsy marketers had always known that Pinterest was a good place to find shoppers who were interested in similar things—seeking inspiration and celebrating creativity—as their buyers. 

But a question for the e-commerce company lingered: Could Pinterest drive incremental sales among existing and new buyers at scale? 

They decided to run a six-week campaign on Pinterest to find out.


increase in iROAS for Etsy’s US Pinterest campaigns1


Pinterest sales lift from Q1 to Q2 in 20211

A new way to measure impact

Etsy’s campaign focused on running a measurement test to determine the true value of their Pinterest advertising to both new and existing buyers. They decided to do a more holistic analysis of the customer journey to better understand the impact of Pinterest ads on their business.   

Instead of following their usual 30-day, click-based attribution model, they used a multi-touch attribution model that would take into account how people used Pinterest. 

To run the test, Etsy used a combination of collections and shopping ads, each featuring different video and static creative in four key product areas. The campaign targeted all people on Pinterest interested in home decor, weddings, jewelry and accessories and crafts/DIY. 

Within this audience, people were randomly selected for the test and divided into two groups. Both groups were exposed to all other Etsy marketing efforts and organic content. But only one group was shown Pinterest ads.

“We know that Pinterest is a unique platform and provides different value than other performance channels, as people on Pinterest are already in a specific mindset for certain categories and occasions, similar to the behaviors we see on Etsy. We were thrilled to see our approach really proved the impact of marketing on Pinterest.”

— Brittany Lee, 

Director of Performance Marketing, Etsy

Rewarding results

The test confirmed that advertising on Pinterest helps people find what they’re looking for—before they can even name it. Etsy shoppers who saw shopping and collections ads converted at much higher levels than non-exposed shoppers, with the greatest lift being among new buyers.1

Pinterest drove a 12x increase in iROAS for Etsy US.1 More specifically, Etsy received an incremental $12.47 in sales for every dollar spent on ads.1

As a result, Etsy improved their Pinterest ads strategy by setting the performance metrics and then optimizing the copy and creative based on what was performing best. The company was now able to see which customers ultimately made purchases from an Etsy shop after seeing their ads on Pinterest.

Overall, the campaign generated a total sales lift of 4.5% in the first two quarters of 2021.1 Ads featuring home and living products drove the highest conversion rates.1

With this new measurement approach under their belt, Etsy says they were able to see the true benefits of advertising on Pinterest. Ultimately, Etsy unwrapped the true magic of Pinterest, sparking gift-giving inspiration among their buyers and increasing success for their sellers.

Tips for your next campaign

Try these Pinterest best practices to get more out of your ads:

  1. You can use shopping ads to easily transform your product catalog into ads that can help boost your online sales on your website.

  2. Consider tailoring your creative assets differently based on what stage your target audiences are in their shopping journey (ex: new vs. existing customers). 

  3. Look at expanding your attribution window for a fuller picture of your ROAS—don’t just measure last-clicks.