How To Increase Etsy Traffic and Sales: A Simple Method

By Scott Voelker •  Updated: 11/18/22 •  10 min read

One of the most common things I see Etsy sellers struggling with is how to boost traffic and sales, especially during the busiest and most competitive parts of the year.

Even if more people are looking for products during the holiday season, if your products don't show up in front of them, you may not see the sales benefit of the extra eyeballs.

I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about one of the most underutilized parts of the Etsy platform, which can also be used as a way to boost both sales and traffic.

Although this can be used at any point throughout the year, you'll see an even bigger benefit by taking advantage of this Etsy feature anytime there is more traffic.

It's especially powerful during the fourth quarter and the holiday shopping season.

The Myth About Etsy Traffic

Before we dive into the future, I wanted to quickly address the biggest myth that I see when it comes to traffic and sales on Etsy.

Virtually, everyone seems to think that the only way to ever get eyeballs on Etsy is by ranking at the top of Etsy's organic surge by maximizing your SEO.

Although the title of your listing, your description, your tags, and your images are extremely important, this is not the place where you need to spend all of your time 

Etsy has a ton of valuable features, like Etsy ads and the sales feature which allow you to skyrocket to the top of Etsy search and get more visibility on the platform even if your search engine optimization isn't perfect.

What Etsy Wants

At the end of the day, what Etsy really wants is not millions and millions of perfectly search engine optimized listings.

What they want are listings that people will buy from.

Although, as he does make their $0.20 every time you create a listing, they make substantially more each time you get a sale.

As a result, even if you're listening is not perfectly optimized, but you're getting traffic and sales, Etsy is likely to reward you inside of their algorithm, bringing you even more traffic and sales.

With that out of the way, let's dive into the Etsy “Sale” feature.

Run an Etsy Sale

If you've never used this feature before, you can find it inside your marketing dashboard located in the sales and discounts section.

Once inside, you can select the “run a sale” option and set all of the different parameters, such as the amount of your discount and the timeline for the sale.

With that being said, you may be wondering why I'm such an advocate for using this feature inside of Etsy.

After all, if I'm discounting my products that means I make less money with each sale, right?


If I'm discounting my products. I will make a bit less with each sale… only during the course of the sale itself.

Let's take a little bit of a deeper look at why these sales work and I think you'll understand where I'm coming from.

Why they Work

There are two huge reasons why I love this feature inside of Etsy for driving extra sales and traffic (and a third that can make this even more powerful).

The first reason that this feature is extremely powerful is that Etsy will send notifications to any people who have interacted with your store to let them know that you are running a sale.

These groups of people include people who have added your product to the cart and people who have favorited your shop.

This notification alone is likely to result in a decent number of sales from people who were either on the fence about purchasing your product or have made several purchases from you in the past and have not seen the particular product or products you have on sale.

Like I said, in my little rant about Etsy search engine optimization, getting traffic and sales inside the platform will almost always lead to more traffic and sales.

If the only thing this feature did was get us a few visits to our listings and maybe even just a sale or two, it would be well worth taking advantage of in the future.

But that's not all that using this feature does.

In addition to sending out those notifications to people who are likely to buy the products, we have on sale, he gives us an additional feature inside of the listing and organic search.

Like You can see in the image above, Etsy will start to show a countdown timer on your listing and an organic search as your sale is nearing an end.

Using this type of urgency for customers to make their purchase is one of the best ways to increase the conversion rate of any offer.

If you live in the United States, you may be familiar with the concept of Kohl's cash.

This is a discount program in which every time you purchase at Kohl's department store, they essentially give you a gift card to return before a certain date to redeem an additional discount on your next purchase.

I don't know about you, but essentially everyone I know who participates in this program will run to Kohl's on the day Their Kohl's cash is about to expire and make an additional purchase starting the cycle all over again.

This works essentially the same way.

By Etsy saying on your listing and an organic search. “Hey, this discount is going to expire” forces a potential purchaser to make the decision and ultimately purchase your product.

Additionally, even if someone is only in the initial stages of their purchase journey because our listing now stands out in the organic search results, they're more likely to click on an hour listing even if it's not the top-ranked product.

This feature, therefore, gives us both more traffic and more sales simply by us taking advantage of it.

Lastly, in addition to notifying people who are likely to buy and getting the attention of more potential buyers by using the deadline strategy, there's the potential of securing even more placements across the Etsy website.

Occasionally, especially during the holiday season, Etsy runs a variety of site-wide promotions.

If you set up your sale to meet the criteria of Etsy, special promotions, like their Sitewide Christmas Promotion, there's a chance your listing will be given even more placements beyond organic search and even potentially featured on Etsy's social media channels.

Types of Etsy Sales

Now that you understand why I love this feature so much, I wanted to talk very quickly about the two different kinds of promotions that are currently available on Etsy.

Etsy Sitewide Events

The most commonly used type of sale on Etsy or what is referred to as Etsy sitewide events.

As discussed in the previous section, these would be sales major events throughout the year, such as Independence Day or Christmas.

 In this type of sale, you must mean specific criteria to be promoted as a part of the sale.

Although the criteria will vary a bit from event to event (You can always find the current criteria inside of your shop dashboard), to participate, Etsy will typically require that your entire store offers a percentage of a discount.

Even if you're a little bit antsy about offering a discount on all of your products, it's important to keep in mind that these types of events are what can get you promoted on Etsy's social media feeds and get you priority placement on their special events, pages, and category pages, even if you're listings aren't perfectly optimized to capture Etsy search traffic.

Additionally, even if you missed the start of an Etsy sitewide event, you can start your sale later on and still participate in all of the sitewide promotion, as long as the sale you do set up meets the existing criteria.

A Quick Hack For Etsy Sitewide Events

If you plan on participating in an Etsy site-wide event, you may also want to consider creating a special product for that particular event.

If all of your products are handmade, this can be a bit more difficult.

However, if you operate on a print-on-demand or hybrid Etsy shop model, you can very easily find some of the most popular selling types of products for that particular event and quickly create a design for your shop that would make sense for your audience.

adirondack puzzle showing one creative way to create more etsy sales and traffic by creating custom products

For example, Etsy will often showcase a particularly popular product or product types during their sitewide events.

In the screenshot above, we were able to find a product featured by Etsy during their current promotion.

We can see that the product type is a puzzle, if we don't currently have any puzzles in our store, it may be worth taking just a few minutes to create a puzzle that would make sense for our audience and that listing to our shop and let Etsy promote it during the sitewide event.

We have done this now with a handful of different site-wide events and have been blown away by the results.

Shop Events

Etsy site wine events are a nice way of getting a boost in traffic during a particularly popular times of the year.

But the best part about the Etsy sales feature is that you can read most of the benefits of the feature anytime you want.

If Etsy isn't currently running a site-wide promotion or you simply don't wish to participate, you can still create an Etsy sale inside of your shop.

Although this type of sale won't necessarily get your products featured on Etsy's social media or special category pages, he still gives us the countdown timer and they still will send notifications to people who would be potential buyers of our products.

We are going to be playing with this feature more and more, but I wanted to quickly give you an example of something that you may want to consider doing.

I think you know by now that one of the hardest things about watching a new product is getting your first visitors and sales.

If you're following the niche model of an Etsy store and regularly creating new products, it becomes very easy to imagine how useful it would be for Etsy to send a notification to the people who love our shop that we have a new product available and that they can get it at a discount for a limited time.

Even if this little notification only results in a few visits and a sale or two, it's likely to help us skyrocket the ranking of that listing in organic search.

When you combine this with some of the other strategies we talk about for launching new products, like email marketing, you start to realize how much easier it is to launch products if you do it this way.

Quick Recap

I know that one of the hardest parts of selling on Etsy is trying to get traffic and sales.

Even during the busiest times of the year, knowing that we're competing with a ton of other sellers can be a very frustrating experience and we need to do everything we can to stand out.

That's one of the main reasons that I'm such an advocate of using sales to drive traffic and sales inside of the Etsy platform.

Not only does this give us an even bigger benefit during the busiest times of the year, like the Christmas season, but it can be a great way to help us drive initial traffic and sales all year long.

Scott Voelker

Over the years I’ve helped thousands of people TAKE ACTION to UNLOCK their true potential on building their ultimate freedom business, by developing the skills to make them resilient, confident and FUTURE PROOF. I’ve clocked my 10,000 hours over the years working in the trenches myself and helping others build and grow their brands. I know the power in TAKING ACTION better than anyone and I’ve seen people lives changed as a result of it...including my OWN!