Interstellar Digital Marketing

Everything You Need to Know About Launching Promoted Pins

Pinterest announced this week that they will open up their Promoted Pins beta program to all people using Pinterest on January 1, 2015. This is great news for ecommerce brands, as Pinterest has proven to have the highest average cost per order of any social referral, and tests with Promoted Pins “performed just as good and sometimes better than organic pins.” This was not just found with women’s apparel brands, as one might imagine based on Pinterest’s typical user demographics. Financial services, food, automotive and other brand verticals as saw positive results, according to Pinterest.

Pinterest will be expanding their advertising features in the future, adding new ad formats and targeting parameters. They’re also launching an educational and instructional program call Pinstitute, which will provide tips and business insights to help brands see even greater return from Pinterest. Small businesses can access webinars and other online learning tools, and larger brands will be invited to quarterly workshops.

Until those new features and Pinstitute are released, here are more details on how Promoted Pins work at this time.

Creative & Delivery

Advertisers select the individual pins to promote. Pins display in relevant search results, and contain a “Promoted Pin” label.

You can drive traffic to almost any page, but the destination URL cannot have an impassible interstitial. You can still have an email signup or other popup CTA, but it must be easily closed out.

Campaign Setup & Approval

Pins are organized into campaigns. Budgets are set at the campaign level, and bids and targeting are set at the Pin level.

Pinterest reviews every pin, which can take up to seven days for approval. The pin image and description cannot contain a call to action, promotion, sale or pricing. Here are examples of pins that are not allowed:


There are two levels of targeting: keywords and users. You must manually add keywords to each pin, and then Pinterest adds automated broad match keywords on top.

User targeting is based on location (down to the metro level in the US only), language, device and gender.

Bidding & Spend

Bidding is based on a second-price auction, where the highest bidder is displayed but only pays enough to beat out the second-highest bidder. There are no minimums for campaign spend levels, but the minimum bid is $0.05 per pin. Advertisers only pay when users click through to the site.

Tracking & Analytics

You can add tracking URLs to individual pins for better analysis of performance, and to separate paid from earned pins. Pinterest will provide separate analytics for Promoted Pins, which will show impressions, repins, clicks, CTR, total spend and status of each campaign.

It’s a very straightforward and basic advertising option at this point, and is similar to other pay per action models used by Google, Facebook, Twitter and other paid and social medias channels. We recommend implementing Rich Pins on your site if you plan to run Promoted Pins, so that your pins stand out even more and contain as much information as possible.

We’re so excited to test Promoted Pins! One of our clients was actually approved for the beta program this month, and we were in the process of developing a plan and setting up campaigns when this announcement came out. Now we can’t wait to test with other ecommerce clients and bypass the approval process, which took about three months for us to get accepted. Stay tuned for results for all Promoted Pins tests. 

All screenshot images taken from

Everything You Need to Know About.png