You’ve done it! You’ve set up your Teachers Pay Teachers store, you’ve uploaded your first few resources, and you’ve even made your first sale! But then, TPT sends you an email–there’ll be a sale next week! While you’re excited, you’re also suddenly overwhelmed. How do you participate? What do you do? How are you going to achieve TPT seller success?
In this blog post, I hope to answer these questions and put your mind at ease. Keep reading this guide to learn how Teachers Pay Teachers sellers can maximize their profits from a TPT sitewide sale.
(Are you preparing to buy during the sitewide sale? Check out my buyer’s guide to making the most of a TPT sale!)
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I personally use and love, or think my readers will find useful.
When are the Teachers Pay Teachers Sitewide Sales?
Teachers Pay Teachers holds four yearly sales–one for each business quarter–plus a bonus one-day sale during the back-to-school season.
In 2020, with the pandemic afoot and teachers scrambling, the site also offered some additional sales days.
Anticipating these sales is one action you can take to help ensure your own TPT seller success.
Make sure that you’re signed up for the Teachers Pay Teachers seller email list and read them in a timely fashion. These emails always announce a sale at least a few days early and are full of helpful information.
If you’re a member of a TPT seller Facebook group, there will also be plenty of activity there when sales are announced. Be sure that you’re plugged into the TPT seller network, so you don’t miss it!
(I HIGHLY recommend joining Misty Miller’s TPT seller group, TPT Seller Tips and Advice, if you have a store.)
The actual dates of the sales change from year to year, but they usually fall on a Tuesday and Wednesday.
Quarter 1 Sale (January-March):
This is the hardest sale to anticipate. Quarter sales have happened in January, and they’ve happened in February.
Quarter 2 Sale (April-June):
The quarter 2 sales tend to occur during Teacher Appreciation Week. These sales are pretty consistent. (Consider grabbing a promotional spot on the Tuesday and Wednesday of Teacher Appreciation Week if you can!)
Quarter 3 Sale (July-September)
The big, two-day, back-to-school sale usually occurs during the first week of August. (Again, this one is fairly consistent and may be worth trying to secure a promotion spot.)
Then, there is a second “boost” one-day sale. This is typically during the third week of August.
Quarter 4 Sale (October-December):
This might be the easiest sale to predict. It will usually occur the week after (American) Thanksgiving in order to line up with the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping craze in the United States.
This usually means late November, but may also fall during early December.
Why does this matter? Knowing when the sales will most likely occur will help you prepare.
But how do I prepare? Keep reading!
Teachers Pay Teachers Sale: Before the Sale
As soon as you get the email announcing a sale, you need to get to work!
Know exactly how much time you have to devote to prepping a sale before you start the following. You might not have enough time to develop a new product, a seven-step email sequence, and an Instagram giveaway–and that’s alright!
The following is a general list of actions you can take prior to a sale, but only step 2 is absolutely necessary.
The more sales you participate in, the easier it will get.
TPT Seller Seller Success Step 1: Freshen Up Your Storefront
Let’s say that you’re preparing for the big back-to-school sale. You’ll want to make sure that your store looks fresh, ready, and that teachers can find the type of products they’ll need most easily.
As soon as you get that TPT email saying it’s “go time”, consider:
- Finishing last-minute updates to products
- Finish and post products that are close to completion
- Change your featured products to seasonal best selling products
- Switch out your banners to promote seasonal best sellers
This is not a “must-do” list, but rather a list of action items to consider. You by no means have to do all of the above. (You may very well be lesson planning for your own back-to-school teaching life, too!)
At the very least though, do look over your storefront. I like to use the sales as triggers to do a quick glance at my shop front.
Do I still have a banner promoting my Halloween products during June? Are there products that really need an updated cover?
Use the quarterly sales as a time to check-in with your store. If the storefront feels outdated or unloved, it won’t be as inviting to your customers.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you need to completely redo your shop either. I think too many new sellers get caught up on making beautiful flashing gif banners when they should really be creating resources or building sustainable marketing.
Use your gut, your data, and your long-term plan to choose where to devote your time.
TPT Seller Seller Success Step Step 2: Put Your Store on Sale
You’ve updated your featured items, added a new cover or two to some low-converting items, and even managed to add a small new product. You’re ready for the sale!
Don’t forget to actually participate!
Teachers Pay Teachers sellers are not automatically included in the sitewide sale. You have to “opt-in” to each one.
To “opt-in” to a sale:
- Go to teacherspayteachers.com
- Go to your dashboard (click on your name at the top right, then dashboard from the dropdown under the “Sell” category)
- Select the “Marketing” tab above your sales chart
- Click on “Throw a Sale” on the left
If a TPT sitewide sale is upcoming, you’ll have the option there to join. The website will walk you through the process.
Important note! If you join the sitewide sale and then add a new resource after, that resource will not be part of the sale! You’ll have to repeat the process above and add that resource to the sale.
So if you manage to get a last-minute product uploaded, don’t forget to add it to the sale!
Congratulations! You are now ready to sell.
TPT Seller Seller Success Step 3: Develop a Marketing Plan
How you market the sale will depend on the structure of your business. If you don’t have an Instagram account for your Teachers Pay Teachers store, don’t create an account two days before a sale. It won’t be worth it and it will only be added stress as you try to prepare.
However, if you already have a strong Instagram presence, then you’ll definitely want to leverage that!
The email that you receive from TPT will stipulate when you can promote the sale. It’s important not to say anything to your audience before that date.
Why? If teachers know about the sale too early, they may stop buying altogether before the sale. But if they don’t have any warning, they may miss it entirely.
Be sure to follow the directions in the Teachers Pay Teachers emails.
Creating Your Marketing Plan
Make a List of Your Marketing Assets
Do you do well on Instagram or Facebook? Does your blog drive a lot of traffic? Is your email list hoppin’?
Look at where your followers, engagements, and traffic come from. Where these numbers are performing the best is where you should put in the most marketing effort.
Develop Your Content
Next, you’ll want to batch your content for the few days leading up to and during the sale. Batching, by the way, the process of preparing several days, weeks, or months of content to save time later. (I’m a big fan of saving time!)
For social media like Instagram and Facebook, I highly recommend Canva for cranking out engaging images quickly. (You can find out more about why I love Canva so much over here.)
Teachers Pay Teachers will also share some graphics that you can use through their emails. If you’re a part of a TPT seller Facebook group (and you should be!), other sellers are often generous and share their original images as well.
You’ll also want to pre-write enticing captions to go with those posts.
For blogs, I don’t typically try to create a new blog post specifically for a sale, but I might consider promoting posts that have historically led to more TPT traffic.
Promoting a blog post could be as simple as creating and posting new pins for the post. It could also mean paying for promotion on Pinterest or Facebook.
If you want to reach out to your email list, you may want to write a three or four-day sequence to send your audience.
My promotional email sequences usually follow the same general pattern:
- Sunday before the sale: I announce the sale and include a link to this blog post. Feel free to share that post with your audience as well!
- Monday before the sale: I remind my audience about the sale and include a link or a teaching tip that is seasonally appropriate (and that can be used with a product).
- Tuesday (first day of the sale): I announce that the sale is on and link to a few products that might be seasonally appropriate
- Wednesday (second and last day of the sale): I iterate the urgency to my audience and again suggest a few products that might make the coming month a little easier for them.
I like to write out all of my emails in a Google Doc first. That way, when the next sale happens, I can just tweak the copy and swap out the product links. You could easily do the same with any content you plan on sharing.
TPT Seller Seller Success Step 4: Schedule Your Content
Once all of your graphics and copy (or advertising plans) are ready to go, it’s time to schedule everything.
You want to schedule as much as you possibly can. If you’re also teaching full-time and trying to have some kind of family or social life, you don’t want to be obsessing about posting or sending the right thing at the right time.
I use Tailwind to schedule my Instagram and Pinterest pins. I like that I can do it all in one platform. If I’m promoting a blog post with new Pinterest pins, I can schedule those to go out during the sale or a day or two before. I can schedule my Instagram posts the same way.
I use MailerLite for my email list, but any email service provider (ESP) will allow you to schedule your emails.
If you’re using promoted (i.e. paid) advertising, schedule these ads. You’ll need to decide how long they’ll run and how much you’ll want to spend. If this is your first time experimenting with paid advertising, be conservative. You can spend more later when you’ve gotten better at it.
I highly recommend using UTM codes for any links you create to send buyers to your store. This will be incredibly helpful after the sale when you’re trying to figure out which marketing channels worked best for you.
(Not sure what UTM codes or how they work? I discuss them in this TPT seller freebie.)
What About Giveaways?
During the sitewide sales, TPT will give away $10 gift cards to random sellers for giveaway promotions. (You’ll have to enter for the chance to win one of these gift cards.)
You might also see other sellers doing their own or group giveaways to promote the sale.
In my personal experience, doing a sale to promote a Teachers Pay Teachers sale is more stress and work than it’s worth.
Now, you may have a different experience, but I hated how rushed and frenzied I felt trying to win a gift card, create a promote a giveaway, and choosing and rewarding a winner.
This doesn’t mean that I think giveaways are a bad idea!
But I would rather see you use a giveaway to build your Instagram followers or email subscribers. That way you’ll have time to build trust and educate potential customers about your offerings, which in turn will make it more likely for them to buy during a sale.
I find that a lot of buyers will opt-in or follow during a sale just for the giveaway prize, only to unfollow after the contest or the sale ends.
Your efforts would be better placed in building a genuine following rather than chasing views and likes during the sale.
That said, if you’d like to organize a giveaway, Rafflecopter is an easy tool to use. It’s perfect if you’re just learning how to organize a contest.
During the Sale
If you’ve created a marketing plan and scheduled everything, there’s not much you can do during the sale.
Be sure to continue interacting with your audience as you normally would. Respond to comments. Return emails. Reply to feedback.
If you’re an influencer extraordinaire (I am definitely not!), you can also do live videos or stories on Instagram to stay top of mind with your audience as the sale is going.
Investing During the Sale
You may want to do some of your own buying during the sale. These sitewide sales are a great time to reinvest in your own business.
Before the sale, make a list of the types of fonts and clip arts you’d like to purchase. You might also want to invest in some additional tools (more on that in a moment).
Beware! It’s easy to buy every font and piece of clip art that you think is cute during a sale. I mean, it’s on sale–why not? But remember that every dollar you spend on your business is a dollar taken out of your bottom line.
By all means, reinvest! But don’t spend your money unless you know you’ll absolutely use it. Every penny you spend on your business should bring back more money in return.
I have purchased several invaluable tools during sitewide sales. My favorite has been the Bearwoods Flat Pack, which allows you to flatten and secure PowerPoint files. Even after purchasing Adobe and other software, I still find myself using this purchase often.
There are also other great tools to look into: crossword or word search generators, seller planners, and data spreadsheets. Explore the world of seller-made tools for other sellers on TPT. A key element of TPT seller success is supporting one another after all!
After the Sale
Once the sale is over, you’ll want to review the data and do some reflection.
You’ll want to compare your sales to previous sales. (I like to compare the sale to the one before it and its corresponding sale the year before.)
You’ll also want to make note of which products, if any, sold especially well during the sale. Make a note to promote these more heavily in the following years.
Examine your traffic sources on your dashboard. If you use UTM codes (and you should!), then you’ll be able to see where pretty much every click to your store came from.
Did you IG posts create more traffic? Your blog posts? Your emails? Maybe you have a YouTube channel that’s driving traffic for you. Make note of what worked and what didn’t for next time too.
You may decide that your email copy wasn’t compelling enough (or that your list was too small to have much of an impact). Did your Instagram interactions drop, or did your link clicks improve?
Looking at these numbers will help you create some small goals to work toward in the future.
It’s tempting to go big during your first few sales, but remember not to overwhelm yourself. You can add to your marketing efforts with every sale and build slowly. Create graphics and content copy that you can reuse again and again.
You may also find that the sales during your first year or two don’t bring in much revenue. That’s ok! We all start that way.
If you keep showing up and participating consistently, however, you’ll see an increasingly dramatic impact from these sales as your followers and audience grow larger.
Want more tips, strategies, and ideas for achieving TPT seller success? Be sure to sign up for my TPT seller newsletter!