Episode 4: How We Use Data as Teacher Sellers

In this episode, we talk about data how we use it to make decisions about our business.

Episode 4: How We Use Data as Teacher Sellers

 
 
00:00 / 00:30:10
 
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What data points do you check to drive decisions as a Teachers Pay Teachers seller?

We both use data frequently to make all kinds of decisions about our business. We geek out about all things data.  The more insight we have into what’s working and what’s not helps us so much. In this episode, we discuss the different data points we check and what they can tell us about our resources. We’ve even scored some awesome info from Benson at Team TpT to help you understand TpT data better.

How we use data

We use data to drive all sorts of decisions about our business. It can tell us when a resource is popular and that gives us the information we need to make decisions about when to promote a specific resource. It also helps us to decide which resources to make more of. Spoiler Alert: It’s not always the ones we love the most. We may gravitate towards a particular resource that we think is great but it may not always be the best choice to be spending our time on that.

It can show us if resource line is declining in popularity or if it’s just not the best time of year for that particular topic. If we see a decrease in sales, data can help us to figure out why it may be happening.

Use a larger set of data rather than a smaller set

Benson from TpT told us, “Another piece of advice (more generally about data) is to make decisions using a large set of data. Don’t run a promoted pin for only a day or two and then try to decide if it was worth it or not. Set a budget that will last you as long as you possibly can (within reason) and then use that larger set of data to make a decision. Try to always get at least a week’s worth of data before making any decisions, because buyer behavior can be all over the place day-to-day. At TpT, we run all of our tests for at least a week, and some for much much longer.”

Looking at the pin data below, we can see that the pin was more popular different times of the year. Had we just pulled a week worth of this data out, it wouldn’t really give us a clear picture of what is happening long-term with a pin.

Using dashboard data to decide on promotions

We use our dashboard to tell use more about our overall sales, how a particular resource is selling, and even how a resource line is selling.

Some of the data points we like to check are:

  • Total sales (Earnings)
  • Conversions
  • Views

  • We change the dates to look at bigger or smaller chunks of time. You have a lot of options here.
  • You can also look at all of that data for your whole store, a particular resource, or a resource line. Just uncheck all and choose the resources you wish to have more info about. There’s even a search bar so you don’t have to scroll through tons of resources.
  • We take this info and also compare it to last year by checking that box. This is a huge help to see it compared to the year before. This helps us to see if a resource is losing momentum.

Using the traffic tab to determine what’s working

We used to get so frustrated with the UTM links because we knew they were not accurately reporting our data. We felt like we were just throwing money out of the window on promotions and never knew what was working. TpT has been making changes and updating UTM links to make them more accurate and we both have found that they are reporting much better than they used to.

What are UTM links?

UTM links are trackable links that you create through the traffic tab on your dashboard. You create them in the URL Builder tool on TpT. Anywhere you use the link will be tracked and report if the link resulted in a sale. You can track links to your store, a specific resource, or to a custom category.

 

Some places we use UTM links:

  • Pinterest Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Blog Posts
  • Newsletters
  • TOU Page

We think you should definitely be using the UTM links on any promotions that you are running. We feel so much better running different promotions now because we can see if that link is actually making us money. It shows clicks, earnings, and conversions from a particular link.

More from Benson at TpT, “Whenever someone makes a purchase from your store, we look back to see when they added that product to their cart. From there, we look at the 24 hour period before that buyer added the product to their cart to see where they came from.The reason we look at the add-to-cart time is in case they add the product to their cart but don’t check out for a while. We still want that link to get credit even if they don’t check out until the end of the week.”

“One important thing to note here – because we look at the full 24 hour period, that means they didn’t have to click your link and immediately add your resource to their cart. They could have clicked a link on Pinterest in the morning that took them to your store, then closed TpT and went to school. At night, they click someone else’s pin, end up in their store, search TpT, find one of your products, and buy it. We still give your original pin credit for this purchase because them visiting your store earlier in the day probably influenced their decision to purchase your resource later, even if they found it through search.”

It’s also important to note that if your UTM link is opened in the app it will not track. You can only add to website from there. We have found that lately it opens in the mobile friendly website that you can buy from. It looks very similar to the app. The main difference is you can purchase on the mobile friendly version but not the app.

I’m so lost…I’ve never even made a UTM link.

Here are some places to check out if you wand to know more about creating and using UTM links.

Facebook vs Pinterest

We find that a Facebook ad may give us more wish listed items since the person was most likely not scrolling facebook looking for a new TpT resource. While Pinterest is more of a search engine and people are searching for your resource or something similar that they may need right then. So, in our experience, the conversion rates for our Pinterest ads tend to be higher than our Facebooks ads.

When looking at data on TpT, you have a lot of options right there on the dashboard for you. We could go on and on about this and talk for hours. If you have any questions feel free to ask in our Grow with Us Mastermind Facebook Group.

Written by April Smith

April runs her business Performing in Education, LLC full time. Her main focus is on her Teachers Pay Teacher store, but she also has an online course for teachers and has written a book on project-based learning!