In this episode, Angie and April are talking about the secret weapon for sales – promotions. They like to shake things up with their promos so they’re covering a lot of different options in this episode. Join in on the conversation in the mastermind group at www.growwithusmastermind.com.
It’s always nice to chat with others about what they’re doing in the TpT world, so we have a special guest today, Ciera Harris of Ciera Harris Teaching (formerly known as Adventures of Room 129). She has been on TpT for 10 years and specializes in creating reading comprehension resources for grades 2-4.
Together, we’re going to answer some of the commonly asked questions about running promotions.
How often should you run sales and promotions?
The more you have a promotion, the more people will start to expect it and wait for you to have it. Ciera tries to do one huge promotion each quarter outside of TpT sales. In addition to those, she’ll do little promotions and sales but they aren’t planned out the way the larger ones are that happen each quarter.
I don’t run big promotions in my store, but we try to have some kind of promotion going each week. This could be a free resource or a 24-hour quick sale on a resource for a related bundle. We’ve also found that presales work well. We give people a ridiculous sale price if they buy the resource before we create it. We like to do those once a quarter because they are really successful and pay for the creation of the resource.
Running promotions and sales on your website store vs TpT
Ciera also offers a higher discount on her website store compared to the price on TpT. This gives customers the options to save more (and she earns more because she doesn’t lose the 20% as a premium seller) by purchasing directly through her site. This doesn’t go against TpT restrictions because the resources are priced the same, it’s just the coupon code that’s different.
It’s important to know your audience. Some people are only comfortable buying resources on TpT, whereas there are others who don’t care where they buy it from. Encouraging them to buy from your website store has the added benefit of being able to access your money right away in addition to avoiding the commission.
Your followers and customers who have already supported your business and buy into your philosophy will likely know that you’re able to do a little better from the sales on your website so they won’t mind buying there. And if you give them a larger discount there as opposed to TpT, it’s even more incentive. People usually like this option and are happy about having it.
How do you decide which resources to promote?
For Ciera, this is a cross between looking at yearly data and what resources are coming out. At the end of the year she does a big planning session where she tries to plan out all the big promotions. When looking at the upcoming year and the data of the biggest sellers and when they sell along with the new resource completion dates, she can create a mix of old and new resource promotions.
It can be easy when you’re focused on new resources to forget about promoting the old resources, but looking at the data is important. Look at what sells well at certain times of the year, what resources are coming out, and how you can best present it to your customers in a way that makes them want to buy it at that time.
It all comes down to planning. You can’t throw together a big promotion in two days. If you know months ahead of time, then you can build a stronger promotion for new products. Products you already have are a little easier to plan promotions for. However, from my experience, any promotion thrown together at the last minute isn’t likely to do as well. The further you plan it out in advance, the better it goes.
What are the steps for promoting a new resource
Ciera shared her entire mini-launch plan for new products with us on the podcast. It’s like a course launch but on a smaller scale. She has a checklist with these steps written out to make sure she’s sticking to the plan and getting her audience excited. This plan is used for her higher-priced products and resources:
- Ask your audience if this is something they need or could use in their classroom and let them know you’re thinking of making it. Use a poll or ask people to reply by email. This plants the seed so they start thinking about the benefits of having this resource to use.
- Create a landing page with a waitlist for people who want to know when the product is coming out. Create an exclusive bonus resource for anyone who joins this list. This is something you can simply send them through email instead of putting in your store to make sure it stays truly exclusive to your waitlist.
- Tease your audience with behind-the-scenes photos while creating the resource. Ask for their feedback on what version they like best.
- Send the waitlist one or two emails to keep them engaged. Share the benefits of the resource with them.
- When launching, send your waitlist access to the product first along with their bonus.
- Do a live launch with a Facebook live showing off the product and offer a coupon code.
This needs to be planned in advance to work successfully and smoothly.
Ciera’s promotion example
Ciera shared with us that she recently did a launch that was her most successful as far as profit goes. She focused her launch solely on her Facebook group. They already know her as an expert in her niche and have already engaged with her in some way when joining the group.
During her previous course launch, she gave them a sample of this new product and asked for feedback on how to make it better months in advance. This let the group get a taste of it and engage with it which got them excited. She even had people emailing her to find out when it was coming out.
Since they got to try it in advance and were anticipating it, the launch blew up.
What should you do after the promotional period
You don’t want to do a big promotion and then just leave it at that. It’s all about being consistent and showing up for your audience. Ciera recommends thinking about all the ways you can continue to promote your resource. Are you making pins to promote it? Did you write a blog post on how to use it? Did you write a blog post with a soft sale in it? Are you putting out an opt-in in a blog post where they can try it that’s linked to a funnel?
Keep steps like this in a checklist so when the promotion is done, you can seamlessly move into all these tasks to continue promoting it. Show up for your audience and continue to be there for them.
You don’t want to spend all of your time on product creation. It’s important that you also spend time emailing your list, engaging with your groups, and marketing your existing products because that’s where your sales come in. I did a launch five years ago and put the marketing for it on autopilot steps afterward and we are still getting sales every week from that system. I forget this process is running in the background but it continues to work.
It can’t be a one-and-done process. You need to keep eyes on your products. The boost you get with the initial promotion helps you gain traction, so you want to continue to build on this momentum after the launch is over.
What has been the biggest game changer in running promos?
Ciera shared two game-changers she has found when running promotions:
- Stick to launching products within your niche. Your audience knows you as an expert in your niche. If you launch products that don’t match, they may feel leery about buying them from you.
2. It’s important to know your audience. Discover what excites them. Test different things to see what works. If something flops, that’s OK. You can use the lessons you learned and information for future promotions.
Quick and easy promotion ideas
We know not everyone is in the place to run a big promotion right now, so if you’re looking for some smaller promotions to run, here are a few ideas that have worked for us:
Angie likes to do giveaways. She will choose a game and put it together with a buzzer to make it more engaging in the classroom. She’ll use KingSumo for the giveaway and is able to collect email addresses of the people entering to win. Then she will send emails about the resource and similar ones since she knows they were interested in it in the first place.
We’ve also seen people do giveaways on social media where you let someone win the resource before anyone can buy it. This is a good way to showcase a coming launch.
My favorite promo is to take a popular resource that’s $5 and email my list that I’m making it $3 for 48-hours as a thank you for being on my list. I also like to do promos around upcoming holiday or timely resources. People are starting to think about the topic but aren’t ready to commit yet until they see your discounted pricing.
Ciera’s favorite quick and easy promotion is running a BOGO sale. Her audience loves them. She’ll offer her audience that if they buy a certain resource, they get another one free. The free resource is usually a small resource that leads into a big bundle so it gives them a taste of the bundle. This is a good way to get them interested in buying other parts of the bundle or the entire thing.
The nice thing about BOGO sales is they don’t require any prep time. Ciera runs it right on TpT because it’s so easy to set up and she just attaches the free product with the download. That means that people that buy organically during that time get a nice unexpected surprise as well. She shares these BOGO deals with her email list and in her Facebook group.
What kinds of promotions do you like to run? Share what has worked well for you in the Grow with Us Mastermind Group.