Hey y’all I’m so glad you’re joining me to talk about the tpt note to followers today. Now I will be the first to admit that I didn’t use the note to followers at all for a really long time. But they’ve made some fairly recent changes and I’m now using it regularly and I’m definitely seeing it pay off in my store.
Now every time the note to followers comes up in seller groups, I hear the same question. Mostly it’s sellers saying, “I never read my note to followers. Does anyone else open them?”
And I know that most of you probably have that same little icon showing up in your unread notes to followers that I do that says 99+ because you have a lot of unread notes to followers in your inbox. But keep in mind that those teachers who are buyers only and not sellers, they do not use TPT the same way we do at all. Their behavior on TPT is very different from ours, even from the way that our behavior is as a shopper because we just have a different experience and we have a different perspective when we approach tpt.
As sellers, we are inundated with other sellers’ marketing, whether it’s on Instagram or in our email. And so the note to followers for us is just another place that we’re seeing all the things but our buyers are most likely following much fewer sellers than you and I are. And so they are probably not feeling nearly as inundated as we are.
Now I can tell you, like I said, that I definitely get results from my notes to followers. Sometimes those results are immediate but they’re often months after sending the message. And so that is something that you’ll want to keep in mind as you’re deciding what to put in your note to followers. I have seen months later sales of products that I mentioned in a note to followers a long time ago that I’m tracking back to that note to followers.
I also get lots of subscribers over to my email list from an opt-in that I shared months ago in a note to followers that I may not have shared anywhere else. So I know that they’re coming from that note to followers message.
And we don’t get any data on open rates or anything like that unfortunately, as of this point. But the good news is that you can tell if your note to followers are working or not and I’ll talk about that a little more in a minute.
Now you might be wondering how often to send a note to your followers. TPT now allows us to send one every 7 days but I don’t send mine nearly that often. I know that my followers are busy teachers. I’m already emailing my list once a week and I know that I’ve got some overlap between the two, so I only send notes to followers out about twice a month.
Now it’s totally up to you what you decide to do with yours. There’s nothing wrong with sending one exactly every seven days but for me, it seems to work best if I send out notes about twice a month instead.
Now when it comes to what you should be sending to your followers, I want to encourage you to take a look at your own tpt inbox. Click on that little 99+ icon that you see and take a look at what shows up in those unread messages. When I do that it is a wall of very clearly promotional messages.
Here are some of the subject lines that I saw just today while I was looking at them:
20% off sale
classroom decor 24 hours sale
50% off for 48 hours
50% off for a few more hours
don’t miss the sale
And then there’s a whole bunch advertising freebies. Get the free [fill in the blank] game. Free such and such activity. Grab your freebie. They all run together and they’re the same kind of subject lines that if you were using in your email newsletters, would land you straight in the promotions tab on Gmail. So my challenge to you is to try and be different.
Treat your note to followers almost like a secondary email list. This is the only way we really have to reach out and get in touch with those people who follow us on TPT. So you want to make sure that you are serving them well. Send them things you know will help them to be a better teacher to save planning time, or just to make their job easier.
So for example, when you share your popular products for this month, instead of just sending out a note to followers that says, “Here are my best-selling resources that you might also want to buy”, position it as “helpful resources you can use” for whatever the current season is for your target audience.
Since back to school season is coming up, you might want to send out a note to followers about fun ways to get to know your new third graders that features your back-to-school resources in your store. Or maybe if you are a middle school science teacher, you might want to send out a note to followers about ways to introduce lab safety to your new middle schoolers that includes your back to school resources for middle school science and for lab safety.
Things that you know your audience is going to need. The same thing goes for helpful blog posts you want to share with them and for freebies that you want to send out. Make sure that you are writing them in a way that seeks first to serve your audience before selling to them.
Now you can, if you want, reuse the content that you’re sending out to your email list. But I would only do that if you think your TPT followers are not also on your email list because you don’t want people getting the same thing in both places and choosing to either unfollow your store or worse, unsubscribe from your email list so that now you don’t have a way to contact them!
Now speaking of email lists, TPT does not expressly prohibit sending out direct calls to subscribe to our email list. But they don’t exactly want us to do that either. So what I would recommend doing instead is sending your followers to a super helpful blog post, and make sure that it has a great email opt-in associated with it. Whether it’s in line in the text of the post or there’s an exit intent pop up or something like that. That’s a good way to serve your teachers first and then get them onto your email list after. Just make sure that you are always thinking, serve first, sell later.
Now I said that I know for sure notes of followers is an effective marketing strategy for my business but you might be wondering how I know.
It’s very simple. I use trackable links for everything I link to in my note to followers. So if you are linking to your TPT products, create a utm code in the url builder, which you’ll find in your tpt dashboard. I’ll put a link directly to it in your show notes.
When I create those utm codes, I use note to followers as the source. And then the specific date of the message I’m sending out, or a specific topic that’s in that message as the campaign name. And then you’ll see those utm codes show up in your dashboard on the traffic tab with stats for how many clicks and how many purchases there were.
Because I use those utm codes, I know that people often open my notes to followers sometimes months after I send them because I see very old utms popping up in my traffic tab. So make sure as you are crafting those messages that while you’re addressing things teachers need now, you’re also trying to include some evergreen content that teachers will use throughout the year.
When I’m sending someone over to my website, I always use either a unique Bitly link or a pretty link so that I can track those clicks as well, and I’ll put some links in the show notes for different tools you can use to create those. You can use bitly, or if you’re on WordPress you can use the pretty links plugin, or my personal favorite is actually the Rank Math plugin because it has a redirection feature already built in. I’m using that for my Seo anyway, so I can use that additional feature without adding more plugins to my site.
Your action step for today is to log into your TPT account and send a note to your followers. Write it like you’re writing an email to one of your teammates or your coworkers. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy at all, just send them something you think will be helpful.
Make sure that you use utm codes or trackable links in your message so that you can tell if your note to followers is working, and if you find that your note to followers didn’t convert well, then try a different approach next time.
Remember that in business, we never fail. We either win or we learn what doesn’t work. So if the first message you send doesn’t work well, then you’ve learned something, and just try a different approach. If you sent products the first time, try sending a blog post the second time. If you sent a blog post the first time, maybe try sending out a freebie the second time, until you have tried different things and figured out what resonates best with your specific audience.
Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. If you got something out of it, please be sure to share it with a TPT seller friend who might also need to start sending notes out to their TPT followers!
To celebrate the launch of this podcast, I’m doing a giveaway of 2 1:1 strategy sessions with me. To enter, all you need to do is screenshot your favorite episode so far and share it somewhere on social media. This could be in your stories, on your Instagram feed, or on Facebook. Just be sure to tag me at @kristendoyle.co so that I can mark down your entry. This giveaway closes on July 26, 2022.