Friday, May 27, 2011

Creating a Teachers Pay Teachers Store Ad

First off, I need to preface this post by saying that not everyone thinks that store ads are a good idea and many, many products on TpT do not include them. I believe that this is a huge missed opportunity for those sellers. However, with that said, I must also admit that it took me a long time to decide to include an ad with my products. I felt that the self-promotion would turn buyers off and that they would resent finding an ad on something they paid for. I now feel that a one-page ad at the end of the product is acceptable. We are so used to seeing advertisements - on the internet, in magazines, on the bus, even before movies. I think the risk of offending is low - unless your ad is pages and pages long.

So, how do you create an ad?
First off, it should be attractive and appealing. Ideally, it shouldn't be too crowded, but (at least for me) that is challenging and I am fairly sure I have failed on that point. At the very least, your add should contain:
  • Your name/TpT store name and logo if you have one.
  • A short message to the buyer about your products and store.
  • A link to your TpT store.
Other things you might want to include:
  • A thank you to the customer for buying or downloading your free product
  • A request that the buyer rate your product.
  • Links to other products the customer might be interested in
  • Links to your facebook, blog, website, twitter
  • A special offer if you have one. 
  • Positive buyer comments/testimonials
As you can see, that is a lot for a single page. You will want to think carefully about what to include. To the right are several examples of sellers' ads, each one taking a different approach. You will need to decide what is right for you. 
Links to Products and Pages
Whatever you do, you will want to include links for your buyers to follow. There are several ways to do this:
Embedding the link in the text  This means that the buyer clicks on the hyperlinked text to open the page. The buyer will not be able to see the url, just the text. 
Pros: It looks much better. Compare:
Rachel Lynette's TpT Store http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Rachel-Lynette
It takes up less space.
Cons: The link may not work. If you are using a Word doc, the user has to Ctrl-click to get the link to work and not everyone knows this. 
If the document is printed out, the link is completely useless.  
 Including the entire link  This means that the buyer sees and clicks on the entire link URL.
Pros: You can be sure the link will work.
If the document is printed out, the URL is there for someone to type into a web browser.
Cons: It doesn't look all that great
It takes up a lot of space
If the document is printed out, a buyer still may not want to bother to type out a long URL  
Using a URL shortener such as bit.ly  This means that the buyer see and clicks on the shortened URL.
 Pros: You can be sure the link will work.
If the document is printed out, the URL is there for someone to type into a web browser.
The URL is short, so easy to type into a browser. Also easy to Twitter. 
Bit.ly, tracks clicks so you can see how many clicks your link has received. This is actually a very cool feature. I can tell you from my own tracking that people do click on these links!
 Cons: People who are not familiar with URL shorteners may be confused or suspicious. 
There is no guarantee that the companies behind these shortener websites will stay in business or keep your links - it is not necessarily forever. If yours should go belly up, get hacked, or whatever, your may not work.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider. I used a mix on mine.

Now that I have my Ad, where do I put it? 
In my opinion, it is the last page of all of your products free and for-sale. However, some people put it at the start right after their cover page or intro page. Some people only put it on free products. You need to decide what you are comfortable with.

6 comments:

  1. Rachel,
    I really do like the articles you are placing on your new blog. This is a gold mine for the newcomers to TpT and even has great tips for us oldtimers.
    Great job!

    Amy (aka Science Stuff)

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  2. Rachel, this is a great post. I do not think yours looks too crowded at all. The fact that you have different colors, text boxes, etc. still makes it easy to read and follow.

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  3. Thanks to both of you! I really appreciate the kind words and support!

    Shelley - I really like your formats too for cover pages and ads...always so inviting!

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  4. Rachel,
    Thanks for all of the wonderful tips here on your blog! I'm very happy that I found it! This is fantastic information for sellers like me who are just getting started. I am going to get busy creating my store ad!I appreciate the great example you shared.

    Jeannine~Kidsrcute

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  5. Thank you so much for the tip regarding Bit.ly. I've been wondering how other sellers were embedding links in their product descriptions!

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  6. Is there are good way to do this when creating in powerpoint on a Mac? My links no longer work after creating a pdf??
    Rachel

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Thoughts, questions? Please share!