Once you have made your mind up that you want to sell into the education sector, you are going to need a really good strategy to get those teachers listening and engaging with your product or service. Your strategy for advertising to teachers will depend on a lot of factors, such as your product, your budget, your expected margins, your competition, and how important schools are to your marketing mix. Whatever your circumstances, getting your strategy right is both important and relatively simple. Let’s take a look at the best and most proven methods of advertising to teachers to get a great ROI.
1. Email – OK so emailing teachers is not the cheapest way to go about approaching them, but it is certainly very effective if done right. Typical open rates on school email campaigns will range from 8 – 15%, so you are going to need to email quite a few of them to get a decent return on your investment. The best email campaigns typically consist of 3 – 6 messages over a 3 – 4 month period, giving you chance to build up your rapport with the teachers you are advertising to. A well-researched and consistent email campaign should be a key component of your advertising to teachers plan.
2. Postal Mail – by far the most expensive but similarly the most effective method of selling to schools is through the old fashioned medium of postal mail. As the propensity for advertisers to email has grown, so the number of postal mail campaigns going to teachers has reduced, so those companies that do have the resource to conduct postal mail campaigns see excellent returns on their investment. Advertising by post to teachers will certainly catch their attention, but it isn’t for everyone. It is recommended for those with big budgets, big margins, or niche products who can guarantee a decent return.
3. Directory Listings – there has been a growth in general over the last 5 years in companies using directory listings to advertise to teachers. The reason for this is that teachers go to them to source suppliers, and suppliers can list their business one time knowing that they are going to get leads consistently throughout the year. There are a number of specialist school procurement directories out there offering companies the opportunity to advertise to teachers year round at a reasonable cost.
4. Social Media – the growth of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the scores of other social media available today has hugely increased the ability of private companies to get their message across. It comes as no surprise that teachers are also fond of social media and are quite open to contact through this medium. If you have a product or service that teachers will love, then it is a good start to try to get them to like it or follow you or whatever the platform does. This is a great way of engaging as social media can be made much more personable and teachers are receptive to it. Advertising to teachers through social media is also free, so never ignore it!
5. Relationship building – the 5th method of advertising to teachers that really works is building relationships with them. This could be through email, social media, or discussions. However you go about it, remember teachers do not jump from school to school, so if you are prepared to play the long game and build relationships over time, the returns will be massive.
In reality advertising to teachers should be no different to dealing with any other business, but always bear in mind that teachers have budgets to spend (or work to!) and are quite amenable to companies wanting to sell to them. They don’t have hours of spare time to research like a professional buyer might and so will be more than happy to engage with you if you do your job right.
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