It’s every education marketer’s goal to craft marketing campaigns that generate high response. The challenge is knowing which tactics and strategies to employ to achieve that objective.
In order to reach educators with messaging that resonates, marketers must connect with this niche audience via platforms educators value and deliver what they want and need most.
For many educators, that valued information portal is email. According to a February 2017 survey conducted by Agile Education Marketing, 43 percent of administrators and 41 percent of teachers trust email for gathering information about education products and services. Survey respondents said that not only are email messages a helpful way to receive important information about educational offerings, but also to raise awareness and encourage testing of new products and services.
It’s clear: Educators are willing to interact with emails from education vendors. It’s up to marketers to keep those messages from ending up in the trash. Do so by using email as a vehicle for delivering information and offers that will encourage educators to click and act.
When planning your email calendar, it’s important to include a mix of messaging. Some of your emails should focus on sharing content. Others should highlight products and services. A few should attempt to close the sale. Timing of these messages depends on where a prospect is at in the education purchasing cycle.
But no matter what point an influencer or decision maker is at in their journey, there are several pieces of information that educators are always interested in learning. Incorporate these topics into future content and promotional emails you create.
Keep in mind that who your email is for will ultimately dictate the content. For example, administrators are more likely to want to learn about evidence of success. And this makes sense, because they’re often accountable for any purchases made. Teachers, on the other hand, are more likely to want details like benefits since they’re often using a product or service directly in their classrooms.*
If your content is relevant, educators are more likely to open your emails and click on the calls-to-action inside. Both teachers and administrators are more likely to open a message when it appears to address a specific need or issue they’re struggling with, or when it promises to deliver the information or advice they’re seeking.*
Whether or not they take action depends on the roles educators play in their schools and districts. Administrators tend to think about how the products and services they invest in will improve overall education outcomes; therefore, they might be enticed by an offer to learn how other schools have solved challenges similar to their own. Teachers are often focused on individual students and improving learning outcomes, so they may be more interested in learning skills and strategies that can help them be more successful in the classroom.*
Another thing that entices educators to open and click on emails from education companies? Fifty-four percent of administrators and 62 percent of teachers say they will open an email if it promises a special offer that interests them. Fifty percent of teachers say they’re prompted to click on a link to take advantage of a special deal.*
Email is not only a great way to deliver information about your products and services. Emails also can help close sales. When Agile Education Marketing and SheerID teamed up for their 2017 Teacher Purchasing, Spending and Loyalty Survey, they discovered that 54 percent of respondents learn about discounts and sales through marketing emails — second only to word-of-mouth.
Teachers in particular value emails that offer incentives such free shipping and money off. They spend hundreds of their own dollars every year to stock their classrooms with supplies, and they appreciate when education vendors make them a good deal. In fact, 96 percent of respondents said they are more loyal to a company that offers a teacher discount online when shopping for classroom supplies.**
Teachers tend to use discounts on some products more than others. These include office supplies, computers and electronics, restaurants, entertainment, travel, apparel, and software. Teachers also are motivated by some offers more than others. Rather than always focusing on free product demos or trial subscriptions, test how these alternative offers resonate with your education audience:
Just remember, no matter how much time you spend tailoring messaging to educator preferences, they will abandon your offer if it doesn’t live up to what’s promised. Other pet peeves — having to pay for shipping, a complicated check-out process, needing a profile to make a purchase — also can cause educators to drop a compelling email offer.**