How to Effectively Engage with Educators Through Email

In February 2017, Agile Education Marketing asked educators all about email. Do they like receiving sales emails about education products and services? What prompts them to open and act on these emails? How many of these emails do they receive daily? 

Here’s how administrators and teachers are interacting with the sales emails you send, and how you can make your messages more appealing.

What sources do you value most for information about education products and services? 

value educators place on sources of information bar chart

Administrators and teachers share similar opinions about where they seek out information about education products and services. While email newsletters and email promotions aren’t at the top of their lists, combined, 43 percent of administrators and 41 percent of teachers say they value email as a way to communicate with education vendors. 

Administrators tend to prefer email newsletters over email promotions. The fact that more teachers than administrators prefer promotional communications could be affected by their attitudes toward discounts. Agile and SheerId’s 2017 Teacher Purchasing, Spending and Loyalty Survey found that teachers are 96 percent more likely to purchase from a company that offers teacher discounts online when shopping for classroom materials. Administrators, on the other hand, may value enewsletters for more in depth information that can help them discover innovative new solutions and strategies to solve district- and school-wide challenges.

What details do you value most in education sales emails?

details do you value most in education sales emails bar chart

Administrators and teachers tend to agree about the kinds of information they want from these emails. Both ranked key benefits, cost and evidence of success as the three details they find most valuable when receiving emails about education products and services.

What influences you to open education sales emails?

What influences educators to open education sales emails bar chart

Administrators and teachers agree: A combination of relevancy and availability often determine whether or not your emails get read. When educators find time in their schedules to read emails, they are more likely to spend time with a message that addresses a specific need or issue they’re grappling with. Also essential is that your emails promise to give educators information or advice that they’re actively seeking. These results point to the importance of keeping your emails helpful and relevant. Before hitting send, ask yourself: Does this email solve a specific problem or pain point the audience is currently facing, rather than simply selling my product or service? 

Teachers also tend to prefer when emails have special offers inside, while these discounts aren’t as important to administrators. This probably points to the fact that teachers often spend a considerable amount of money out-of-pocket on classroom supplies — $468, on average — and they appreciate when you help them get more for their money.

What influences you to click a link in an education sales email? 

What influences educators to click a link in an education sales email bar chart

In this case, administrators want to learn how other schools have solved challenges similar to the ones their schools are facing; teachers are more interested in learning new skills or strategies that can help them do their jobs better. These results aren’t surprising. Teachers are more focused on the individual: How can you help them improve their students’ learning outcomes? Administrators think about education products and programs on a larger scale: How can you help their school or district, and can you offer proof of your product’s effectiveness?

How often do you check email throughout the day?

How often do educators check email throughout the day bar chart

Administrators and teachers are tied to their email. Teachers are more likely to check email during free periods throughout the day, while administrators — who work at their desks for longer periods — often check email continuously. Consider this data when you send your emails. You may receive better response if you send emails to teachers at specific times of the day when they’re at their desks. Otherwise, you risk your message becoming one of many that piles up in their inbox while they’re teaching. With administrators, you have a bit more flexibility. 

What times of day are you most likely to open education sales emails?

What times of day are educators most likely to open education sales emails bar chart

Teachers are more likely to open messages at specific times. Morning, between the hours of 7:00 and 11:00, is particularly popular, as is the late afternoon, between 3:00 and 5:00, when students have left school. Teachers also are more likely than administrators to open emails during lunch, from 11:00 to 1:00, compared to the 3 percent of administrators who take this time for email. Take this data into account when sending emails to your prospects.

On average, how many emails about education products and services do you receive daily?

How many emails do educators receive daily bar chart

Administrators and teachers both receive a considerable amount of sales and promotional emails throughout the day, but not so many that yours will get lost in the crowd. Still, it’s important to make sure your messages stand out among the others that land in their inboxes — particularly when reaching teachers. 

More teachers than administrators, albeit a small percentage, said they receive as many as 81-100 emails each day. Combine this with the fact that teachers limit time spent in their inboxes to specific periods of the day, which allows more time for your message to get lost in an email buildup. With this data, one could argue that teachers’ inboxes are a slightly more competitive space than administrators’. 

Email has been and will continue to be an effective platform for engaging with educators. The key to making sure your sales messages get read is to tailor your communications to educators’ preferences.

References and Resources:

Research Report: {Survey Results} How Educators Interact with Email — Part 1 & Part 2 
Infographic: 6 Lessons for Improving Email Response and ROI

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About the Author

Suzanne Morgan is a Senior Account Manager at Agile Education Marketing. She has more than 15 years of experience in the education marketing industry, specifically in the areas of database services, account management and client services management. She marries her deep understanding of data and the education market to help clients better understand and utilize data to achieve marketing and sales objectives. Reach Suzanne at smorgan@agile-ed.com.

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