In February 2017, Agile Education Marketing asked educators all about email. Do they like receiving 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?
Part 1 of our survey results reveals how administrators and teachers feel about emails from education companies, and what kinds of information they value most from these messages. Click here for Part 2, or view an infographic of the survey results.
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. In Agile and SheerId’s 2016 Teacher Spending Survey , 84 percent of teachers said they are more loyal to brands that offer teacher discounts. Administrators, on the other hand, may value enewsletters for more in-depth information and research that can help them discover innovative new solutions and strategies to solve district- and school-wide challenges.
It’s also important to consider how important email is to the success of many of the information sources educators say they value most, including websites, word of mouth, conferences, and webinars. Effective emails have the power to drive traffic to your website and can be forwarded from educator to educator to create word of mouth. Emails also are essential to promoting conference and webinar registration.
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.
Administrators and teachers agree: A combination of relevancy and availability often determine whether or not emails get read. When educators find time in their schedules to read emails, they are more likely to spend time with a message when it addresses a specific need or issue they’re grappling with. Also essential is that 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?
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 — $487, on average — and they appreciate when companies help them get more for their money.
The seeming lack of importance of subject lines may leave some marketers scratching their heads. But consider this: How would an educator know if an email addresses a specific need, promises helpful information or advice, or contains a special offer without the subject line hinting at what’s inside? Educators may not value subject lines, but they’re still critical to an email’s success.
In this case, administrators want 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 better in their current roles. These results aren’t surprising to Agile. Teachers are more focused on the individual: How can they do better to improve their students’ learning outcomes? Administrators think about education products and programs on a larger scale: How can they help the school or district, and is there proof of their effectiveness?
It’s also important to both groups that emails teach them more about a particular product that helps meet their needs. But even though administrators and teachers are seeking out similar information, your messaging should differ. It’s important to vary your messaging for the classroom, the school or the district depending on who your target audience is.
Administrators and teachers generally agree about how useful email is for gathering specific types of information, and they seem to prefer email for top-of-funnel marketing: providing important information and generating awareness. Though fewer think email is effective for making final purchase decisions, keep in mind the importance of top-of-funnel messaging for guiding educators to that point.
Email has been and will continue to be an effective platform for engaging with educators. The key to maximizing lead generation, response and ROI is to tailor your communications to educators’ preferences and email best practices. Learn more about crafting tactical email campaigns from start to finish in our popular Email Marketing Best Practices guide.