It's a dog-eat-dog world out there - especially for you sellers-to-schools vying for top-dog status in teacher inboxes amongst the 306 billion emails sent per day.
Fortunately, our official Office Scamp, Peggy, has agreed to take a break from her (very) busy schedule and tell us how Livin' la Vida Peggy can teach you a few things about your edu-marketing techniques…
1. Pace yourself
From the four-hour-long naps to very quietly hooting until someone fetches her blanket for her, Peggy makes sure to never overexert herself. That might sound like a very attractive wellbeing initiative, but we're not sure your colleagues would appreciate working around your extensive sleep schedule. That said, there are still some things you can learn from her laid-back lifestyle.
If you cram absolutely everything you have to say about your product or service into a single email, your teacher audience will feel like Peggy does when she has more than one task to do per day - overwhelmed, exhausted, and completely unfocused.
Instead, plan to build curiosity by trickling out little snippets of new information across a series of emails, making sure each invokes curiosity and has just one strong focus. You'll hold the attention of active teachers far better, plus you'll always be able to pull out a new message, photograph, freebie, or testimonial (because you didn't use them all at once) to position yourself as fresh and innovative.
Our statistics show that 75% of a strategy's responses come from the personalised follow-up, as opposed to the designed, typical marketing emails, which are designed to build brand awareness. By the follow-up, your audience are hooked after your curiosity-building tactics and waiting with baited breath for what you have to reveal next - so when you personally ask them to complete an action, they'll download your guide or complete your form quicker than Peggy answers to 'sit'!
2. Make connections
Despite her official role as 'Office Scamp', Peggy has her sights set on '5* Office Hostess', taking it upon herself to go downstairs and greet anyone and everyone who comes to the door (or looks at the door, or even thinks about looking at the door…). It might be because the postman always brings her a tasty treat, but her networking attempts are not to be sniffed at.
While a selling-to-schools email is the perfect platform to build brand awareness, 95% of businesses say that face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term relationships - and the requests you ask of teachers during these meetings are 34 times more successful than those made via email.
Make sure you're making direct connections with your business by going into as many schools as possible for an onsite meeting, attending tradeshows, and holding teacher workshops or training sessions. Giving away freebies is optional, but welcomed as much as Peggy's postman treats.
3. Look to the future
Our dear Pegs usually doesn't remember what happened yesterday - she's far too busy looking ahead (even if it's just because she's excited for her afternoon nap or tomorrow's breakfast). Your business goals might be a tad more complex, but her forward-thinking nature is still a key trait.
Keeping up-to-date with the latest developments - and future predictions - in education and your industry doesn't only give you the best chance at staying one foot ahead of your competitors, but it'll make it clear to teachers that you're actively listening to their problems and fully understanding their situation, doing everything you can to help them as quickly as possible.
You'll also need to keep in mind how teachers are interacting with your email. Peggy might be yet to join the smartphone scene, but we recently reported that over 50% of teachers are now viewing your emails on mobile devices. Make sure your emails are optimised for both desktop and mobile, and make use of cutting-edge email techniques compatible with a growing number of email clients.
4. Show your loyalty
Peggy isn't silly - she knows who slips her under-the-table treats and tucks her in, and she treats them with only the utmost respect. Most of the time.
Recognising the same loyalty within your own sending list will give them the same warm glow we get when Princess Peggy deems us worthy of her love. There's a 60-70% chance that a teacher who has bought from you before will buy from you again, so help sweeten the deal - and retain their affection - by gifting your long-term partners with free products, training, or months on their subscription.
That's not to say you should leave your new friends out - reward the teachers who opened your previous email with a bonus free lesson plan or ten minutes of your expertise and you'll be laying the groundwork for a strong, sound partnership going forward.
5. Embrace your talents
From the propeller-like wag of her tail to her mid-sleep hoots and howls, Peggy embraces her individual quirks and makes them known to the entire office as a daily reminder that she is the greatest, most fabulous dog she knows. As should you!
Having a unique selling point is integral for securing your position in the lives of teachers. If you don't have one (or you do, but don't shout about it in your edu-marketing strategies) then teachers won't have a tangible reason to present to their budget-holders to choose you over a competitor, or know why you're different if they had a poor customer experience with someone else.
Make sure you're always positioning yourself as a one-of-a-kind company with a world-first product and at least one major USP, and you'll have schools shaken by your sheer greatness!
We once tried to teach Peggy how to use the dog-and-bone, but she got a bit shy. Fortunately, our marvelous team of edu-marketing experts aren't, so give us a call on 01684 297374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help on implementing the above into your next selling-to-schools strategy (and yes, we'll pass on lovely messages to Peg).
Sources: Virgin, Marketing Metrics