Last month I wrote a blog showcasing the very latest educational news stories, along with some key trends we are currently seeing when emailing teachers on behalf of our clients. It’s safe to say that blog went down a storm, so I've decided to write a few more!
Ultimately, we want our clients to succeed in engaging staff at schools, colleges and universities. Of course, how an education marketing strategy performs has hundreds of variables, however just getting a handful of these right will give your campaign a real edge. Knowing what’s going to help your strategy be relevant, knowing when to send, and who to send to, can be the deciding factors in the success of your strategy.
Part 1: The latest marketing to schools stats:
This part of the year is always a very busy time for us as we build up to Easter and, more importantly, it's the time when schools are spending the last of their annual budget and planning for the new financial year in April.
I’ve picked out some key emerging trends below so that you can incorporate these into your upcoming emails to teachers:
1. Tuesdays can be saturated
Tuesday remains the busiest time of the week to send, with nearly 25% of all campaigns sending on this day. Friday is the quietest weekday to send on, yet gets the 3rd best open rates all week! Weekends, as you might expect, are a quiet time for sending, however we have seen some great response rates from Sunday sends recently so it's certainly something to bear in mind.
2. Teachers receive most emails in the early morning
By some distance the busiest time for sending is between 8 – 9 in the morning. In my last blog we saw how there was a slight drop in engagement levels during the lunch hours and it looks like you've taken this on board!
3. Choosing your company as the 'From Name' gets a better open rate
This one really surprised me! Up until now it's been a widely held belief that using an individual's name as the 'From Name' will get you a better open rate. However, it appears that teachers may have grown wise to that now as we've found that sending from your company is actually getting a better open and click through rate!
4. Regional campaigns get better open rates
This graph just goes to show that sending tailored, super-relevant marketing to carefully selected areas really does pay off. Regional campaigns are generating an average 31.94% open rate, compared with 24.52% for emails sent to the full UK. Interestingly, the click through rate is lower for a regional send, but only just.
5. Teachers engage most in the morning
You may have already guessed that campaigns sent in the morning get a better engagement rate, however the gap is not as big as you might think. Less than 2% in fact!
6. Plain text emails are still smashing the open rates
Design emails are great for building your brand identity and making your marketing memorable. They also generate the best click-through rates. However, a plain text email is still out in front when looking for a high open rate and a strong response from teachers.
Part 2: The top 3 recent educational news stories
In this section of the blog we’ll catch up on some of the biggest education sector new stories from recent months and discuss how these can be utilised in your marketing to schools next month.
1. Vocational Training
A vocation in life is back on the agenda for Theresa May’s government as vocational and technical education in England is to get an extra £500m a year in a bid to train more skilled workers and boost the economy.
It seems what employers want from a fresh-faced new starter isn’t always what has been nurtured in the education system. 15 routes to success are being set out by the government in order to streamline the 13,000 qualifications open to students.
The new courses are expected to start from the 2019/20 academic year. The government is calling the plans the most ambitious education reform since the introduction of A-levels 70 years ago. Although a few year away yet, this is another example of how the education system is changing, and if you can help students to learn the skills needed in the Brexit economy then you need to focus your marketing on this.
2. Healthy Relationships
As from 2019, children are to receive compulsory sex education in English schools (until now it's been compulsory only in council-run schools) and whilst parents will still have the right to withdraw their children form these classes, Education Secretary Justine Greening made this a top priority.
Current thinking that the methods schools are using to teach this important topic are woefully outdated and not always age appropriate. The rise of social media and the dangers that young people face online is one area that has been singled out for attention. In fact, Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association, described the lack of adequate education as a ‘ticking time bomb for later on in life’.
This is just another example of how schools are continuously asked to adapt to ever developing technology and the social pressures children find themselves facing. It will take time for schools to improve their provision so in the meantime they'll be all ears if you can offer them a quick and effective solution.
3. Happy Children
Keeping the wellbeing trend going, the Department for Education is focusing on the happiness of children. 200 schools are being invited to bid for contracts that offer mental health training. Lord Layard, a government adviser for a current four-year trial of weekly mindfulness classes in 26 schools, said there was an obsession with measuring only academic achievement.
Whatever you think of the ‘snowflake generation’ the push for more PSHE based learning looks to be the zeitgeist of the educational sector. So, if you can help schools improve the mental health of their students, you need to make this a key message the next time you email teachers.
How to Sell to Schools
Marketing to Schools