To put it lightly, COVID-19 has knocked the wind out of the world’s sails. But the power of the people has proven itself once again. From rallying around to support the nation’s most vulnerable, sending cheers for our keyworkers across the globe, and even simply picking themselves up and carrying on, human contact, togetherness, and communication has, in true British fashion, kept us calm and carried us on.
It’s this desire for communication that’s helped surge internet use by 70%, and why teachers are now checking their inboxes twice as often for direct responses and support.
Is it really the time to be emailing teachers?
Most definitely! I must stress that there’s a key difference between emailing and selling to teachers – but that’s not to say you should totally rule out the latter, either, as we’ll go into shortly.
Email marketing is still the most direct, personable, and effective method for communicating with your target audience during COVID-19. As established, teachers right now are in dire need of direct support and guidance – and simply anyone who’s taking an active stance in listening to them and appreciating the work they’re doing for the country. By putting together a perfectly planned strategy honed to your specific audience and their needs, you’ll be able to provide exactly this.
This isn’t just guesswork – we’ve spent the last few weeks consulting with our network of teachers who’ve confirmed this is the case.
We also established, since the closures, that:
- The volume of marketing emails landing in their inbox has reduced by an average of 68%.
- The number of times teachers are checking their inbox has doubled.
- Open rates are averaging 26.5%, up from 24.8% before closures.
- Click-to-open rates have skyrocketed from 25.4% to 34.1%/
That’s confirmation that teachers are looking at school suppliers and other education-focused businesses for support – but many are shying away from the responsibility.
That’s where you step in.
What do I need to do?
As mentioned, a hard-sell approach might not be the best way forward for every teacher right now – and not just because of the delicate situation. It’s not as easy for a class teacher to go to their department head or SMT to pitch their purchase when communication is now confined to digital means, and attentions are split between work and home. To go through that effort, teachers will need to be fully convinced by your product or service and be thoroughly wowed by your USPs and benefits you can deliver during the current climate that a hard sales email may not deliver.
It’s good advice anyway – to always show the benefit of your product if you want to generate long-term leads – but especially important during the current crisis.
Your best bet right now is to give away as much as you can for free. Resources, software, and activities that can be used digitally and independently are very much in need and welcomed. How businesses reacted to COVID-19 will be remembered long after the lockdowns are over, so it’s vital your trust, support, and kindness has a lasting impression.
That said, we’ve confirmed with school leaders that they’re absolutely planning and making decisions about how to spend their new budgets right now (released in April). They are most definitely buying, but what they really need from you and your services is adaptability and flexibility in case the crisis takes another unpredictable turn.
Right now, school purchases aren’t just limited to digital textbooks and living-room PE software – even playground installers or furniture suppliers with much higher-value products are finding success during school closures, turning their attention to online site surveys and putting their bulletproof contingency plans front and centre. As long as you can operate with as much flexibility and understanding as possible, any business – in any industry – has the ability to ride out the crisis.
What should I do right now?
As with nearly every business across the globe, your marketing plans will almost certainly have fallen through the floor. But while some of your competitors will have gone into hiding and waiting for everything to blow over, now’s your chance to take centre stage.
Spend some time working out how you can adapt your plans in a way that’s manageable for your company, but will be most beneficial and memorable to teachers. If you offer in-person courses or physical resources, it may be easy to organise some digital alternatives. But if your offering is a tad more dependent on schools and public places being open, you may need to think outside the box. Producing a free whitepaper is possible regardless of your sector, and makes sure you’re getting your name in teacher’s inboxes (and in their reading list) as a beacon of support. Plus, it’s likely they’d come back to your guide in the future once the dust has settled, extending the life of your marketing and increasing their chances of reaching out to you at a later date.
In essence, you now have a ‘fight or flight’ decision on your hands – and, with the country’s teachers depending on you for communication and support, there’s only one right choice to make.
Putting together your crisis communications and contingency plans to resurrect your spring marketing plans might not be the easiest or most comfortable processes. If you think you’d benefit from some additional support or guidance with your email strategies during the school closures, click here to get in touch with our email marketing experts.
Emailing Teachers in Schools
Marketing to Education
Marketing to Schools
Marketing to Teachers
Selling to Schools
Selling to Teachers