Just like that first glimpse of the sea on a long drive down south, sensing summer’s approach on the horizon is one of the greatest feelings of the year – especially when you’ve had a busy spring term selling to schools!
But it’s not quite time to unplug and head for the beach just yet (sorry!).
There are still six weeks to go until schools in England start to shut up shop until September. As we’ve covered in our recent eBook, this time of year is one of the key periods when selling to schools. There’s plenty of work still to be done in order to secure those holy-grail September sales. But worry not: we’ve laid out your complete six-week marketing plan to save you some time, and let you concentrate on your summer selling tactics (or give you more time to plan your holiday – we won’t judge!).
13th – 17th June: Six weeks to go
Schools will have returned from their half-term break (spread over the last week of May and first week of June, depending on local authority), and will be more refreshed and ready to tackle these last few weeks of the summer term. We say ‘more’ refreshed – GCSEs, AS Levels and A Levels are still underway, and Primary Schools receive their SATs results and KS1 Phonics Checks this week, so it’s not the most stress-free time in their calendars.
So, you’d think teachers wouldn’t be up for a hard sell. But we know that June is the second-highest month of the year for making bigger purchasing decisions. In all likelihood, these decisions will have been made after weeks and months of deliberating between companies, and discussions with school decision-makers and budget-holders. If you’ve already been emailing schools for months, or you’re a well-known name, get a final big push out into schools to help seal the deal.
If you haven’t, then you’ve got nothing to lose by combining this selling angle with a lighter, early-bird angle ahead of September. Some will still be in the process of considering companies ready to make decisions in July, but if not, you’ll be in their minds with a brand-new exclusive offer for September.
20th June – 24th June: Five weeks to go
With SATs results out the way, Primary Schools will be ready to begin their end-of-year celebrations. This is a great time for many education businesses to spread a bit of fun around their classrooms. Be it a theatre-in-education performance, drama workshop, or simply some fun curriculum games, schools will be excited for some fun treats to reward their pupils’ hard work.
Many schools will have booked workshops and shows in advance, but not all – so if you have capacity for a last-minute booking, get in touch with schools asap this week. Offering something that requires less planning is perfect here, too – think bundles of free interactive games or even a free child yoga video.
In terms of secondary schools and colleges, the end of exams is in sight, and teachers will have more time to think about the new academic year to get a head start come September, and avoid too much holiday work. If you’re looking for some major sales in the autumn term, start to lay the groundwork by introducing yourself and your offering here (with a big focus on how you can save them time next term) so teachers remember your name and face when you next email them. Send them some free resources or a value asset to sweeten the deal and help them with their September planning – they’ll greatly appreciate it!
27th June – 1st July: Four weeks to go
If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to start filling in your remaining summer holiday project slots. The summer holidays is a key period for integrating those bigger projects to minimise disruption, and get things perfect for September. Think playgrounds, facility upgrades, new furniture deliveries, or school-wide software systems.
Teachers won’t want to be constantly working over the holidays, so are highly unlikely to be receptive to booking smaller meeting slot for things that can wait until September. But getting these large-scale projects underway (most of which require very little teacher input; perhaps only one member of staff to receive a delivery or supervise) will be one of schools’ main concerns over the holidays.
You can also start pushing your September slots here, with the angle that your slots are limited, and booking one now will guarantee them a time/date that suits them. This ‘fear of missing out’ is a great tactic to increase urgency, and help more schools make a decision quickly.
4th – 8th July: Three weeks to go
As we head into July, you’d think schools would be winding down and more likely to put off big purchasing decisions until September. But July is the third-highest month of the year for making big purchasing decisions, just behind June and September. This tells us that schools are most certainly still receptive to hearing from education businesses this month, but we have entered a dip in their willingness. Peel back your strategy accordingly; opt for a softer sale than June, perhaps giving away some free resources, sharing teacher testimonials, or rewarding staff with a quick, paid survey to help influence your autumn term selling strategy.
This will be the groundwork for your huge sale campaigns come September, so it’s vital you keep up your emails to ensure teachers can recall your name and offering come the autumn term.
11th – 15th July: Two weeks to go
This week is another busy week in schools’ diaries. With all exams well and truly over, it’s time for the remainder of those end-of-year celebrations to kick off. From sports days, activity weeks, trips, and secondary school visits, teachers will be spending a lot less time at their desks this week. Don’t expect an urgent response this week, but certainly consider sending an email with a light reminder of your offering and how you can support the schools come September. Most importantly, make sure you include some well-wishes for the summer holidays to let schools know you’re friendly, supportive, and genuinely care for their wellbeing.
18th – 22nd July: One week to go
With just mere days to go until teachers can breathe a sigh of relief, and get some much-needed downtime, this week is the time for you to do the same!
Although school staff may be in for the odd day here and there to supervise ongoing projects, they aren’t likely to be holding full-scale meetings to discuss your offer. These last few days of the summer term aren’t enough to start any new projects or make any purchasing decisions, even minor ones, and it’s likely they’ve had a pause in their September planning schedules to enjoy their last few days with their current classes, and tie up any loose ends with their admin.
Do them a favour and keep their inbox clear, and you’ll be much more favourable when you do email them.
If you’re ready to kick off your six-week plan, get in touch with our experts today who are on-hand to help – or even craft the whole thing for you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01684 297373 today.
How to Sell to Schools
How to Sell to Teachers
Marketing to Education
Selling to Schools
Selling to Teachers