Back in the summer of 2013, I graduated from university with a degree in Psychology. And as I venture into the beginning of my journey with Sprint Education as a Junior Copywriter three years later (where has the time gone?), I am realising more and more how much Psychology comes into play with marketing to schools. From the copy I produce with Dan to Sophie’s incredible designs, and even the way we answer the phone in the office, marketing lives and breathes Psychology; so much was my excitement at this ever-growing realisation, I thought I would write a blog on the subject! So get cosy in your Freud slippers (yes, those genuinely exist) and prepare for a little lesson in Sprint Education Psychology.
What is Psychology?
As I’m sure you know, Psychology is the study of human behaviour. What makes us behave and respond to things the way we do? Is it the make-up of our brains from birth, or our experiences of the world around us? Either way, it is an absolutely fascinating subject, and so - this is the important bit - as marketing experts, this is where we need to take the opportunity to ask ourselves:
How do we harness our knowledge of human behaviour to make our marketing to schools a soaring success?
The first thing that springs to mind when I think “Marketing Psychology” is when, in my first year at uni, I learned that the more expensive and well-known brands you see at the supermarket are shelved at eye level to make sure you spot them before you look for the cheap ones - I’ve looked at the lowest shelves ever since! Immediately, this is something we can snap up for our digital marketing. Quite simply, make sure that the information you want to get across to your customer/client is immediately available for them to see. If you want to see this in action, my colleague John wrote a brilliant blog on email heat maps, showing what parts of your marketing emails attract the most attention, and how to use that to your advantage.
The Serial Position Effect
In a similar vein, research from Murdock in 1962 tells us that people are more likely to remember information from the beginning and end of a list, video, article, email... and less likely to remember the bits in the middle! So when you write any sort of content, it’s pretty effective to put the most important information at the top and bottom, and the less vital stuff in the middle.
I absolutely love to write alliteratively (see what I did there?) in my campaigns. Not only does it give your email marketing a bit of a poetic flair, research tells us that, when used well, written content containing alliteration is better remembered than content that does not; mastering memorable marketing is a must when selling to schools! (... Sorry, I did it again, didn’t I?)
However, my favourite thing about Psychology in the context of emailing teachers is empathy. As the great (albeit fictional) Atticus Finch said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Being able to put ourselves in the shoes of both our clients and their customers, the teachers, is one of the best skills any copywriter can take on (John wrote about this in his Robert de Niro approach to copywriting blog). Of course, it’s good to practice this in daily life as well! When I write my copy, I am constantly thinking about: What do teachers want to see? How would this piece of writing make a teacher/client feel? We also have to bear in mind that teachers receive a lot of email marketing, so it’s important to ensure your emails keep teachers on your side... in fact, we have a whitepaper on that very subject, which is definitely worth a read.
And just a little note on Incubation...
This is something for you as the writer as opposed to an actual marketing tip - but hey, we have to take care of each other, don’t we?
If you’re writing any sort of content, you’re bound to have days where you have a little trouble getting words down on paper - otherwise known as “writers block.” On these occasions, research into the Psychology of problem-solving recommends that we simply get up and leave the task alone for five minutes - pop the kettle on, look at something different, and while we’re doing that, our brains will subconsciously start working out the original problem for you. So you know that subject line/paragraph/email you were struggling with before you started reading this blog? I bet you’ll get back to it now to find the answer right in front of you. If you are still struggling however, you can always pop over to the Sprint Labs for some marketing top tips.
I’ve probably gone on for quite a long time- when it comes to interesting facts in Psychology I simply can’t help myself! But I hope this article has taught you something new that you can use in your marketing to schools- or to impress your friends and colleagues, if anything!
How to Sell to Schools
Marketing to Schools
Selling to Schools
Selling to Teachers