We’ve spoken time and time again about how teachers are among the most marketed to people on the planet. Well, not only does this make them extremely marketing savvy; it can also, in extreme cases, lead to what is known as 'assembly line hypnosis'.
This is a mild state of drowsiness brought on by seeing the same tired old messages pass before your eyes day in day out, until you simply stop paying attention. Although harmless to the hypnotee, it can prove absolutely fatal for your education marketing.
Here are 5 simple ways to inject an element of surprise into your emails to teachers and make sure you're a welcome splash of colour in their increasingly grey inboxes.
1. A little humour goes a long way
Humour can be an incredibly powerful weapon in your marketing to schools armoury. However, I should make it clear that I’m thinking more along the lines of daytime repeats of ‘Only Fools and Horses’ rather than the post-watershed ‘Inbetweeners’!
On April Fools’ Day last year we thought we’d have a bit of harmless fun by advertising a new fragrance we’d created that would help clients sell more to schools. It got a great reaction because it made people smile and helped them start the day with a bit of a giggle!
2. Give them an unexpected treat
This is a slightly harder trick to pull off but one that’s incredibly worthwhile. Hopefully many of you are already creating fantastic free whitepapers and resources that delight teachers, but how many of you are then going that extra mile to over-deliver?
This is something we try to do with our own marketing. For example, if you were to download the free marketing toolkit from our website, the next time you visited our Home Page you would find an extra special surprise waiting for you…
3. Quirky or unusual words stand out a mile
At the end of the day, so much of marketing comes down to words (usually quite a lot of them too!). In a sea of words, some have the ability to stand out and catch the eye while others fade into the background.
We’ve had great success by using words like ‘Pssst…’ and ‘Oops!’. We’re also quite partial to the odd ‘bum’ (see below). Any word that you don’t expect to see in an email subject line or header is potential gold dust for your marketing.
4. Focus on your failings
A few months ago I wrote a blog about how being brave enough to talk about your weaknesses will make you completely unique in a world where everyone is shouting about why they’re the best. It’s absolutely the last thing that anyone expects to see in a marketing email and a fantastic way of making teachers sit up and take notice of you.
A great example is this blog that Ben recently wrote about how some stinging criticism from one of Sprint’s clients led him to take a long hard look at the service we offer and how it can be improved.
5. Make a connection to current events
It’s always worth asking the question, ‘What is the rest of the world talking about right now and how can I join the conversation?’ Even if a current hot topic is not immediately relevant to your industry, it’s still important to try and get involved as any references to it will undoubtedly catch teachers’ attention.
The Scottish Referendum and the final of The Great British Bake-Off may seem like unlikely topics for our blog, but they’re both events that captured the public consciousness and helped us engage a wider audience with our marketing.
Doing your marketing ‘by the book’ is fine, but if everyone is following the same book then you’re only going to succeed in blending in with the crowd and becoming just another item on the assembly line!
So, why not do the unexpected and wake teachers up from their marketing fatigue!
Marketing to Schools
Selling to Teachers
How to Sell to Schools