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This is not the end...

 

 

…Merely a brief pause and a reminder that if you want something free there’s always a deadline.

This is the end of my ramblings on the topic of marketing to schools, at least for 2013.  I hope to be back on 2 January to start all over again.

In the meanwhile here are two final thoughts (although I know you’ll more than likely be busy packing up and joining in the Festive Whatnot, but I thought I’d try anyway).

First thought, we do have a few places left in the postal shared mailing to secondary schools on 16 January 2014.   This is one of those postal shared mailings that includes a free personal email campaign, and entry on our various websites (which I’m rather pleased to say are continuing to get around 80,000 visits a month between them).

The price works out at around 5.5p to 9p per school, depending on how you proceed, for which you get your 5000 leaflets delivered, plus around 2500 personal emails.  An amazing deal.

Now the problem with January shared mailings is that by the time one has returned to the office in January there’s not much time to get the leaflets printed. So, while you are eating the turkey you might like sketch out the leaflet you want to send out on that date.

Remember, you will be reaching a large number of teachers who are never reached through email campaigns – so it can be a good thing to do. The leaflets need to be delivered no later than 9 January.

There are details on www.shared.org.uk

Meanwhile you can read all my exciting and stimulating thoughts that have arisen through the year on www.blog.educationmarketing.org.uk.  And if by any chance you want to explore any issue during the holiday period, just email me on Tony.Attwood@aisa.org

Meanwhile, if you have been, thank you for reading.

Tony Attwood
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd
 

We work hard to ensure that you only receive emails that are relevant to you delivered to your email address.  If you would prefer to receive emails at a different or additional address or if you have any other comments please let us know by replying to this email.  If you do not wish to receive further emails from us please click on this link  If you choose not to do this we will take it that you are willing to receive emails from us until such time as you indicate that your preferences have changed.




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Don't ask for what you don't need


Why asking people to log in or supply information can seriously reduce the readership of your website

Last week I posted an item on one of the news blogs that I write for teachers which told them about a competition that I felt their students might be interested in.  

Because this news service is itself a subscription service I get quite a lot of correspondence from teachers in relation to the stories I cover, and this article brought several replies.  What was interesting was that they were all on the same topic.

The point made each time was that they were interested in the competition, but had found that in order to get more details of the competition they had to register with the organisation running the event.

Now the registration was nothing other than the normal form filling about name, school details, and the like – there was no question of obligation, cost or anything else.  And yet a number of teachers told me that they would like to join in the competition, but they didn’t want to register.

At just about the same time I saw an email from the Direct Marketing Association which contained the line:

“The outcome of this meeting will likely determine when the DPR becomes adopted and implemented into law.   For a summary of the latest situation, read here

So I clicked on “read here” and it took me to a page that said in big red letters

Access Denied / User log in

Now in effect what I needed to do to access the page was to log in.  But just as the teachers were put off by being asked to give details, so I was put off but that abrupt big announcement about “access denied”.

My view is that you should always remember that:

a)  When you ask people to log in or fill in a form you will lose some readers.

b)  There are many different ways of asking people to log in and shouting “Access Denied” is just about the worst.

c)   Don’t ask for information if you really don’t need it.  If you look at any of the Hamilton House blogs you will see that they are public and can be read without any registration.  Where we do ask for registration we keep it dead simple – name and email address normally, but that is rare.

Of course, not getting registrations means that one doesn’t know exactly who is going on the site, and that is a loss.  But my view is that if my writing is good enough the readers will read what I say, respond and then come back to discuss matters.

If you do feel that you have to ask for a registration, keep it simple, and advise the reader early on so that he/she is not put off by a sudden unexpected demand for information.  A phrase such as “you will have to log in before you can get to the site, but that only involves answering three questions, and won’t take more than half a minute”, usually works well.

You can see how we try to engage potential customers without using any log in process on the three Hamilton House direct marketing blogs:

Direct Marketing Secrets: www.blog.hamilton-house.com

Reviews of adverts: www.goodad.co.uk

Marketing to schools: www.blog.educationmarketing.org.uk

Tony Attwood: Tony@hamilton-house.com

Phone: 01536 399 000.



 

 

We work hard to ensure that you only receive emails that are relevant to you delivered to your email address.  If you would prefer to receive emails at a different or additional address or if you have any other comments please let us know by replying to this email.  If you do not wish to receive further emails from us please click on this link  If you choose not to do this we will take it that you are willing to receive emails from us until such time as you indicate that your preferences have changed.




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When you want to reach every secondary school


The four ways of reaching every secondary school
with your next promotion

Personal email campaigns are effective, but they can’t ever reach every secondary school head of department, simply because not all schools have personal email address systems and, even where they do, some teachers are known never to access emails from outside the school. 

So how can one overcome this problem and reach every teacher?

There are in fact four different ways of reaching all secondary schools: by generic email, by shared postal campaign, by emailing those schools one can and then posting to the rest, and finally through a solo postal campaign which reaches all secondary schools.

Here’s a table that shows the relative prices of each approach.  In all cases the coverage is all 5000 secondary schools.

Mailing type

Total cost

Cost per school

Generic email campaign

£149

3p each

Shared postal campaign

£435

8.7p each

Personal email plus solo post where there is no email

£1495

30p each

Solo postal throughout

£1995

40p each

It is important to note that these prices of individual campaigns can vary somewhat, so please do get in touch to discuss a specific mailing.  However, these prices do give a fair indication of what the average campaign will cost, although the postal campaigns do not include print prices.     

By way of example, if you wanted to undertake a shared postal campaign and you wanted to post two leaflets together, each going to a different teacher, the total cost would be £560, meaning that the cost per teacher would go down to 5.6p each.

In addition to the actual mailing, with each of these promotions we will also place a copy of the advertisement on www.ukeducationnews.co.uk – which tends to get around another 700 views.  Again there are a couple of technical points about this, so please do call to talk through the details.

If you would like us to take a look at your advert before it is sent out, we are always happy to do this – and if you would like to talk through the details of any of these approaches and the sort of response rate they might generate, please do get in touch.

Tony Attwood

01536 399 000



 

 

We work hard to ensure that you only receive emails that are relevant to you delivered to your email address.  If you would prefer to receive emails at a different or additional address or if you have any other comments please let us know by replying to this email.  If you do not wish to receive further emails from us please click on this link  If you choose not to do this we will take it that you are willing to receive emails from us until such time as you indicate that your preferences have changed.




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How to reach your invisible audience

 

 

What is the most effective way of reaching teachers who never see your emails?

Every advertising medium has the same problem.  Not everyone in the audience you want to reach will see or hear your advert.

Whether the advert is on television, the radio, the side of a bus, on a website or sent via email, only a percentage of the people you want to reach will actually ever see the advert (and that’s before they start to decide whether to buy your product or not).

Which means you have an “invisible audience” – teachers whom you want to reach, but who simply never see the medium that you are using.  If you don’t take action to reach this audience then you are missing out on half of your potential customers.  

Of course, in one sense that doesn’t matter since when you email teachers you don’t get charged for this “invisible audience” (or at least I should say, when you email via Hamilton House you don’t get charged for the invisible audience.  I can’t speak for anyone else).

But it does mean that if email is your only way of advertising to teachers, then you are only reaching half your target audience. 

Fortunately, however, there are two ways around this, and in this note I explore one of these two ways.

What it is possible to do is to build a postal list of teachers, minus all those who are known to read the emails targeted at them.  So one can write to all the teachers who never see your promotional emails.  It’s the list of teachers you’ve never reached before!

The best thing to do with this list is to undertake a low cost experiment to part of the list to see what response rate your promotion will yield.  Many of these trial campaigns (which involve around 300 schools) pay for themselves through the sales they generate.

After that, when you find a promotion that does work, the profit from a full campaign will normally be far above that which you can generate via an email campaign – not least because the readership you reach will be teachers who have not previously been seeing your adverts.

If you have not used postal direct mail with Hamilton House before, we’ll be happy to write your promotion for you, free of charge, should you wish.  (This service is normally reserved for Velocity customers, but for a short while we’re offering it to companies that are experimenting with postal campaigns for the first time).

If you would like to find out more or book in a trial or full mailing please do call 01536 399 000 or email Chris@hamilton-house.com

If you want to talk to me personally about postal and email campaigns, of course I’d like to receive your call.  Again just call 01536 399 000 and then press option 3.

Tony Attwood
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd
 

We work hard to ensure that you only receive emails that are relevant to you delivered to your email address.  If you would prefer to receive emails at a different or additional address or if you have any other comments please let us know by replying to this email.  If you do not wish to receive further emails from us please click on this link  If you choose not to do this we will take it that you are willing to receive emails from us until such time as you indicate that your preferences have changed.




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The Education Market is growing once again

 

 

Research last summer suggested that schools were increasing their spend.  Here’s what we have found this term.

I am always a little hesitant about talk of growth in the amount of money schools are spending.  I prefer to see some evidence of such growth before I pass on details of research which suggests that expenditure is on the up.

So I’ve been sitting on a statement from BESA (the British Education Suppliers’ Assn) which says that schools have indicated a rise in expenditure in all the areas they look at (which is basically all expenditure outside of salaries).

Spending in 2013/14 was projected by schools to increase by 2.7 per cent this year, after reported growth of 2.3 per cent in 2012/13.   Primary schools were projected to have the bigger growth (around 3.6%) while secondary schools would have a lower growth (around 2%)

The research highlighted a shift in investment in technology in particular. In 2011/12, spending on ICT products was forecast to decline by 5.4 per cent. However spending in 2012/13 has been estimated to have increased by 2.1 per cent and is projected to increase by 2.9 per cent in 2013/14.

Now I can’t verify these figures in detail, and neither can I pass on comments from our own clients as, of course, these are confidential.

But I can say that our own sales to schools have risen significantly this term.

Of course, you will appreciate that our sales are in limited areas.  We sell reports, books and CDs through First and Best, testing and special needs teaching materials through the Dyscalculia Centre, and courses for managers and administrators through the School of Educational Administration and Management.

But I can say that all three areas seem to be on the up, not just in line with the figures provided by BESA, but above this level. So it does indeed look as if overall there is improvement this school year.

Of course there are always companies that tell us that times have been hard and those who say that advertising to schools doesn’t work, but our finding remains that selling to schools can work well providing the right media is used and the advertisement is presented in the right way.

Indeed, one might even go so far as to say that the way in which the advertisement is presented is as important, if not more important, than the product or service itself.

Such matters are dealt with regularly on the Good Ad and Direct Marketing Secrets blogs and emails. Details of all three news services are given on  http://www.hamilton-house.com/gateways/newsgroups.html

But here’s an extra thought. If you have subscribed to any of our email lists and then found you are not getting all the emails because they are ending up in your junk box or other filter system, just click on the “Safe Senders List” option on your email for our address, and everything should come through perfectly well.

Or if you want to have a chat, do call 01536 399 000

Tony Attwood
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd
 

We work hard to ensure that you only receive emails that are relevant to you delivered to your email address.  If you would prefer to receive emails at a different or additional address or if you have any other comments please let us know by replying to this email.  If you do not wish to receive further emails from us please click on this link  If you choose not to do this we will take it that you are willing to receive emails from us until such time as you indicate that your preferences have changed.




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Why do schools buy from you?

 

 

What are the two key pieces of information that ensure your adverts work? 

The first key piece of information relates to knowing why schools want your type of product or service in general.  It’s the “why should I buy this?” question.

Let’s imagine that you sell maths test books.  Teachers might buy these because they need to check that their pupils have understood the maths issues that have been taught.  Or maybe because they want the children to practise maths tests ahead of the exam.  Or maybe…  

And this is where much advertising goes wrong, because a lot of advertising is based on an assumed reason for buying rather than a reason for buying that excites and interests teachers.

So that’s the first piece of information: knowing why teachers want this type of product or service in general.

The second piece of information centres on the “why buy it from me?” question - knowing why teachers might choose to buy from you rather than from anyone else.  

To illustrate these two points, let me give an example by citing a product developed by First and Best – one of the companies owned by Hamilton House.  This example concerns a report we published called “The Improving Department.”

The school improvement market at the time was very crowded, packed with books, reports, courses and software.   And yet within six months over half the secondary schools in England had bought our report – even though it was priced fairly high at £49.95.

So why did we succeed in capturing so much of the market when we had so many rivals?

We did it because our research showed that the issue worrying a lot of school managers at that time was not how to implement school improvement but how to do it without taking up huge amounts of their own time and without causing rifts within the staffroom.   

Thus our adverts stressed that our report described a school improvement approach that could be implemented without any conflict and with very little senior management time involved. 

No adverts for any rival products touched on either of these issues, because no one else had bothered to do the very simple, basic research needed to find what headteachers were thinking.

If you would like to see how this two part approach to selling (the “why buy this?” and “why buy this from me?” approach) works I’m happy to talk this through in relation to your business.  Just call me on 01536 399 000.

Alternatively you might like to consider our Velocity programme.  Not only do you get all your email marketing at half price, but you get as much marketing consultancy as you like.  We’re very willing to go through your product or service with you and unravel these two “why buy” questions. 

Of course, our Velocity clients don’t have to follow our suggestions – for they are just suggestions.  But we do find that the ideas we outline can often open up new avenues of possibility which haven’t been explored before.

There is more about Velocity on www.velocity.ac – and a review of our latest education offers on www.educationmarketing.org.uk

Tony Attwood
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd
 

We work hard to ensure that you only receive emails that are relevant to you delivered to your email address.  If you would prefer to receive emails at a different or additional address or if you have any other comments please let us know by replying to this email.  If you do not wish to receive further emails from us please click on this link  If you choose not to do this we will take it that you are willing to receive emails from us until such time as you indicate that your preferences have changed.




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The email list that trebles your response rates

 

 

An email list which doubles or even trebles your response rates is not that difficult to get. 
Indeed you may already have it.

It is one of the fundamental points within my approach to marketing: every time you get an enquiry or a sale you should aim to get that individual’s email address and add it to your list of enquirers and customers.

Then, as often as you can, you write to them.  Not with a SHOUTY SALES message but with a mix of any current offers along with helpful background information about issues that will be of interest to these people.

This approach is one that we always urge on our Velocity customers (companies that have a longer term contract to work with us on their marketing over a period of time).  Not everyone in the Velocity programme takes note of our suggestions, of course, (the final call is always up to our customer) but a sizeable percentage of our clients have asked us to build or develop their own list as part of Velocity.

As a result we can compare the responses that are achieved from emails sent to the “enquirers and customers” lists as compared with emails sent to the personal email lists of teachers that we have.

The result is interesting. Enquirers and customers lists get responses ranging from double to treble the response rates achieved by emailing the personal lists.

In one sense this is what you would expect – these people have declared their interest by enquiring or purchasing in the past.  And yet, convincing firms to set up their own customers and enquirers lists is one of the hardest tasks I face.

It all seems a bit long term, a bit tricky, or “not possible with a company like ours”.  There is also a fear that if one writes to people regularly “they’ll all unsubscribe and I’ll lose them”.  And yet I have only ever found one company that genuinely couldn’t build and benefit from such a list, and the three regular email services that Hamilton House runs to promote itself (see http://www.hamilton-house.com/gateways/newsgroups.html for details) grow all the time.

True, building such a list is sometimes a little more complex than expected, and true, writing the emails requires a different approach (although for Velocity customers that’s no problem since the writing of their emails is part of the programme), and true, the whole process can take a few weeks to get together, but it is almost always possible – and the results can be terrific.

Whether you use the Velocity approach from Hamilton House or not, I would urge you to build and exploit a list of customers and enquirers. And if you would like to explore doing any of this work with us (by which I mean the gathering and entering of data, the writing of the messages, and the transmission of the emails) we’d obviously like to help.

There is more about Velocity at www.velocity.ac and in a short while I’ll be publishing a step-by-step guide to gathering a customer and enquirer database. That will be emailed to the Direct Marketing Secrets news group and put on the Hamilton House blog.  If you are not a member of that news service just visit http://www.hamilton-house.com/gateways/newsgroups.html, select that newsgroup and you can sign up immediately. It is, of course, free. 

But if you would like to talk any of this through – or see how Velocity can fit into your company’s marketing work – please do call 01536 399 000.

Tony Attwood
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd
 

We work hard to ensure that you only receive emails that are relevant to you delivered to your email address.  If you would prefer to receive emails at a different or additional address or if you have any other comments please let us know by replying to this email.  If you do not wish to receive further emails from us please click on this link  If you choose not to do this we will take it that you are willing to receive emails from us until such time as you indicate that your preferences have changed.




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Postal mailing for less than the cost of postage

 

 

Mail teachers for less than the cost of postage, and gain a free personal email campaign

Shared postal mailings are packs containing around 10 leaflets from different companies which travel together to the school administrator.

The front page of the pack contains a newsletter relating to the school administrator from the administrators’ association, and a list of each item included in the pack. The administrator then passes the leaflets on.

The next shared mailing to secondary schools will be sent to schools on: 16 January 2014.  

The bonus free offers

Every company involved will also be offered a free email campaign to the secondary teacher of their choice, using our personal email address service (lists are shown on http://www.emails.gs/Secondarynamedlist.html), as well as getting a free listing on the UK Education News website (www.ukeducationnews.co.uk)

Mailing for less than the cost of postage

The biggest bonus with a shared mailing is that because the cost of posting these packs to schools is shared between all the companies involved the cost comes down to around a fifth of the cost of sending out adverts through the post on their own.

The cost of the mailing is: £435 for one leaflet, £560 for two leaflets.  There is a small weight charge if the leaflet/s weigh over 15g.  (A sheet of A4 8gsm bond usually weighs 5g or 6g.). 

To put these prices in terms of individual leaflets, a single leaflet to all 5000 schools is around 8.7p per school.  Two leaflets work out at 5.6p per leaflet per school.

If you wish only to mail the 3500 schools with sixth forms the price drops to £345 (£420 for two).

If you have not been in a shared postal mailing before please call 01536 399 000 or email Chris@hamilton-house.com and we’ll mail you a copy.   You can use the same email address to book a place in the mailing.

The free offers

For the free email campaign you need to send us either a Word file (with no pictures) or an HTML file.  For the free listing in UK Education News we must have a Word file with no pictures.

Delivery and despatch

  • Leaflets need to be delivered no later than 9 January 2014. 
  • Please note that Hamilton House will close on 20 December and open again on 2 January.

Tony Attwood
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd
 

We work hard to ensure that you only receive emails that are relevant to you delivered to your email address.  If you would prefer to receive emails at a different or additional address or if you have any other comments please let us know by replying to this email.  If you do not wish to receive further emails from us please click on this link  If you choose not to do this we will take it that you are willing to receive emails from us until such time as you indicate that your preferences have changed.




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Postal mail to schools for less than the cost of postage

 

 

Postal shared mailing at the very start of term, plus two free bonuses

Shared mailings (in which your leaflet travels to schools with those of other suppliers) allow you to send leaflets to schools for 9p or less per school.

If you have never seen a shared mailing pack please do call 01536 399 000 and we’ll send you a copy of a past pack.

Our first mailings of next term go out on these dates:

  • To all 5000 secondary schools: 6 January
  • To the 5000 largest primary schools: 7 January
  • To the 10000 largest primary schools: 7 January
  • To all 24000 primary schools: 7 January.

With all of these shared postal mailings we not only deliver your leaflets to schools for under 9p per school (in some cases a lot less than 9p per school) but we also offer two other bonuses:

First we can put a text based version of your advert, free of charge, on www.ukeducationnews.co.uk – which on average will lead to another 700 teachers clicking on your headline and reading your advert.

Second we can also give you a free listing in any section of our school resources directory: www.top5.org.uk – a website widely used by teachers searching for products and services.

But there is one key point to remember here.  With these postal shared mailings to schools going out on 6 and 7 January we need your printed material with us by 18 December at the very latest. So it does mean making a commitment fairly soon!

There is a complete set of costs, including a breakdown of the cost per leaflet, for all of these promotions on http://www.shared.org.uk/pricesdates1314.html

Obviously, the benefit of these despatch dates of 6 and 7 January is that they do get leaflets into schools right at the start of term.  However, because we know that many companies prefer to promote a little later, we are also mailing secondary schools for a second time a couple of weeks later – and for that promotion we won’t need the leaflets until the new year. I’ll drop you a note about that promotion in a couple of days’ time.

If you have any enquiries please call 01536 399 000 or to make a booking email Chris@hamilton-house.com

Tony Attwood
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd
 

We work hard to ensure that you only receive emails that are relevant to you delivered to your email address.  If you would prefer to receive emails at a different or additional address or if you have any other comments please let us know by replying to this email.  If you do not wish to receive further emails from us please click on this link  If you choose not to do this we will take it that you are willing to receive emails from us until such time as you indicate that your preferences have changed.




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