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If you are not trying promotion by post...

Why promotions to teachers still bring in the best returns of any medium

Writing a sales letter, putting it in an envelope with a leaflet (if the full details of what you are selling can’t be given on the sales letter alone), and then sending it off to 300 schools chosen at random, is not tough.

It costs about £160 to do - less if you do all the envelope stuffing yourself - more if you are using stamps.  But most importantly it will generally not only your money back, but it will quite often open the door to the most profitable promotions imaginable.

All you need is one piece of information.  You need to calculate how many sales you will need to recover your marketing costs.

So, given that it costs £160 to send out 300 letters, we can see that it costs about £53 per 100 to do a test mailing like this.

Now let us assume (for the sake of illustration) that you make £25 clear profit each time you make a sale.  That means you are going to start making a profit if you sell three items each time you mail 100 schools.

That could be three items to different schools or one school buying two and one buying one item.  It doesn’t matter - all you have to do is get those three sales.

But we don’t just mail 100 in our trial mailing, we do 300, just to make sure the figures are accurate and that there is no oddity in the small sample we’ve selected.  So we mail 300 schools selected at random, and it costs about £160.  Nine sales will bring us in £225 profit.

Take away the £160 it cost to do the promotion and you have a profit of £65.

The next question is, was it worth it?  All that work for £65? Probably not, but there are two bonuses that now accrue.

Let’s assume that your selected schools came from the list of UK secondary schools. There are 5000 of these. Because you selected at random from the list, it is reasonable to believe that you can get the same result across the UK.

Such a promotion will bring in 150 sales at £25 profit each which is £3750 profit.

But that’s not the half of it.  Because with each sale you can put in a leaflet offering another product - and that costs nothing at all. And you should record the name and address of the teacher who bought from you so you can write directly to that person again to sell something else.

In other words the benefits of this little campaign are starting to stack up.  £3750 profit, extra sales from the leaflets enclosed with the products when mailed out, and 150 postal addresses of past buyers.

But there is still more.

Additionally if you use the right tactics you can probably get around 80 email addresses of the actual teachers placing the order.  And I stress, these are their personal email addresses - not the email addresses of the school’s office that processes the order.

This is, by and large, the most powerful and effective way of selling to teachers. And in recent years it has been made even more powerful, because many of the firms that used to sell to schools via the post don’t use that medium any more.

So less post reaches the schools, more gets passed on to teachers by the school office, and more gets read.

Why don’t companies use the post so much these days?   Largely, I think, because it seems so complicated compared with emails.

I think that concept is quite wrong, but it is a rare bonus for the firms that still use the post.

If you would like to talk about test mailings, about buying lists of school addresses so you can do your own mailing, about having Hamilton House undertaking the mailings for you, or indeed anything else, please do call 01536 399 000.

And here’s two final benefits.  If, when you have found a mailing that works, you mail 4000 schools or more, your postage rate comes tumbling down.   Plus we will then also do a personal email campaign for you to any secondary teacher of your choice or a generic email to all primary schools, free of charge.

You can read more about our mailing lists on our web site and also see an example of how we write to schools to promote products in this way.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Tony Attwood




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