Every summer, millions of dollars are spent preparing for back-to-school. And this year, back-to-school spending looks like it’s going to be stronger than ever. This is great news for vendors — if you can break through all of the back-to-school messaging to reach your target audience and snag your market share.

Back-to-School Spending

The late-summer and early-fall months not only usher in a new school year, but they also encompass the second-largest consumer spending season, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). It’s second only to Christmas!

Your marketing strategy has successfully driven educators to your website. Congratulations! You did it!

All of the work you’ve put into crafting your marketing campaigns has led you to this point. You’ve reviewed your customer and prospect database and created segmented lists. You’ve targeted email campaigns specifically to those lists. You’ve optimized landing pages to encourage CTA clicks. And of course, you’ve optimized your web pages for search.

How do you turn that website traffic into leads that will eventually generate revenue and return on investment? Conversion rate optimization, or CRO.

McMullan webBy Ann McMullan, www.annmcmullan.com

This is the second in a series of five monthly articles providing tips for ed tech vendors to use when working with school clients to implement innovative solutions for teaching and learning. Each month we pull a leadership lesson from Life Lessons in Leadership: The Way of the Wallaby., a book I co-authored in 2016. The goal of this book is to provide leaders of all ages (“For Leaders Ages 8 to 88”) and occupations with memorable strategies for leading people and processes, especially when it comes to navigating change.

Last month we explored the topic of why listening is the number one key skill for any leader. This month’s reflections come from Chapter 2 in the book.


Data from a 2017 Agile Education Marketing survey reveals that educators value email for communicating with vendors about their products and services. Ultimate Email Marketing Toolkit However, research also indicates that your competitors have caught on to email’s effectiveness, as educators receive many emails every single day — often reaching the double digits.

Your messages must make a statement in crowded inboxes. Not only do they need to get noticed, they also need to get opened, read and acted on. The Ultimate Email Marketing Toolkit, sponsored by Agile and PR with Panache!, is packed with 11 helpful resources you can use and reuse to build better email campaigns.

A customer’s journey starts long before they’ve signed a purchase order. It begins when an administrator goes online to search for a solution for challenges she’s facing in her district. Or when a teacher saves a piece of direct mail because it promotes a product that could help with lesson planning.

Simply put, the customer journey starts when educators are just beginning to research a product or service to fulfill specific needs in their districts, schools or classrooms.

It’s a long process from prospecting to signed PO. Therefore, it’s important to map out educators’ journeys through the sales process and develop a strategy for how to nurture those leads at each stage.

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About Agile Education Marketing

We're the go-to people to build brand recognition and generate leads. Using our comprehensive EdConnect™ database of early childhood, K-12 and higher education institutions and personnel, Agile Education Marketing helps you reach educators at school, at home and online.