In February 2017, Agile Education Marketing asked educators all about email. Do they like receiving emails about education products and services? What prompts them to open and act on these emails? How many of these emails do they receive daily?

Part 1 of our survey results reveals how administrators and teachers feel about emails from education companies, and what kinds of information they value most from these messages. Click here for Part 2, or view an infographic of the survey results

Emails are an important tool in every education marketer’s toolkit. Not only do administrators and teachers alike use email to learn about education products and services, but email also supports other platforms for communicating with educators.

In a Q1 2017 survey of administrators and teachers conducted by Agile Education Marketing, 51 percent of administrators said they value webinars for learning about education products and services. How do you promote your webinars? Email. Also, 69 percent of teachers said they trust word of mouth. What’s easily sharable? Email. Sixty-four percent of administrators and 65 percent of teachers, respectively, said they find conferences valuable for learning about education products and services. What’s key to promoting these events? Email.

A majority of educators also agreed that email is a good way for companies to provide important information and create awareness about new products and services that are available for their districts, schools and classrooms.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed in December 2015. Since then, educators and education vendors alike have been working toward compliance by the 2017-18 implementation deadline. If you were counting on the new administration to delay ESSA’s implementation, then you’re out of luck. While some of the ESSA rules and regulations are open to amendment, the law itself is here to say, and the timeline for transitioning from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is written into it.

That timeline is quickly winding down despite the fact that many of the regulations that govern ESSA were only just released in December 2016. Schools and districts are currently in a state of limbo: they’re finishing the school year under NCLB and planning budgets for next school year under ESSA. With that transition will come changes to education in every state, every district and every school. In an essence, ESSA changes everything.

Those changes will greatly impact education vendors like you, too. Where schools get funds to purchase products will change. What educators need from vendors also will evolve, along with how vendors must communicate with customers in education. Some companies may see this as a major challenge; we consider it an exciting opportunity to partner more closely with schools and districts to help them navigate the changes ESSA is guaranteed to bring.

It seems that at every turn, marketers are greeted with one message: It’s the Digital Age. There’s no doubt that social media and email have grown in popularity — and for good reason, especially among educators — but what about direct mail? Should you drop it completely from your marketing mix?

The short answer is no, though there are understandable reasons for considering it. Direct mail takes a considerable amount of time to create, deploy and track compared to email marketing. The cost of mailing direct mail is high, though the USPS does offset expenses with incentives. The cost per acquisition of direct mail also is more expensive than email — $19 compared to $15, according to the Data and Marketing Association (DMA). Finally, the DMA reports that direct mail volumes have seen a 1.9 percent decline year-over-year since 2005.

However, direct mail response rates still outperform digital marketing. DMA data reveals that the average direct mail response rate for house lists is 5.3 percent and 2.9 percent for prospects. To put those numbers into perspective, no other channel even reaches 1 percent.

Email is an effective way to communicate with today’s educators. Not surprisingly, 51 percent of Curriculum Directors told Agile that they like learning about edtech through emails. However, email as a preferred method of communication extends beyond those more tech-savvy educators. In Agile and SheerId’s 2016 Teacher Spending and Loyalty Survey, 66 percent of teachers said they trust email for learning about products, programs and services available for their students and classrooms.

Education vendors have caught on to the power of email for marketing to educators, and that means that teachers and administrators start their school days with inboxes that are fuller than ever. Make sure your messages get delivered and stand out from your competitors by overcoming five hurdles every email marketing campaign faces after you hit send.   

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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.