A 10% discount on (almost) everything with Hamilton House

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Posted on 2nd July 2015 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

If you like us on Facebook we’ll like you back in a most practical way: with a 10% discount.

We like to think that our Facebook page is well worth reading not least because all the articles Hamilton House publishes across a whole range of direct marketing topics are summarised in one place, with links to each individual article.

Plus we also put up interesting information about issues relating to the schools’ market, reflecting on the key issues that teachers are thinking about. If you are selling to schools that information can often be quite a helpful reference to drop in to make the advertising seem even more relevant to the teacher.

But now we are going further. In fact, a lot further.

For whether you are buying a shared postal mailing, an email list, a web page listing, or anything else, we’ll give you a 10% discount on almost everything you purchase in July as long as you do just one tiny thing for us.

All that we ask is that you “like and share” our 10% discount post on the Hamilton House Facebook account.

You’ll find us at Facebook.com/hamiltonhousemailings, or simply type in Hamilton House Mailings in the “Find Friends” box top left on Facebook.

But I did say “a discount on almost everything” and you will be wondering about the exception. After all, some advertisers can be quite pesky with their hidden terms and conditions.

So to be upfront and overt: the one tiny exception to our 10% discount is postage. We can arrange to get massive postage discounts for you through using our postal service – but we can’t give a further 10% discount on the discounts.

Just to be clear on what this means on postage, if you buy a second class stamp it costs 54p. If you have a franking machine or ask Hamilton House to post under 4000 items at one time, the cost is 36p. If you use Hamilton House and post over 4000 items at a time it is 24p. There are of course some weight and size issues, but these prices apply to C5 items weighing up to 100g. Please do call us on 01536 399 000 for more information.

But now back to the July discount.

To obtain that 10% discount off everything (except postage), all you have to do is write and tell us your Facebook address, and let us know that you have liked and shared Hamiltonhousemailings, and that you you would like your 10% discount. Just indicate this when you place an order and the discount is yours.

But I would add, even if you are not buying this month, I do hope you’ll have a look at our Facebook page which really does cover a huge amount about direct marketing in all its forms, with additional information on direct marketing into the education market.

Tony Attwood

Tony@hamilton-house.com
Phone 01536 399 000

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Boosting sales through July

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Posted on 29th June 2015 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

July is a prime time for selling to schools, and we’ve several ways of helping you ensure you get more of the orders being placed.

For many companies July is one of the key months of the year for selling to schools. Perhaps the key selling month. Indeed, many firms report that the last few days of the summer term are the most vital of all.

The reason is that many teachers find they have extra time available in July because of GCSE and A level classes being on exam leave, while some classes are absent on school visits, preparing to move to the new school, and so on.

And, of course, there is also the need to prepare for September. Academies are using up the last of their 2014/15 money and placing orders to be paid for from the 2015/16 budget, while LA schools now have their new budgets in place and are starting to spend.

To help at this time of year we’ve several arrangements and offers on our email services that really can help you make sales in July – and at the start of next term.

We regularly offer a 50% discount on our emails to teachers’ personal addresses, to companies that allow us two weeks to send out their advert.

For July, that discount rate is available if you allow us just one week to send out the email once we have received your copy.

This reduces the price of personal emails direct to secondary school teachers to 6p each and 4.5p each to primary and nursery school teachers. Better still, if you want to email all of the 5000 largest primary schools, we have a special price at this time of 3p each.

We won’t send your email at weekends or in the last week of term. If you want to go ahead email Chris@hamilton-house.com with your booking.

It is also still possible to buy our generic list of school email addresses for you to email out yourself. There are three selections available – 28,000 primary and secondary schools (£59.99), all special schools (£25), and 7300 nursery schools (£45). Details and some notes on sending out emails via your own program are available here.

Finally, don’t forget also that we have our downloadable sample copy grid for emailing schools, along with an also downloadable analysis of how and why our copy is written in a specific way. That is available here.

If you have any questions please do call 01536 399 000. We are mostly harmless and as always guarantee that no horseman will call.

Tony Attwood

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Reach over 100,000 teachers for just 49.99

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Posted on 25th June 2015 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

Where do teachers get information about educational products and services during this term and the summer holidays?

These last five weeks of the school year are a vital time for anyone looking to sell to schools. LA schools now have their new funding, while Academies and independent schools are looking to use up what is left of this year’s budget and consider what they need to buy for next term.

Which is why both email advertising and appearing on relevant websites through the summer are vital.

In terms of emails you can email schools at half price using our personal lists of teacher addresses by giving us a little flexibility as to when you want the email to go out. We’ll send it out within two weeks of you supplying the finished art work, guaranteeing not to send it out during a weekend or the last week of term.

All our lists of email addresses are to be found on www.emails.gs See here for secondary and here for primary. And don’t forget, there’s 50% discount on all the prices if you are slightly flexible over the date the email goes out.

But there is a second way that you can do this, because at this time of year, when teachers are looking to spend money (and when many have extra time spare), teachers spend a lot of time looking for products by searching the internet.

And once they have found those websites they tend to go back to them to find more information.

Over the years we’ve built a set of websites that are regularly used by teachers to find information on educational products and issues. Not only do the teachers (and increasingly parents) use these sites because they find them through searches, but also because we email them regularly telling them about the sites.

As a result our sites now get over 100,000 visits a month. And remember, these 100,000 visits are from teachers who have sought out the site because they are looking for a particular item of interest to them.

You can now advertise on all these sites, with your own information, for two months of school term (plus the summer holiday) for just £49.99 plus VAT. The full year rate is £250.00 plus VAT.

The sites are

● UK Education News* (www.ukeducationnews.co.uk)

● Parent News* (www.parentnews.org.uk)

● Teacher News (www.teachernews.org.uk)

● Schools News (www.blog.schools.co.uk)

● Going to University* (www.goingtouniversity.org.uk)

● Edinburgh Schools* (www.edinburghschools.info)

● School Procurement Site (www.top5.org.uk)

● The Schools Directory (www.schools.co.uk & www.schools.co.uk/directory

The format varies from site to site as you can see from clicking on them in the details at the end of this message. But please don’t worry about getting all the details below sorted at this stage – we’ll take you through them step by step if you book in.

After your advertisement has appeared for two months you will have a chance to continue for a further two months for the same price.

In all, your advertisement will stay on the site for eight school weeks plus the complete summer holiday.

And here are a couple of bonuses. If after eight weeks you feel you have not had a noticeable addition to your sales from these sites, we’ll give you a further eight weeks free of charge.

What’s more, if you book in to use one of our email lists we’ll give you free listings on all those sites once you send us the data.

To book in, just call 01536 399 000 or email Chris@hamilton-house.com.

* Further information

Some sites obviously only apply to specific subjects. Going to University, for example, is only relevant for products related to sixth form studies, and those aged 17+. UK Education News is a rolling news site, and so the advert appears here only for about five days, and teachers clicking on it will link to the article you have supplied.

To book in, just call 01536 399 000 or email Chris@hamilton-house.com.

Tony Attwood

The teachers who read emails

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Posted on 22nd June 2015 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

A unique opportunity for reaching the senior teachers who actually do read their emails

Ten years ago Hamilton House developed a series of free subscription only news services for senior teachers. There’s one for heads and deputies in secondary schools, one for heads of English, one for special needs teachers, and so on.

Each week each list gets one email from us, focussing on a news item relating to their subject area and specifically covering items that they may well not have seen in the national or educational press.

Occasionally – maybe two or three times a term – they get a second message in the week in which we review a particular product or service. The readership level of each email is extremely high – for each teacher has opted in by completing an online form. If they are no longer interested, they opt out.

Now for the first time we are offering to just one company in relation to each list the chance to sponsor that particular list for one term.

Each sponsor will have its full name and a web link on each email that goes out to that list, plus twice in the term there will be a post which specifically thanks the sponsor, sets out what the sponsor is and does, and gives details of contact points.

Additionally the sponsor will have (again twice in the term) an article published on UK Education News and an article linked to it on the Schools’ blog. This can be more advertising orientated if you wish although we do find the more gentle PR approach does work better.

Because this is a new service we are keeping the fee for the first term of sponsorship deliberately low, at £350 per list to include the acknowledgement each week, two promotional emails, and two articles on UK Education News.

Here is the list of news services with the number of subscribers in each case.

  • Secondary school senior managers: 1800
  • Primary school senior managers: 2000
  • School marketing and PR managers: 1300
  • Head of Careers & Sixth Form tutors: 1650
  • Administrators, Bursars, and SBMs: 3300
  • ICT teachers: 1600
  • English, Literacy and Drama teachers: 1300
  • Managers interested in improving efficiency: 1400
  • Managers interested in motivation and behaviour: 1650
  • PSHE teachers: 1300
  • SENCOs: 1800
  • Teachers interested in sustainability and the environment: 1700

If you are interested and would like to discuss how this could work for you, please do call 01536 399 000 or email me on Stephen@hamilton-house.com

If you would like to see examples of one of our news services please click on the link.

Stephen Mister

What is going to sell next term?

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Posted on 18th June 2015 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

One factor is dominating the school landscape for next term, and some advertisers are already looking at using it.

Schools have vacancies for teachers and they are struggling to fill them. That is the simple fact that will dominate the brave new world of teaching and learning in 2015/16.

Those of us who have been in the business of selling to schools for a long time are already thinking back to the chaos of 2002 when teacher shortages expanded exponentially.

That year the cause was government funding incompetence – promised money simply didn’t arrive, and schools cut staff, only to try to rehire them a while later.

This year it is the expansion of the school population that is the cause of the problem.

Of course, this expansion has been known about for some time, but the fact that a general election arrived in 2015 meant that the governing parties maybe rather thought that it could be someone else’s problem. So nothing much was done.

Now, however, the shortage is arising in all subject areas, in both primary and secondary.

At the same time as the growth in student and pupil numbers, the number of new teachers entering the profession is declining, while teachers in some specific areas (D&T and physics are invariably at the top of the list) are leaving.

So how are schools going to cope?

The solution that the US found (having students spending increasing amount of time studying on-line at home) doesn’t look like being an option in the UK yet for political reasons, although it can’t be far away.

But increasing the array of on-line teaching that takes place in schools (with the option of students doing extra work at home) will enable schools to cope when the only person who can be with a class is a supply teacher or a teaching assistant.

It is, unfortunately, still something of a taboo to say to schools that a particular service will replace a teacher, even when no teacher can be found, but helping the supply teacher to cover when a teacher is unavailable is becoming a more acceptable phrase.

But there is another point – a most interesting point – which is hidden behind the numbers.

The income which government and LA funded schools get depends on the number of pupils and students, not on the number of teachers. So schools could find themselves in the position of having more income, but fewer staff to spend it on.

Given that many schools spend as much as 80% of their income on staff, this is going to cause consternation. But it is going to be a matter of immediacy for schools to solve staff shortages next term. And it won’t be long before schools realise that if there really is no teacher available it is better to spend the salary allocation on laptops and programs, rather than endlessly spending it on trying to find teachers who don’t exist.

Certainly a change in product advertising so that one subtly announces that a particular approach could be used in this new situation may be attractive next term.

You can find information on how Hamilton House supports the promotion of products into schools on www.hamilton-house.com

Or you can call 01536 399 000 or email Tony@hamilton-house.com

Tony Attwood

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From gobbledegook to sales

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Posted on 15th June 2015 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

The benefit of reaching teachers through different media: more sales without more effort

One of the great benefits of advertising to teachers across several media is that you stand a much better chance of meeting the teacher you are looking to influence, on their own ground where they feel comfortable.

So, if the teacher reads emails, they find you in their in-box. If they read printed material, they see you via a postal promotion.

Those who are on Facebook or who use Twitter can find you there, and people who like to read in depth will follow you on your blog – (and indeed on other websites that are available).

Better still, the apparent downside (that it costs too much, and takes up too much time) is readily overcome. A blog article can be transformed into a press release and a short Facebook article. Twitter users can find links to your articles, as can readers of your emails and postal promotions.

In other words one uses and re-uses similar (although not utterly identical) material across the media so that wherever the teacher is looking, you are there.

It is because Hamilton House specialises in marketing to teachers that we can work in all these media together and are able to offer coverage of each of these media as part of Velocity.

If you take our standard package you can get not only between three and five emails a month, but you will also have free coverage on www.ukeducationnews.co.uk and our other regular news outlets, plus free Tweets and free short articles on your Facebook account.

And indeed, if you don’t have Facebook and Twitter accounts we can set them up for you and the same sales promotions can also go up on your own blog.

But what if this Twitter, Facebook, blog, PR stuff all sounds like a load of gobbledegook?

No worries, because if you would like to call us on 01536 399 000 we can talk you through the whole array of modern media so you can see what is going on. And we can run your services for you, if you wish.

And do remember that the key issue is your message. All we are doing is making sure your message reaches the teacher, no matter what the teacher’s favoured form of receiving information.

In this way you can reach teachers not only in the medium that they prefer, but also all the year round – all without extra cost.

Velocity really is a complete package that allows you to have a promotional presence where and how you wish. The only area not included is a full scale postal promotion to schools. But even here you can undertake the test mailings as part of Velocity, to show you if the full campaign will bring in the sales you want.

Thus in one move you have everything: sales promotions, PR, website coverage and social media. Indeed many firms find that just the opening review of your marketing that we provide when you start Velocity, and (if we feel it will be helpful, and if you agree) the re-write of a web page or two on your site, is worth the whole of the first month’s fee. And that’s before we have started sending out the emails.

There is more on the Velocity Education web site, but if you want to talk this through, please do call 01536 399 000.

Tony Attwood

Tony@hamilton-house.com

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Better design, better copy – free

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Posted on 11th June 2015 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

Simply follow the simple guidelines and fill in the grid with your own copy to create an advert that will sell, sell, and sell again.

The provision of a free advert grid online, which you can manipulate to create your own advertising, seems to have been an immediate success.

The first advert-grid we provided which can be downloaded and then used to fit your text into the design is designed for use in postal shared mailings.

Now we have added online advert grids for emails to schools.

If you click on that page you will find two files, both in the same format. One contains our sample advert, and the second explains exactly why each section is as it is.

We know from years of testing that these are the designs that work, so all you have to do is write your text where ours is, keeping the format and design the same. Just follow the style of writing we have used, and you will be on track.

In all advertising to schools the response rate you get relates to:

  1. Whether teachers want the product you offer at the price you charge
  2. How you grab their attention (just saying the same sort of thing as everyone else never works!)
  3. How you relate your product to the needs of the teacher. This is usually done through putting forward an issue that they will find interesting, and then solving the problem through the use of your product.

Although this can seem quite simple, because most of the adverts you will see in your inbox don’t look like this, it can be quite a challenge to follow these guidelines if they are just written in the abstract.

Hence our approach: the grid into which you can place your advertisement, and the guidance on what goes where – and most importantly, why.

You can use this approach in any type of email advertising to schools. So if you are thinking of becoming a Payments by Result customer, you can use the grid to write your adverts, and then have us send them out for free.

We currently have vacancies in our PbR programme for companies selling to Secondary School Heads of Departments. Just read the web page and then email SamanthaBates@hamilton-house.com

We also have spaces in our paid for programmes using our personal email lists and on our Velocity programme, and again the grids can be very helpful if you choose to write your own adverts. Please do call 01536 399 000 and ask for the Velocity team.

Tony Attwood

Tony@hamilton-house.com

Free emailing to primary schools with postal shared mailing

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Posted on 8th June 2015 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

Take part in the postal shared mailing on 23 June and get a free email campaign to schools

We’ve unexpectedly got a couple of spare places in the Shared Postal Mailing to primary schools on 23 June.

Better still, we are able to offer a free email campaign to go along with this postal promotion.

And we’ve now got an extra bonus. If you want help in designing and writing your leaflet to go in your shared mailing, we have just made this much easier by putting online a a sample advert in Word form that we have tried and tested and which you can download and then amend to suit your needs.

Additionally we have put on-line a commentary on that sample advert, explaining why each element of the advert is as it is.

If you don’t already have your advert ready, you can use the sample grid to write your advert in the format we’ve shown. Of course, you don’t have to use our format – but it is there if you want some guidance.

For the mailing on 23 June you can choose to mail the largest 5000 primary schools, the largest 10,000 primary schools, or all 24,000 primary schools. If you mail the 5000, your free email will also go to the 5000 largest primary schools. If you choose either of the other options your email will got to all 24000 primary schools.

The prices of the postal shared mailing along with the free email campaign are…

Largest 5000: £485

Largest 10,000: £825

All primary: £1690

There are small additional charges for a second leaflet in the mailing and a weight surcharge in the unlikely event of the weight of your leaflet/s per school going over 15g. Details of all these prices are given on our web page.

As a final bonus, we’ll also give you a free advert on UK Education News. All you need to do is send us a text only copy of your advert as an attached Word file to Chris@hamilton-house.com

Delivery of leaflets is required by 15 June. The email campaign can go out at any time.

To book in please email Chris@hamilton-house.com If you have any questions do call 01536 399 000.

Tony Attwood

The lowest cost way of making a sale

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Posted on 4th June 2015 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

What is the simplest, most cost effective way of getting teachers to buy from you?

Here’s a simple and (I must admit, fairly obvious fact). If a teacher who is interested in your product or service comes to your website and then reads positive and informative information about what you do, he/she is likely to buy.

So the issue is simple: how can one get more and more teachers onto your website without having to spend a fortune in advertising?

I’ve been puzzling over this problem for a while, and I think I’ve recently come up with an interesting solution.

Supposing you could increase the stream of teachers arriving at your website. Then, if you had too many people ordering you could turn the stream off. If you wanted more, you could increase the flow. You’d have complete control.

Which is why we’ve invented a way of doing this.

You send us an advert which describes your product or service and invites the teachers to click through to your website. We’ll send that advert out to relevant teachers – and it won’t cost you a penny.

But there is more – because you can decide exactly how many people you want to come to your website, simply by putting a limit on the number.

Thus we send out your adverts and we’ll monitor the number of teachers who click through to your site from that advert (and we will only count those who click through from that specific advert). We’ll charge you 99p for each person we send through (plus another 50p if you want that person’s email address so you can follow up the click throughs).

You can tell us exactly when to stop. So you might say, “Stop when I have spent £100,” or whatever sum you want to nominate (£100 is the minimum because of the costs to us of setting the process up). It is up to us to get the numbers to your site – you’ve got nothing to worry about other than using the site to entice the teachers to buy from you.

After that you can ask us to continue by running the advert you have supplied some more, or you can change the advert or you can leave it at that. It is entirely a matter for you.

There’s one other thing to remember. We’re here all the time to offer support and advice. So if your advert is not bringing in many enquiries we can help you change it to make it more effective. If your website is not converting visitors into orders, again we can help take matters forwards.

But remember, the great benefit of this approach is that once you have set it up, it just continues to run until you’ve got the number of people on your site that you want to achieve. It is, in effect a way of turning the tap of sales on and off.

If you would like to know more about what makes one email advert work and another not, just click here. If you want to know what to look out for in a landing page on your website to ensure that it delivers sales, then the article on that is here.

If you would like to set up a “Pay per lead” account with us, just call 01536 399 000 or email Chris@hamilton-house.com

Tony Attwood

Free report on selling via Facebook, Twitter and blogs

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Posted on 1st June 2015 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

How to use Facebook, Twitter and blogs
in order to increase your sales to schools

Selling to schools through emails and the post obviously works, and works well. And yet it has one disadvantage. For these processes depend on the teacher wanting to read your message on the day that you send your message out.

But if the timing doesn’t match, the chances are that your message won’t be noticed, and no sale will be gained.

However, there is a way around this, and it involves having your promotional material available in the right format for reading exactly when the teacher wants to find it.

This approach uses Facebook, Twitter and blogs, and what it basically does is resolve the problem by attacking it on two fronts.

First, Facebook and Twitter, when used in a certain way, allow you to tempt potential customers with offers, ideas and information on a very regular basis, so no matter which day they are interested in your product or service, the chances are that you will be there saying something relevant.

Second, the blog places a lot of sales information about your company on many different pages so that over time you increase the chance of it being picked up by a search engine enquiry relevant to your area of work.

Now, of course, that might already happen as a result of your website – but the blog magnifies the effect a thousand fold over time and greatly increases the chance of your being found.

By way of introducing this approach we have prepared a very straightforward short report called Marketing via Social Media: Using Facebook, Twitter and Blogs. It is available free of charge from Hamilton House – just email Chris@hamilton-house.com

What’s more, if you don’t have a blog or an active Twitter account or a rampaging Facebook page, we can most certainly get these up and running with you and use them to find new customers for you.

Through such activity you can reach not only those people who know you but also find parents and teachers who don’t read emails or sales letters, but who are potential customers of your products and services.

We are also making our Facebook and Twitter support and development services available free for our Velocity clients. If, however, you are not on our Velocity programme we can still offer help and support in social media for a small charge.

To find out more about Social Marketing either as a project on its own or as part of Velocity please call 01536 399 000 or email Jenny@hamilton-house.com

And for the free report on how Social Marketing can work when selling to schools, teachers and parents, please do email Chris@hamilton-house.com and just request a copy of Marketing via Social Media: Using Facebook, Twitter and Blogs.

Tony Attwood