The number of teachers replying to adverts is rising rapidly. But why? And how long will this continue?

We always expect a rise in response rates in February and March as local authority schools start to use up the money that is left before the financial year ends.

But this year the interest level in advertising that we’ve been processing has risen to even greater levels than usual.

The adverts have focussed on a huge variety of products and services, ranging from materials to help primary school pupils prepare for the new Key Stage 2 tests to a poetry competition for sixth formers.

From books on English grammar and maths to courses for students who are preparing to go to university. From materials to help dyslexic pupils and students improve their handwriting to resources to help improve behaviour and learning.

So what is going on?

I think there are four things happening. First, by not only sending out emails but also placing the advert in the news section of UK Education News we are doubling or trebling the number of click throughs to our client’s websites.

Second, we have worked with a number of clients to help them re-write the web page to which we are sending teachers after reading the email, so that two or three times as many of the teachers who go to the site then place an order.

Third, where possible we are pointing teachers to the additional funding that is available to schools, but which many schools still don’t know about.

Finally we are working with our clients to ensure they use exactly the right benefits to promote their products. A simple change in the language used in the advert can itself often make a huge difference.

If you have never used our Hamilton House services before, we are happy to run an advert to schools absolutely free of charge for you. Just call 01536 399 000 and we’ll get it arranged.

The only issue is that we can only take on a small number of free advertisements each week, and we can’t work in some areas where we have a pre-existing exclusivity arrangement with a client, so it is probably best to call sooner rather than later.

Tony Attwood

Tony@hamilton-house.com

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There are five ways of doubling the number of sales you get from schools without spending more on advertising.

Which approach each company uses will depend on your company’s strengths, its product, and often the background, experience and, dare I say it, the prejudices of the person or people in charge of the advertising.

Of course, some firms don’t use any of these approaches for reasons of their own. And some tentatively dip a toe into a new idea and then back away quickly.

This last point: trying it to see what happens and then backing away, is a major problem in advertising. If creating advertising campaigns were easy, everyone would do it, and everyone would make money.

Actually, we’d all make a lot less money because the amount that schools have to spend is limited – what would be increased would be the number of companies that can produce exciting campaigns that make the schools want to spend.

So here’s our first finding – if you want to adopt one of the ways of making a lot more money out of selling to schools you have to be prepared to experiment a little. Not a huge amount because Hamilton House, in monitoring the market, has done a lot of that for you. But there is going to be some experimentation.

However, there is no doubt that the market of selling to schools is increasingly dominated by firms that use at least one of the five approaches – which is making it harder for companies using more traditional methods to get much growth in the market.

I’ll deal with the five methods in this and the next few newsletters. And where possible I’ll look at ways of using these approaches without it costing more than you might otherwise be paying for your advertising.

So here’s the first approach – which starts from the premise that teachers and managers get their information via different media: web searches, emails, news accumulator sites, Facebook and Twitter, etc.

Now, because that can seem like a huge variety of media to cover, a lot of companies just stick to one approach, and thus their message is simply never seen by the majority of teachers and managers.

The solution, of course, is to work across the media – and, if at all possible, without it costing a huge amount to do so.

We all know that emailing schools can work and some firms do offer up to 400,000 teacher email addresses, but in reality there are only 300,000 teachers and managers, not all of these make purchases, and some of them don’t read emails.

Meanwhile advertising in the education media is possible, but expensive, and for most firms very unresponsive.

Many teachers read news blogs, and one can start one’s own blog or education news site, but it will only get a lot of views once it gets very well established – which can take five or more years to establish.

Hence we not only offer email lists, but also UK Education News – the rolling news site which is promoted to teachers across the UK every week and has a rapidly growing readership. And we run several schools’ blogs which themselves get significant numbers of visits from teachers searching for information on Google.

If you want to see how this works, visit the UK Education News site noted above, look down the stories, and look at the details on the right of the central column which shows the source of the story. Click on a few sources, and you’ll see how it works.

Typically, an advertisement that is sent out through our email service, will get at least as many click throughs again from teachers who find it either through UK Education News itself or by doing a Google search and finding it on our website that way.

And in many cases the number of teachers reached through UK Education News and the blog listing, and who click through to your site, will be three times as many as before.

To spell it out, if you normally expect 100 people to visit your website when you send out an email, with our service you will get 200. Maybe even 300.  And all seriously interested, because they have read your advert and chosen to click through.

So there we are: our first approach has been to double the number of click throughs to your website from email adverts, by not only sending out the email adverts, but also by placing the advert on UK Education News and one of our blogs.

Now here is the real benefit.

If you advertise to primary schools, nursery schools or special schools, placing your advert on UK Education News and our blog is free. Double your click through rate with no extra cost. If you use one of our secondary school lists the cost is just £10 extra.

If you are a member of the Velocity programme – it is again free. If you are on the Payment by Results programme it is free.

If you would like to know more please do call 01536 399 000.

Tony Attwood

Tony@hamilton-house.com

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How one of the world’s most prestigious universities used quirky advertising to reach out to teachers – and why it worked.

The organisations that ask Hamilton House to develop advertising for them are indeed varied.  From one-man publishing companies to multinationals.  From tiny tutorial agencies to some of the most famous universities in the world.

Some ask us to write what our experience shows will work, while others ask us to stay away from the more quirky approach we sometimes use, fearing perhaps that teachers might be offended or might think it is all too stupid.

However, when given the chance I do use the more unusual approach for the simple reason that I know it works as we measure the results of each advert we publish.

Now I’ve always particularly enjoyed writing the adverts for the highly prestigious Tower Poetry competition organised by Christ Church, University of Oxford, not least because, as an ex-academic who used to lecture on creativity, I have a deep-rooted interest in the subject.

But advertising the competition each year for the past eight years has been a challenge. I must grab the attention of Heads of English in schools year after year. Some, of course, never read emails (so we put the advert on UK Education News also and that helps a lot) but others think, “I know about that” and cast the advert aside.

And there’s always a danger that a teacher who finds his/her pet poet doesn’t win might not bother with the competition again unless I can re-stimulate an interest.

I had the same problem some years ago when I was writing weekly advertisements for materials used by teachers of students with dyslexia. Eventually I hit on the headline:

Nw y knw wht ts lk t b dyslxc

It worked a dream, doubling sales rates, and I’ve incorporated the quirky headline in my writing on a regular basis ever since.

And I’ve just been told that this year the entry level for the Tower Poetry competition with its £3500 winning prize is up threefold on last year, and I would argue that a part of that growth comes from getting headline right.  If teachers don’t like the headline they won’t read on.

So I thought I might share with you that headline, because it is one of my quirky headlines – which I know that some organisations that come to Hamilton House to ask us to come up with advertising ideas might reject as “too risky”.

It read…

Emoticons, txt mssg, Haha (nee Lol) L8R (now deceased).

Anyway, it’s all good, that’s mega, YOLO etc etc

Now don’t worry if you don’t get that, the MD of Hamilton House didn’t have a clue either.  And I am not suggesting that such a headline would work in other contexts.

My point is that my job is to grab attention in a way that makes the recipient read on in a positive frame of mine. After consulting a few Heads of English, I found that they were all very familiar the latest text message slang – and I also knew that few people ever use it when writing adverts to teachers.

The point of the advert itself was that language changes constantly, that at the moment teenagers are in the forefront of such changes, and to help them explore this fully they should be encouraged to be involved in poetry.

This advert not only made teachers read, it got results. Lots of teachers who had never engaged with the competition before have done so this year, and it has happened because we challenged the reader and by making the reader inquisitive as to what happens next.

Of course, many of our customers don’t ask Hamilton House to write their adverts, but instead are happy to write the adverts themselves and for us to send them out and  incorporate the adverts into UK Education News and our websites.

And most of our customers are very happy with the results.  All I am really saying is, if you want to try something different, do. Only by experiment will you know.  And if you’d like us to write for you, we will.

With Hamilton House you can work with us on a contractual basis whereby we look at the whole process of your advertising and (according to your wishes) write the emails, re-write the landing page, develop your social media position, and so on.

Of course, we never do anything without our customer’s ok, and if the customer says “no” to an advert we explain why we think it works, but then move on and write it in another way.

The whole process is called Velocity and there are details here.  Alternatively we can work on individual on-off projects or (if you are selling to secondary schools) work on a payment by results basis.  If you want to discuss which one is right for you, please do call.  01536 399 000 usually works. Or you can email me.

Tony Attwood

Tony@hamilton-house.com

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The pattern and method of school buying is changing rapidly but it seems that not every company is feeling the benefit

This is the time of year when many local authority funded schools start gearing up to spend the remainder of their budget.  And since something like 80% of schools in the UK are local authority funded, that’s a lot of schools, and a lot of budget.

But this year things are slightly different on two fronts.

First, a growing number of schools have been alerted to the fact that school expenditure can be greatly enhanced through the use of special funding from the Lottery, charitable grants, and specific community funding allocations.

Second, increasing numbers of schools have given up on chasing ever declining numbers of staff that cost them ever more (due to increases in pension funds, National Insurance and the like).  Many schools are now looking at alternative methods of providing tuition using on-line and video link services, for example, and using the money saved on staff for resources.

Not every school has changed yet, of course. Some simply have no one who has the task of tracking down grants, some try it once, mess it up, and say it doesn’t work.  Others hold on to the notion that the traditional teacher in front of the class is the only way forward despite the fact that teachers are getting harder to find.

But even in such schools there is often a growing awareness that education is changing and matters are now proceeding differently.

As a result of these changes there is no doubt that companies that are aware of sources of funding and are able to help schools find the money they need are doing particularly well.

As are those companies that have continued to advertise not just through email, but also through solo postal campaigns, the UK Education News service, and education websites that bring a variety of information to teachers, week after week, month after month.

This is a rapidly changing environment, and so we’ve now tried to make things much, much easier.

First, if you’ve not explored the way schools are now sourcing funding from Lottery and other grants, and you’d like to know a little more, please do call my colleague Steve Mister on 01536 399 000 or email him at Stephen@hamilton-house.com with details of what you sell.

But in this regard please do remember there is no single answer on grants.  What  we can do, however, is find an appropriate area of funding that schools can apply for in relation to specific purchases, and incorporate that into the advertising.

What’s more, because our adverts to schools are not only seen through emails, but also via UK Education News and our websites, the number of teachers and school managers taking note of both the items being sold and the funding options grows all the time.

Of course, we can also work to ensure that not only does your advert maximise its impact by being written in the best way, but we can also help you create a landing page that means that the people who visit your website as a result of reading your advert, stay on the website and buy your products.

This latter is an area that is often ignored, and many companies that feel they are simply not getting sales fail to realise that they are getting a large number of schools visiting their website.  It is just that at this point, when the teacher hits the website, that things go wrong.  Again it’s an area we can work on.

I do appreciate that in some ways this is making advertising to schools ever more complex.  In the old days one could just send out an email or a catalogue and teachers would buy.  Now there is the need to ensure that the advert is available in various forms, and that schools are helped in their search for extra funding.

But I would add that if you work with Hamilton House much of this work can be undertaken by us.  For example, if you place an email advert with us, it automatically appears on UK Education news and the relevant websites.   If you want to advise schools about possible grants to aid their purchases, we’ll look into it for you.  We can also, if you wish, take a look at your advert and your website, to make sure they work well together.

In short, you can still focus on your product or service, and we’ll bring all the other factors together, according to your wishes.

The simplest way of finding out how we can work with you to increase your sales to schools is to call 01536 399 000.  But if you’d like to read a little more first about the ways we work with our customers, there are details here.

Tony Attwood

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Only a minority of companies that sell to schools survive. So what is the secret of their success?

According to research undertaken within Hamilton House, only one in two companies that sell into the education market make it past their first year.  The number that make it past two years is one in three.

Which raises the question: what is it that makes some companies that sell into the education market succeed while others slip by the wayside?

Because Hamilton House deals with such a wide range of organisations that promote to schools, from famous nationwide brands to one-man-bands, and because we’ve been working with these companies for quite a while, we’ve been able to analyse the situation and answer the question, “why do some make it and others not?”

It would take a book to answer that question fully, but I can give a few answers that seem to me to crop up again and again.

1: Successful firms use several media.

They don’t just say, “we’ll use email,” but rather they try several media.  Personal emails can work, but it turns out the news listing site “UK Education News” and blog listings can deliver far higher results too.  Even the post is now making a come-back and, for some firms, giving excellent results.

And it is not just numbers, for teachers have fragmented over the years into those who read email, those who read websites, and those who read news services.  If one only uses one system one only gets to a small percentage of the teachers out there, leaving the rest to the competition.

2: Good measurement systems

To evaluate one medium above another you need to know how many people are responding to each advert. This in turn shows whether your catalogue or web pages are doing their job and gives a good indication of which bit of the process needs improving.

3.  Getting the message right at every turn

If 100 people read an email and only 2 click through to the website, how can one persuade more of them to click through?  If 100 people reach the website, and only two buy, that’s again a problem.  How can we increase these numbers? The successful firms have found the answer.

4: Not making assumptions

Less successful firms – the ones that don’t survive in the school market – tend to make assumptions.

Of course, sometimes these assumptions are right, but often this is not the case – and it is where we have been able to challenge an assumption with a simple piece of research that we have often found the way forward for companies that work with us.

Now all this can sound both complicated and expensive, and yet it isn’t – and indeed much of the information you need is available free of charge.

Let’s imagine that you normally promote through email. It would cost you just an extra £10 to have an advert within the UK Education News Service and on the Hamilton House blog that teachers find data on.  Our experience is that this can double or even treble your response rate.  For just £10.

But supposing you do that experiment and only get one or two more sales, does that mean I’m telling a load of porkies and that these modern systems of reaching teachers are all just a figment of my imagination?

Not necessarily, because it could be that your landing page is only converting one in every 100 visitors to your site into a sale.

Our findings show that just as the most successful companies in this market pay a lot of attention to the way in which adverts are written, and know that a simple change in a headline can alter their response rate dramatically, so a few tweaks to a landing page can also have a powerful effect.

If you are happy to develop your own way of working of course that’s fine, we’ll be happy to enhance the number of people you get reading your email.

But if you would like to work with us to develop your campaign, we can do that through our Velocity programme which can include the Hamilton House team doing all the analyses, writing the adverts, suggesting where website changes are needed, and, if you approve, developing a new landing page, etc, etc.

There is more about Velocity here, and a list of all our email lists here.  And if you would like to read up on how to make a landing page work, that’s here.

Or if you prefer, call us on 01536 399 000 or email me on Tony@hamilton-house.com

Tony Attwood

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The five key factors that raise (or lower) the number of sales you make from your advert to schools.

There are indeed five factors that profoundly affect the number of sales you get from any promotion to schools.  If you miss out paying attention to any of them, results can indeed decline.

1: How the promotion is written

Promotions to teachers need a headline that really grabs attention and makes the teacher stop multi-tasking and focus totally on the advert in question.  There are five major techniques in this regard ranging from the least successful (but curiously the most popular), which is making an announcement about the product on sale, through to the most successful (but less often used) approaches of being quirky or of asking an interesting open question.

2: Regular but varied advertising

Of course it is possible to get sales from a single advert, but you will be reaching out to teachers some of whom are either are not ready to buy at that moment or who are not attracted by that particular headline – or maybe who simply get distracted while reading.

Regular advertising must be forever varied. You need new headlines and a different approach within each advert.  If you can do that you can send out a different advertisement each and every week which will not only continue to bring buyers to you but also give the strong impression that you are the people who know this subject and the people to turn to if one has a question.

3: Maximising readership

Some teachers read emails, some don’t. Some schools pass on emails and leaflets others don’t.  Which is why you need to give teachers multiple chances to see your message. This is why we set up UK Education News – to reach those teachers who don’t read emails and postal messages.

In fact we are now finding that UK Education News is bringing in higher response rates than email advertising – but both are still needed because different teachers use different media.

It is also very helpful indeed if you can maximise your appearance on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and the blogs.  Hamilton House offers a free entry into this world via Savings for Schools, or we can manage your whole campaign.

4:  Providing a great benefit

You might have multiple benefits associated with your product or service, but each advert should focus primarily on just one such benefit.  If the others are to be mentioned it should be later on, after you have dealt with your prime benefit.

Ideally this should be a unique selling point, but do remember that being low cost, friendly, and offering a comprehensive service is rarely unique.

5:  A good web landing page

However you advertise you will need a web page that interested teachers can go to, to find out more details. This page should be written as a follow on to your email advert or your promotion on UK Education News so that the first thing the teacher sees (the advert) leads onto the second thing (the landing page) with a natural flow.

And just as the advert should focus on benefits, the landing page should focus on features as well as giving details of how the product or service can be ordered.

Plus it should also have something that will encourage the reader to get in touch with you even if he/she doesn’t want to place an order at this time – such as the offer of free report.  In this way you will be able to gather the potential customer’s email address and remail them with more information on a regular basis.

How to make it all happen?

You can, of course, undertake all this yourself – but it can be time consuming and does require a certain amount of technical knowledge.   Therefore we offer an alternative.  We can work with you to undertake all or part of this activity.  We do the hard work, but you always have the final say.

The service is called Velocity and there are details on our website.  Velocity can cover as much or as little of your work as you wish. For example, you can write the promotional copy or we can.  You can include social media, or not as you wish.  We can help you develop a free report to offer people (to get more email addresses of potential customers) or if you are already getting a lot of hits onto your website but not getting orders, we can re-write your landing page.  With Velocity, what happens is up to you.

If you would like to talk about the best way forward for your company, or simply discuss how you could get more sales for a particular product (without any obligation), please do call 01536 399 000 and ask for Jenny Burrows, the head of the Velocity team.

Alternatively please do email either Jenny@hamilton-house.com or myself on Tony@hamilton-house.com

Tony Attwood

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With Pay-Per-Click you can advertise and only pay for each teacher or manager who visits your website.

Pay-Per-Click is a method of reaching teachers and school managers who are interested in your product or service through which you only pay each time a teacher or manager visits your website as a result of your advertisement being distributed by Hamilton House.

The procedure is simple. You create an email advert. We then send it out to teachers via email, via UK Education News, and publish it on our educational blogs.

Once a month we’ll tell you how many clicks we’ve recorded from our promotions onto your website, and we’ll invoice you at a rate of 40p per click.

Below I set out the answers to various questions we’ve been asked in relation to PPC.

Do I get the email addresses of the teachers who come to my site?

Unfortunately because many of the people who will click through will see your advert on one of our websites we can’t do this; however you can gather the list yourself by inviting visitors to your site to apply for a free report – for which they have to supply you with their email address.  If you need help creating a free report, do call and we’ll help you come up with some ideas, or indeed help you write it if you wish.

How much does it cost?

We charge just 40p + VAT for each click we record. The maximum we will charge for is 400 clicks. We will invoice at the end of each month, unless the invoice is for less than 25 clicks in which case the sum is carried forward to the next month. We will not invoice for any clicks after three month.

How many people who come to my site are likely to order?

The figure normally quoted in the industry is around 2%. However, it is possible to get this a lot higher by having a unique web page (normally called a landing page) for each advert, and designing it in a specific way. If you wish to show us your landing page we’ll be very happy to make suggestions as to how one or two changes to the site could improve the percentage of clicks to order.  We also have a free report on landing page design.

How much money am I likely to make?

Let’s imagine you offer a product or products on which you make £50 profit each time you make a sale. We deliver 100 clicks to your site, which means you pay £40. If you get the 2% click to sales ratio, you’ll get two sales which means £100 profit, less £40 to us = £60.

But with some tweaking we can often up this level of sales and get a 3% click to sale rate, and of course we often deliver far higher click rates – sometimes as high as 400 or more.  But don’t worry about unexpected costs – we only charge up to 400 clicks per advert.

And remember each buyer is now your client, so you can email them again yourself, and persuade them to buy other products.  Also since they now know your site, they might well buy several products.  If you need helping building your list of customers and in sending out subsequent adverts, we can certainly help with that.

In short, you should see this as a way of getting people familiar with your business.  Yes, you will aim to make it profitable in itself – but if you also gather the email addresses of buyers, you will be able to re-mail them at no cost, and get further sales.

How long does it take for the promotion to generate visits to my site?

The emails we send out and the advert in UK Education News will generate most of their replies within a week.  However the blog will generate clicks over a much longer period.  We will keep measuring the click through on the blog for three months – up to the 400 limit. You will probably continue to get clicks from the blog for much longer, but those will not be charged.

Supposing it doesn’t work?

Most campaigns work, but in the unlikely event that your promotion does not generate the sales you want, we’ll work through each possible problem area with you to isolate the problem. Then we’ll help you correct it.

Are there other ways of advertising to schools?

We do indeed have three other approaches.

There’s Velocity, in which we get closely involved with your whole advertising process, including writing the adverts, researching teacher attitudes to the product, utilising social media as a selling mechanism, analysing all the results, and developing the whole campaign.

Second there is one-off service – you choose one email list or one postal list that you wish to send out and give us your advert, and we will distribute it for you for a set fee.

Finally there is Payment by Results.  You send us an advert, and we will distribute it free of charge to schools via email.  We agree with you a set commission rate on each sale and at the end of each month you pay the commission that is due.

There are details of all these approaches on “The Method” section of our website – but as always if you are interested in any particular approach please do call.

We’re on 01536 399 000

Tony Attwood
Tony@hamilton-house.com

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Some companies report that it is impossible to sell to schools. Others say the market is buoyant. What’s going on?

In essence, how much you make out of an advert aimed at schools always comes down to three factors: the medium, the message, and the method.

Regarding the medium, selling to schools tends to focus on postal campaigns, email campaigns, social media, and websites.

It this regard it  is tempting to feel that postal campaigns (for example) are too expensive without investigating the much higher response rates they can bring. One might reject email arguing that it was tried once without success – without considering whether the message was exactly right.

Concerning the message, there is no doubt that simple changes to the text and design of emails, leaflets, web pages, etc, can alter response rates in very dramatic ways, and there does need to be a certain amount of experimentation in terms of writing and designing the adverts.

Sadly what works is not common sense, and just because something looks good doesn’t mean it will work.

As for the method of advertising, it is of course possible to do it all yourself, or you can bring in an outside agency to help with a one-off campaign or work with an advertising agency over a period of months in order to develop your message and maximise your sales.

Most companies that are selling to schools successfully not only use all four media, but also experiment with the media and the message. They also tend to use an agency, at least for a while as they learn the ins and outs of the way in which people read and respond to adverts.

But where to start?

Here is one route – try these questions and see where they lead you:

Are you very limited in the amount of money available for marketing? If so, Payment by Results may be the right approach for you. We’ll do your advertising for you without charging you a penny. You just pay us a commission on each sale. If that sounds a good idea, click here for more details.

Are you looking to have someone take over all your advertising, including writing the adverts, analysing the results, engaging with clients on social media, running a blog, etc, with you just indicating which product/s need selling and then signing off the advert? In that case you might find the discounted regular advertising programme is just what you need.

Or are you quite happy to create your own adverts, but you want to have your emails sent out very regularly? In that case we can cut the cost of email marketing dramatically while still offering as much guidance and support as you require. The cost comes down to £99 per email campaign – which can be a very great discount if you are wanting to get to both primary and secondary schools. For this approach please do call 01536 399 000.

Alternatively you might want to do a little experimentation, sending out the occasional advert from time to time, to see what the results look like. One off campaigns to secondary schools can be arranged for just £75, with inclusion in UK Education News added for just another £10.

Whichever approach fits your needs a quick visit to our website can be of use. It is divided into sections on the media, the message, and the method, so whichever area of advertising you wish to focus on, you should be able to find all the information you need.

Alternatively you can call 01536 399 000 or email Tony@hamilton-house.com for more information.

Finally if you had a less than buoyant time selling to schools last year, you might find our report on what happened, why it happened and what is happening next, of help.

Tony Attwood

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When you undertake an email or postal campaign to schools how many visits to your website do you get?

“Click throughs” are important – they are the people who have read your email or your sales letter, and then been interested enough to go to your website and seek out more information.

Click throughs are not sales – but almost all of your sales will come from people who click through from your promotion to your website.  In short, the more clicks you get, the more you will sell.

And if you don’t sell very many, the answer is easy – there are techniques available that will enhance the number of people who come to your website and then move onto that final step and make the purchase.

But, of course, if they don’t actually get to your website, that is a problem.

Because most of the companies that advertise with Hamilton House opt to have their product advertised on UK Education News as well as on the email or postal campaign, the number of click throughs to their website is growing.

Not least because we have found that the click throughs from UK Education News go on growing for months and months. Indeed our latest research measures click throughs over an 80 day period – and they keep on growing.

Indeed numbers in recent campaigns range from 160 to 550 click throughs from a single email with a listing on UK Education News.

Obviously the number of clicks you get depends on what you are selling. A company offering minibuses is going to get a lower response rate than a company offering school text books.

But the fact is that adding UK Education News to a campaign can get anything from twice as many clicks to five times as many clicks over a period of 80 days.

You can use our unique combination of an email campaign combined with UK Education News in various ways.  For example, you can just buy a UK Education News listing for £75.00.

Or if you want to have a UK Education News campaign and a secondary schools email campaign the price is just £85.  If you want to add it to a primary school email promotion then it is free.

UK Education News listings are also free to our Velocity clients and our Payment by Results clients.  There are full details of all these approaches on our website

You can see UK Education News itself here.  Your listing will appear in the central column.

Finally if you would like to see details of all our email lists please click here.

And if you have any other queries or wish to make a booking, please do call us on 01536 399 000.

Tony Attwood

Tony@hamilton-house.com

Why was the autumn term hard going for some companies selling to schools? And why are things changing?

Many companies had a difficult time selling to schools in the last three months of 2015. The reason was twofold.

First there was a concern that government would cut the funding to schools in the chancellor’s budget statement in November.  In 2010 the Coalition government refused to give schools money that had been previously promised for IT services, and so anxiety was increased.

And this was made worse by the late arrival of the “Schools revenue funding 2016 to 2017” document which was not to be published until December, and again there were concerns about what might be found within its technical detail.

So schools were very worried about the amount of money they would receive, or indeed if any money they had been promised would now be taken back, and so they reduced expenditure.

But there was a second distraction neatly encapsulated by an Observer article with the headline Teacher shortages and rising pupil numbers puts schools on edge of crisis

Almost 75% of headteachers interviewed found it difficult to fill advertised positions, and although this didn’t cut school funds (quite the reverse in fact) this did act as a distraction from the process of ordering.

To solve this problem many schools moved from hiring supply teachers to cover vacancies (not least due to a shortage of supply teachers!) to a process extending the computer suites and introducing on-line learning programs which required lower staffing levels.

Others turned to using unqualified teachers and assistants in the place of unavailable qualified teachers.  Not an ideal solution, but one which again answers the problem and saves money.

But with the policy issues on how to cope with the lack of staff now resolved, and with no cuts announced in either the November review or the 2016/17 funding plan, the 83% of schools under LA control started to spend their current budget – as they are by and large required to do by April 5.

In the face of these changes Hamilton House revolutionised the way in which it reached teachers, ensuring that they not only got promotional materials at once, but also had them available for months to come.

In this way, whenever schools started to take spending decisions again they would be able to find all the information on products they needed.

We did this by including our clients’ advertisements on ourUK Education News service.  Typically this doubles the number of people reading the email and clicking through – and because all advertising on the service is then held on the websites associated with the service, teachers can still access it.

Indeed we have records of hundreds of teachers accessing individual adverts in this way months after the advert was first published.

We have also released the results of a study of the way in which website landing pages work, having found that in many cases companies selling to schools can get a lot of people coming to their website, but with these teachers not continuing to buy the product.

The report “More Clicks More Sales” shows how some companies get far higher levels of orders from their websites than others.  If you would like a copy, just email Chris@hamilton-house.com and ask for a copy of “More Clicks More Sales”.

If you want to maximise the response from your adverts during the next few months you can either:

  • Place your advert within UK Education News for £75.00 plus VAT or…
  • Advertise via our personal email lists to secondary schools for £75 plus VAT or…
  • Have your advert on both UK Education News and sent via email to secondary schools for £85.

UK Education News is automatically included free of charge with all primary school, nursery school, and special school email campaigns

All the email lists that we have available are shown on our email website – or for more information on both emails and on UK Education News please do call 01536 399 000.

Tony Attwood