How the growth of free advertising to teachers has transformed the education market
One of the commonest problems with selling to schools is the fact that simply telling teachers that you have a product for sale, and then expecting them to buy, quite often doesn’t work very well.
But although the fact that announcement advertising generally doesn’t work very well is widely described, it is still easy to forget the fact that one often needs to experiment a bit to find out what does work.
And just as the notion that one can advertise to schools by announcing the product is still widespread, the notion that one might have to experiment with different approaches in one’s adverts is occasionally forgotten.
To try to help overcome this double problem Hamilton House has introduced a range of free and almost-free services which companies with little or no advertising budget can use in order to find out which approach does work.
The first such approach we launched was Payment By Results advertising. This project allows you to write your own adverts, and pay nothing at all for the email advertising. Then at the end of the month you tot up how much you have taken and pay an agreed commission to Hamilton House.
There are more details of exactly how this approach works on our website and it has indeed become very popular with many companies trying several different adverts in order to find which one works before moving over to a more intense advertising campaign.
Payment by Results has been phenomenally successful, and as a result we can’t take on any more companies that want to use it to sell to primary schools. We do have spaces, however, for companies selling to secondary schools, nurseries, special schools and overseas schools.
But supposing your advert doesn’t work, what then? Under Payment by Results you can of course just change the advert and send us a new one. However, if you want some thoughts on how you might change it, that service is free as well.
Just send me a copy of the advert you have been sending out, with your phone number, and I will call you back and give you my views on why I think it might be going wrong. My email address is at the end.
And now there is more, because more recently we have introduced Savings4Schools which allows teachers using Facebook and Twitter to see a constantly changing range of special offers interspaced with short educational news items that will have a wide appeal.
And just as with Payment by Results and the advert review service, this is free for companies that want to use it.
If you wish to be part of this service all you have to do is set up a web page with a discounted offer for any product or service that you want to promote.
Then write one or two short simple adverts (one for Facebook, one for Twitter) which will encourage teachers to click on a link and look at the product and offer on your website.
Announcements on Facebook can be any length but the best approach is to write just a couple of paragraphs. Announcements on Twitter are limited to 140 characters including the link to your website. If your web page address is long you can shorten it by going to www.goo.gl or any of the other free address shortening sites. If you need help with this please do call 01536 399 000.
Remember that the key is not to get a direct sale here from the Facebook or Twitter announcement, but to excite the teacher enough to get the reader to click on the link to your website which carries the discount for that product.
Then when you have created either or both of your two adverts follow these simple points:
● On the subject line of the email write Savings4Schools
● In the email give us your postal and email addresses, and your phone number.
● Attach a word file containing your two adverts (one for Facebook and one for Twitter).
● Send the email to Jenny@Hamilton-House.com
Savings4Schools is available for adverts both to primary and secondary school teachers.
Finally I mentioned that we have an almost free service as well. “Almost free” means £59.99 – for which you can get our complete list of the generic email addresses of schools for use as often as you wish. So you can experiment to your heart’s content until you get the winning advert that brings in the sales. There are details here.
If you have any enquiries on Savings4Schools please call 01536 399 000 option 2. If you want to have my thoughts on your advert email it to Tony@hamilton-house.com. If you are interested in Payment by Results please follow the instructions on the PbR website
So there it is. Payment by Results offers completely free email advertising. Savings4Schools offers free advertising via our Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, and the generic email list gives you every school’s email address to use as often as you wish, for £59.99.
PS: We’ve recently changed our website to make it easier to find all the services that we offer. We’re still at www.hamilton-house.com – and for different methods of selling via Hamilton House just click on “The Method”.