Who visited your website?

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Posted on 26th November 2014 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

What is the simplest way of knowing exactly who has been on your web page after an advert?

Having the email address of people who have been on your website is a real bonus. You can not only follow up their visit onto your site with an email promoting the product, but you can also re-mail them at a later date with more information and a reminder of what you have on offer.

With Hamilton House personal emails to secondary school teachers you can do both things – follow up immediately and follow up later. All at no extra cost.

Because once Hamilton House has sent out your email, you will receive a data report that contains information on:

  • The number of people who have opened your email
  • The number of people who clicked through to your website
  • The email addresses of the people who clicked through to your landing page.

And that’s not all – because we’ll also give you a written report on how you can make the most of your data. This will not only give you the information on the way these figures are calculated, but also a guide on how to use the email addresses we have supplied.

Now this last point is very important because some firms have found that writing to visitors to their site has had very little effect. Our free report will show exactly how you can make the most of your data.

The details of who clicked through refers to one web link on your email. If you want to have the details of who clicked through from a second link that can be provided, but it will be charged at an extra fee of £1.00 per address.

Please do let us know when booking if this is required – otherwise we’ll just give you clicks through from the first link on your email.

But that’s not all, because in addition to the email you can also have the name of the teacher, the name of the school, the postal address, the phone number and the type of school (private/academy) – all for just an extra £2.95 per name and address. Just tell us when booking that you would like this extra data.

A list of all our lists of secondary school personal email addresses is given here

To make a booking please email Chris@hamilton-house.com

If you have any enquiries please call 01536 399 000.

Tony Attwood

Reach secondary school teachers three times for £460

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Posted on 24th November 2014 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

Free email to secondary school teachers and free entry onto the UK Education News rolling news website

On 7 January a very special opportunity occurs for organisations that wish to reach secondary school teachers.

For on and around that date you can reach 5000 secondary school heads of department or senior managers by post and by email (to their personal email addresses) and then again through an advert on the much read UK Education News rolling news service.

All at a cost of less than 6p per hit.

At the centre of this three part promotion is the postal shared mailing to seondary schools on 7 January. All you need to do is provide us with a leaflet to go into the shared postal mailing, with that leaflet reaching the Hamilton House offices no later than 19 December.

And may I add, that really is the deadline – before the onset of the festivities that always seem to happen around this time of year.

The leaflet can be any shape or size you want, but we strongly recommend A4 or A3 folded to A4. If the leaflet weighs over 15g then there is a surcharge, and details are on our shared mailing page (see the link below).

The second part of the process involves an email going to any of our secondary school personal email lists as described and listed here.

For that all you have to do is send in your text copy of the email and let us know who it is going to. We don’t recommend illustrations but if you want to have them included, you will need to send in the advert as an HTML file.

Third, we will place your advert within UK Education News. Again, just send us a text copy of your advert.

The price for this complete service of a leaflet sent to the 5000 secondary schools, plus the sending out of an email using one of our secondary school personal lists, plus an inclusion in UK Education News, is just £460 plus VAT.

Alternatively if you only wish to reach the 3600 secondary schools with sixth forms, you can still do that and get the free email and UK Ed News listing. The price comes down to £360.

There is also an article that may well find helpful: How to get the highest response rates in a postal shared mailing – it gives advice on how to ensure that you get the most out of your postal campaign, and I do commend it to you.

If you want to book in, just email Chris@hamilton-house.com If you have any questions please call 01536 399 000.

Now there are, of course, other dates that we have available in January 2015 for shared postal mailings,, and here they are…

  • Primary schools- 6th, 13th, 27th. You can select all the primary schools, the largest 10,000 primary schools or the largest 5000 primary schools for this postal shared mailing
  • Secondary schools – 7th, 20th. You can select all 5000 secondary schools, or just the 3600 with sixth forms

Delivery of leaflets is always required 12 days before despatch with the exception of the mailings on 6th and 7th January where delivery is required by the 19th December.

To check on availability, to talk about leaflet design, and indeed to discuss any points of detail relating to our postal shared mailing please call 01536 399000. To book into a mailing please email Chris@hamilton-house.com

There is more information on our Shared Mailings page at www.shared.org.uk

Tony Attwood

PS: Don’t forget that if you would like to discuss how to create a leaflet or an email, or if you would like us to review your copy, we can do that free of charge. Just call 01536 399 000 or email a copy of the artwork to Chris@hamilton-house.com

January is a lot cheaper if you arrange it in December

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Posted on 21st November 2014 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

Email advertising, shared and solo postal campaigns, web campaigns: significant offers in December

There is little doubt that the January to Easter term offers a lot of potential in selling to schools with local authority schools needing to use up the money that they have left before the end of the financial year.

And so to help companies which plan their January campaigns ahead we offer a series of discounts on their advertising.

The reason that we give discounts and offers during this time is that we want to spread the load for our IT and warehouse teams. So we offer some exciting inducements.

Email marketing to schools: Half price or free

Here we have a choice. Either a 50% discount on all emails sent out to UK primary and secondary schools in December. Or, if you prefer, a free email in December for all email campaigns for January – provided, of course, that they are booked in time for us to send out the free email in December.

Postal marketing to schools: 20% off envelopes, labels and labour

A 20% discount on envelopes, labels and labour, if we can prepare the mailshot in December. The mail can then be held and mailed out whenever you wish, up to 30 January – we just have to receive your material no later than 16 December.

Shared postal mailing to secondary schools: free email campaign

For the shared postal mailing on 7 January we’ll give you a free email campaign to go with it but we do need your leaflets by 19 December. Details for all shared mailing offers are here

Velocity – one month free

Also, if you wish to sign up to Velocity (our monthly campaign service) starting in January we’ll give you December free – an ideal time to develop landing pages, set up the blog and write blog copy for January, set up any research questionnaires for January, and/or send out some sales emails. Details of Velocity are here.

If you would like to talk through which offer is going to give best value to you, or if you want to check on any of the details, please do call 01536 399 000 or email Chris@hamilton-house.com

Tony Attwood

How to get noticed on the internet

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Posted on 19th November 2014 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

What is the simplest way to get noticed on the internet and to get the sales you want?

1. Start writing pages on your website that are all about what your customers want

The key point is that you don’t talk about yourself at the start, you talk about what your customers want – the problems they face, the answers they are trying to find.

Only let it emerge slowly at the end of the article that you are in fact the solution. If you let people become aware from the off that you are just pushing a product they will turn away. You have to be there to help them. Take it gently, take it slowly, write lots of pages.

2. Forget all the jargon about social media

Social media can help in some cases, but it is not the ultimate solution to everyone’s advertising needs.

To see if you are going anywhere with social media, open a Twitter account and advertise it on your website and on your blog if you have one. Put up a notice on every page suggesting that people can stay in touch each day with the news in relation to your subject area.

Then aim to post a new web page each day on some issue that is of interest to your potential customers, and follow this with a Tweet which leads to a link to that page.

We did this with one Twitter account and got to over 5000 followers in two years. It can work – but don’t expect to get followers in the tens of thousands – at least not for a while.

If it is appropriate to your product offer a 10% discount

3. Try to write things that people will want to forward to each other

Original content is what Google wants, and original content is what people tend to forward to each other,

So if you can write original pieces that are about your product area, but not specifically (at least not until the end) about you, then you are en route to going up the Google rankings, and finding more and more readers.

If it is appropriate to your product, offer a 10% discount to anyone who posts a link to your site on their site and mentions you in a Tweet. Don’t worry how many followers these people have – it is a nice advertising ploy anyway.

4. Keep sending out emails with a link to your site at the end

But try to avoid making them straightforward adverts. Don’t forget to grab attention and answer the key questions, “Why should I buy this?” and “Why should I buy this from you?” And remember that the simplistic answers such as, “because it is the best there is” rarely work.

Talk benefits, be conversational, and be entertaining.

5. Try really hard not to place adverts on Google Ad Words and Facebook

I’ve never found anyone selling a product costing under £3000 who has made Ad Words and the like pay for themselves. And even then they don’t get actual sales but in fact get enquiries which are followed up by salespeople.

If you are convinced by either service, or indeed others like them, tread with caution, monitor the costs very carefully, try various different experiments, and whatever you do don’t go charging in at full speed and leave the system running worldwide overnight. You could wake up to a very big bill and very few sales.

I’ve tried using Google Adwords to advertise our various companies that sell advertising and marketing, special needs diagnostic tests, on-line courses, books and manuals, etc and never made a profit. Maybe you are better at it than me but even so, treat it with caution.

6. Find news services that will take your press releases

Actually I should have written, “Practise writing press releases and compare them with published stories” first, because writing press releases is harder than it looks. Few publications will take press releases now and run them without charging you for the pleasure, but a few will, and a few more charge only tiny amounts to cover their costs.

While you are at it, study other people’s press releases which appear on sites relevant to your industry, and see how they have got publication.

7. Try a short run postal direct mail campaign

Many people now dismiss the post as old fashioned and too expensive but it is still the best performing of all direct marketing outlets.

Try a run of say 300 letters and leaflets to good prospects, and give them a unique page to visit. Check how many visitors you have had on that page to see if it worked. You should know the exact cost (it will probably be about 55p each for a short run mailing, although it can be a lot, lot, less per item mailed when you get into longer runs), so you can see if you have made a profit.

But never do a longer run until you have tested your mailer first.

8. Subscribe to a free news service that provides you with information on direct marketing regularly

We run three – and of course there are others out there if you prefer not to use Hamilton House. The Hamilton House three news serivces cover advertising to schools, direct marketing in all its forms, and writing good advertising copy. You can subscribe free of charge (or follow the relevant blog where all the posts also appear) by visiting our site.

9. Get an expert’s review of your advert or a web page free of charge

If you send an advert or a link to a web page to creative@hamilton-house.com and ask for an expert’s review one of our team will call you back or email you (whichever you prefer) with our thoughts on the advert, and how it might be improved.

There really is no obligation, and we’re utterly certain you will be amazed by what we find.

10. Talk to us

OK there had to be an advert somewhere, and here it is. But it is still free. Call 01536 399 000 and talk to us about your product or service, and how best to advertise it, using the post, email and web pages.

There’s no fearsome sales push, no “sign up now and we’ll give you 50% off” or anything like that. We get our customers because we are straightforward and honest about our services and don’t mind showing you exactly what we can do.

In short, we’re the nice guys.

You can read an overview of our services at www.hamilton-house.com

Tony Attwood

Where do teachers go looking for the products they need?

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Posted on 17th November 2014 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

Many teachers go looking for products and services on the internet. So how can you make them choose you?

It’s true – some teachers read emails, some read sales letters, brochures and catalogues, some go to trade shows, and almost all of them look on websites.

So the logical point is, if we can get a teacher to our website, then we are one step on the journey to making the sale.

Which raises the simple question is, “how can I get teachers to my website?”

Teachers find we sites in two ways. The first is through going to a site that is mentioned in an email or on a site that they regularly read.

The second is through going to Google and putting in a question or statement such as “What is the best way of teaching maths in KS1” or “What is the best way to motivate KS4 students?” or even simply, “Course books for key stage 4 maths.”

If your site comes up, you are in business.

But both these approaches – writing emails with a link to your site, and having the phrase on your site teachers search for, has a problem. That problem is that you don’t know exactly what the teacher is going to write in Google or what the teacher will respond to if you send them an email.

There are two ways to do this. One is to ask teachers what they search for – and indeed Hamilton House is about to do the first ever survey in relation to this, asking teachers in specific subject areaS to write down and send in their education-related searches.

The results of this survey, as with a lot of the other research we do, will be shared with our Velocity clients. (If you want to know more about Velocity please visit the site, or call on 01536 399 000.)

But even if you are not part of Velocity you can still do some work yourself, by thinking up phrases that you suspect teachers might ask and typing them in. The most popular will have the biggest number of matches, of course.

You might get a surprise and find one of your own sites there. But if not, take a look at the results you get, and think, “what could I do to be the site that teachers find on asking that question.”

To get people to find you, and to get people to read your site when they have found you or been directed to your site, you must have pages that relate to the searches teachers make. That is the starting point for all of us.

So what about the sale? Of course you can be lucky and find that they want to buy at once, but normally you have to take the teacher on a little journey of discovery to prove to the teacher that this is exactly what he/she has been looking for.

Once you have got a few such pages up, you can work more on driving teachers to your pages.

In addition to getting some teachers to find you via Google, while others find you from an email you’ve sent out, the third way is to have your articles linked from major education sites like UK Education News, Teachers News and others.

Indeed, using these sites you can even place a set of articles on a number of different sites, including these sites, each with a link to one of your own pages for under £50.

The need to put up articles is continuous – one advert is rarely enough. You need background, information and all sorts of other ways of driving the teacher to purchase your product.

If you would like to use any of our sites and email services to achieve this, or indeed would like to work with us via Velocity to ensure that you have a wide range of articles and information on your site, please do call 01536 399 000.

Tony Attwood

What are the obstacles to growth in your business?

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Posted on 14th November 2014 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

Quite often, knowing what is stopping you selling more into schools is the major step needed to resolving the problem

There can, of course, be many obstacles to growth when it comes to selling into schools, but whatever it is that is restricting your sales, being clear as to what it is that is holding your company back is invariably the big first step forwards.

For example, in selling into schools you might feel that your problem is a lack of the cash that is needed for some serious advertising. You know that you should be advertising more, but you just don’t dare risk the cash in case the advertising fails.

Or you might feel that the problem is that schools just aren’t buying at the moment. No matter what you do, they won’t place orders.

Or indeed you might feel that your products or services are now getting a bit dated – or that many of the teachers who are likely to buy have already bought, and so the sales are in decline. But you don’t have the time or the money to create new resources.

Each of these explanations is perfectly reasonable. But the important thing to realise is that in each case there are always ways around these problems that do allow you to move forwards and make more sales.

For example, if you are suffering from a lack of cash to enable you to advertise, you could consider Payment by Results advertising in which you pay nothing at all for the advertising, but instead pay a small percentage of the sales income on each sale you make. There are details of this approach on our website.

Alternatively if you have some cash available you could undertake a test email or a test postal campaign to see if you can get the results you want – without risking huge amounts of money.

A test postal campaign might cost you £150, and even though you may not get the sales level you want, most firms get most of their money back allowing you to try again with a different advert.

If, however, you feel that schools are not buying at the moment it might be worth talking with one of the team at Hamilton House. We are selling books, reports, diagnostic tests and courses all the time, and we are getting sales, so we could well be able to help you.

There is no charge for a telephone consultation, and we promise to offer all the support and advice that we can, no matter which direction this takes us. Just call 01536 399 000 and talk to us about your work and your issues. There really is no obligation.

But what if you feel your products or services are getting a bit dated… is there anything to be done? Sometimes it is possible to get some extra sales out of older products by selling them in a different way, stressing different benefits in a new advertising style. You can then buy yourself some extra time and generate some extra cash while you develop new products or update those you are selling.

If this might be the case for you, just email Chris@hamilton-house.com with a copy of a recent advert or details of the web page, and we’ll see if we can help. Once again, no charge and no obligation.

Of course, if there is another reason why you feel things are not going as well as they might please do call – we are always happy to talk these things through and see if we can offer any help.

Our aim is to offer a free service to help companies like yours make the most of advertising to schools – and of course everything we undertake is in complete confidence.

I do hope you will get in touch

Tony Attwood

P.S. If you would like to know more about what we do overall, there is a general guide and links to all our services on www.hamilton-house.com

Them tell you that way the it’s

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Posted on 12th November 2014 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

What is the most effective way of selling to teachers?
Tell them once, or tell them repeatedly?

There used to be an approach to direct marketing which said that you could never get anyone to buy anything until the person you were targeting had seen the advert seven times.

This turned out to be true… with TV adverts. And to an extent with radio adverts. It is probably true with YouTube style videos as well, although it is hard to tell if this is so or not because so few people watch YouTube videos more than once.

But yes, TV and radio adverts work best when they are seen or heard multiple times.

However, it turns out that it doesn’t work that way with written adverts such as postal direct mail, email and web pages, probably because the speed and way in which written adverts are perceived is under the control of the recipient.

So with email, post and website adverts you certainly do need constant advertising – but additionally the advertising has to keep changing. Advertise to a teacher once a term and you will get some sales; advertise more regularly but with different adverts each time and you get more sales per advert.

Now there is a problem here, because if you have to keep coming up with new ideas for advertising you not only have to get the creative juices flowing, but you also have to ensure that each advert is going to work. There simply isn’t time to test each and every advert to make sure it will deliver.

Finding a way around this problem has been part of our work for years, and what we found was that certain styles of advertising work. Adopt one of the styles that works, and then all you need to do is a bit of tweaking.

So the key point is that you are not experimenting with individual copy any more, but rather making minor adjustments within a particular style.

If you have read some of my ramblings on the subject of selling to teachers you will know that I am a strong advocate of two styles that I find really work well in getting sales from schools: the conversational and the quirky.

This doesn’t mean that every single piece in a conversational or quirky style will work – but it does mean that a conversational piece, or a quirky piece, will have about ten times as much chance of working with teachers as a direct announcement or a piece in one of the other styles that can work with different audiences.

YouTube likewise has found a style that works perfectly for consumer products, but as yet I have not seen a style that can make YouTube work brilliantly as an opening approach when selling into schools.

So, after 30 years or so we’ve got selling to teachers through the post, email and websites down to two styles: the conversational (where you have a chat with your customer on an equal one-to-one basis) and the quirky (where you do something very odd like order wrong the in words the writing.)

In a sense it is all about response rates. If you are getting exciting sales and enquiry levels every time you advertise then clearly you’ve got a good style and are using a compatible medium.

If not, however, then either the medium or the message needs a change.

Hamilton House can work in the three direct media (emailing, posting, developing web pages) and the two styles (conversational and quirky). We can create, or we can take your message and send it. Or both.

There are details of our current free offers and special promotions on www.educationmarketing.org.uk – or if you want to talk about a partiuclar issue (from posting leaflets to special needs teachers to reaching teachers who never read email) do call 01536 399 000, or email chris@hamilton-house.com

For an overview of all the things we do, please have a peek at www.hamilton-house.com

Tony Attwood

A variety of frees

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Posted on 10th November 2014 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

During the last few months we’ve introduced some free offers

And I know these things can easily get lost in the email and newsletters. So I have gathered them together, along with a few other bits and pieces, on the home page of the Education Marketing site.

I have also put in links to some of the articles from our “How to get higher response rates” series of articles, which have recently been published on our websites, as well as details of our current special offers.

They are all gathered together at…

www.educationmarketing.org.uk

If you can’t find what you want on that page, please do call 01536 399 000 or email Stephen@hamilton-house.com

I’m currently visiting my youngest daughter in Australia, but if there is anything particular that needs to be forwarded to me, my colleagues are doing that.

Although they are more than capable of handling everything. In fact, come to think of it, they do handle everything.

In fact… maybe I’ll stay…..

(Hope the weather’s not too cold in the UK).

Tony Attwood

Consistency is the key

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Posted on 7th November 2014 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

The four marketing activities you must always undertake if you want regular sales from schools

Getting sales is one thing. Getting sales regularly is quite another.

Part of the problem is that the first sales one gets when launching a new product or a new campaign are often the easiest. They are the sales you get from schools that are just waiting for whatever it is you are offering. You tell them you’ve got it, and they’ll buy it.

But once you have sold to them, you have to keep finding new schools to which to sell, and by definition these schools are harder to convert. There is no teacher sitting there wondering how to solve the problem that your product solves. These teachers take more convincing. You have to work harder.

At this stage what you have to do is to go back to the basic marketing mantra that should always be part of your consideration for any advertising campaign: Am I offering the schools something that they really want, at a price they are willing to pay?

If you are certain the answer is yes, then you need to grab their attention, and answer the questions, “why should I buy this?” and “why should I buy this from you?”

That is the standard advice I always give – but if you want regular sales (as opposed to occasional sales) then there is still a little more to be done.

First off, you need to experiment. You need to try different approaches and styles in your advertising, modifying the copy, and trying it out through the three media to which teachers respond (email, the post and websites).

This can include putting your advert on various websites (see here for a very low cost way of trying this), doing a test postal mailing, and undertaking a test email campaign. The websites might cost you £40 for a couple of months, the test postal campaign about £160 and a test email campaign, using the highly responding subscription list for the list time, about £175.

Next, as you start to find the message and media that is right for you, you need to keep advertising. Not with the same message, but with an ever-changing message.

It was to help companies come to terms with this need for an ever-evolving message that can attract teachers that we introduced the Velocity programme. Here, we can write the promotions for you, organise the campaign, and give you a 50% discount on the normal cost of emailing.

However if you want to write and/or undertake the mailings yourself, that of course is possible, and we can offer significant discounts for regular use of our lists.

Whichever way you do it, I would urge you to consider these key points, because they are the way in which companies are able to grow their selling to schools. In summary:

  • Reconsider the offer – am I giving teachers something they want at a price they will pay?
  • Reconsider the way you grab attention, and your answer to the two “why should I buy?” questions.
  • Test and re-test your promotions
  • As the format that works for you takes shape, advertise very regularly.

It is a simple straightforward four point plan that works – and yet the vast majority of firms don’t follow this approach.

But if you would like to talk about it, we are always most happy to do that. Just call 01536 399 000, and we’ll take you through all of the four parts, or any particular element of that which you want to consider.

Tony Attwood

Pupil and Student Workshops: from circus skills to enterprise

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Posted on 5th November 2014 by Tony Attwood in Uncategorized

What is the most effective way of selling pupil and student workshops to schools?

Pupil and student workshops have long been popular with schools, covering everything from half day drumming courses through to preparations for exams, from days which teach the essence of enterprise through to days teaching circus skills.

However, in recent years a number of companies have expressed concern at how best they can sell this type of event to schools. There seems to be an ever greater level of competition in the market and a certain reluctance by schools to buy in such services.

But on the other hand many firms are still successfully selling workshop days into schools.

So how come some are succeeding and others are failing?

The answer, it seems, comes primarily with the way in which the workshop is presented to the schools and the way your offer is differentiated from workshops offered by others.

And so to help companies sell to schools we have produced the publication: How to sell pupil and student workshops to schools. It covers all the key issues and shows what it is that makes some firms successful at selling workshops to schools while others are less successful.

How to sell pupil and student workshops to schools is available as an on-line download from Hamilton House for just £7.50 plus VAT and can be obtained directly with payment made by credit card at http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=808

If you wish to be invoiced for the report then this can be arranged through any of the methods below. However there is an additional charge of £2.50 made to cover the administrative cost of processing the invoice where the report is not paid for on-line at the time of purchase.

Please provide an email address if ordering in this way so that we can email the report to you.

  • By post to Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Way, Corby, NN17 4HH
  • By fax to 01536 399 012
  • By phone on 01536 399 000 with a credit card
  • By email to jane@hamilton-house.com

If you have any enquiries please call 01536 399 000.

Tony Attwood