Marketing IT Products and Services to Schools

Marketing IT Products and Services to Schools

Learn 10 game-changing insights especially for IT product and service providers to enhance your education marketing campaigns when emailing schools.

Learn 10 game-changing insights especially for IT product and service providers to enhance your education marketing campaigns when emailing schools.

Jackie O'Shea
Author
Jackie O'Shea
Published: 20th May 2022

IT software, hardware, support, maintenance, and training are some of the most popular services promoted to the UK education sector, so being straight-up honest with you, you’ve got a battle on your hands to make sure your company stands out head and shoulders above the IT crowd.

Having designed and completed hundreds of marketing campaigns promoting technology solutions to the education sector we know what will work for you.

That is what this report is all about, helping you to delve into the belly of the beast of marketing to schools, so you can make a huge difference to the number of schools, teachers, and students benefitting from your top-notch IT products and services.

Insight #1: Technology budgets are rocketing!

Now that’s the news you wanted us to kick off with, isn’t it? Yes, schools are now able to spend even more on education technology - including your products and services.

Schools in the UK spend a huge £900 million on EdTech every year, with a median yearly spend of £400,000 per school.

Furthermore, the government announced plans to increase school spending by £2.3 billion. With the rise in popularity of online and blended learning opportunities, there’ll be huge opportunities for IT providers to get in on the action.

And the proof is in the pudding. In our recent school survey, a whopping 40.2% of teachers revealed their school had increased their technology spend, and 38.8% spent more on online learning/tutoring software, products, and services.

Insight #2: Demonstrate tangible benefits

Back in 2019, the government announced their new Education Technology strategy.

Backed by £10 million in funding, the Education Secretary set out plans for leading tech companies to work with schools and colleges, using education technology to solve ten major challenges, including:

  • Reducing teacher workload, specifically during preparation and marking.
  • Boosting teacher training opportunities.
  • Promoting the use of EdTech to reduce the attainment gap for SEND pupils.

Since then, IT providers and other EdTech businesses are still being encouraged to help schools take advantage of the opportunities available. Schools are being encouraged to take full responsibility for deciding how best to employ technology in their classrooms, and must be able to demonstrate the tangible benefits of how they have spent their money. So, your marketing should include a focus on how your software helps solve the above challenges, and also satisfy a teacher’s doubts before purchasing.

Insight #3: Quantities of decision-makers

You lucky devils! When it comes to a target audience, you guys are pretty spoilt for choice. Not only will you want to target the more obvious decision makers like the Head Teachers, IT Teachers, and Network Managers, but you’ve also got a whole host of other teacher types that will have an interest in you depending on your own specific service.

There are over 450,000 teachers within UK educational establishments, of which we have over 400,000 named teachers across 31,000 establishments within our Education Database. The vast majority of these will be involved one way or another with IT products and services, and we can contact them for you.

Insight #4: More schools move to ‘BYOD’ culture

The latest annual BESA study on tablets and apps in schools showed that more and more schools are adopting a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) culture; 67% of schools now believe that BYOD is an important consideration, compared to just 52% in the previous study.

At the last count, almost 70% of primary and secondary schools in the UK now use tablet computers. With the supply of tablets and laptops from the government, schools’ aims to continue online and blended learning, and the move from paper resources, it‘s a safe bet that more schools will be encouraging a BYOD policy.

This growing ICT culture in schools means everything from hardware, to software, to training, support, and maintenance will all gather momentum as essential products/services in schools.

Insight #5: Your audience is (very) mobile

Our last email analytics study revealed that 59% of emails are now opened on mobile.

That’s a 10% growth since our last study, and it’s likely that percentage is growing on a daily basis.

Creating mobile-compatible emails is particularly important for you guys. Your email send lists will likely include some of the more tech-savvy members of staff, who’ll be the audience most likely to be reading emails on their mobile devices. They’re also the most likely to have a negative reaction to emails that render poorly; up to 80% delete emails instantly if they do not render correctly.

If you’re wanting to convince teachers your products and services are high-quality, bullet-proof, and compatible with a wide range of other technology products, you’ll need to make sure your emails not only look visually stunning, but work correctly on a multitude of devices.

Insight #6: Education-specific landing pages

For some software providers, the education sector may not be your sole focus. Your products and services may have different versions for other businesses and industries, or simply different focuses for parents/carers and students.

There’s obviously nothing wrong with that. However, the software companies that strike gold are those that can show they are experts in the education sector.

There is no better way of showing this than by creating an education-specific landing page on your website, showcasing the range of services that you have provided to existing school clients. Ensuring teachers click from an education-focused email to a matching landing page will ensure the smoothest journey possible. There’ll be no confusion, teachers can read the information relevant to them in as few clicks as possible, and you’ll reassure them that you know your stuff when it comes to their industry.

Insight #7: Teachers love a video!

Teachers love a video. Do you know that simply using the word ‘video’ in your email subject increases open rates by 13%? And we’ve seen click-through rates improve by a staggering 96% when including a hyperlinked screengrab of a video in the email!

Utilising video is particularly effective for companies promoting ICT products as it gives teachers an understanding of how it works. Teachers will find a short and snappy video a lot more helpful and engaging than 3 paragraphs of text!

If you’re providing schools with a service then video is a great way to showcase your people and start building relationships with teachers.

Insight #8: Invite teachers to try before they buy

65% of teachers are visual learners, meaning they would much rather see how your product works than be told.

It’s also much more likely that they will buy your product or service if you give them the chance to experience it first-hand. Why don’t you ask them to request a demo?

You’re likely to get a really good response which will mean that you get an influx of interested teachers into your sales funnel.

Try to use this opportunity to capture some basic information about these teachers and their needs. Not only will it allow you to make the demo super-useful to each teacher, but it will also give you some really useful ‘persona data’ for your future marketing!

Insight #9: Become a thought leader

The technology landscape in UK schools is changing at breakneck speed. It’s a potentially lucrative but highly competitive market with many new technologies vying for attention. The companies that will really see their stock soar will be those that take the time to position themselves as thought leaders.

Most IT products and services require high involvement purchases on behalf of the teacher; decisions are not made impulsively and often only after a great deal of research. Send them an industry whitepaper to provide them with some real value and demonstrate your expertise before you start selling to them.

By doing so, you’ll take a huge leap in front of your competitors. In our edu-business survey, only 15.1% of companies had integrated free eBooks, whitepapers, and reports into their 2020 marketing strategy. Yet, in our accompanying teacher survey, 61.6% of schools wanted businesses to share free resources to better support and serve schools.

Don your creative caps, put together an insightful, high-quality free whitepaper, and await your stream of fresh-hot leads who now see you as one of the top dogs in your industry!

Insight #10: Face-to-face meetings work

Many IT providers are not willing to offer a face to face meeting as part of their marketing strategy; and that’s great news for the rest of you! Not only is the meeting invitation the best way of generating a high number of leads, but the meeting itself offers you the best possible conversion rate.

Your people are your company’s greatest marketing asset. No matter how good your technology product or service is, it’s the relationships that they are able to build that will encourage interested teachers to take that final step and the best way to start forming those relationships is to meet in person.

What next?

Get in touch and ask us about what we can do for you!

Our number is 01684 297374, or you can email info@sprint-education.co.uk.

That way, we can talk specifically about your offer and see how we can boost your marketing effort to schools quickly and effectively.

Tags
Education Marketing How to Sell to Schools How to Sell to Teachers Marketing to Education Marketing to Schools Marketing to Teachers

Similar Articles

Selling to Schools 101: The Ultimate Guide
Preview

Selling to Schools 101: The Ultimate Guide

Go from novice to pro with our education marketing guide designed to unlock success for your selling-to-schools solution.

VIDEO: Connecting with Schools - Selling to Schools Insights Chapter 3
Preview

VIDEO: Connecting with Schools - Selling to Schools Insights Chapter 3

Join us as we delve into chapter 3 of The State of Selling to Schools report 2023. Together we reveal what the findings show us about when to connect with teachers, why certain times are more popular and the ideal notice periods for different education business providers.

Grow your education brand with Sprint

Grow your education brand

Free Strategy Call

Expert marketing to K-12 support and solutions

Expert marketing to K-12 solutions

Email Principals, Teachers, and District Staff Inboxes

Email teachers and staff inboxes

Sell More to US and Global Schools and Districts

Sell more to schools and districts

Scroll to top