“So, where does Sprint Education buy its lists of UK businesses from then?”
This was the question that one of our clients asked me recently when they came in to discuss their latest direct teacher email strategy. When I replied that we don’t buy or lease any data, that all 17,500 education business contacts in our CRM had opted into our marketing, they simply could not believe me!
The idea that you can grow such a huge list of subscribers without the need for any outreach marketing or paid advertising is one that many education businesses struggle to accept. In fact, since we launched Campus (and started discussing inbound marketing with our clients in greater detail) I’ve realised just how neglected this area is in most businesses’ marketing to schools strategies.
So, in this blog I’m going to show you step-by-step how Sprint Education grew our own list of 17,500 subscribers and how you can do the same to grow your own database of UK schools and teachers. Here we go…
Step 1: Create a Free Resource that Teachers Will Love
This should be either a set of free lesson plans or a free eBook that helps teachers overcome a particular challenge in their classrooms. The idea of giving away some of your trade secrets is not something that every education business feels comfortable doing but we’ve been doing it for years and I promise you, not only has it helped us to grow our huge subscriber list, it’s also helped us become the go-to marketing agency for education businesses.
Here’s a really helpful eBook we published a few months ago which walks you through the process of creating a free resource that’s going to have teachers scrambling over each other to get their hands on it. Alternatively, if you haven’t already, you can visit our website, download our free marketing to schools toolkit, and get inspired about how you can create something similar for your audience of teachers.
Step 2: Create a page on your website specifically for this resource
Once you’ve got your free resource nailed you need to set up a page on your website where teachers can complete a lead generation form in return for downloading it. This page needs to be solely focused on the free resource so don’t be tempted to crowbar it onto another page of your website.
Take a look at the page we’ve got set up for our marketing toolkit; see how clear it is about exactly what you’re getting when you complete the form? That’s the single most important thing you need to consider on this page. You need to make sure you are reinforcing exactly why the teacher should go ahead and give you their contact details.
Step 3: Ensure that every web visitor sees your free resource
Strangely, it’s at this point that even some of the most forward thinking education businesses slip up. You need to make sure that pretty much the first thing teachers see when they land on your website – normally your Home Page – is a call to action to download their free resource.
Make sure there is either a prominent button or a pop-up on your Home Page that immediately alerts teachers that they can access a fantastic freebie to take away and use in their classrooms. Remember, the vast majority of teachers that land on your website are not going to be ready to make contact with you just yet, so your job is to make sure that you capture their details before they slip away into the ether, never to be seen again.
Again, take a look at our Home Page for inspiration. You’ll notice how your eye is instantly drawn to the free marketing to schools toolkit pop-up banner at the bottom of the page.
Step 4: Implement an SEO strategy to increase web traffic
Now your website is in perfect shape to start converting visitors into subscribers, the next step is to make sure you’re getting more teachers visiting your website. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to start a blog.
Type in popular search terms teachers might use when they’re googling for your services. Where do you rank in the results? If you’re not top then you desperately need to start blogging more regularly. You see, Google rates results based upon the relevancy of content and the frequency with which it’s updated. Your website is great for the former, but not very good at all at the latter.
Now, you might think that writing a regular blog sounds like an awful lot of hard work, but it’s a lot easier than you probably think. Have a good read of this blog that John wrote last year which shows you exactly how to write a killer blog post in 9 steps. Not only how to ensure that the content is engaging for teachers, but also how to ensure that it sends your website shooting up Google’s natural listings and starts generating more web traffic for you!
And that’s it! Four steps that will enable you to grow your own database of UK schools and teachers without having to shell out thousands of pounds on data lists or outreach marketing campaigns.
The marketing toolkit on our website generates between 50 and 80 new leads for Sprint Education every single month. It’s what has enabled us to grow our CRM of 17,500 education businesses in just a few years and, even better, it’s enabled us to demonstrate to those 17,500 subscribers that we are the marketing agency that can really help them to sell more to schools.
If you'd like to take this approach with your marketing to schools, and never have to worry about where your next sales lead is going to come from, then check out Campus; we've created it to help education businesses grow their own opt-in database of teachers and do their marketing just like Sprint Education.