In this article on our list of independent schools, we cover:
- how many independent schools there are in the UK
- search options through our database for the schools you want to target
- our top tips for launching a successful marketing campaign aimed at the independent school sector which is sure to be seen
- the budgeting differences between independent schools and the state school sector
- the basic principles of school budgeting within the independent sector
- why it is crucial you consider the seasonal sales cycle when pitching to independent schools
- the advantages of collaborating with our in-house graphic designers, copy writers, and account managers on your email marketing campaign
- further details on our three email campaigns and email design when you purchase our list of independent schools
- how to purchase and use our complete list of independent school data and email addresses and what further support we can offer to help you
How many independent schools there are in the UK?
We currently have 1,524 establishments listed on our list of independent school email addresses.
These can then be broken down into the separate countries of the UK: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Searching for the schools you want to target with our list of independent school email addresses
Our UK independent schools marketing database is highly accessible and, if you do run into problems, give our team a call and we can assist you.
Examples of what you can break your search down into on the database include:
- a list of independent schools in London
- a list of independent schools as broken into regions
- a list of independent schools in the UK and whether they are primary and secondary school level
- which local independent schools are in my area
It is also possible to search for a school individually alongside a much more detailed search where you can clarify results by:
- whether the school is a college, grammar school, independent, nursery, preparatory, primary, secondary or otherwise unclassified,
- whether the school is boarding, day,
- the gender split of the school,
- the region of school,
- the name of the Headteacher (if available),
- the age range of the students,
- if the school has a religious ethos,
- the number of pupils in attendance ,
- whether it has a nursery or a sixth form attached,
- the postal address and post code,
- what the full school capacity is,
- if there is school website and URL,
- if there is SEN provision and in which areas specifically, and
- the telephone number availability.
Our top tips for launching a successful marketing campaign aimed at the independent school sector
Here at More Than Words, we support you by creating and managing a successful marketing campaign specifically targeted towards the independent school sector.
We are currently offering new clients three email designs with three email broadcasts and after-sales support.
This means our in-house graphic designers create your email – they’ll use your logo, colours and ethos together coupled with professional and effective copy.
So how will your email stand out amongst the rest going directly into the school’s inbox?
Our team will carefully create an email package using a friendly yet formal tone which is appreciated in this sector.
We ensure that the language used fits your brand and that your product or service and its benefits are described clearly and succinctly.
There will be a strong call to action clearly highlighted on the email to maximise customer interaction and sales leads.
Email design, emails campaigns, and after-sales support for new clients purchasing our list of independent school email addresses
If you choose to purchase our data list of independent schools, we are currently offering the following for new customers:
- An email design for your marketing purposes
- Three email sends and reports on click-throughs
- Free ongoing advertising and technical support
- Licence to use the data for 12 months is included
- Quarterly updates on your campaign upon request
Working with our in-house copy writers and graphic designers, we can work together to create an effective email to boost your presence within the independent school sector and your sales revenues.
The email we design for you will:
- speak clearly to headteachers, bursars, and teachers using friendly and engaging, yet formal language which showcases your brand to its full potential
- describe in detail the benefits that your product or service will bring to their school
- include a strong call-to-action link to lead further contact with your company
- begin with a concise subject line designed to encourage as many opens as possible
Designed by our in-house graphics team, the email itself will be modern, elegant and strongly connect to your branding. We can conform to your chosen colours, fonts and include your logo to maintain brand continuity. The message will be clear and concise, to allow for maximum clarity from the reader.
All emails will be designed in HTML5. This means that it will look professional on smartphones as well as computers.
First three email broadcasts
Once we have agreed on the appropriate email message and strategy, we will roll out your first three school email marketing campaign broadcasts to the chosen schools on our independent school email list on your behalf using our trusted servers.
This will result in higher delivery rate than if you were to send them yourselves independently, similarly it will be easier to quickly book in additional subsequent campaigns at highly competitive rates.
Full after sales management and reporting
For each email broadcast we run for you, we will handle the full management and reporting of campaigns for you. The following comes as standard with our service:
- a prompt notification as soon as one of your emails is opened – during office hours this is generally within one hour
- a full report three days following broadcast – you will find out how many times your email was successfully received and/or opened and how many times they opened it and clicked the CTA
- unsubscription management – as standard, we are in keeping with GDPR at all times and we can supervise the removal of school details who have requested no further contact
Technical and advertising support
For the 12 months of your licence, you and your colleagues can contact us for:
- full technical support – if you need help with organising the data, ring us and we can assist you
- how best to search your data for specific information to best suit your current campaign
- full advertising support – we are here for you to discuss your marketing and selling ideas and we can share our ideas and experiences with you. We’ll monitor what works and what doesn’t and we’ll consistently review the strategy to ensure valuable ROI.
The basic principles of independent school budgeting
There are four main areas of funding streams in the independent school sector and they are as follows:
- revenue funding – to be used within the financial year on essentials such as staff salaries, heating and usual bills, routine building repairs to enable proper functioning of the school
- capital funding – to be looked at as an investment, for example building work to improve the school substantially or improving the IT system
- delegated funding – no strings attached capital to be spent on considered extras
- devolved funding – money that comes with conditions on how it can be spent. It must be clearly noted how it will benefit the pupils or business
Selling to independent schools – educational products
Although the headteacher has the final say on how the overall budget of their school is allocated, most independent schools employ a Director of Finance who does the bulk of decision making alongside heads of departments.
The budgets in the independent school sector are clearly vastly different from state schools – state schools received their operating income from the government.
Independent schools are funded through fees which are paid by parents whose input and opinions are held in high importance by school decision-makers.
Parents often make generous donations alongside the standard fees simply because they expect the best facilities to be available for their children.
This means independent schools have a much higher available budgets for a variety of products.
Educational products will always be the highest spending priority because it is a learning environment.
However, as a general rule, the budget will always reflect the improvement plan for the school, generally covering the next 1-5 years.
The Director of Finance or bursar will work with the heads of departments to work out exactly how much each department has and what they need for the upcoming school year.
The needs in independent school are not vastly different from state schools but you will find that they expect a higher quality product and that they are willing to pay more for it.
They still require the basics you would expect – stationary and so on – however there is much more scope for added extras.
Selling non-educational products to independent schools
Alongside the education procurement requirements mentioned above, there are significant opportunities to pitch for school improvement work, purely aesthetic products, and even novelty and entertainment items.
Naturally, the key aim is the education of their students however they have more scope to invest in other elements.
For example, they know the importance of making a fantastic first impression so they will consider the design of their entrance with considerable thought.
Independent schools are often gifted large sums of money from parents and alumni of the school usually for a specific purpose or subject.
They might suddenly receive a gift of £50k to improve the light and layout of the art and design department or someone may pledge £30k for a school renovation project.
An interesting additional point is that, as with state schools, independent schools have become much more commercially aware of temporary renting out their often state-of-the-art facilities.
During school holidays or at weekends, they often raise revenue though hiring out parts of the school for extra-curricular activities.
For contracted services such as security, cleaning, catering, IT support and property maintenance amongst others, the Director of Finance or business manager would certainly be the person to speak to as those queries are unlikely to be put to the Head.
The independent school sector is much more aware of the health and wellbeing of the students.
With this in mind, they often have budget for general welfare of their pupils.
This can be seen from their employment of specialist counsellors to high quality catering.
Of course, the additional expenses independent schools incur are centred around boarding.
The independent schools which offer this require an entirely supplementary and different set of requirements, from bedding supplies to entertainment systems and even art installations.
The pupils of independent schools are more than likely to be exposed to top of the range products and services at home, and this set-up is usually expected at fee-paying schools.
How to write an email which appeals to independent school decision-makers
The main point to remember when devising your advertisement is who you want to read it.
With this in mind, you can focus your content directly to that individual who is most likely under pressure to choose the best solutions and services to meet the needs of the school.
The higher the fees for a school, the more the parents expect of the teaching and facilities.
The independent school sector ranges widely in approaches and philosophies from school to school.
Some schools are keen to push the boundaries and try new and modern approaches whereas some traditional private schools are much more interested in maintaining historical traditions.
Still, independent schools have targets to hit and the financial pressures can have much higher stakes.
With this in mind, it is important to identify the particular pain point you wish to address and use marketing materials to show empathy with the staff in order for them to see that you can assist them and help them achieve positive outcomes.
With the instability in the financial climate in the UK currently, independent schools are having to work increasingly harder to justify their high school fees.
This means your campaign must provide a clear solution to any needs they have.
The decision makers of the school need to be able to break down the budget appropriately for the Headteacher and the governors.
Your campaign needs to give the school confidence they are spending wisely and it can be justified by ROI.
Pupils at independent schools are not required to follow the National Curriculum however they are OFSTED inspected regularly and they must be government registered.
With this in mind, it may not be top of the list to mention the National Curriculum but rather more current trends in education and pupil wellbeing.
The bottom line is that the independent school sector is much more likely to buy from a high-quality, established vendor who is understanding of their particular set of circumstances.
Why it is crucial you consider the seasonal sales cycle when pitching to independent schools
Depending on what your product or service is, it will be important to consider the best time of year to pitch it.
Especially prevalent with schools is towards the end of the school year, where the business manager or Director of Finance may realise there is excess capital left which could be invested back into the school.
There are other elements to consider also such as when the school may wish to purchase equipment and supplies for the upcoming new year or term. As has been proven, purchasers usually invest in something after continued exposure to it.
This is because, through this new familiarity, your service is at the forefront of their mind at the right time.
The takeaway point from this is although it might not be the right time for some independent schools to buy your product but it can be assumed that approximately one in twenty will be in a position to invest when contacted.
It is also important to remember that each product or service usually has a natural lifespan.
Stationary and textbooks usually have to be re-ordered every year whereas the opportunity to sell a school bus lease may only happen every three to five years.
he school may also be under contract already for some services such as utility bills or contracted facilities staff.
Although including the seasonal sales cycle in your strategy plan is prudent, you are building up their awareness of your company with every interaction you have with the school via email or telephone call and therefore starting to build the trust required to start a relationship with the school.
Use email to sell to independent schools
To capture the imagination of the recipient at the independent school you are targeting, using email to your advantage is your first port of call – it is the go-to method of advertising and promotion and has been for over a decade.
Emails are environmentally friendly and are a quick way to get your message across directly – in a way which can be monitored and reported on. By using this approach, you can promptly educate the school in the ways you are able to:
- help them save money,
- make money, and/or
- boost the case for enrolment in this highly competitive market.
Once you have paid for our database of independent school email addresses, the relative cost of sending further campaigns is very small in comparison to other forms of marketing – such as postal marketing.
Percentage response rates for email campaigns can be lower however the cost per lead or customer acquisition is usually substantially lower with email marketing as opposed to telemarketing, for example.
Independent schools and telemarketing
As previously mentioned, email marketing is a highly effective way of gaining leads. However, it is even more worthwhile to add in an element of telemarketing.
You could view this as a supplementary addition to your marketing campaign to ensure maximum ROI and consumer engagement.
Our telemarketing services can provide you with the following:
- market research – gain valuable insights from the people on the front line who really know what is needed
- lead generation – we find out which schools are interested in your products and services and, once we have found a potential client, we pass the information back to your team to follow up
- data validation and pipeline building – your education customer database is one of the most valuable assets in your business. Allow us to data cleanse it effectively and make sure it is up to date, GDPR compliant and fit for purpose.
- event promotion – if you have plans to take up a stall at an education show or exhibition, we can promote this to local schools to ensure a great turnout
- appointment setting – our education telemarketers secure dozens of strong and qualified appointments with schools each week, let us do the same for your business.
Please note, telemarketing is not provided as part of our core marketing service – please ask your account manager for a quote.
Order your list of independent school email addresses with full marketing and technical support included
More Than Words has supplied education data and marketing services to over 8,000 companies in the UK. We look forward to the opportunity of working with you and your team to open new opportunities within Independent schools.
To find out more or to order, please call 0330 010 8300 or click here to email us.