Using our UK schools database for email marketing
Part of our UK schools database, More Than Words’ school email address list contains over 40,000 regularly-updated, accurate, and GDPR-compliant email addresses for state-funded and independent schools across the four countries of Britain.
You may use the data for 12 months after purchase to promote your products and services to head teachers, school leaders, school business managers, and teachers.
As our customer, you’re also entitled to one year’s support from your account manager as well as support from our technical and marketing teams.
Together, we’ll make sure that the email marketing you carry out to the UK education sector promotes…
- your brand,
- your company name,
- your credibility, and
- your products and services
…to the most important decision makers within schools.
1. Choose the schools you want to market to
You can choose purchase email marketing and other contact data for:
- all schools or
- schools you select by geography, type, size, and many other variables
To maximise your return on investment, you should only purchase school email data for those educational establishments where you can see a positive value and benefit to them of purchasing your products and services.
Please contact one of our account managers who, in partnership with you, will identify the email and contact data we hold likely to deliver your company the highest possible return on your investment.
2. Back-up and support from More Than Words after your purchase
All More Than Words’ customers benefit from having their own account manager for the time that they’re with us.
Your account manager’s role, in addition to providing valuable and actionable marketing advice, is to ensure that we do what you want us to do as quickly, accurately, and efficiently as possible.
In addition to your account manager, we also offer the following two support services:
- marketing and promotion – when you’ve created an email you want to send out to schools, send it first to our marketing and promotions team for feedback and suggestions on how you can modify your sales message for even greater response
- technical – speak with one of our in-house technical support staff if you have any issues with using the database you want help with
Your UK education database is also covered by a comprehensive accuracy guarantee covering the email addresses, telephone numbers, and postal addresses on the database.
Should we fail to hit any of the accuracy targets shown below, we either refund you pro-rata or we’ll issue additional replacement records to you.
3. The usage licence on our list of school email addresses
You have a license to use the school emails and all other contact information contained on the database for 12 months.
After 12 months, you’ll need to renew your license if you want to continue using the data.
Following expiry of the licence, you can still stay in touch with any contact who has initiated conversation with you as a result of your prior email marketing.
Find out more about our comprehensive UK schools database with email addresses
To find out more, please contact our email databases team on 0330 010 8300 or by email.
If you’d prefer us to design and send your email broadcasts to schools instead, you may wish to find out more about our fully-managed school email marketing campaigns.
When you contact us, please also ask about our telemarketing to schools service.
12 ways to generate the greatest return from your school email address list
Email marketing to schools with More Than Words’ school email address list offers your business an inexpensive and very responsive route into the schools market.
Schools, and the teachers responsible for buying for them, respond to certain types of email approaches better than others.
We recommend that all clients take the following thirteen steps:
- Be sure on who within the school you’re targeting,
- Get the main point of your message over in 3 seconds,
- The buying cycle applies to schools – what it means,
- Adopt a neutral, non-salesy voice,
- Avoid cliches in your copy and design, and
- Choose a simple design
- Choosing what you offer – the importance of being selective,
- Phone calls are always better than websites,
- The relationship they have with their current supplier,
- How schools like to buy
- If you can, namedrop other schools you’ve worked for, and
- Use the database for 12 months
Be sure on who within the school you’re targeting
What happens when your email is sent to the school?
The email is first delivered into the administration department of the school.
This may be one person if the school is small or a whole team for the largest schools. Sometimes, this part of the school is called the bursar’s department or the business management team.
Many schools have a specific policy of only receiving incoming emails at the administration address. The email is then forwarded to the relevant teacher by the administrator.
What we advise is that, in the subject line, you allow us to put “For the attention of the Head of English”, for example.
If you are targeting nurseries or primaries…
…the headteacher normally has overriding purchasing authority.
S/he may, however, be advised by key members of staff. If you are selling something that may be of interest to subject-related members of staff, if you address it for the “(Subject) Co-ordinator”.
Co-ordinators within nurseries and primaries – Art, Citizenship, English & Literacy, Geography, History, IT, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, PSE, RE, Science, Technology, Special Needs
If what you offer does not relate directly to one of the co-ordinators most likely to be in place within these schools, you should mark the email for the attention of the head teacher or for one of the shared classifications below.
If you are targeting secondary schools…
…the headteacher is only one decision maker within the school although s/he usually signs everything off.
Budgets for secondaries are much higher than for other schools and, normally, the head teacher will allocate a certain budget per department which is administered by the heads of those departments.
Heads with secondaries – Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Careers, Chemistry, Citizenship Studies, Classics, Technology, Drama, Economics, English, Food Science, French, Geography, German, History, ICT, Maths, Media Studies, Modern Languages, Music, PE, Performing Arts, Physics, PSE, Psychology, RE, Science, Sociology, Spanish Language, Special Needs
As with primaries, if your offer is not applicable, please use one of the shared classifications below…
All types of schools share certain types of representatives, the most obvious being “Head Teacher” and “Deputy Head”. There are also other classifications you can consider, which are…
Shareds – Head of Sixth Form, Pastoral Head, Bursar, School Secretary, Librarian
Get the main point of your message over in 3 seconds when using your school email address list
Think about the day the school secretary or administrator is having.
S/he’ll be rushed off her/his feet – could you imagine how difficult it is keeping an average secondary school running, for example?
There may be 1,000 pupils and over 100 staff to cope with every day, together with lots of incoming phone calls, letters, parental visits and so on.
That’s why you should always put the name of the intended recipient in the subject line – it saves the administrator spending valuable time reading your message then deciding who s/he should forward it on to.
The person within the school you’re targeting – when the email gets to him/her, make it interesting and understandable from the off.
We can help you do that with a few simple but important techniques about wording and placement in your email – ask for our advertising support team once you’ve purchased our database.
The buying cycle applies to schools – what it means
Depending on what your product or service is, the schools and the teachers you want to buy from you will come into the “buying cycle” at certain intervals.
If you’re a stationery supplier, the buying cycle might occur once a month – if you supply fitted air conditioning systems and service them, the buying cycle might only occur every five to ten years.
When someone is out of the buying cycle, there’s nothing you can do to bring them back in.
No matter how attractive your offer, no matter how brilliant the advert design may be, they just don’t need what you have.
Accept that when you send an email off, only 3-5 out of every 100 or more you contact will be in a position to buy each month – they have the need and they have the funding available.
Work with us to make the most attractive and most interesting approach to schools possible.
Adopt a neutral, non-salesy voice
Cliched sales approaches really don’t work with schools – the target audience are too switched on and careful with money.
When we’re writing adverts for clients on managed email marketing campaigns to schools, we use the following rules of thumb when creating copy.
Third person, not first person
Emails written in a more advertorial/press-release style perform better than emails written in the type language you’d see in standard adverts.
The best way to describe this would be as if your advert was a PR release that was published by a local newspaper.
Instead of “our furniture is brilliant” and “we offer a full design and installation service”, try instead “Joe Bloggs Furniture has received many recommendations from education customers” and “The company offers a full design and installation service”.
This more gentle, factual approach seems to really appeal to school buyers.
Use research heads and teachers can relate to
Where it is appropriate, make mention of government, trade union or parent-teacher association mentions to further make the advert feel factual.
Never present the research in a threatening, “you-must-do-this-now” way.
Present it as informative and factual, giving readers guidance of how what you do can help them achieve compliance.
Give maximum respect to recipients
We always carefully word adverts in such a way that what you are offering is an aid to the school in getting even higher standards than the high standards they have now.
Never present yourself as the “solution to their problems.
This may make more experienced teachers feel as if they are being talked down to.
Imagine the wording used as conversation between teachers in the staff room.
Your product or service will add to the school’s already considerable effort to solve an issue or exploit an opportunity.
We normally start off with an interesting but non-sensational headline.
So, if we were doing an advert for an outdoor furniture manufacturer, we would use something like “Scheme to create outdoor play opportunities with pupils” rather than “Buy now and save on brilliant outdoor furniture”
A sub-headline will back up the statement in the headline and a short paragraph or two going into a bit more detail will follow.
We will then have a showcase of normally no more than 4 images (with each image embossed with your logo in the bottom right).
Underneath that, there’ll be an accurate description of what you’re offering and below that your contact details.
We design your advert to be read and understood within seconds but with enough there for them to keep going back to it.
Call to action
So many adverts, whether to schools or not, do not give the reader a sufficient call to action.
The call to action is the instruction you give to a recipient in your advert telling them how to take it further.
Make sure you clearly ask each recipient to get in touch with you at the end of every email.
We stay clear of the words “sale”, “promotion”, “offer”, etc because schools know they are reading an advert.
We normally describe something you’re offering as a “scheme” or a “trial” – the words convey far more of a two-way process between you and the schools.
Schools are fussy about what they spend their money on so the more direct and mainstream “smack them between the eyes” approach doesn’t win you any favours.
Avoid cliches in your copy and design when using our school email address list
We advise where possible not to put pictures of small children looking happy or stock photos of teachers who are models.
Pictures should only be used when they add something to the meaning.
Everyone knows this is a £1 stock photo download and that they aren’t UK schoolchildren.
Even more, why do schools need to see pictures of children in their adverts? They see them all day!
We recommend using your own images instead – preferably within a school setting.
Teachers do get tired of seeing the same recycled stock images – show them something different with your advert.
Choose a simple design
Headline – sub-headline – body copy – call to action – unsubscribe option.
Even though an email is on a screen, it’s best to have everything in one simple column down, two at the most.
When we read a magazine or a newspaper, we expect things to be in certain places.
With emails, limit the width as much as possible to make it easy to read. If your email is received on a desktop and the text stretches from one side of the screen to the other, it’s very heard to read.
Make sure as well that your design is responsive – in other words, it appears correctly on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
Choosing what you offer – the importance of being selective
When you get a normal email during your working day, you’ll probably scan it – later on, you’ll read it, delete it or even forget it was there.
Email gets noticed straight away but it has a couple of downsides.
There’s a perception that email communication is worth less than a mailshot or a phone call – it therefore doesn’t require or demand as much attention.
The other aspect is that, because there’s so much email nowadays, who has the time?
Tailor your email to take account of the fact you’ve got a few seconds of each recipient’s attention.
If you offer a lot of products or services, try to slim the number shown on the email down to no more than 8 and preferably no more than 4.
Phone calls are always better than websites
Want to get teachers to visit your website and just place an order online? You may be waiting quite a while, particularly if you’re doing just a one-off campaign.
On the plus side, your site gives a real sense of presence to your company.
It also gives your customer time and space to teach themselves about what you do.
They’re online all the time meaning you can make sales whenever you want. But, it’s not that simple.
Nothing beats having a human to hand to answer all the questions visitors have.
People buy people first before they’ll buy anything on a website from an email.
Using your school email address list to encourage a head teacher, head of department, or school business manager to spend 20 minutes on the phone with a teacher or school leader will present you with greater commercial opportunities.
The relationship they have with their current supplier
Sometimes, the schools whose orders you’re chasing have used the same supplier for years. They know your potential customer’s name – they probably have a good personal rapport with them.
People often do not ONLY buy on price but they also buy on emotions and connections.
A good offer will generate interest.
A good offer made every month by emails in which you also demonstrate value will generate a lot of interest over the year.
The fact they already buy what you’re selling, albeit from someone else, is a good sign.
They have been in the market and they will be again.
It’s now your job to position your company to compete against the incumbent supplier
How schools like to buy
If you can offer accounts, that’s a significant advantage.
Many schools and teachers are used to getting new goods and services on 30 day approval – in other words, send them out what they want with an invoice to pay within 30 days.
However, allow them to return it with no penalty within the 30 days. This can really increase responsiveness.
If you can accept debit or credit cards, fantastic – it’s still rare for schools to have their own card but offer the option if you can.
It’s you who has to be flexible – you’re in competition against established players and you have to go the extra mile to get a look in.
Speak with our advertising support team for more advice once you’ve purchased your school email address list from us.
If you can, namedrop other schools you’ve worked for
If you’ve worked with schools before, it’s always best to use it in your email copy.
Better still, if you can get a school customer to give you a quote expressing how pleased they are with your service, that’s going to really help your campaign.
Schools are bombarded with advertising every day and testimonials from other schools do help you stand out.
Don’t worry if you’re looking for your first school customer and you’ve got no testimonials to provide.
All it means is that you have to be more persistent and email them a few times to get noticed.
Once you get your first customers, repeat business from them is very likely and they’re always there to use in later advertisements.
Use your school email address list each month for 12 months
You really need to be seen multiple times by schools.
In our experience and those of our customers, schools have a good nose for the opportunistic, speculative approaches versus the really serious committed education suppliers.
One of the ways schools can differentiate between the two is by the number of times they’ve been exposed to your message.
Don’t buy your school email database from us and then forget about it – please use it every month to gain the maximum possible commercial benefits from your investment in us.