Market Focus: Elementary School Teachers
Other forms of direct marketing media, such as unsolicited telemarketing and e-mail, are “big no-nos … if they’re not your customers,” says Subrizi. Though teachers use e-mail, they still tend to reserve it for communicating with students’ parents.
Bullock concurs that e-mail is not a major marketing tool, yet. “People are testing e-mail as an alternate medium, but the lists of teachers’ e-mail addresses have not reached the same level of quality or availability,” she says.
Lists and Data Sources
The overall list market for teachers’ names is quite comprehensive. There are three main sources of compiled teacher information: Quality Education Data, MDR and MKTG Services; and half a million new teachers are added to the files each year, says Bullock. All totaled, there are more than 3 million teachers in the kindergarten to grade 12 market, says MDR’s Subrizi.
There also are many individual direct response lists available for rent—among them, catalog buyer files, subscribers to education magazines and more general market lists such as consumer magazines with a teacher job-title select. Use these lists—as opposed to compiled teacher files—when you want proven direct mail responders, recommends Tracey Bausano, senior list manager of Venture Direct Worldwide in New York, which handles many of the top education response lists.
With both compiled and response lists, reaching teachers at their home addresses is another option, and, says Subrizi, “[Home address] is sometimes preferred, since they’ll have more time to spend reading your catalog at home.” But, he cautions, “It really depends on the offer and product, and how it is purchased. You definitely have to test into those markets,” Subrizi asserts.
In general, Bullock says she sees most catalogs and other product offers mailed directly to the teachers, unless the marketer is selling larger items such as furniture, textbooks or computer hardware, which would go to the district level. “Mail to the teacher at home or school for supplemental learning products, and to the district for curriculum-based materials and other larger purchases,” she advises.