3 questions to help create your targeted education mailing list

Topics: Education Data Email Marketing
Lyndsay Rushton
Lyndsay Rushton Marketing Manager 26 June 2023

Choosing the right targets to include in your education marketing mailing list is the first step to achieving great engagement rates and generating quality leads.

But with over 589,000 teachers and decision makers and 30,000 UK schools in our education database, you might be wondering how best to identify the right targets to include in your education mailing list.

An easy way to maximise your reach would be to include every single school, teacher, and decision maker in your education mailing list. However, for most organisations, sending out marketing campaigns to every single member of education staff in the UK is not the best approach. Here’s why:

  • Your marketing might not be relevant to all staff, so you’ll see lower engagement rates. 
  • Sending irrelevant marketing can negatively impact your brand image and reputation.
  • It’s not cost-effective – you could waste your marketing budget on sending emails to the wrong staff.

Instead, you should create a targeted education marketing mailing list. This means identifying the specific targets that your organisation is relevant to and creating marketing content tailored specifically to them.

To help you identify your marketing targets, I’ve pulled together my education knowledge, insights from our 2023 School Surveys and trends from our latest email campaign analysis into 3 quick questions to ask yourself.

The first step is to look at what you’re offering and who it’s relevant to.

There are different types and phases of education in the UK, plus a variety of teaching and support staff roles, so it’s important to understand who and what is most relevant to your organisation.

Here are a few pointers:

  • If your product or service is relevant to the whole school, make sure you add the senior leadership team to your mailing list as they’re the main strategic and financial decision makers. Plus, our campaign analysis shows that head teachers and deputy heads are the most engaged decision makers when it comes to whole school related emails.

  • If your offering is subject specific, think about targeting the heads of department, subject coordinators, and subject teachers. Teachers are often key influencers in the decision-making process as they’re the end-users of many classroom and subject related products.

  • If your product is for a specific age group, heads of year and key stage coordinators are good targets to include.

Buzz’s Top Tip

If your products are suitable for multiple school phases, think about sending separate marketing campaigns. Secondary schools are less likely to engage with emails that promote products for primary schools, and vice versa, so it’s worth segmenting your marketing mailing list and creating separate marketing content that highlights the specific benefits and products for each phase of education.

As well as the phase of education and specific job roles mentioned above, most trusted education marketing agencies will let you segment your marketing data based on other criteria such as:

  • Location
  • Number of pupils
  • Newly-opened schools 
  • Ofsted rating
  • Percentage of children on free school meals
  • Religious affiliation

Which industry are you in?

Professional services
If you offer professional services such as HR, financial support or legal advice, or administrative support tools such as office supplies, management systems, administration aids, the school support staff are good targets. There are multiple support staff roles so you should think specifically about which staff will benefit from your services.

Classroom and study resources
If you provide teaching and learning resources or classroom equipment, I recommend targeting heads of department and subject teachers. They’re usually the final users of your products so can influence the decision-making process.

IT and ed-tech
Heads of IT and IT teachers are good targets for classroom and learning technology. You could also connect with IT managers and network technicians for school-wide IT solutions. Senior leaders are also a good target for technology solutions as technology often requires a higher investment and a school-wide decision.

Many organisations direct all their marketing to schools to the head teachers or business managers.  This is a great approach as they’re the key decision makers. In fact, we know from our most recent school surveys that:

  • 66% of head teachers and business managers approve all school spending. 
  • 100% of business managers regularly review spending ideas from other staff members.

But it’s also important to remember the role of other teachers and education staff in the school spending process. We know that:

  • 52% of teachers have their own small budget to use for learning resources and classroom supplies.
  • 73% of this budget goes towards department-wide resources.

Heads of department and subject teachers will often research suppliers, agree spending amounts and allocate budgets across the department, and make any decisions, before getting final sign-off from the business manager.  In this case, although we know that 80% of business managers approve all school spending, they’re more of an influencer and a facilitator than a key decision maker.

Remember also that any heads of department and teachers who don’t have a budget of their own can still be huge influencers. If you’re selling teaching resources or classroom equipment, what better person to be your product advocate than the teacher themselves?

Learn more about the senior leadership team, school support staff and other key decision makers and influencers in our quick guides:

As with any organisation, if a high investment is needed by schools, senior staff members usually need to be involved in the decision-making process. Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict how much schools might spend with your organisation, but you’ll probably be able to estimate approximately how much they’ll need to invest.

Is your service free? Is it a low-budget, cost-effective solution? Does it need an ongoing, financial commitment? Is it worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds?

If your product is:

  • Free
    Send it directly to the staff members who will benefit, such as subject teachers. Teachers will be able to access it straight away without needing to get approval or budget sign-off from anyone else.

Buzz’s Top Tip

Even if your main product isn’t free, a free sample or free resource download is a great way to introduce your wider products or services to schools.

  • A low-budget solution
    If you’re promoting something that’s subject specific, e.g., maths workshops, we recommend targeting heads of department and subject teachers. This is because we know that 71% of departments manage their own budget, and 52% of teachers have a small budget of their own (sometimes up to £5,000).

  • Over £5,000
    Target the senior leadership team, in particular the head teachers. Primary school head teachers can usually approve all spending up to £10,000 and secondary head teachers can approve spending up to £15,000.

  • Higher levels
    You should target senior leaders, especially head teachers and the chair of governors. The chair of governors usually works with the SLT and the full governing body to approve all purchases over £20,000 in primary schools and £30,000 in secondary schools.

Inside Insight: In our 2023 School Surveys, 56% of head teachers and business managers reported rising costs as one of the biggest challenges for their school this year.

And 78% said they’ll need to make cuts during the next academic year because of inflation and rising living costs.

So, anything you can do to help schools keep spending down and access cost-effective solutions will be much appreciated.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing the right teachers for your education mailing list but it’s always worth having a strong understanding of education staff to help boost your engagement rates. Here are the key takeaways:

  • School spending is influenced by a number of education staff members.
  • Some staff members are key financial decision makers and others are influencers.
  • A focused mailing list will help boost your engagement rates.
  • Think about who the end-user is and include them in your mailing list.
  • Free resources or a special offer are effective ways to generate interest.
  • Schools are focused on finding cost-effective and cost-saving solutions.
  • The senior leadership team are involved when a high investment is needed.
  • Use your email content to highlight the specific benefits for each phase of education and job role.

Don’t forget, you can access our UK Education Guide and look at our list of Education Job Roles at any time to help identify the right targets for your mailing list.

Now you have a better understanding of who to include in your education mailing list, take a closer look at our UK education database:

  • 30,000 UK schools
  • 589,000 teachers and decision makers
  • 100% GDPR compliant
  • 97% email address accuracy
  • 99% postal address accuracy
  • 12 months unlimited access
  • Live, real-time data

You can click here to find out more about how you can use our education database to manage your own marketing to schools. Alternatively, if you’re looking to reach decision maker’s direct inboxes, our email marketing service is a great option!