7 Tips for Marketing to Teachers for National Teacher Appreciation Week

Posted on Feb 20, 2019 · 4 min read

Teachers provide an essential and noble service for our society but often aren’t given the the support they need to fulfill their mission of educating our youth.

Our annual teacher survey revealed a startling fact: teachers spend an average of $652 of their own money on classroom supplies with some spending more than $7,000!

That kind of dedication is above and beyond the call of duty, and it’s the reason why each May our country acknowledges the positive impact teachers have on all our lives with National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10, 2019) and National Teacher Appreciation Day (May 7, 2019).

Marketing to teachers during this holiday is a terrific opportunity for brands to thank teachers for their service and be champions for their work. And the rewards for running an effective teacher campaign go beyond the goodwill it will generate—it’s a smart business move.

Teachers Are a Powerful and Lucrative Segment

The U.S. has 6 million teachers. More than half are over 40 years old, and 80% are women—two segments with considerable spending power. And when they shop, they’re not just doing it for themselves or their families. Each year, teachers accrue $11 billion in credit card charges and spend $1.5 billion on their classrooms each year. That makes marketing to teachers a must-do approach for all brands.

Teachers Highly Engage with Companies Who Market to Them

Teachers appreciate companies who understand the challenges they face, such as dealing with tight school budgets. Our research shows that 88% of teachers actively search for brands that offer teacher discounts.

During Teacher Appreciation Week, we see significant spikes in search activity for “teacher discounts” and “teacher appreciation.” They’re actively looking, and if you’re not trying to engage them with a special offer, you just might lose them to a competitor.

More than four in five teachers say they’d choose a retailer that offers a teacher discount over one that doesn’t. Which makes it easy to understand why the top seven brands where teachers most often shop ALL have teacher discounts.

More than 4 in 5 teachers say they'd choose a retailer that offers a teacher discount over one that doesn't.

All this is to say: there’s no better way to celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week—and build brand loyalty—than providing teachers with an exclusive promotion to show you care.

7 Tips for Creating Exclusive Offers for Teachers

For years, we’ve been helping top brands more effectively market to teachers using exclusive promotions and special offers. We know what works, because our clients see the results.

Here we’ve compiled our top seven tips. We’ll be sharing more about these in our upcoming webinar on best practices for marketing to teachers .  

  1. Make your offer attractive. Price your items and discount competitively to show you genuinely want to save teachers money. A 25% discount is the sweet spot, according to our survey.
  2. Speak from the heart. When your message feels genuine, it fosters loyalty.
  3. Target the demographic majority. Tailor your teacher messages to reach women and people over 40.
  4. Leverage word-of-mouth marketing. 81% of teachers find out about discounts from a friend or co-worker.
  5. Run teacher appreciation and back-to-school campaigns. Marketing to teachers in May and late summer will help you leverage the two most teacher-focused purchasing windows.
  6. Make your offer highly visible and easy to access. Be visible when and where teachers are looking. Build and promote campaigns across social media, and feature teacher discounts prominently on your website.
  7. Engage with the teacher audience online. Don’t make it a one-way message. Teachers love it when brands engage with them online and understand the trends and topics that matter to them.

Marketing to Teachers with Exclusive Offers Pays Off

Simply put, marketing to teachers using exclusive offers works. They’re a valued part of the marketing strategy of many major brands, including J. Crew, L.L. Bean, and Target.

Teacher discount programs like these are widely popular. When Target launched their exclusive offer giving teachers a 15% discount on select classroom supplies, they cast a wide net, making it available to every kind of teacher, from preschool to college professors to homeschoolers. The three-day promotion garnered widespread attention, including coverage in major national media as well as teacher advocacy websites.

A teacher helping a young student. Marketing to teachers with exclusive offers is a great way to thank them for their service and acquire loyal customers.

As Target and other brands have discovered, creating exclusive promotions for teachers facilitates brand loyalty among teachers and everyone who supports them. When retailers offer teacher discounts, 84% of teachers say they would recommend those retailers to their friends and families.

Ready to Make Teachers Your Next Growth Segment?

Learn how you can with the loyalty of this lucrative group of shoppers by attending our 7 Best Practices for Marketing to Teachers  webinar on March 13, 2019. You’ll leave knowing:

  • Why teachers are the perfect segment to target.
  • Tips for marketing to teachers more effectively.
  • How to create an offer teachers will love.

Join us and celebrate teachers in a way that’s good for your brand, too!

Tony Coray by Tony Coray