When I was growing up, I remember giving my teachers little gifts (like a pencil holder I made by decorating a soup can!) and handwritten notes expressing my gratitude. This was an annual tradition my mother instilled in me during National Teacher Appreciation Week. She wanted me to recognize how important our teachers were and to honor them for their service.
I know my teachers appreciated the gifts because they would blush with pride when receiving them. And in the days that followed, when they gave me warm smiles and extra help with an assignment, I could tell the good feelings remained.
Now that I’m a marketer, I see how this kind of meaningful exchange can impact a business. Recognizing teachers with personalized offers makes them feel good and wins their loyalty.
Honoring Teachers Is Good Business
A recent study found that when given a personalized offer, 64% of teachers say they feel valued. And more than 7 in 10 teachers will share a personalized offer with their colleagues.
It’s a smart move, given that there are more than 4 million K-12 teachers in the US who spend more than $1.7 billion of their own money on school supplies alone.
And teachers appreciate discounts on everything. More than two-thirds said they would use a personalized offer to buy electronics and eat at restaurants. And more than half said they would use it to purchase apparel, travel, entertainment, and software.
How to Plan an Effective Teacher Appreciation Campaign
Creating a personalized offer that honors teachers is a terrific way to engage them. Tying it to a holiday that celebrates them will make it even more effective. Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8, 2020, so now is the time to get started. Just follow the guide below, or download our full Campaign Template for even more details.
Lay Your Foundation
- Set Your Goals. Are you looking to acquire new customers, build loyalty, or reap the benefits of cause marketing? Once you decide, be sure to identify metrics to measure your success.
- Define Your Target Market. Will you target all teachers or just a particular segment, like K-12? Do you want to limit your offer to teachers in the US or reach them internationally, too?
- Plan Your Offer. Are you highlighting a one-time promotion or an evergreen discount? Is the discount stackable and available for all products?
Hone Your Message
- Express Gratitude. Teachers give so much, and they don’t always get the thanks they deserve. When you use your offer to express genuine appreciation for them, they will feel valued by your brand.
- Focus on Their Dedication. Teachers work hard to positively impact their students. For many, their career is a calling. A recent survey revealed that 99% of teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies.
- Get Them Involved. Nearly 8 in 10 teachers hear about personalized offers from other teachers. Once you launch your offer, be sure to leverage teacher customer testimonials and showcase them in your creative.
Leverage All Your Channels
- Optimize Your Web Presence. Create a dedicated landing page for your personalized offer and make sure it’s mobile-friendly and SEO-optimized.
- Stoke Word of Mouth. Engage teachers in the process and make it easy for them to spread the word. Consider sweetening the deal with referral programs and show your appreciation with additional curated, teacher-focused content.
- Socialize Your Offer. Sharing your offer via social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter gets your offer in front of more teachers and provides them with an easy way to share. Be sure to incorporate relevant hashtags and help your influencers promote your personalized offer through sponsored posts, giveaways, and other promotions.
- Make the Most of Advertising. Strategically placed ads can increase the number of people who see your offer. Consider using paid social and advertising on podcasts or traditional broadcast media to boost visibility further.
- Engage the Media. Use press releases and pitches to media outlets to put your offer in the news. Traditional media reaches not only teachers, but also their friends, family, and community who will share the offer with them. When Target ran a teacher campaign it made national news.
- Leverage Your Database. Highlight your teacher offer in your email marketing to generate word-of-mouth sharing. Then use email to nurture your teacher customers over time.
There are many ways to market your personalized offer for teachers. The most important thing is to start with a strong message and make sure all your channels and tactics support it.
Keeping Your Offer Exclusive Gives It More Value
When I look back on all the ways I thanked my teachers, I realize that what delighted them most was that I made their gifts just for them. Your personalized offer can evoke the same special feeling if you use an identity marketing platform to deliver it.
Identity marketing uses digital verification to confirm that everyone who redeems your offer is eligible. Ensuring your offer is truly exclusive singles teachers out, which makes them feel special and launches a deeper and more meaningful brand relationship.
Digital verification also prevents discount abuse, which protects your margins and frees you up to promote your offer broadly. Instead of worrying about your offer going viral, you can focus on making sure it does.
Now is the time to plan a campaign for Teacher Appreciation Week. When you honor the work of teachers with a personalized offer, you’ll reap the same kinds of rewards I did: their attention and loyalty.