Marketing to Teachers
Why Market to Teachers?
Teachers make up a consumer group 6.7 million strong who spend an average of $1.5 billion per year. According to our annual teacher survey, they also spend a great deal of their own money to fund their classroom needs—$652 per teacher on average—with some teachers spending as much as $7,000. As a result, offering a teacher discount is not only a great way to show your support for teachers, it’s also a smart way to grow your business, reach new customers, and improve your brand image.
Teachers also have a vast network of other teacher and educator friends. As teacher marketing programs are spun up, it’s important to remember that 80% of teachers find out about discounts from a friend or coworker and 84% would recommend retailers who offer discount programs for teachers to their friends and family, even if they weren’t teachers. Considering that teachers and educators represent over 2.3% of the US population, positive word of mouth can make all the difference in seeing your teacher discount program take off.
One example of a company seeing success with marketing to teachers is Staples. Staples has teamed up with DonorsChoose.org to generate support for teachers and students, allowing shoppers to choose to support their favorite classrooms at local Staples locations with the chain matching all donations during the back-to-school season.
The Teacher Market: By the Numbers
The total number of teachers in the US is about 6.7 million. This is comprised of:
- 4 million K-12 teachers.
- 1.7 million post-secondary educators.
- More than 1 million administrators.
Teachers tend to be women (80%), and 56% are over the age of 40. The average public school teacher base salary is $53,100, and their average salary is 42% higher than that of the general population.
Teachers as Consumers
In general, price and discounts are extremely important to teachers. Our study found that 88% of teachers actively seek out retailers that provide teacher discounts.
Teachers feel valued when companies offer them discounts (97.4%) and will recommend these companies to other teachers or even friends and family who are not teachers (84%). Offering discounts can also lead to long-term loyalty from teachers, with 83% reporting they would choose a retailer that offered a teacher discount over one that didn’t.
Teachers also tend to do research before making a purchase, with 64% reporting that they like to know as much as possible about a financial service or investment before committing to it. Teachers also depend on opinions of personal connections, with 63% asking friends or families for advice before buying new things.
In our annual survey, 83% of teachers said a 25% discount will get their attention.Companies offering discounts around 10% were less successful in attracting teachers.
Teachers are avid consumers of media and active members of social media communities, which makes it easy for marketers to effectively reach and engage them online.
Teachers shop online twice as much as the general population, and 38% of teachers say they prefer to shop only online. Eight out of ten teachers report having made purchases through the internet, and more than three-fourths report that the internet is the first place they look for information.
In addition, 61% of teachers report they have shown their support for a product, service, company, etc. by becoming a “fan,” “friend,” or “follower” on a social networking site.
Besides spending money on classroom supplies, teachers spend their money on a wide variety of recreational products and activities. Eighty-two percent of teachers spend time looking for discounts on personal items, which shows that they are not just looking for discounts on classroom or educational items. Teachers are also top consumers of apparel, books, and cars and experiences like travel, museums, and the theatre.
Strategies for Marketing to Teachers
The most successful ways to market to teachers are through social media, email, and word of mouth. Eighty percent of teachers find out about teacher discounts from other educators, and almost 50% are more likely than other audiences to be moved by an email promotion.
Also, nearly half of today’s teachers are Millennials. They turn to social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to swap stories, plan classroom activities, and perfect lesson plans.
Nearly half of today’s teachers are millennials.
Most educators are women and more than half are over 40, so the language used in messaging is important. Teachers will not be swayed by slang or trending language, and they prefer messages to be simple and genuine.
It also helps to speak to the challenges that many teachers face. For instance, if it’s the end of the school year, show that you understand the stress they are under. Or honor them with an exclusive discount during National Teacher Appreciation Week. Don’t forget, a whopping 97.4% feel valued by companies that offer discount programs for teachers.
The Best Way to Market to Teachers: Gated Offers
One of the most effective ways to market to teachers is to create a gated, exclusive offer that appeals to their desire for discounts.
Gated offers use digital verification to confirm a shopper’s eligibility for an exclusive offer, which makes them a powerful and secure way to target specific market segments, such as teachers. Ninety-four percent of Americans would take advantage of a gated offer, and more than two-thirds say gated offers are more important to them than traditional coupons.
With digital verification, teachers happily provide their personal information to receive the discount, and their eligibility is instantly verified. This opt-in exchange also gives brands data they can then use for nurture and retention programs, making gated offers a highly effective way to acquire loyal customers.