There are two extremes in advertising and both need to be treated with caution

There are two big areas of danger for anyone writing advertising aimed at teachers.  One involves using a “trick of the trade” which appears to be something it is not, and the other is to say that teachers can’t be fooled by “tricks of the trade” and simply need to be informed of what’s on offer.

Now since these two approaches appear to be diametrically opposed you might imagine that one of them has to be work – but sadly that is not the case.  Neither work.

Here’s an example of a “trick of the trade” that I received just before Christmas.

Hi Tony,

Join Again… Thank you for reaching out. Here’s the full run-down on how we can start helping you in 3 simple steps:

Now what is wrong with this piece is that I have never knowingly reached out to this person or his company.  But he suggests I have.

The number of emails I receive in which people pretend that they have a connection with or knowledge of my company, and know all about us, is growing.  On a few occasions I do reply, just to see what is going on, and each time I find they are then asking me for details of what I do.  Having previously suggested that they know.

As a sales ploy it just doesn’t work.

Let me give another example.  Someone writes to me and says that they have been studying my website and think they could get us a lot of advertising for the site or maybe a lot more visitors coming to the website. Would I be interested?

I go back and say, “I’m always interested in more visitors,” and they write back and say, “what’s the URL of your website?” They clearly don’t know.

It doesn’t work, for me at least, because I have gained the impression that they did know exactly what was on my site, and that was why they had written.  (What I do know is that some of these companies are a scam who simply want to take over your site and divert traffic to their illicit site – do take care!)

For me, the more work I do in selling via emails, websites, and news services, the more I become convinced that the best way forward is to be straightforward. But not too straightforward.

Imagine you sell school promotional materials such as pens marked with the school’s name.  You might be tempted to go with “All your school promotional requirements in one place”.

The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t tell the reader why he or she should buy from you, as opposed to anyone else. That person has to be looking for your product at this particular moment to go for such an advert.

And even if you add in a line about being the cheapest or the fastest, that doesn’t work either because most people claim that anyway.

If you feel that your advertisements might be able to get a higher sale rate by making a few changes, we are happy to make suggestions using techniques we know normally work.

But that’s not all, because if you adopt our suggestions and you don’t get an increase in response rate we’ll undertake a re-write of your advertisement and send it again, absolutely free of charge.

To get this guarantee all you have to do is buy into any one of our email services to schools in January.  This can be a one off campaign, a lower cost 4 Email Campaign, or an even more lower cost 6 Email Campaign.

Details can be found through those links to our website or simply call 01604 880 927 or email

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